VACS Cores and Workgroups

Core and Workgroup Membership  Link

Cardiovascular Disease Core Specs Link

Translational Research Core Specs Link

STEP Trial Link

First Trial Link

Longitudinal Analysis Workgroup Link

DEFINITIONS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND WRITING GROUP MEMBERSHIP POLICY

August 15, 2017 

REVISED CORE AND WORKGROUP MEMBERSHIP, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND WRITING GROUP MEMBERSHIP POLICY 

Definitions:

The difference between a workgroup and a core is whether or not we have funding supporting the focus of the group and the number of projects currently underway. 

Writing Group Membership 

As always, the Vancouver requirements apply, membership in a writing group does not guarantee authorship. 

Core/Workgroup Assignment for New Proposals 

All new proposals will be submitted to Teresa Bohan, she will then ask Amy Justice to assign the proposal to a workgroup or core. Once assigned, that group will be the first to review the proposal and to request initial clarificati6n. The proposal will then be sent to assigned core and or workgroup chairs for assigning a recommendation and prioritization to the project. If at this time the chairs feel further response is needed from proposal authors, Teresa will send the responses up to that point to the author for further comment. Once chair(s) feel it is ready for the Steering Committee, the proposal will go to the steering committee for final rejection or approval and prioritization. 

Each group will be responsible for tracking the progress of all approved projects assigned to it. The designated Chair will keep me informed of any issues that need to be addressed by the leadership. If most of the members of a group participate in a particular writing group, the group call may also serve as the writing group call and outside members of the writing group will be invited to join calls in which this occurs. In some cases, a project may be assigned to two groups for initial evaluation, but only one will be tasked with charting its progress. It is my expectation that some proposals will not be recommended and/or will not receive a high priority from the initial workgroup review. Active groups will meet by conference call at least quarterly, some meet twice a month. We have asked each member to confirm their ongoing commitment to the group. Anyone interested in joining these workgroups should contact the workgroup chair. Please recognize that all these workgroups have or will have standing conference calls. As with writing committees, attendance will be tracked. Those who fail to participate and to give substantive feedback will not have fulfilled the Vancouver requirements for authorship. Please consider how many workgroups and cores to which you can reasonably commit. 

CORES AND WORKGROUPS 

Alcohol and Behavior Intervention Core 

(Chaired by David Fiellin, meets monthly, NIAAA supported): Manages all substance use and patient behavior change projects, supervises cleaning, interpreting and validating relevant data. (Statistician: Kathy McGinnis; Programmers: Kathy McGinnis) 

Antiviral Workgroup 

(Co-Chaired by Emily Cartwright and Christopher Rentsch, meets quarterly): Handles all aspects of projects that are primarily focused on the effects of antiretroviral treatment including determining composition of first and subsequent cART, benefits from cART, exposure to treatment, viral resistance, and toxicity. May often be assigned as a secondary reviewer of projects primarily assigned to other workgroups or cores that include this as a predictor variable but not the primary interest. Will have primary assignment for papers with this as the primary focus. Manages all antiretroviral treatment benefit projects, supervises cleaning, interpreting, and validating relevant data. (Statistician: Janet Tate; Programmer: Janet Tate with Melissa Skanderson as back-up) 

Biostatistics Core 

(Chaired by Janet Tate, meets weekly): Handles all aspects of projects that are primarily methodological in nature including marginal structural modeling, imputation, longitudinal analyses, and competing risk. May often be assigned as a secondary reviewer of projects primarily assigned to other workgroups or cores. Has primary assignment for methods papers. 

Cancer Core 

(Co-Chaired by Keith Sigel and Lesley Park, meets quarterly, supported through ARRA and NCI funds through NA- ACCORD): Includes all cancers both HIV and non-HIV related. This group has gotten approval for the Cancer Registry data from the VA and oversees its integration, cleaning, validation, and analyses. The group is also working with NA-ACCORD to conduct cross cohort analyses of many types of cancer. (Statistician & Programmer: Lesley Park) 

Prostate Cancer Workgroup 

(subgroup of the Cancer Core) (Chaired by Roxanne Wadia, no established call schedule as of yet): focus of this workgroup is to further advance knowledge of malignant and benign prostate disease across multiple disciplines. The goal is to gain a better understanding of prostate disease as it relates to HIV, cardiovascular outcomes and advanced cancer. By using natural language processing and other advanced informatics methods, the goal is to develop methodological tools that can be used across multiple studies to better characterize prostate disease. 

