The mission of the Pepper Research Network on Aging (PRNA) is to promote and foster inclusion of older adults living in the community and across the continuum of care in University of Pittsburgh research studies. The PRNA maintains two registries that recruits and enrolls older adults who are willing to be contacted about potential research opportunites.

For Community Members

Community Registry

Are you or someone you know over the age of 60, still living independently, and interested in participating in age-related research?

You or they may be eligible to enroll in the Pepper Center Research Registry for older adults. The National Institutes of Health and the University of Pittsburgh have developed the Claude D. Pepper Research Center to study mobility and balance in older Americans.

The purpose of this registry is to collect a list of volunteers interested in participating in research studies on aging, balance and mobility.

Participants will be contacted about potential research studies they may be eligible for in order to decide if they want to participate in those studies. Studies may include physical therapy, fall and fracture prevention, medications, and age-related issues.

Interested in enrolling? Please contact the Registry Coordinator, Madeline Rigatti at 412-692-2843 or e-mail her here.

Platinum Senior-Living Registry

Are you or someone you know over the age of 55 and currently residing in a senior-living facility or attending an adult day program?

You or they may be eligible to enroll in the Platinum Research Registry for Senior-Living Residents. The Platinum Registry enrolls residents of any kind of senior-living community, including senior apartments, high-rises, independent-living communities, personal care, and skilled nursing facilities.  The Platinum Registry enrolls residents who are willing to consider participating in research studies, as well as Senior-Living communities and Adult Day Programs interested in participating as a site for future research studies.

Participants will be contacted about potential research studies they may be eligible for in order to decide if they want to participate in those studies. Studies may include physical therapy, fall and fracture prevention, medications, sleep, and age-related issues. The Platinum Registry facilities studies on-site, or provides transportation to Oakland for participants to make sure residents with mobility and transportation issues are still able to participate.

We currently have over 40 sites participating in our registry. For more information about joining the registry or to find out if your residence is an active participant, contact the Platinum Registry Coordinator, Madeline Rigatti at 412-692-2843 or e-mail her here.

Community Advisory Board (CAB)

The Pepper Community Advisory Board is made up of Pepper Investigators, research coordinators, community stakeholders and community members who have participated in Pepper studies.

The CAB provides advice and feedback for Pepper activities including the Pepper Research Network on Aging research registries. Investigators can present research ideas to gauge CAB interest and receive advice about implementation. The CAB may also make suggestions to improve the study processes.

If you are a past or present research participant who is over 55 years old, and you are interested in providing feedback to the CAB regarding your participation, please contact Maddie Rigatti at 412-692-2843 or mjr159@pitt.edu

For Researchers

The Pepper Research Network on Aging (PRNA) maintains two registries that are available for Pepper-approved researchers who are conducting aging-related research at the University of Pittsburgh. These registries include the Community Registry and the Platinum Senior-Living Registry.

Community Registry

The Community Registry includes over 2,300 community-dwelling persons from the Pittsburgh region age 60 or older. Registry participants consent to be contacted for potential participation in Pepper-approved research studies.

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Participants are followed yearly to update contact their information, mobility and balance status, and basic health information.Follow-up interview waves reach about 85% of the cohort and only 10% of the sample has been lost to follow-up. The PRNA Community Registry has helped over 100 studies with recruitment.

Please e-mail the registry coordinator, Madeline Rigatti, if you have questions about using the Community Registry.

Researchers wanting to use the registry need to apply.

Platinum Senior-Living Registry

This registry compiles lists of senior-living communities and participants ages 55+ who are willing to participate in research. We can also provide sites for researchers to conduct long-term care research in the greater Pittsburgh area at sites ranging from senior high-rises to skilled nursing facilities.

Lists of participants who may be eligible can also be provided for approved studies, and queried de-identified data sets to assist with grant proposals and IRB submissions are also available.

Please e-mail the registry coordinator, Madeline Rigatti, if you have questions about using the Platinum Senior-Living Registry.

Platinum Senior-Living Registry FAQ

I want to conduct research in a long-term care facility. Who should I contact?

Madeline Rigatti, the Registry Coordinator, at 412-692-2843 or click here to email her.

I'm not sure if the registry will be useful for me. Can I find out how many people may be eligible at my desired site?

Yes. A queried dataset may be obtained prior to IRB approval. For example, if a researcher would like to know how many people with diabetes at a particular site may be eligible, the registry staff can provide this information.

