Pediatric Practice Research Group

The Pediatric Practice Research Group (PPRG) is a well-established, regional practice-based research network founded in 1984. Through our network of over 380 medical providers in the metro Chicago area, PPRG fosters partnerships between primary care providers and investigators to determine best practices and evaluate outcomes relevant to diverse populations. Involved practices benefit from opportunities for ongoing continuing education and practice-based learning.

PPRG is also part of the Practice Based Research Program (PBRP) in the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) Center for Community Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Getting Involved with the PPRG

Community-based pediatricians who are interested in learning about getting involved as a PPRG practice site should contact Adolfo Ariza, MD.

Interested investigators should complete a Smith Child Health Catalyst Request Form.

Research Highlights

Federally Funded Studies

Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

  • Objectives: Assess and improve pediatrician adherence to the 2017 NIAID Prevention of Peanut Allergy (PPA) Guidelines. The new guidelines task pediatricians with conducting peanut allergy risk assessments on 4-6-month-old infants, testing and/or referring high-risk infants to allergists and counseling families on early dietary introduction of peanut products according to level of risk.
  • Principal Investigator: Ruchi Gupta, MD, MPH, Attending Physician, Advanced General Pediatrics and Primary Care, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • Status: Active Recruitment Underway - Currently 30 participating practices

Sponsor: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Sponsor: United HealthCare Services

Past Pilot Project Examples

The aim of our pilot project program is to develop research ideas and partnerships.

Primary Care Practice-based Research/Center for Community Health (CCH) Seed Grant Award

Studies Involving Participating Practices

  • Community Investigator: Melissa Turner, MD, Pediatrician, Pediatric Associates of Arlington Heights
  • Academic Investigator: Rebecca Stephen, MD, Division of Hospital-Based Medicine, Lurie Children's
  • Objectives: To assess primary care providers’ current practices, knowledge, and attitudes about pediatric sepsis diagnosis, sepsis associated morbidity and mortality, and care management issues following hospital discharge and potential screening protocols to identify these issues. The long-term objective is to provide patients, families, and providers with the resources to detect and manage potential long-term problems related to sepsis.

  • Community Investigator: Lisa Gadek, MD, Lake Forest Pediatrics
  • Academic Investigators:
    • Rachel Ballard, MD, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
    • John Parkhurst, PhD, Pritzker Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
    • Dorothy Sit, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Objectives: To conduct a pragmatic investigation of BLT in partnership with primary care physicians who most often identify adolescents in need of treatment for depressive disorders. This mixed-methods study will engage stakeholders to identify barriers to adolescent engagement in BLT. Using insights from the stakeholder panel, an 8-week dose-finding and trial of BLT with 16 adolescents referred from primary care setting will be conducted. Outcomes from this study will inform recommendations for future trials of BLT in primary care.
  • Participating Practice: Lake Forest Pediatrics

  • Community Investigator: Jeffrey Loughead, MD, Head of Pediatrics, Central DuPage Hospital
  • Academic Investigator: John Parkhurst, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Lurie Children's
  • Objective: To develop best-practice screening detection methods for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors (STB) for community pediatric primary care in Illinois. Researchers need to understand gaps in training about suicide risk factors that must be incorporated with screening measures for suicide risk assessment. This study will employ expert community panels and a Community Advisory Board (CAB) to finalize and distribute a survey tool, and will analyze resulting data on pediatrician practices and attitudes about suicide risk assessment.

  • Community Investigator: Bruce Rowell, MD, Children's Health, Lawndale Christian Health Center
  • Academic Investigator: Audrey Brewer, MD, MPH, Advanced General Pediatrics, Lurie Children's
  • Objectives: To gather input from the clinical setting pertaining to barriers and facilitators to assessing and addressing gun violence risk among adolescents in a community based primary care clinic situated in a low-income, racial and ethnic minority community. To ensure children and families at highest risk for gun violence have equitable access to resources that meet their needs by helping to mitigate and prevent the existing and future impact of gun violence in low-income communities.
  • Participating Practice: Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC)

  • Community Investigator: Johnathan Necheles, MD, Children's Healthcare Associates
  • Academic Investigator: Anna Fishbein, MD, Attending Physician, Allergy & Immunology, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • Objectives:
  1. Develop a community-engaged research partnership focused on AD;
  2. Engage the PPRG Leadership and Practices to better understand practice patterns related to the care and treatment of AD in 0-2-year-old;
  3. Outline best practices to improve AD care by pediatricians.

Lab Members

Helen Binns, MD, MPH

Associate Director