Cochrane US at Tufts: Empowering evidence-based decisions and driving change

Cochrane US at Tufts: Empowering evidence-based decisions and driving change

Cochrane's strength is in its collaborative, global community. Cochrane Geographic Groupsrepresent Cochrane in their host country, advocate for the use of Cochrane evidence in health policy and practice, and support Cochrane's members and supporters who live there.  Here we focus on the impact of an affiliate centre of the  Cochrane US Network, at Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA.

The US Network promotes evidence-based decision-making in healthcare and public health across the country. It raises awareness of Cochrane and its evidence, supports the production of high-quality systematic reviews, and disseminates these reviews strategically. The network also promotes the use of Cochrane evidence among patients, caregivers, clinicians, health systems, guideline developers, and policymakers.

Comprising some of the nation’s leading institutions in evidence-based medicine and public health, the US Network includes 15 affiliate institutions. Each affiliate institution has its own function and specific areas of expertise and focus. The Tufts University School of Medicine is a leader in public health, nutrition, maternal health, and health equity programs. In 2021 they joined Cochrane Us as an affiliate centre to help build capacity and a critical mass of Cochrane-trained systematic reviews in the United States.   

Dr Shayesteh Jahanfar  


Founded in May 2021, Cochrane US at Tufts strategic plan includes awareness campaigns, systematic review training, and collaboration with institutions such as the World Health Organization, Indiana University, and Ohio State University. 

The Tufts team frequently hosts author training seminars both domestically and internationally. The Tufts Systematic Review Course, accredited by CEPH, provides medical professionals and postgraduate students with essential training in performing high-quality systematic reviews. Recent training sessions include Cochrane Author training for nutritionists at Rutgers University and training at the International Conference of Twinning. The Tufts team is also active in the Cochrane US Mentorship Program, helping early career professionals and students enhance their skills in evidence-based healthcare.

Sowmyashree Hanumantha Setty

Collaborations with other Cochrane groups and external organizations amplify the impact of Cochrane US at Tufts. They have worked with the International Twin Register to offer cross-border training, supported Rutgers School of Nursing in submitting Cochrane protocols, and collaborated with Indiana University on systematic reviews and stakeholder training. Notable projects include a scoping review of surgical safety checklists for cesarean sections in collaboration with WHO. Key collaborative efforts include the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies and the Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute. "Collaborating with others is key to expanding the reach and impact of our work," says Sowmyashree Hanumantha, Cochrane Fellow.

Looking ahead, Tufts is excited about several upcoming projects. By June 2024, they aim to support the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Network of Institutions for Evidence and Data to Policy (NEDtP). They are continuing systematic review training with Western University in Ontario, Canada, and have applied for a Mary Y. Lee CSL Faculty Mini-Grant for a project on building systematic review capacity among high school teachers. Other priorities include securing seed money from the Tisch College Community Research Center, exploring AI applications for juvenile health, and participating in the Cochrane Global Evidence Summit with submitted abstracts.

Michael Johannesmeyer

Cochrane US at Tufts welcomes collaboration and support from individuals and organizations passionate about improving healthcare. They seek funding opportunities to extend their impact and continue enhancing healthcare practices and policies through rigorous research synthesis and evidence dissemination. "As we look to the future, our goal remains steadfast: to enhance healthcare through evidence-based decision-making and collaboration. We invite all those passionate about this mission to join us," concludes Michael Johannesmeyer, Cochrane Fellow.