Building on three decades of health disparities and health communications projects, Dr. Fleisher’s lab is working on multiple research and quality improvement initiatives focused on the integration of evidence-based tools into community and clinical practice.
Fleisher Lab has had a major role in the development and testing of mychoiceTM, an online educational tool designed to promote shared-decision making around clinical trials as a treatment option, of which the research portfolio spans nearly a decade. Through a previously conducted randomized control trial and user testing, mychoiceTM has been well received by patients and providers, and the lab continues to evaluate the implementation of the tool into diverse clinical settings.
In response to the NCI Moonshot Initiative for the expansion of the Cancer Center Cessation Initiative (C3I) to develop tobacco cessation treatment capacity and infrastructure for cancer patients, Fox Chase has been awarded funding to expand its Tobacco Treatment Program (TTP). Dr. Fleisher serves as a Co-Lead on this initiative designing the optimization of the tobacco program through the establishment of a tobacco registry, application of Implementation Science frameworks and evaluating the impact of the program on behavior.
Previously, Fleisher lab lead two other projects, MyCareCompass and CAPE, both of which are patient education digital health tools. MyCareCompass is a platform developed by ARCHES that integrates into the EMR to deliver just-in-time patient education. Fleisher was PI on the multi-disciplinary pilot project, which aimed evaluate the implementation of the platform into real-world clinical workflows and its impact on patients’ experience. The results were highly positive: MyCareCompass showed to reduce patient anxiety and helped them prepare for upcoming procedures. CAPE is a digital education platform for patients newly diagnosed with Non-small Cell Lung Cancer that provides a multimedia approach to vetted patient education and has the ability to deliver the material in a flexible, user-friendly environment. The focus of the evaluation was to determine the feasibility of implementation in diverse clinical settings and its impact on patient knowledge about lung cancer and genomic testing, as well as preparation for shared treatment decision making.
Dr. Linda Fleisher is an Associate Research Professor leading health disparities and health communications research and Co-Director of the NCI’s Region 4 Geographic Management Program (GMaP). Her research focuses on the intersection of implementation science, health disparities, health communication interventions, digital health and innovation. During her initial tenure at Fox Chase (1984-2013), she was the Senior Director and ultimately Principal Investigator of the NCI’s Cancer Information Service (1993-2010), Co-Director of the CIS Research Consortium Intervention & Development Core (2005-2010), Founding Director of Fox Chase’s Community Outreach and Resource Education Center (2000-2013), Co-Director of the NCI’s Region 4 GMaP program (2010-2023), and Co-Chair of American Cancer Society’s National Navigation Roundtable (2022-present). An important distinction among these initiatives is the integration and connection between programmatic development, stakeholder engagement and practice-based research. She has utilized her training in public health to work in collaboration with racial and the ethnic minority communities, local, state and federal public health organizations, and other professional organizations to implement and evaluate evidence-based programs in real world settings. Dr. Fleisher’s training in health education and health communications has been instrumental in the development and testing of a variety of patient and provider interventions using both traditional and technology-based approaches. Dr. Fleisher also participated in the NCI Mentored training in Implementation Science, served as a Co-I on a number of implementation studies and is continuing her research involving integration of evidence-based research into practice.
Dr. Fleisher, rejoined the Fox Chase faculty in 2019, after a six-year position at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Research Institute and adjunct research professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. During this time Dr. Fleisher expanded her expertise in implementation of digital health in practice, development of digital health interventions, and academic entrepreneurship. She was co-director of the mHealth Research Affinity Group and research liaison to the Office of Digital Health. During this time, she continued as adjunct faculty at Fox Chase advancing her research with health disparities, clinical trials, and the GMaP cancer disparities research network.
She is a strong collaborator, working closely with colleagues and various interdisciplinary teams to address health disparities, while integrating both digital health and implementation science into research. She participates in national level organizations focused on patient navigation leveraging her experience with her patient navigation demonstration project and statewide navigator network.
Dr. Fleisher has won several prestigious awards, has published over 100 peer reviewed papers, held numerous grants (NCI, NSF, PA Department of Health, industry), mentored undergraduate and graduate students, and serves in many editorial capacities. She currently serves on a number of national leadership groups in patient navigation and health disparities, as well as locally in public health and public education. As of 2023, Dr. Fleisher is also a co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s National Navigation Roundtable, which serves to bring various stakeholders together, through patient navigation, to work toward achieving health equity and access to quality care.
Dr. Fleisher's current projects and research include:
NCI Funded Tobacco Treatment Program (TTP) Navigation Study: Through an automatic EMR feed, patients in the TTP are recruited to have additional appointments with a Patient Navigator in addition to their TTP provider. Through a baseline, one-month, and six-month follow up surveys, Dr. Fleisher’s research team will evaluate how the Patient Navigator could be a valuable member of the TTP team, hopefully connecting patients to additional resources and providing the support they need to quit smoking for good.
