Research Initiatives

Interested in Research with Us?

We welcome applications by medical students to do Quality Improvement (QI) projects that will help us improve the care we are able to provide to our patients. If you are interested in doing research with us in another capacity, please email free.clinic@vanderbilt.edu.

Please see our research directives below to learn about the questions we are interested in investigating.

Application for Medical Student QI Projects

Research Directives

The goal of establishing directives is to focus new research efforts on projects that have the greatest potential to improve the quality of care provided to our patients. These directives are organized by research topic:

Characterization of Shade Tree Clinic Population

Research in this category will seek to describe the patient population at STC in terms of demographics, lifestyle factors, and prevalence of disease.

  • What are the basic demographics of our patient population?
  • What is the prevalence of common chronic diseases in our patient population (DM, HTN, etc.)?
  • How many people are lost to follow up?
  • How does the population at STC compare to the overall uninsured patient population in Nashville?

Effectiveness of Services and Programs

Research in this category seeks to describe how programs at STC like the Pharmacy Assistance Program (PAP), Patient Health Education (PHE), and social work impact patient outcomes in terms of disease progression, treatment adherence, and health literacy.

  • Do PAP services increase patient adherence with prescribed treatment?
  • In order to study the impact Shade Tree Clinic is making on our patient population, it is important that we have a control population to serve as a comparison. What is the appropriate control population for these types of studies?
  • What is the effect of participating in these programs on medical student education?

Medical Outcomes

Research in this category seeks to analyze medical outcomes of STC patients in terms of healthcare usage, predictors of hospitalization, and distribution of morbidity.

Obstacles to Care

This category of research aims to identify barriers for patients in obtaining the resources necessary for healthy living or in achieving adherence with healthcare recommendations.

  • Approximately one in five patients at STC have sleep apnea but only one in 20 have a CPAP machine.  What barriers are creating this discrepancy?
  • How can we improve show rates among patients?