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General information

Background

The United States Cochrane Center (USCC) was established in December 2002 when the New England Cochrane Center Boston office, the New England Cochrane Center Providence office, and the San Francisco Cochrane Center merged to form a single registered entity with a main office and two branches. The central office is the primary point of contact for the work of The Cochrane Collaboration in the United States and is responsible for fulfilling the Center's core functions.

The central office of the USCC is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the West Coast Branch is based at Oregon Health and Sciences University, with one of its two Associate Directors at the University of California, San Francisco. In February, 2008, the Boston Branch of the USCC closed its doors, and in 2014, the San Francisco Branch closed.

Mission statement

The overall mission of the USCC is to further the Collaboration's goal of making widely available systematic reviews of the effects of healthcare interventions.

Objectives

The USCC provides training and support for review authors, Trials Search Coordinators (TSCs), Review Group Coordinators (RGCs), editors, handsearchers, consumers and others. Since 2002, a special focus of the main office in Baltimore has been the development, growth and support of a national coalition of consumer advocacy organizations, whose members are educated in evidence-based healthcare decision making (Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare).

Until 2005 the USCC also coordinated development of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the best single source of reports of controlled clinical trials worldwide, and until 2014 The Master List of Journals Being Searched. Online handsearcher training is offered by the USCC to the present day.

Tasks assumed on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration

The three offices of the USCC share many tasks, including:

1. Supporting Cochrane entities with a coordinating base in the US or one of the countries serviced by the Center. These include:

Review Groups

Fields

Methods Groups

2. Supporting new Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs), Fields, and Methods Groups who want to register with the Collaboration.

3. Supporting individuals who seek information about and participation in the work of the Collaboration. In addition, each of the two offices of the Center performs unique tasks for the Collaboration:

The West Coast Branch of the USCC will promote evidence-based decision making in health care in the US. It will work in conjunction with its primary center at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health by facilitating accurate, up-to-date Cochrane Reviews and providing support and training to new authors of Cochrane Reviews.

The Caribbean Branch of the USCC (CBUSCC) was launched in June 2013 and is the reference center for English-speaking Caribbean territories. Its development will extend the services available to Cochrane contributors already working in the Caribbean Region and also support new authors. The branch will be housed at the University of West Indies Mona, Jamaica, led by the team of co-directors Dr. Marshall Tulloch-Reid and Mr. Damian Francis and supported by Ms. Chisa Cumberbach, Dr. Nadia Bennett, and Professor Ian Hambleton.

The USCC main office in Baltimore is responsible for providing training and support for review authors, TSCs, RGCs, handsearchers, consumers, healthcare providers, policy makers and others. In addition, the USCC works with international colleagues to provide training and support for others in the Collaboration who are responsible for training. An increasingly important task of the Baltimore office is to support further development and growth of a consumer advocate coalition, Consumers United for Evidence-based Healthcare (CUE). The USCC supports CUE's mission to promote the health of populations and the quality of individual health care by empowering consumers, public health policy makers, health care providers and others to make informed decisions based on the best current evidence through research, education, and advocacy. CUE members are encouraged to participate in the Collaboration by providing consumer input into training course modules, systematic reviews, and plain language summaries. In 2007, the USCC and CUE launched a distance learning course, "Understanding evidence-based healthcare: A foundation for action" for consumer advocates.

From its inception in 1994 through December 2005, the USCC processed the results of all individual and group electronic searches and handsearches of the healthcare literature and coordinated inclusion of results in CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library. The Baltimore office worked with the US National Library of Medicine to ensure indexing of all MEDLINE citations to reports of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) ("MEDLINE Retagging Project") until 2006. The Baltimore office continues to perform unique CENTRAL-related activities, including:

1. Providing via the Internet a distance education course on how to handsearch the health-related literature for RCTs and CCTs.

