Clinical work at Fraser is data driven. Information about and from the populations we serve as well as progress made is reviewed continuously to help improve efficiency and effectiveness of Fraser services. Fraser staff review stakeholder feedback, research informed practices, data from measures used to impact quality improvement projects.

I. Our research advisory committee includes standing membership including:

Dr. Suma Jacob, Chief Medical and Sciences Officer
Dr. Glenace Edwall, consultant, former head of DHS Child & Family Services
Abigail Vavra, Fraser Compliance Officer
Pat Pulice, VP Chief Clinical Officer

Why participate in research? Gather data about a population of community members helps us identify practices that provide evidence for positive outcomes. Some studies identify unique subpopulations that uncover interventions that can benefit others who demonstrate similarities. We strive for this precision in clinical work to more quickly arrive at the “best fit” practice in working with those looking for change.

II. Research Partnerships and Community Projects:

A. Research Partnerships

Fraser Partners with many others leading the way in research in autism, mental health and other issues that impact our families.

  • Autism Prevalence Study

    Schools and Healthcare agencies in three counties in Minnesota (including Fraser) provide data on 4 year and 8 year olds for this NIH study

  • SPARK Study

    An online research partnership advancing understanding of autism that involves 50,000 individuals with autism and their families.

  • The FIND Network

    A network through the University of Minnesota where families can sign up to receive updated information and be part of research on ASD and NDD.

  • Subpopulations in ASD & ADHD

    In collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis, we are studying children ages 9-10 to better understand the differences in the brains of those with and without ADHD and with and without Autism.

B. Community Projects

The following community projects are recruiting family/individual participation. Fraser does not endorse specific projects but as a community partner, is interested in providing opportunities for the individuals we serve
Research studies –
The GEMMA study is a national observational study that follows infants from birth until they reach 3 years of age.
Research on Autism Driven by Autistic Researchers
Infant Brain Imaging Study

A NIH funded brain imaging study to identify autism symptoms in siblings identified with ASD between 6 and 24 months.

Fetal Alcohol Nutritional Intervention Study

Recruitment of 2.5-5 year old children for intervention study.


Like many agencies, Fraser includes consent for use of health records as part of research as part of consent to treatment:

Research leads to new and better ways to diagnose and treat health conditions. Advances depend upon research using healthcare records. If I allow the use of my/my child’s information for research, it must be handled as directed by state and federal laws. For example, my/my child’s identity would be protected in published research results. If I do not allow my de-identified information released for research purposes, it will not affect my ability to participate in services at Fraser. If I choose to opt out, I can advise a Fraser staff member at check-in, or via Health Information Management that I do not want my/my child’s de-identified data to be included in research.

Autism and Trauma
COVID ASD assessment
Comprehensive Autism Evaluations: Research and Reality