In October 2018, Dr. Strong participated in grant funded project PCORI led by Dr. Jackie Hinckley called BRIDGE: Building Research Initiatives by Developing Group Effort. The premise of Project BRIDGE was to bring together stakeholders of research to receive training on how to partner together in research projects, thus making research more relevant. One hundred and two stakeholders, including people with aphasia, family members, clinicians, and researchers, attended this 2-day training and subsequent virtual check-ins during the following year. Dr. Strong attended as a researcher. The experience was life changing! She came back from Florida empowered and thinking differently about how to partner with the people who research impacts. Eleven research teams were formed. Dr. Strong was asked to lead research team interested in exploring Stories About Aphasia. This team’s work is ongoing.
In 2020, Dr. Hinckley received a second PCORI grant, Building a Bigger BRIDGE: Research Incubator Network for PCOR in Communication Disabilities. The purpose of Bigger BRIDGE was to expand the number of stakeholders and teams who are trained in multi-stakeholder research who can work collaboratively in relevant research. A hub and four regional centered were developed to provide 48 additional fellows (people with aphasia, family members, clinicians, and researchers) to join research teams. The hub of the network is located at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The regional centers are located at the University of Nevada in Reno, Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida, and the Adler Aphasia Center in Maywood, New Jersey. For more information about Bigger BRIDGE and how to become a fellow, follow the link below.