Dr. Paul Darden has recently arrived at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute to be the Director of Population Health. Most recently, he was at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, where he served as the Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded ECHO IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN). At ACRI, he is a Co-Principal Investigator of the Arkansas ISPCTN site.
Dr. Darden has extensive experience in both clinical trials and observational studies. His clinical trials experience is in both pharmaceutical company-funded and NIH-funded trials. Much of Dr. Darden’s research examines the delivery of primary care, often vaccine delivery, in office-based practices through national and regional practice-based research networks, emergency departments, and large dataset analyses. Through his role in ECHO ISPCTN, he has worked with investigators across pediatrics to implement clinical trials or data gathering pursuant to a clinical trial. Also, through the network, he is leading a project examining reasons for vaccine hesitancy to COVID 19 vaccine leading to an mHealth intervention. In other multi-state collaborations, he examines disparities in health and health outcomes, including obesity and asthma in rural populations.
Dr. Darden has been involved in practice-based research for many years at the national and local levels as a member of the steering committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) practice-based research network Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) for almost 20 years as well as an investigator or principal investigator on many immunization-related research projects including the Pediatric Immunization Delivery Study and Reducing Immunization Disparity Study.
Dr. Darden has established regional practice-based research networks for child health in South Carolina and Oklahoma. In launching a research population health program at ACRI, Dr. Darden is establishing a practice-based research network that builds on the existing practice infrastructure emphasizing rural areas of the state to enhance its reach in that population. He plans to have a large set of national- and state-level data for analysis and leverage it to more accurately describe the environment in which the clinics and their patients live and the social determinants of health to allow more context for understanding.
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