Three Marshfield Clinic Research Institute researchers will have projects that address contemporary and/or emerging rural health crises funded for the next one-to two years as part of a partnership with University of Wisconsin-Madison.​

In 2007, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Marshfield Clinic Research Institute joined in forming the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR). The goal of ICTR is to create an environment that transforms research into a continuum from investigation through discovery and to translation into real-life community practice, thereby linking even the most basic research to practical improvements in human health.

The MCRI and UW-Madison Collaborative Award provides support for proposals that build upon the research interests and infrastructure support of both institutions.

“These projects will explore real-life issues that we face in rural Wisconsin," said Jennifer Meece, Ph.D., MCRI chief research officer and executive director. “By funding this research, we are creating opportunities to find answers that can improve quality of life for families in rural America."

Funded projects are led by co-principal investigators (PIs), one from Marshfield and one from UW-Madison. Funded projects are:

  • The Swenson-Kolster project: “Family Perspectives on How Healthcare Providers May Promote Optimization of Health for Children with Medical Complexity" – This project will focus on children with medical complexities and caregiver insight into barriers and facilitations to health care access and well-being for rural and urban children. MCRI PI is Andrea Swenson, Ph.D., associate research scientist, National Farm Medicine Center.
  • The Petrie-Legenza project: “Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance from Rural to Urban Wisconsin" – This project expands upon existing Antimicrobial Resistance projects to reduce the incidence of antimicrobial resistance and associated morbidity and mortality by implementing clinical decision support tools for optimal antibiotic use that are informed by up-to-date antibiotic stewardship recommendations, antibiogram data, and important patient and neighborhood-level characteristics. MCRI PI is Joshua Petrie, Ph.D., associate research scientist, Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health.
  • The Linz-Sterkel project: “Yeast-Based Identification for Blastomyces in Rural Laboratories" – This project will assess the challenges related to diagnosing Blastomycosis, a life-threatening fungal infection, which significantly impacts rural communities in Wisconsin and along the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys through developing streamlined protocols to culture the yeast form of Blastomyces using existing resources found in rural clinical laboratories. MCRI PI is Alexandra Linz, Ph.D., associate research scientist, Integrated Research & Development Laboratory.

Funding for these projects was provided by UW ICTR, grant UL1TR002373, from the Clinical and Translational Science Award of the NCATS/NIH and through philanthropic support of Marshfield Clinic Health System Foundation's research programs.​