MychoiceTM Implementation Study: mychoiceTM is an online, educational tool designed to promote shared decision making between patients and providers in regard to clinical trials as a treatment option. Following a randomized control trial and user testing of the tool, Fleisher Lab is conducting an implementation study to evaluate if the tool is accessible to a broader range of cancer patients in diverse settings to increase knowledge, awareness, and participation in CTs specifically in diverse communities. Dr. Fleisher serves as the PI for this study.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C): This initiative is designed to combat racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities that are frequently occur during enrollment to clinical trials. Funded by Stand up to Cancer (SU2C), the Accelerating and Diversifying Access to Clinical Trials (ADACT) Initiative is a multifaceted approach that aims to identify and overcome widespread barriers to accrual – specifically in early phase clinical trials (EPCTs). The goal is to increase the number and diversity of patients enrolled in EPCTs across the entire Temple University Health System (TUHS), including at the Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) on Cottman Avenue and Temple University Hospital, with a particular focus on patients served by the Cancer Center at TUH. Three aims - infrastructure, patient support, and community engagement – will help reach this goal. Dr. Fleisher serves as the Team Co-Leader on this initiative.
MyCareCompass: Fox Chase was selected and agreed to participate in a pilot of the ARCHES’ MyCareCompass software in 2020, which focused on implementing and evaluating the port insertion videos and psychosocial content to patients who were scheduled for a port insertion. Dr. Fleisher served as PI on this initiative. MyCareCompass was very well-received by patients and it showed to help reduce anxiety and prepare patients for their procedure. Now, these materials are provided to all patients scheduled for ports as part of standard care. MyCareCompass has a vast library of content for patients and now through a collaboration with Nursing, we are piloting the surgical ostomy module into clinical workflows.
GMaP Region 4 Program: A national program supporting underrepresented researchers in their career development. Dr. Fleisher is the Co-Director of this National program. While this initiative is coming to a close, resources through GMaP will still be widely available.
Fleisher L., Bass S.B., Shwarz M., Washington A., Nicholson A., Alhajji M., Geynisman D.M., Maurer L., Greener J.,Kenny C., Using theory and user-centered design in digital health: The development of the mychoice communication tool to prepare patients and improve informed decision making regarding clinical trial participation. Psychooncology. 29(1): 114-122, 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31654442.
Fleisher, L., Erkoboni, D., Halkyard, K., Sykes, E., Norris, M., Walker, L., Winston, F. (2017). Are mHealth interventions to improve child restraint system installation of value? A mixed methods study of parents. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(10): 1122. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101122
Fleisher, L., Gonzalez, E., Washington, A. (2017). Creating authentic and lasting community relationships to enhance awareness and understanding of cancer research. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Online first. DOI.
Myers, RE, DiCarlo, M., Romney, M.,Fleisher, L.,Sifri,R., Soleiman, J., Lambert, E., Rosenthal, M. (2018) Using a health system learning community strategy to address cancer disparities, Learning Health Systems, First published: 18 September 2018. https://doi.org/10.1002/lrh2.10067.
Fleisher, L., Gentry, E., Gonzalez, E., & Tillman, A. (2018). Community Outreach. In Team-Based Oncology Care: The Pivotal Role of Oncology Navigation (pp. 111-124). Springer, Cham.
Fiks, A. G., Fleisher, L., Berrigan, L., Sykes, E., Mayne, S. L., Gruver, R., ... & McMahon, P. (2018). Usability, acceptability, and impact of a pediatric teledermatology mobile health application. Telemedicine and e-Health, 24(3), 236-245.
Check, D., Zullig, L., Davis, M., Davies, L., Chamber, D., Fleisher, L., Kaplan,S. Proctor, E., Ramanadhan, S., Schroeck, F., Stover, A., Kocszwara, B. Improvement Science and Implementation Science in Cancer Care: Identifying Areas of Synergy and Opportunities for Further Integration, Journal of General Internal Medicine, in press.
Fleisher, L., Bass, S., Shwarz, M., Washington, A., Nicholson, A., Alhajji, M., Geynisman, DM., Maurer, L., Greener, J. Kenny, C., Using theory and user-centered design in digital health: The development of the mychoice communication tool to prepare patients and improve informed decision making regarding clinical trial participation. Psycho-oncology, 2020 Jan; 29(1):114-122. doi: 10.1002/pon.5254.
8. Alhajji, M, Bass S, Nicholson, A, Washington, A, Maurer, L, Geynisman, D, Fleisher, L. Comparing perceptions and decisional conflict towards participation in cancer clinical trials among African American patients who have and have not participated. Journal of Cancer Education, doi.org/10.1007/s13187-020-01827-w
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