THE PEDIATRIC RESEARCH NETWORK , PResNet, was initiated to :

  • Facilitate patient recruiting in an outpatient setting
  • Facilitate and support a broad range of research initiatives originated by PResNet practitioners and investigators from within and from outside of the network


The ability to recruit and study children, both healthy and not, is frequently the rate limiting component of pediatric health research. Additionally, integration of health research into practice, the principal goal of research, often takes an inordinately long time.

Involving practitioners and the community in the research process is increasingly viewed by the healthcare establishment as a promising response to these challenges. Practice Based Research Networks (PBRNs), which, by their very nature actively engage practitioners in research, may facilitate this process. While several regional and national PBRNs have produced excellent research, a sustainable model of PBRN research operations has yet to be determined.


1. Develop a network incorporating primary, secondary, and tertiary care sites that can efficiently recruit patients from a broad range of socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds for general and subspecialty protocols.

2. Create a governance and infrastructure that will support pediatric research within the network.

3. Support continuous collaboration and two-way learning between practices, physicians, office staff, patients, community representatives, and researchers.

The Pediatric Research Network combines three distinct types of practices: inner-city health clinics that serve the poor and largely minority population, two Indianapolis area teaching hospitals, and private pediatric practices around Indianapolis. Together, these network partners provide care to approximately 60% of the children in the Indianapolis area.


The governance of the network is explicitly designed to support the effective recruitment of children in outpatient community settings and foster collaboration between investigators and practitioners.


Personnel and Contacts

Cathy A. Luthman, CCRP

Cathy A. Luthman, CCRP

Executive Director, PResNet and Clinical Research Manager

Cathy Luthman is the Executive Director of PResNet, a pediatric practice based research network and serves as Administrator for the section of Children’s Health Services Research (CHSR) in the Department of Pediatrics.

Cathy has been employed with IUPUI for 25 years and has served CHSR since 2002, first as the program manager for the Anne E. Dyson Community Pediatrics Training Initiative, managing various projects and serving as a liaison connecting pediatric residents with our community partners.  During her 20 years of project management work, Cathy’s experience includes project management in adolescent medicine and the department of sociology where responsibilities included project development, implementation and evaluation.

Professional Staff

Vickie Cater

Vickie Cater

Clinical Research Specialist

Vickie is the Research Coordinator for PResNet.   She helps coordinate research projects with our affiliates and helps implement recruiting for current studies.  PResNet has a relationship with over twenty different clinics combined with IUMG and private sector affiliates. Vickie has been with Indiana University since 2006.   She first worked as a Research Assistant in the Cancer Pavilion before transferring to Children’s Health Research to work with Dr. Swigonski on grants which involved detailing residents in the Continuity Clinic and assisting Residents with Improving dental care by providing materials and coordinating trainings at the Dental Clinic.

Elaine Cuevas

Elaine Cuevas

Clinical Research Specialist

Elaine has been with PResNet since 2009. She coordinates various clinical studies, partnering frequently with CHSR's CHIRDL team on the execution of CHICA studies. She also recruits and interviews Spanish-speaking children and parents. Before joining PResNet, Elaine was an Education Specialist at La Plaza, Inc., a local nonprofit organization that serves the Latino community of Central Indiana. Through a La Plaza partnership with IUSM, Elaine taught pediatric residents about cultural issues and community resources related to the local Latino population as part of the Dyson Community Pediatric Training Initiative. Her other professional experiences include managing projects at the International Center of Indianapolis and coordinating ESL orientation at the Community and Continuing Education program of Washington Township Schools. Originally from Fort Wayne, Elaine moved to Indianapolis to study Public Affairs and Nonprofit Management at IUPUI after spending a semester teaching middle school in Guatemala.

Jennifer Stanton, MPH

Jennifer Stanton, MPH

Research Database Specialist

Jennifer has served CHSR and PResNet, previously as a Clinical Research Specialist and currently as a Research Database Specialist since 2011. She holds a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and is currently pursuing a Data Science Specialization Certificate from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Prior to joining CHSR, she spent seven years working on demonstrational grants that provided social services for the Latino community through the Maternal and Child Health Division of the Marion County Health Department. She currently helps consult and design research data collection tools for CHSR studies and manages cumulative study related data for PResNet.

For more information about PResNet, please contact:

Cathy Luthman, CCRP
Executive Director
Clinical Research Manager
Tel. (317) 278-0552

Vickie Cater
Research Coordinator
Tel (317) 278-0552