Skip Over Navigation Links

Answers to Questions About OECR

What is OECR?
Why is OECR being created at this time?
What is emergency care?
What kind of projects are outside OECR's mission?
How will OECR work with other government agencies?
Who is in charge of OECR?
How can I send a comment or question about OECR?

Q: What is OECR?

A: The Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR) is a focal point for basic, clinical and translational emergency care research and training across NIH. Its ultimate goal is to help improve health outcomes of patients who require emergency care.

Although OECR does not fund grants, it fosters innovation and improvement in emergency care and in the training of future researchers in this field by:

  • Coordinating funding opportunities that involve multiple NIH institutes and centers.
  • Working closely with the NIH Emergency Care Research Working Group, which includes representatives from most NIH institutes and centers.
  • Organizing scientific meetings to identify new research and training opportunities in the emergency setting.
  • Catalyzing the development of new funding opportunities.
  • Informing investigators about funding opportunities in their areas of interest.
  • Fostering career development for trainees in emergency care research.
  • Representing NIH in government-wide efforts to improve the nation's emergency care system.

OECR is located within the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. More information about the structure of the office is available under Organization.

Q: Why is OECR being created at this time?

A: The creation of OECR is a culmination of more than 5 years of discussions between NIH and the emergency medicine community. The initial impetus for these conversations was three reports by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2006.

The OECR History page contains additional details, links to the IOM reports, and information about NIH's response—the creation of a task force, the request for information from the emergency care community, the launch of roundtable discussions and the publication of four articles in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Q: What is emergency care?

A. Conditions that require emergency care include, but are not limited to, heart attack, stroke, traumatic injury, burns, allergic reactions, bone fractures, infections, drug overdoses, bleeding, asthma, poisoning, psychiatric or neurological problems and ill-defined, symptom-based medical complaints such as difficulty breathing or severe pain in the chest, spine or abdomen—basically any condition for which an individual would be treated in an emergency department.

Q: What kind of projects are outside OECR's mission?

A: As currently envisioned, OECR will not coordinate research on health care infrastructure, systems of health care delivery or logistical responses to natural disasters.

Examples of projects that do not fall within OECR's mission include:

  • Planning logistical responses to natural disasters, disease epidemics or mass casualty events;
  • Optimizing ambulance routes;
  • Reducing fragmentation of pre-hospital care;
  • Relieving emergency department overcrowding; and
  • Identifying socioeconomic reasons why people turn to the emergency department for primary care.

Most of these issues are the responsibility of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, another component of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Q: How will OECR work with other government agencies?

A: The OECR director will work closely with other parts of the Federal Government and will represent NIH in regular meetings with these partners. For example, the OECR director will serve on the Council on Emergency Medical Care, which promotes synergy across the government to improve the nation's emergency care system.

Q: Who is in charge of OECR?

A. While a search is being conducted for a permanent director, OECR is being led on an acting basis by Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., deputy director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Assisting him is Alice M. Mascette, M.D., senior clinical science advisor in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Q: How can I send a comment or question about OECR?

A: Use the Contact Us form.

This page last reviewed on July 31, 2012