 

Countries for which the USCC is the reference Cochrane Center

The USCC is the reference Center for all 50 of the US states and US territories, protectorates, and districts: the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the North Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The USCC also is the reference Center for the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guam, Guyana, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Personnel

USCC staff members

Directors:
Kay Dickersin, MA, PhD (USCC)
kdicker3@jhu.edu

Associate Directors:

Roberta Scherer, PhD (USCC)
rschere1@jhu.edu

Tianjing Li, MD, MHS, PhD (USCC)
tli19@jhu.edu

Administrative Coordinators:

Lead Systematic Review Methodologist:

Kristina Lindsley, MS (USCC)
klindsley@jhu.edu

Research Assistant:

James Heyward (USCC)
jheywar1@jhu.edu

Graduate Research Assistants:

Ian Saldanha, MD, MPH (USCC)
isaldan1@jhmi.edu

Nicole Fusco, MA (USCC)
ncamero2@jhu.edu

Gillian Gresham, MSc (USCC)
ggresha3@jhu.edu

Jimmy Le, M. Int. Devel. (USCC)
jle6@jhu.edu

Support

US Cochrane Center, Baltimore office

Past sources of funding support

  • Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente Institute for Health Policy ($5,000 for the USCC Conference "Priority Setting for Systematic reviews 2008").
  • Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Brown University School of Medicine (1998-2005).
  • US National Library of Medicine (1996-2004).
  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals ($20,000 for the Baltimore Colloquium 1998; $5,000 for consumer stipends for 2001 Colloquium).
  • Merck Inc ($10,000 for the Baltimore Colloquium 1998; Consumer stipends for 1999, 2000 and 2001 Colloquia).
  • Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology ($20,000 for the Baltimore Colloquium 1998).
  • Pfizer US Pharmaceuticals ($15,000 for the Baltimore Colloquium 1998).
  • US Surgical Corporation ($500 for the Baltimore Colloquium 1998).

The USCC (Baltimore) would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, in particular, the United Kingdom Cochrane Centre, Update Software, John Wiley and Sons, and especially the Cochrane Collaboration Trials Search Coordinators (TSCs).

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the policy of The Cochrane Collaboration, the US Cochrane Center does not receive funding from commercial sources, defined as any for-profit manufacturer or provider of health care, or any other for-profit source with a real or potential vested interest in the findings of a specific review.

Kay Dickersin, PhD, Director

A. Financial interests
In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research or fellowship from a relevant organization to conduct research?

Ongoing Grants
KD is principal-investigator

  • The Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group: US Coordination of Contributors. National Eye Institute. 2010 - 2017.
  • Translating Evidence to Quality Care: Getting the Message to your Constituency. CUE Conference Grant. AHRQ 2009-2012.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organization?

None

3. Received honoraria: one time payments from a related organization (2003-2009).

Yes, I received an honorarium from the National Academies, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Academy of Optometry, Duke University, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, MAMM Magazine, Society for Investigative Dematology, Educational Services Inc., The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Sarah Lawrence College, National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund, Science Applications International Corporation, Aspen Systems, Department of Veterans Affairs, American Gastroenterological Association, American Institutes of Research, University College, London, MRSSI, Inc., University of Colorado, Masimax Resources Inc., Mathmatica Policy Research Inc., National Eye Institute, National Breast Cancer Coalition, Veteran's Administration, Children’s Hospital of Ontario, Foundation for American Communications, Essex District, Massachusetts Medical Society, Synergy Enterprises Inc., Tulane School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Milbank Memorial Fund, Nordic Occupational Health Summer School, Foundation for American Communications, McMaster University, Jaeb Center for Health Research, Wellspan Health.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organization?

Director, Center for Clinical Trials, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock options, equity with a related organization (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares?

No

6. Received personal gifts from a related organization?

No

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organization?

No

8. Received royalty payments from a related organization?

No

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest?

No

Roberta Scherer, PhD, Associate Director

A. Financial interests
In the last five years, have you:

A. Financial Interests

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research or fellowship from a relevant organization to conduct research?

