About us

The Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC) is a network of thirteen leading medical centers in eight states committed to
a shared vision of improving healthcare delivery through ongoing learning, adoption of evidence-based practices,
and active research dissemination. It is one of the Clinical Research Networks (CRNs) in The National Patient-Center
Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), funded by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to focus on
comparative effectiveness research. Our network brings together a diverse population of over 34 million
patients across 1,550 miles covering 8 states with a combined area of 721,907 square miles.

Mission: To align our members clinical and translational science capacity with PCORnet to contribute to national definitive studies and
allow our campus(es) to generalize their research regionally and nationally.

Our Partner Institutions

Our Leadership Team

Russ Waitman, PhD

GPC Principal Investigator
University of Missouri - School of Medicine

Dr. Russ Waitman is a Professor of Health Management and Informatics and Associate Dean for Informatics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and theBiomedical and Health Informatics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he directs the Center for Health Insights. He also serves as scientific director at the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation; a private-public partnership between Cerner Corporation and the University of Missouri. Dr. Waitman has extensive experience in clinical system application development, and deployment. His expertise includes data repository construction, governance, and privacy preservation. He led the development of the Computerized Provider Order Entry project at Vanderbilt University, and furthered the system commercialization effort. His current research interests are clinical decision support, knowledge discovery, and creating information environments to support personal health, research, and patient safety.

James McClay, MD

GPC Dual Principal Investigator
University of Missouri - School of Medicine

Dr. McClay is a Chief Research Informatics Officer for the School of Medicine, with academic home in HMI, alongside a concurrent appointment with the Department of Emergency Medicine. Dr. McClay joined from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) where served as Professor, with research/professional interests in Clinical Informatics, Information Standards in Emergency Medicine, and Comparative Effectiveness Research. Dr. McClay serves as co-chair of the HLT Emergency Care Work Group (ECWG), which led the ECWG in the creation of the EDIS-Functional Profile, the DEEDS specification, and the EC DAM informative ballot.  He has o worked closely with the emergency medicine specialty society to continue to expand the portfolio of Emergency Care related standards, support the FHIR clinical initiatives, and represent the emergency care community in HL7 projects.

Abu Saleh Mohammad Mosa, MS, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
University of Missouri - School of Medicine

Abu Saleh Mohammad Mosa, PhD is the Sr. Director of Informatics Technology at the NextGen Biomedical Informatics (NextGen BMI) Center at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. He is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, a member of the Core Faculty of the Institute for Data Science and Informatics. Previously, Dr. Mosa served as the Director of Research Informatics for the School of Medicine and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science since 2013. 

Elizabeth Chrischilles, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
University of Iowa

Dr. Chrischilles, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Director of its Health Effectiveness Research Center, holds the Pomerantz Chair in Public Health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Dr. Chrischilles is Associate Director for Population Sciences in the University’s Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Lindsay Cowell, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Cowell has built a research program focused on the development of bioinformatics and computational biology methods for studying the immune system and infections diseases. In particular, her work has focused on the somatic diversification of antigen receptor-encoding genes and the development of computable representations of qualitative biological and clinical information. Within each of these areas, she has developed projects that emphasize methodologic developments as well as projects focused on answering specific biological questions.

Jeffrey VanWormer, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

Dr. VanWormer is a behavioral epidemiologist with research interests in the primary prevention of chronic diseases, with a particular focus on community-level surveillance and lifestyle interventions. For the past 12 years, he has worked at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute as a Research Scientist in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Population Health. He has led and assisted with many health promotion and disparities projects focused on obesity, medication use, and vaccinations, among others.

Bradley Taylor, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
Medical College of Wisconsin

Bradley Taylor is the Chief Research Informatics Officer at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he leads Biomedical Informatics for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin. He and his team integrate information technology systems, electronic health records, clinical databases, and tissue repositories throughout CTSI’s partner institutions to support clinical and translational research.

Meredith Zozus, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
University of Texas Science Center at San Antonio

Dr. Meredith Zozus recently joined the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) Long School of Medicine as the Director for Clinical Research Informatics and the Clinical Informatics Research Division Chief. Prior to joining UTHSCSA, Zozus was associate professor of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

Abbey Sidebottom, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
Allina Health

Abbey Sidebottom is a Principal Research Scientist at Allina Health. Dr. Sidebottom holds an MPH and PhD in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Sidebottom has worked at Allina Health since 2009. Dr. Sidebottom currently leads the Care Delivery Research department which conducts investigator initiated research focused on evaluating models of care, improving patient outcomes, and improving health equity.

Kirk Knowlton, MD

Site Principal Investigator
Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Kirk Knowlton went to Intermountain Heart Institute in January 2016 from the University of California, San Diego, where he served as the Chief of Cardiology and Vice-Chair of Medicine for Laboratory Research. Throughout his career, he has had a strong interest in understanding how and why patients develop heart failure. This includes abnormalities in DNA, infections of the heart like viral myocarditis, and the role of immune function in heart cells that affect cardiac performance.

Carol Geary, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Dr. Geary is an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology & Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her work has two methodological foci: creation and use of de-identified electronic health record data for research purposes and patient and stakeholder engagement in research. She has worked to develop the relationship networks and expertise to support researchers with interest in patient engagement in their research.

Albert Lai, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
Washington University, St.Louis

Albert M. Lai, PhD, is the Deputy Director for the Institute for Informatics, Data Science, and Biostatistics, the Chief Research Information Officer for the School of Medicine, and a Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medical Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Lai specializes in the development of research informatics infrastructure and is well recognized in the fields of clinical research informatics and consumer health informatics. His recent research has focused on the application of natural language processing to a wide variety of applications, including clinical trial prescreening and de-identification of qualitative research data.

Jacob Kean, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
University of Utah

Jacob Kean, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Health System Innovation and Research, Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Utah, and Research Scientist, VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI) Salt Lake City VA Health Care System. Dr. Kean leads Analytics and Evaluation for Population Health, University of Utah Medical Group and focuses his research on the creation, implementation and operation of research networks and learning health systems to improve patient-centered outcomes, with a special focus on rehabilitation populations.

Sravani Chandaka, PhD

Site Principal Investigator
Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City

Sravani Chandaka, MS is the Director of Research Information Technology at University of Kansas Medical Center.

Elmer Bernstam, MD, MSE

Site Principal Investigator
UTHealth Houston

Elmer Bernstam, MD, MSE, holds the joint appointment of professor at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI), where he also serves as associate dean for research, and at McGovern Medical School. Bernstam is also the director of the Biomedical Informatics Group at UTHealth’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS).  His research focuses on clinical and translational informatics, specifically on information retrieval, consumer informatics and clinical decision support.

Benjamin Horne, PhD

Site Co-Principal Investigator
Intermountain Healthcare

Dr. Benjamin Horne is a Clinical Associate Professor (Affiliated) at Stanford University who is based at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, where he serves as the Director of Cardiovascular and Genetic Epidemiology. His doctoral training (PhD) in genetic epidemiology was completed at the University of Utah and he holds master’s degrees in public health and in biostatistics.