“The PBRN model addresses critical questions that must be answered to bring the findings from basic science and controlled trials into real-world medical practice.”

—  Constance Pechura, PhD, Former Executive Director of the Treatment Research Institute


Practice-based data collection is widely used across clinical settings for monitoring diseases, conditions, health services, and device safety. These databases are critical to the development of a more complete knowledge base of any field of medicine. Bravewell members have always understood the imperative for integrative medicine clinics to collect data that would demonstrate the effectiveness of integrative medicine interventions in real-time, clinical settings. In one of its final initiatives, in 2011 The Bravewell Collaborative directed BraveNet, its practice-based research network, to launch PRIMIER (Patients Receiving Integrative Medicine Interventions Effectiveness Registry).

Centers participating in PRIMIER are uniformly collecting patient-reported outcomes and extracted electronic health record data into a large dataset.  The PRIMIER registry utilizes the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement System (PROMIS) developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which  is a web-based survey that collects patient-reported data on key health symptoms and health-related quality of life, including pain, depression, fatigue, and physical function. These data, grouped by health condition, are easily matched with data regarding laboratory tests, patient functionality, and other measures routinely collected in patients’ medical records.

By clustering participants at the multiple clinical sites with the same medical condition, researchers are able to conduct innovative research by comparing the impact of various integrative therapies on patient-reported and clinical outcomes.  PRIMIER also provides much-needed clinical information on which real-world approaches to common clinical problems appear most effective, and which appear ineffective.  In essence, PRIMIER provides the framework for discovering the “best practices” of integrative medicine.


"PRIMIER: A National Integrative Medicine Database" explains the PRIMIER protocol and offers a glimpse at preliminary results.

PRIMIER  Membership:

Alliance Integrative Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
Steve Amoils, MD, Co-Director
Sandi Amoils, MD, Co-Director

Boston Medical Center, Boston University
Robert Sapier, MD, MPH, Director
Paula Gardiner, MD, Assistant Director

Integrative Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver
Lisa Corbin, MD, Medical Director
Jacinda Nicklas, MD, MPH, MA, Assistant Professor

Duke Integrative Medicine, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Adam Perlman, MD, Executive Director
Ruth Quillian-Wolever, PhD, Research Director

Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine, Thomas Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Andrew Newberg, MD, Research Director
Nancy Wintering, Research Program Manager

Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
Brian Berman, MD, Executive Director
Christopher D’Adamo, PhD, Research Director

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Center for Health and Healing, New York, New York
Woodson Merrell, MD, Executive Director
Ben Kligler, MD, MPH, Vice Chair and Research Director

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
Melinda Ring, MD, Medical Director
Dave Victorson, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, California
Margaret Chesney, PhD, Executive Director
Kevin Barrows, MD, Medical Director
Donald Abrams, MD, Integrative Oncology and BraveNet Chair

Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Allina Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Courtney Baechler, MD, MS, Vice President
Jeff Dusek, PhD, Research Director

University of Pittsburgh Center for Integrative Medicine
Neil Ryan, MD, Director
Carol Greco, PhD, Assistant Professor

Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, Scripps Health, La Jolla, California
Chris Suhar, MD, Medical Director
Eva Stuart, RN, Research Specialist

Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center, Program in Integrative Medicine, Venice Family Clinic, Los Angeles, California
Myles Spar, MD, MPH, Director of Integrative Medicine
Nancy Rodriguez, MPH, Director of Health Education and Specialty Care

Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University  
Roy Elam, MD, Medical Director
Gurjeet Birdee, MD, Director of Research

Coordinating Center — Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Diane McKee, MD, MS, Co-Director of Research, Department of Family and Social Medicine
Claudia Lechuga, MS, Research Coordinator