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Division of Applied Research at Allina Health

The Division of Applied Research advances practice-based research that serves patients, families, providers and communities. The Division designs, evaluates and applies proven ways to improve health care delivery and population health.

Health care delivery research and innovation

The Division of Applied Research works with internal and external partners to test new ways to:

  • improve clinical quality and patient experience
  • to decrease health care costs

That work includes these and other projects.

Robina LifCourse care guides who partner with each individual and their key family members and friends

Robina LifeCourseTM

The goal of LifeCourse is to support study participants by exploring and providing resources to help those with serious illness to live as they wish. The LifeCourse team walks beside individuals and families during their journey, working together with the entire health care team.

Bob smiles as his care guide goes over his care plan with him at the doctor's office

Robina Care Guide Project

With the support of a grant from the Robina Foundation, Allina Health piloted a new approach to primary care: Using care guides to help patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure manage their health.

Don't Fear the Rear ad encourages friends to talk to friends about colorectal cancer screening.

Colorectal Cancer Screening With Improved Shared Decision Making

Colorectal Cancer Screening With Improved Shared Decision Making (CRCS-WISDM) began in December 2012 and ends in December 2014. The project is partnership between Allina Health, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the communities of Hastings and Buffalo, Minnesota. It aims to improve colorectal cancer screening rates by:

  • integrating a shared decision making process into the local Allina Health primary care clinics
  • engaging community members and organizations in an awareness campaign

To learn more about the project and colorectal cancer screening, visit

Population health research and innovation

The Division of Applied Research engages in novel approaches to improve population health through community partnerships. That work includes projects like this.

A line drawing of the Backyard neighborhood shows three residents dancing near their home next door to the Allina Health corporate headquarters

The Backyard Initiative

Our goal is to improve the health and health care of people who live near Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Allina Health Commons and Phillips Eye Institute in Minneapolis. Despite having world-class medical care "right in their backyard," many experience poor health and cannot afford health care.