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Dr. Mark Hoffman a co-PI on Study that Uses De-Identified Data to Research Health Effects of Climate Change


Dr. Mark Hoffman a co-PI on Study that Uses De-Identified Data to Research Health Effects of Climate Change

Headshot of Mark Hoffman, PhD
Mark Hoffman, PhD
Chief Research Information Officer; Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Research Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kansas School of Medicine
Full Biography

Mark Hoffman, PhD, Research Informatics, is one of three investigators leading a multi-principal investigator (MPI) study that received funding from a National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant (R01). The other collaborators are at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and the University of California Berkeley.

The project period runs from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2028, and the grant provides almost $4 million, with Children’s Mercy receiving $1,358,974 of that total in the form of a subaward.

The project, “Using massive, multi-regional EHR data to estimate the impacts of climate change on fungal disease epidemiology in the U.S.,” will investigate the health effects of climate change on fungal infections. While not as frequently discussed as bacterial and viral infections (though the hit HBO show “The Last of Us” has changed that somewhat), some fungal infections are difficult to diagnose and treat. The pathogens pose a high risk for immune-compromised patients. The range for some fungal pathogens is associated with changing climate conditions.

Using the decades of data available, study team members will examine change over time and geographic distribution of fungal infections. The team will focus on improving the understanding of fungal disease epidemiology in the U.S., optimizing the diagnosis and treatment of patients with fungal diseases, and assessing the impact of public health interventions to mitigate the impact of fungal diseases.

 “Our access to these nationally representative data resources has opened many opportunities for researchers at CMKC. This is the first R01 based on our access to this data. I’m especially excited to do this work as climate change disproportionately affects the health of children,” said Dr. Hoffman.

Dr. Hoffman is a nationally recognized expert in working with large scale de-identified electronic health records (EHR) data. His team at Children’s Mercy will use their access to the de-identified Health Facts® (HF) and Oracle EHR Real World Data (OERWD) resources to query data and contextualize the data using methods they have developed. They will collaborate with the UMKC and UC Berkeley teams in the interpretation of the data. OEWRD is a national, person-centric data set solution that enables researchers to leverage longitudinal record data from more than 120 contributing organizations. Health Facts® is a national data warehouse that is HIPAA-compliant and contains data through 2018 from participating clinical facilities that use or have used Cerner’s EHR. HF and OERWD are available to CMKC researchers through collaboration with the Research Informatics and Data Science team.

Along with Dr. Hoffman, other investigators on the project include Theodore White, PhD (UMKC) and Justin Remais, PhD (University of California Berkeley). Natalie Kane, PhD, and Janelle Noel-MacDonnell, PhD, both of Children’s Mercy, will act as co-investigators. Rose Reynolds, PhD, and Joshua Koni, MS, are also study team members.

The contents are those of the investigator and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by NIH, or the U.S. Government.