Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup


Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup Membership


Lori Bastian
Steven Cohen

Core Members:

Norman Silliker (Yale)


Workgroup Co-Chairs – Qualifications and Experience

Lori Bastian, M.D., M.P.H. is Director of the PRIME Center and Chief of General Internal Medicine at VACHS and Professor of Internal Medicine at Yale University. She has an extensive background as a primary care provider and health services and behavioral medicine investigator in VA, including specific focused interests in pain and comorbidities, women veterans’ health, and the conduct of multi-site effectiveness trials.

As Director of the PRIME Center, she chairs an Executive Steering Committee that is comprised of key VA stakeholders (e.g., Drs. Sandbrink and Kilbourne) and external partners (Dr. Jennifer Haythornthwaite, a leading pain researcher from Johns Hopkins), as well as a veteran representative (Mr. Anicich), among other stakeholders. She also oversees the management of a national network of over 80 VA, DoD and NIH pain investigators who share interests in improving pain care for veterans and military service members that meets monthly via teleconference. She is also responsible for the collaboration with CIDER described above.

Steven P. Cohen, M.D. is Professor of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Chief of Pain Medicine and Director of Clinical Operations at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions (JHMI), and Professor and Director of the Pain Management Focus Area of the CRSR, and Director of Pain Research at WRNMMC. Dr. Cohen is widely recognized as a leading researcher in the area of pain medicine, with specific expertise in the conduct of efficacy and comparative-effectiveness trials
targeting common pain medicine procedures.

Workgroup Goals

The core objective of our Stakeholder Engagement Work Group is to develop respectful and productive partnerships that will maximize our ability to generate trustworthy, internally valid findings directly relevant to veterans and military service members with pain, front-line primary care clinicians and health care teams, and health system leaders. The Work Group will provide the forum within which these stakeholders can bring their different perspectives and expertise to develop and enact a comprehensive, evidence-based, and stakeholder-informed approach to address previously identified organizational, clinician, and patient-level barriers to access, engagement and participation in pragmatic clinical trials of non-pharmacological
approaches for the management of chronic pain and to optimize the VA and DoD as learning health care systems.

Additional Value-added Expertise

In support of this overarching objective, this Work Group will interact with an external Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) described above and other national leaders and stakeholders in identifying, refining and disseminating policies and best practices that foster the successful conduct of pragmatic trials in VA and DoD clinical settings within the context of existing workflow practices. It is envisioned that this will involve the identification, development and dissemination of guidelines and resources that foster the establishment of high
functioning and productive teams of scientists and key stakeholders at the pragmatic trials sites.

Mr. Anicich will also lead a novel effort to develop a Patient Navigator Committee (PNC) to be comprised of veteran and active duty military service members from the participating pragmatic trial sites. It is expected that some selected pragmatic trials will already have engaged patient stakeholders in the development and to support enactment of their respective trials. It is Mr. Anicich’s vision that this group of individuals, perhaps supplemented by recruitment of additional patient stakeholders, will appreciate and perceive benefit from being connected to their peers at other sites. PMC3 leadership, in partnership with Mr. Anicich, will promote education of the PNC members in research principles and practices of clinical research, thus supporting their full engagement of partners in the conduct of the trials. The PNC members will collaborate in development of trial recruitment and related materials and generally ensure the relevance of the trials to VA and DoD health care systems and to military service member and veteran participants. The PNC will serve a key role in helping trial participants “navigate” the complexities of research participation.