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Mina Ostovari, PhD, Lead Research Investigator at ChristianaCare iREACH

Dr. Ostovari is a Lead Research Investigator at ChristianaCare Health Services Inc. Her research is mostly focused on improving chronic condition care. In particular, she is interested in studying the impact of provider collaboration and communication on outcomes of patients with diabetes.

  1. What is the importance of this research?

The ultimate goal of this research is to improve health outcomes and care delivery to patients with diabetes. The study findings may lead to changes in care delivery within our health system by encouraging providers to adopt the most effective team structure in improving patient outcomes as identified by our study. In addition, our approach is generalizable and can be applied to the management of other similar chronic conditions and to other health systems in the country. Exporting this analytical approach to other health care issues will multiply its impact.

2. Why did you want to conduct this research?

Diabetes is among the most common chronic conditions. Similar to other chronic conditions, the diabetes care process is complex and requires multiple healthcare providers with various specialties. The results of our study will allow us to quantify various collaboration configurations between health care providers, and understand how the collaboration level impacts patient outcomes and access to care. For example, the combination of teams (primary care, nutritionist, endocrinologist, etc.) that lead to the best outcome for patients.

3. How does this research relate to your other work?

I am interested in improving chronic condition care. In this study, I am working on developing a methodology to model the collaborative relationships among healthcare providers and understand how those relate to patient outcomes. I plan to expand the scope of the work in the future by incorporating data from provider communication recorded in the clinical notes. My research enhances collaborative care that includes patients and providers and is critical for advancing health equity and precision medicine.

4. What aspect of the DE-CTR was most helpful to you for this research?

I feel fortunate to be part of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program. Particularly, I am grateful for the support provided by the Professional Development Core. I attend the weekly Junior Investigators’ Network (JIN) meeting and it keeps me up to date about many things, including funding opportunities and the research others are working on in Delaware. The funding DE-CTR offers is fundamental for advancing the research in DE. Specifically for researchers like me who are embedded within a health system, grants like the Mentored Research Development Award (MRDA) and the Pilot Project Program give us the opportunity to protect our time and work on developing skills and projects we are interested in.

5. What advice would you give to a junior researcher?

Having a strong network connection and mentors who can support you are so important. Make sure to attend the weekly JIN network if you can. DE-CTR is here to support you. If you need help, reach out!