Yes, in the past five years I have received research funding from the National Institute of Health through the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute of Aging, and the National Center on Health and Health Disparities. I also received funding from the Maryland Tobacco Restitution Fund and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for an organization?

Yes, I receive funding as the Managing Editor of Clinical Trials: Journal of the Society for Clinical Trials and funds from the Canadian Institute of Health Research for reviewing grant proposals.

3. Received honoraria: one-time payments (in cash or kind) from a related organization?

No

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organization?

No

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock, stock options, equity with a related organization (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares)?

No

6. Received personal gifts from a related organization?

No

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organization?

No

8. Received royalty payments from a related organization?

No

B. Non-financial interests

Do you have any other competing interests that could pose a conflict of interest that would reasonably appear to be related to the primary interest?

No, I have no competing non-financial interests.

US Cochrane Center, San Francisco Branch

Current sources of funding support

Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of San Francisco, California

Past sources of funding support
Eugene Garfield Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the policy of The Cochrane Collaboration, the US Cochrane Center does not receive funding from commercial sources, defined as any for-profit manufacturer or provider of health care, or any other for-profit source with a real or potential vested interest in the findings of a specific review.


Tianjing Li, MD, MHS, PhD, Associate Director

A. Financial interests
In the last five years, have you:

1. Received research funding: any grant, contract or gift, commissioned research or fellowship from a relevant organization to conduct research?

Ongoing Grants
TL is principal investigator or co-principal investigator on the following grants:

  • Develop, Test and Disseminate a New Technology to Modernize Data Abstraction in Systematic Review. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. 2014 - 2017.
  • Abridged Topic Development of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Research Topics: Assessment of Options Program Area. 2013-2014.
  • Assessing Feasibility of Tele-Rehabilitation in Low Vision Patients. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 2013-2014.
  • Standards in the Prevention and Handling of Missing Data in Observational and Experimental Patient Centered Outcomes Research.Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. 2011 - 2012.

2. Had paid consultancies: any paid work, consulting fees (in cash or kind) for a related organization?

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Outcome Insights, Inc. Westlake Village, CA.
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for reviewing grant proposals.

3. Received honoraria: one time payments from a related organization.

I have received honoraria from the American Association of Endodontists, Sun Yet-Sen University School of Medicine, Sun Yet-Sen University Cancer Center, and Center for Medical Technology Policy.

4. Served as a director, officer, partner, trustee, employee or held a position of management with a related organization?

No

5. Possessed share-holdings, stock options, equity with a related organization (excludes mutual funds or similar arrangements where the individual has no control over the selection of the shares?

No

6. Received personal gifts from a related organization?

No

7. Had an outstanding loan with a related organization?

No

8. Received royalty payments from a related organization?

No



Reports

Annual reports

Annual reports are available on the USCC website.

Training

The USCC Baltimore office conducts workshops on evidence-based healthcare for health professionals, librarians, and consumers; handsearching; peer review; conducting systematic reviews; and training other trainers. It also develops training resource materials. Information about the bi-annual Developing a Cochrane Systematic Review Workshop in Baltimore, Maryland can be accessed here.

Training workshops

Training workshops in the United States are coordinated by the USCC and cover all aspects of training required by review authors and editors in Cochrane Review Groups. Please consult the workshops page of the USCC website for training opportunities. Cochrane workshops also are listed in Cochrane News.

The USCC currently offers two courses online: "Handsearching: Identifying and classifying controlled trial reports", and "Understanding evidence-based healthcare: A foundation for action" for consumer advocates.

Training materials & resources

The USCC website provides a variety of training materials and resources. On the Workshops page, we provide information about workshops offered through our Center, elsewhere in the US, internationally, and online. We also provide specific information on resources and available training for handsearchers, review authors, consumers, and trials search coordinators.

Future events
See www.cochrane.us for a schedule of upcoming events.

The Cochrane Policy Manual

 



USCC Brochure (PDF)
Chronology of the Cochrane Collaboration in the United States (PDF)
Countries for which the USCC is the reference Cochrane Center (PDF)

 

Frequently asked questions