Family and Community Medicine Research Programs

The research proposals generated within the Penn State Health Department of Family and Community Medicine reflect both the diversity of our patient population and the vast spectrum of interests among our primary care clinician-researchers.

Research areas include, to name a few, health disparities and underserved populations, medical education, patient self-support, primary care quality improvement, cancer survivorship, integrative medicine, caregiver support, and global health research in partnership with the Global Health Center.

Penn State Health Family and Community Medicine has a strong history of collaborative research efforts with other departments including, but not limited to, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Public Health Sciences. We welcome opportunities to forge new collaborations with new partners!

Learn More About Our Research Programs

Penn State Ambulatory Research Network (PSARN) was established in 2001 through a grant to the Center for Primary Care, a cooperative effort by the Division of General Internal Medicine, the Division of General Pediatrics and the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine.

The main purpose of PSARN is to develop the infrastructure to conduct primary care research. The laboratory for primary care research is the office-based practice. PSARN currently includes all of the primary care practice sites of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Good Samaritan Hospital Family Practice Residency Program, and three federally funded community health centers in southcentral Pennsylvania. The network’s newest member is the Reading Hospital Family Practice Residency Program.

There are more than 125 participating clinicians seeing almost 400,000 outpatient visits per year to PSARN-participating practices.

PSARN is governed by a research coordinating council with members from the departments of Family and Community Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Health and Evaluation Sciences. There is also a representative from the Penn State Clinical Research Center. The day-to-day operations of the research network are overseen by a research subgroup along with the director of the research network and a research coordinator.

The Office of Outreach and Research is home to a core group of research project managers dedicated to helping Penn State Health Department of Family and Community Medicine faculty members pursue their research interests.

At every stage of the research process, from identifying funding opportunities, crafting the proposal and budget, implementing the protocol, all the way through to disseminating the study results, the research team offers comprehensive expertise and support.

Contact the Family and Community Medicine Research team at

The Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program Office is housed within the Office of Outreach and Research.

Within the central program office, the AHEC team provides support for the seven AHEC regions, coordinates student and faculty development programs and e-learning activities, and manages statewide data and reporting as well as programmatic fiscal operations.

The AHEC program strives to meet the health care needs of underserved communities by improving the supply and distribution of the health-professions workforce.