Is there a cost to use the registry?

No. However, researchers who use the registry must state that they received support from the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center NIH Grant #s K07AG052668, P30 AG024827 and UL1TR001857 in any resulting publications, such as abstracts and manuscripts.

Will I need anything else, besides IRB approval, before I begin my project?

Yes. The Claude D. Pepper Center Long-Term Care Working Group provides oversight of the registry and needs to approve the project before use of the registry can be granted. Depending on the site, additional levels of approval may be required as described below.

When can I begin recruitment?

Recruitment can begin after the project is approved by the IRB and all required materials are submitted and approved by the registry staff. These materials include a project summary, contact information for the PI, Co-I and coordinators, IRB # when approved, and copies of any fliers and advertising materials (these materials must be IRB-approved).

I want to conduct research at a long-term care facility. Do I need approval from the site?

Yes. After the Claude D. Pepper Center Long-Term Care Working Group approves of the project, you must obtain a letter of support from the facility. The point of contact for the facility can be obtained from the coordinator Madeline Rigatti. These letters must be provided to registry staff to keep on file and will also be required by the IRB as a part of your submission.

Can I conduct research with cognitively impaired participants? If so, how?

Yes. Participant assent and Power of Attorney (POA) written consent needs to be obtained for any cognitively impaired individuals.

Can I conduct research at a skilled nursing facility/nursing home?

Yes. In addition to the letter of support from the facility, a letter of approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health must also be obtained. These letters must be provided to registry staff to keep on file and will also be required by the IRB as part of your submission.

Can I choose any site I wish for my research project?

Any research conducted at a UPMC Senior Community must be approved by the UPMC QAPI Committee. The point of contact for this committee will be provided by Madeline Rigatti. The committee reserves the right to decline usage of any facility for research purposes.

Does the registry include only UPMC facilities?

No. Many sites in the registry are not UPMC affiliates. Some of these sites have their own boards that will need to approve of the project.

Can I use multiple sites for my project?

Yes. You must obtain the appropriate letters of support and follow each individual sites protocol.

I am not a University of Pittsburgh researcher. Can I still use the registry?

Maybe. Non-Pitt researchers with a Pepper Investigator as their Co-Investigator may use the registry.

What if the site that I wish to use is not a participating site of the registry?

The registry staff will work to add the site to the registry and recruit participants for the registry at that site.

Can I use the registry if I want to conduct my study on-site at the University of Pittsburgh?

Yes. However, researchers should be aware of barriers to transportation when conducting research with older adults.

Will I need to indicate use of the registry in my IRB submission or resulting publications?

Yes. Indicate you are using the Platinum Senior-Living Research Registry (PRO1701064) in section 4.1-4.2 for recruitment methods. Usage of the registry must also be noted in all manuscripts and abstracts.

Pepper Center and the Community

Our staff is available for presentations and tabling events in the community. Please contact us if you are interested in having someone from our organization attend your next event.

Contact us at pittoaic@pitt.edu

 

 

Pepper Center Information Table at the South Hills Jewish Community Center

Come learn more about vision research studies and the Pepper Registry on February 19th from 11am – 3pm at the South Hills Jewish Community Center!

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Dr. Susan Greenspan and coordinator Maddie Rigatti present to the residents of Cumberland Woods Village on February 10th, 2020 about osteoporosis and updates in aging research. 

 

2020 Community Engaged Scholarship Forum

The Pepper Center will be showcasing their community outreach at the 2020 CESF Forum with a poster presentation. Please register if you wish to attend.

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October 24th, 2019: Drs. Greenspan, Rodakowski, and Brach presented alongside coordinator Maddie Rigatti to the residents of Sherwood Oaks on various age-related topics; including osteoporosis, healthy brain aging, and fall prevention. Residents had the opportunity to ask questions and sign up for research studies. This team is available for community presentations.

Please contact Maddie Rigatti at mjr159@pitt.edu if you are interested in having them present at your next event.

Program Coordinator, Madeline Rigatti, represented the Pepper Center at the Baptist Homes Society Senior Health Fair. Ms. Rigatti has attended the fair for three years running, and has made numerous connections with community members and organizations. Over 120 participants stopped by the Pepper Center booth to learn more about aging research studies!

Please reach out to PITTOAID@pitt.edu if you are interested in having a member of our team present about aging research to your organization or facility!