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CU Receives $14.8M Grant

CU School of Medicine

AURORA, Colo. – The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently awarded a three-year, $14.8 million grant to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and a team of health care and quality improvement experts in Colorado and New Mexico to help primary care practices use the latest medical evidence to improve the heart health of hundreds of thousands of people in the region.

EvidenceNOW Southwest will recruit and engage 260 small, independent primary care practices and provide quality improvement services often not available to them because of their size. These services include onsite practice facilitation and coaching, expert consultation, shared learning collaboratives, and electronic health record support.

This consortium of organizations in EvidenceNOW Southwest is one of seven groups across the country receiving grant funding as part of the AHRQ initiative, EvidenceNOW – Advancing Heart Health in Primary Care.

“The goal of the EvidenceNOW initiative is to give primary care practices the support they need to help patients live healthier and longer,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “By targeting smaller practices, we have a unique opportunity to reduce cardiovascular risk factors for hundreds of thousands of patients, and learn what kind of support results in better patient outcomes.”

Perry Dickinson, MD, professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Principal Investigator for the project said, “The EvidenceNOW Southwest initiative, combined with the Colorado State Innovation Model effort and other projects available to practices across Colorado and New Mexico, will provide our primary care practices with considerable support for practice transformation and quality improvement. These efforts also connect well with other initiatives at the state and local level to improve both health and health care for our states.”

In Colorado and New Mexico, about 20 percent of adults die of heart disease and 5 percent from stroke, 21 percent have high blood pressure, 34 percent have high blood cholesterol, and more than half are overweight or obese. To prevent heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, it is critical that health care professionals work with patients to adopt the ABC’S of cardiovascular prevention: Aspirin use by high risk individuals, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol management, and Smoking cessation. New evidence is continually evolving about how to best deliver the ABC’S. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that primary care practices have the evidence they need and use it to help patients live healthier and longer.

EvidenceNOW Southwest is a collaborative effort of the University of Colorado, the Colorado Health Extension System, the New Mexico Health Extension Rural Offices, and multiple other organizations. For more information contact Allyson Gottsman at For more information about AHRQ’s EvidenceNOW initiative, including details on each of the grantees and cooperatives, visit: For more information about Million Hearts, visit

About the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about the medical school’s care, education, research and community engagement, visit its website.