CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute announced Tuesday (Aug. 27) a collaboration with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Penn Medicine to accelerate high-priority clinical research efforts related to heart surgery and to implement new approaches into surgical practice.
The seven-year initiative, which is funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is part of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) Linked Clinical Research Centers project.
Under the program, five institutions nationwide with extensive experience conducting cardiothoracic surgery research are linked with a qualified institution with little clinical research experience located in an underserved area with a high prevalence of cardiac disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. Arkansas has the third highest mortality rate from heart disease in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We’re honored by this opportunity to collaborate on the forefront of clinical research and help establish a new platform for the next generation of clinical and implementation researchers so geography no longer limits access to the latest best practices in the field,” said CHI St. Vincent CEO Chad Aduddell. “The ultimate value, though, benefits our patients in Central Arkansas who will experience advanced care and unique access to clinical trials on the forefront of the healthcare industry for the treatment of heart disease and related illnesses.”
Heart disease – which is responsible for about one in four deaths – is the leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly half of U.S. adults have some sort of heart or blood vessel disease, according to American Heart Association.
Cardiothoracic surgical procedures play a role in addressing some of the most prominent conditions, including coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease, and help to extend survival and improve quality of life.
As a part of the initiative, teams at CHI St. Vincent and Penn Medicine will conduct clinical research studies that evaluate novel products, cardiac surgical interventions and cardiovascular medicine practices in areas deemed as high-priority by the CTSN, including valvular heart disease and circulatory assist devices and cardiac regeneration.
Penn Medicine has remained a core clinical research site since the NIH launched the grant in 2007 to support the CTSN. As a part of this new project, CHI St. Vincent was chosen as a linked site by Penn Medicine because of its significant healthcare resources and expertise available through the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute, along with additional support from other CHI St. Vincent associated facilities.
As part of the Penn Medicine mentoring plan, the CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute clinical research team visit Penn Medicine in August 2019 for intense research training.