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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 San Francisco Branch is based at the University of California. In February, 2008, the Boston Branch of the USCC closed its doors.

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).

The USCC also supports the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the best single source of reports of controlled clinical trials worldwide, The Master List of Journals Being Searched, and handsearcher training.

The San Francisco Branch develops and evaluates systems for assessing and sustaining the quality of Cochrane reviews.

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 San Francisco Branch of the USCC is involved in transitioning the development and management of Cochrane's Electronic Criticism Management System to Wiley InterScience. The branch is also involved in the management of conflicts of interest within the Cochrane Collaboration.

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

Center staff members

Directors:
Kay Dickersin, MA, PhD (USCC)
kdickers@jhsph.edu

Lisa Bero, PhD (USCC, San Francisco Branch)

Associate Directors:

Roberta Scherer, PhD (USCC)
rscherer@jhsph.edu

Tianjing Li, MD, MHS, PhD (USCC)
tli@jhsph.edu

Administrative Coordinators:

Administrator, USCC, San Francisco Branch:
Erika Campbell, BA
campbelle@pharmacy.ucsf.edu

Systematic Review Methodologist:

Kristina Lindsley, MS (USCC)
klindsle@jhsph.edu

Graduate Research Assistant:


Ian Saldanha, MD, MPH (USCC)
isaldanh@jhsph.edu

Support

US Cochrane Center, Baltimore office

Current and past sources of funding support

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Maryland

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.

Lisa Bero, 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?

Yes, I have received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (research money derived from the tax on cigarettes), and Flight Attendants Medical Research Institute, National Science Foundation.

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

Yes, I have received consulting fees from the University of Colorado for conducting workshops in evidence-based medicine, and the Academy for Educational Development for peer reviewing documents. I receive an annual consulting fee from British Medical Journal Publishing for serving as a senior editor for Tobacco Control.

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

Yes, I have accepted honoraria from the Association of Medical Writers and Dartmouth University for talks on reporting of scientific research in the lay press, the World Health Organization and Pomona University (European Union Center) for talks on public commentary on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, Kaiser Permanente for talks on (a) evaluating the quality of research and (b) tobacco industry manipulation of research, the World Conference on Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics for a talk on managing financial conflicts of interest in clinical trials, and the Brooklyn Law School for a talk and paper on systematic reviews.

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

No. Since 1991, I have been a full-time faculty employee of the University of California, San Francisco.

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?

Yes, I receive about $50 US per year in royalty fees from the University of California Press for the publication of The Cigarette Papers.

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.

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.

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 workshop 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 trial 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