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Partnership aims to boost Crohn’s disease research participation

Jan. 29, 2015, 8:41 AM

ResearchMatch, the nationwide online medical research volunteer recruitment and engagement service hosted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has announced a partnership with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to curing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

According to ResearchMatch Project Manager Catherine Gregor, the two organizations will jointly develop a webcast presentation to inform prospective medical research volunteers about the practicalities and value of volunteering. And they’ll work together to improve follow-up communication, helping ensure that volunteers are apprised of the findings of any research studies in which they’ve participated.

The two organizations will also develop a screening tool for research volunteers who identify as having an inflammatory bowel disease.

According to Gregor, the speed and cost of medical research can improve significantly with more targeted automated screening of research volunteers. Through its “Condition Connections” program, ResearchMatch currently provides supplemental screening for volunteers with autism, HIV, intellectual and developmental disabilities, eosinophilic esophagitis, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, sarcoidosis, food allergy and neuropathy.

More than 71,000 volunteers spread among all 50 states have registered with ResearchMatch.org. Some 2,397 researchers from 102 participating institutions have used ResearchMatch to recruit volunteers for more than 408 studies. For more information, visit www.ResearchMatch.org.

CCFA is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases. The foundation funds research, provides educational resources — for patients and their families, medical professionals and the public — and furnishes supportive services for people afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.ccfa.org.

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