New Department Advances Medical Progress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: August 7, 2009
Contact: Mary Muhlbradt
(701)857-5116, Fax: (701)857-5683
mary.muhlbradt@trinityhealth.org

New Department Advances Medical Progress

(MINOT, ND)—In a move designed to strengthen its commitment to medical research, Trinity Health has created a new Department of Clinical Studies. The department’s mission is to coordinate a broad range of activities associated with medical research, including overseeing clinical trials.

Clinical trials are research studies in which human subjects volunteer to test new methods of preventing, diagnosing or treating a disease. For example, clinical trials are designed to evaluate if the new medication is safe and effective. Clinical studies provide patients access to new therapies while giving the satisfaction that they are advancing medical science.

“Few areas in healthcare are more exciting,” says Fawna Start, CCRC, a certified clinical research coordinator, who directs the new department. “You go to work every day knowing that you are focused on improving human health through the process of transferring scientific knowledge into medical reality.”

Start emphasizes that clinical trials are highly regulated by the FDA and are designed with patient safety in mind. Before a trial can begin it must be approved by an Institutional Review Board whose sole concern is the safety of study participants. During the trial, participants are closely monitored by physicians and research coordinators. “We work closely with our patients over an extended period, so they become like family to us,” Start adds.

She says Trinity currently is conducting clinical trials in the areas of pediatric care, internal medicine, women’s health, rheumatology, cardiology and oncology. She notes that Trinity providers have been instrumental in advancing several new medications as well as a vaccine to prevent RSV in infants.

Anyone interested in participating in a clinical trial or who would like more information may call 857-2510.