The Wisconsin Partnership Program’s Partnership Education and Research Committee awarded the following Collaborative Health Sciences Program grants in 2012:

Bisphosphonates and Breast Cancer Prevention: Mechanistic and Clinical Analyses

Michael Gould, PhD, Oncology and Medical Physics
Award: $499,997 over three years

This project will explore the use of bisphosphonate (BP) drugs for breast cancer prevention. A multidisciplinary team will develop strategies for the short-term administration of FDA-approved BP drugs to prevent breast cancer with minimal to no toxicity.

The team will develop a mouse model to test the hypothesis that BP drugs activate the immune cells found in the breast to kill developing cancer cells and also to change the nature of breast cells, making them more resistant to malignant transformation. Findings from the mouse studies will be validated in a pilot clinical trial with female volunteers at high risk for developing breast cancer.

Wisconsin Breast Cancer Screening Collaborative: Advancing Shared Decision-Making

Elizabeth Burnside, MD, MPH, Radiology
Award: $500,000 over three years

Although screening mammography reduces overall mortality from breast cancer, it is not without negative consequences such as unnecessary interventions and increased health care use. This multidisciplinary project will design and test a clinical decision support tool (CDST) to facilitate conversations and shared decision-making between patients and clinicians as the optimal policy for determining whether and how to screen women for breast cancer with mammography.

An integrated team of physicians, communication and population health specialists and community partners will develop and test this novel CDST, the Breast Cancer Risk Estimator (B-CARE). Accessible online and in the electronic health record, this support tool will help patients and physicians weigh the “benefits” of mammographic screening to improve breast cancer detection and the “harms” of false positives in improving population health.

The Wisconsin Surgical Coaching Program

Caprice Greenberg, MD, MPH, Surgery
Award: $499,958 over three years

This multidisciplinary collaboration between University of Wisconsin faculty and surgeons throughout the state is designed to improve surgical performance and the quality and safety of surgical care in Wisconsin. With input from the UW football program, schools and departments of surgery, engineering, music and education as well as the Wisconsin Surgical Society, project leaders will adapt methodology, theory and key coaching principles from these disciplines to develop a video-based coaching program for Wisconsin surgeons.

The initiative aims to decrease technical errors and improve surgical performance in any care setting. Participating surgeons and surgical coaches will evaluate the educational value and impact of video-based coaching on patient safety.