April 17, 2020: The HERO Program: PCORnet® at Work to Create a Healthcare Worker Community for Rapid Cycle Evidence (Nakela Cook, MD, MPH; Josie Briggs, MD; Susanna Naggie, MD; Emily O’Brien, PhD; Russell Rothman, MD; Chris Forrest, MD, PhD)


Nakela Cook, MD, MPH
Executive Director

Josie Briggs, MD
Acting Chief Science Director

Susanna Naggie, MD
Principal Investigator, HERO-HCQ Clinical Trial
Duke University

Emily O’Brien, PhD
Principal Investigator, HERO-Registry
Duke University

Russell Rothman, MD, MPP
Chair, HERO Steering Committee
Vanderbilt University

Chris Forrest, MD, PhD
Chair, HERO Registry
Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania


The HERO Program: PCORnet® at Work to Create a Healthcare Worker Community for Rapid Cycle Evidence


Coronavirus; Virus pandemic; COVID-19; PCORI; Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute; Frontline health workers; Hydroxychloroquine; Healthcare systems; HERO-HCQ

Key Points

  • With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. healthcare system faces an unprecedented stress test to adapt to meet new demands.
  • Those on the frontline of caring for patients—healthcare workers—are at risk of developing or transmitting COVID-19. Evidence is urgently needed to keep healthcare workers and their families safe and healthy, which ultimately will help protect us all.
  • The HERO (Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes) Program has three broad focus areas to develop rapid evidence around healthcare workers’ outcomes related to COVID-19:
    • Emphasis on the adaptations in how healthcare is delivered
    • Emphasis on vulnerable populations
    • Emphasis on the well-being of the healthcare worker
  • HERO will consist of a registry study of healthcare workers and a randomized controlled trial called HERO-HCQ that will evaluate the safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine to prevent COVID-19 clinical infections in healthcare workers.

Discussion Themes

The goal of the HERO registry is to understand all aspects of healthcare workers’ lives—those with direct impact and those with indirect impact.

What mechanisms are you envisioning for new study proposals that would be conducted via the HERO platform?

Serologic testing will have a significant role in understanding prior infection and potential immunity.

The HERO Registry is open to any healthcare worker to join at https://heroesresearch.org/. Enrollment takes only a few minutes; participation is free and voluntary. It is not restricted by profession. All data are kept confidential.

#HeroRegistry, #pctGR, @Collaboratory1, @PCORI, @PCORnetwork, @HeroesResearch