Cardiovascular Disease Core 

(Chaired by Matt Freiberg, meets quarterly, NIAAA and NHLBI supported): Manages all cardiovascular projects, supervises cleaning, interpreting, and validating relevant data including QUERI database on MIs. (Statistician: Kathy McGinnis; Programmers: Kathy McGinnis) 

Endocrine and Bone Disease Workgroup 

(Co-Chaired by Barb Gulanski and Julie Womack, meets quarterly): This group works on validating data and outcomes involved in analyzing the role of fractures, BMD, testosterone, birth control medications, Vitamin D, Calcium, and other endocrinologic issues in morbidity and mortality. (Statistician: Julie Womack with Janet Tate as back-up; Programmer: Julie Womack) 

Health Services Research Core 

(Co-chaired by Emily Wang and Kathleen McGinnis, meets quarterly): Includes health care utilization and costs, hospitalizations, MICU stays, disparities research (racial, gender, rural/urban), adherence to treatment and visits, and health systems issues more generally (quality of care and access). This group oversees the request for and integration and analysis of the Medicare data including dialysis data. Dialysis data will be cleaned and validated by both this Core and by the Renal Workgroup. (Statistician: Kathy McGinnis; Programmer: Melissa Skanderson) 

Informatics Core 

(Chaired by Cindy Brandt, meets weekly): This group handles all aspects of projects that are primarily informatics and methodological in nature including natural language processing, GIS, machine learning. Core will have primary assignment for informatics research papers. 

Kidney Disease Core 

(Chaired by F. Perry Wilson, meets quarterly): Manages all substance use and patient behavior change projects, supervises cleaning, interpreting, and validating relevant data including dialysis data. (Statistician: Kirsha Gordon; Programmers: Kirsha Gordon & Melissa Skanderson) 

Liver Disease Core 

(Co-chaired by Vincent Lo Re and Janet Tate, meets monthly, NIAAA supported): Manages all liver disease projects including those primarily focused on viral hepatitis, supervises cleaning, interpreting and validating relevant data. (Statisticians: Janet Tate; Programmers: Vincent LoRe with Janet Tate as back-up) 

Mental Health Workgroup 

(Chaired by Joseph Goulet, meets quarterly): Manages all mental health related projects; supervises cleaning, interpreting, and validating of all relavent data including depression and thoughts of suicide data. (Statistician: Joseph Goulet; Programmer: Melissa Skanderson) 

Opioids Core 

(Chaired by William Becker and E. Jennifer Edelman, meets biweekly): Manages all projects centered around Opioids use and abuse. Also addresses polypharmacy topics. (Statistician: Kirsha Gordon; Programmer: Melissa Skanderson) 

Physical Function and Disability Workgroup 

(Co-Chaired by Kris Ann Oursler and Kathleen Akgun, meets every other month): This group investigates the association of the VACS index with measures of functional performance and whether function improves prediction of mortality; in particular determine change in physical function in HIV-infected versus negative veterans. (Statistician: Janet Tate; Programmer: Janet Tate) 

Polyharmacy Workgroup 

(Co-Chaired by Amy Justice and E. Jennifer Edelman, meets every other month): Manages all projects centered around the prescribing and use of multiple pharmaceuticals, the interaction of medications, and the effect polypharmacy has on morbidity and overall health. (Statistician: Kirsha Gordon; Programmer: Melissa Skanderson) 

Pulmonary Disease Core 

(Chaired by Kristina Crothers, meets monthly, NIAAA and NHLBI supported): Manages all pulmonary disease projects, supervises cleaning, interpreting, and validating relevant data. (Statistician: Kathy McGinnis; Programmers: Mona Duggal, Kathy McGinnis & Shahida Shahrir) 

Statins Workgroup 

(Co-Chaired by Roger Bedimo and Janet Tate, meets quarterly): This group is responsible for overseeing all statin related analyses and projects. (Statistician and Programmer: Janet Tate) 

Translational Research Core 

(Co-Chaired by Matthew Freiberg and Charles Rinaldo, meets quarterly, NIAAA supported): Oversees all projects using banked specimens and the development and implementation of new initiatives to collect longitudinal samples and additional DNA or other specimens. (Statistician and Programmer: Harini Bathulapalli) 

Uniform Services Workgroup 

(Co-Chaired by Brian Agan and Vincent Marconi, meets quarterly): This group works in concert with Brian Agan of the Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program to pursue merging data on individuals who seroconverted while in active duty. Once this task is completed, there will likely be a number of analyses of this very interesting group of seroconverters with long term follow up within the VHA. (Statistician: Kirsha Gordon; Programmer: n/a) 

VACS Index Workgroup

(Co-chaired by Amy Justice and Jan Tate, meets monthly, a primary aim of our NIAAA grant): This group works closely with outside cohorts and RCTs to validate the index and extend its application. (Statistician: Janet Tate; Programmer: Janet Tate) 

VACS Longitudinal Workgroup 

(Chaired by Janet Tate, meets monthly): This group, similar to the Biostatistics and Informatics Cores, serves to address all aspects of projects that involve longitudinal analysis. The group also helps to trouble shoot road blocks in ongoing project analyses.