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Partnering to Transform Healthcare with People with Disabilities (PATH-PWD) - Improving Acute, Primary and Transitional Health care with People with Disabilities

Research Team

Sarah H. Ailey, Principal Investigator, RUSH CON
Molly Bathje, Co-Investigator, RUSH CHS
Tamar Heller, Co-Investigator, University of Illinois

Award Period

6/1/16 – 5/31/17

Funding Source

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) R13 Conference grant


The conference “Improving Acute, Primary and Transitional Healthcare with Individuals with Disabilities” is sponsored by Rush University in collaboration with University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Disability and Human Development. This conference is in response to the disparity in health outcomes noted in people with disabilities. These health disparities are a result of multifaceted issues in the health care system including, decreased access and quality of care, the prevalence of multiple chronic health conditions and longer life expectancies, under representation in research, and failures in policy to adequately address the needs of people with disabilities.

The purpose of the conference is twofold; 1) To bring together key stakeholders in health care delivery with adults with disabilities, including researchers, providers, consumer advocates, policy makers, and insurers in order to reach consensus and provide recommendations on best practices and policies in primary, acute, and transitional health care with people with disabilities 2) To disseminate synthesized recommendations on best practices and policies for acute, primary and transitional health care based on conference proceedings.

The conference will be held March 23-24 2017 at Rush University Medical Center’s Searle Conference Center in Chicago, Illinois over two days. The conference will include only invited individuals, to ensure focused and expert discussions that include multiple expert perspectives in order to achieve conference objectives. The conference will include a keynote address and breakout panel led discussions to present and discuss research findings, innovative approaches, and policy changes. Additionally, the breakout panel lead discussions will respond to the presentation of these ideas by providing recommendations and action plans.

The breakout sessions will be organized by theme, including acute care, primary care, and transitional care. Each theme will include representation from researchers, providers, insurers, policy experts and will also emphasize person and family centered care by including consumer advocates and people with disabilities. Theme breakout sessions will include focused questions and discussions during the first day, followed by consensus building and forming practice and policy recommendations on the second day. Information discussed, recommendations, and action items from each theme will be reported out at the end of the second day.

If funded, summation of the conference proceedings will be disseminated through publication of a supplemental issue in a professional journal.