NIH Awards Polaris Two New Grants Focused on Integrated Care in Oncology and Emergency Medicine

Polaris Health Directions is pleased to announce the funding of two new research grants from the National Institutes of Health. In parallel to Polaris’s Polestar™ behavioral health outcomes platform, these grants will enrich Polaris’s approach to facilitating data-driven care across the health care system. Both projects are in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The Polaris Oncology Survivorship Transition (POST) grant will be used to validate in a single blind, randomized controlled trial the program’s impact on patient outcomes. POST automates the process of building tailored survivorship plans that fully reflect a patient’s behavioral and physical health needs during the often difficult transition from cancer treatment to being a cancer survivor.

In line with recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, POST supports better patient outcomes through the coordination of multi-disciplinary care, integration with electronic health record systems, and by empowering patients to be active participants in their care.

POST is one component of Polaris’s larger program for oncology distress management, which includes distress screening and patient navigation automated through the Polestar™ platform.

The Remote Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (R-BIRT) service is pioneering an innovative tele-health model to deliver evidence-based brief interventions and referral to treatment to patients who are at risk for an alcohol use disorder. This new model seeks to powerfully impact patient health, while being cost-effective and sustainable within the clinical workflow.

The award will support a clinical trial to study the program’s efficacy and cost-effectiveness in the emergency department setting, though its flexible design allows for applicability in other settings. R-BIRT will also help promote the implementation of recommendations by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for screening and intervention in general medical settings for substance use disorders.

To learn more about the POST and RBIRT phase 2 grants or the Polestar™ platform, send an email to

The projects described are supported by the National Cancer Institute, award number 2R42CA174048-03, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, award number 2R42AA022035-03. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCI, NIAAA or the National Institutes of Health.