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Clinical Data Research Network primed for growth

Jan. 10, 2019, 11:02 AM


by Paul Govern

The Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network, led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, is a collaborative effort among a group of large health care systems to support and conduct innovative comparative effectiveness research and pragmatic clinical trials.

The network’s members have developed a secure clinical research platform to facilitate use of data from electronic health records, and to “engage patients, clinicians and other stakeholders for a broad array of research and health system innovation,” Rothman said.

The network is preparing to change its name after recently welcoming two new members — Mayo Clinic, which has locations around the country, and Wake Forest Baptist Health, an affiliate of Wake Forest University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The new organization will be known as the STAR CRN, or Stakeholder Technology and Research Clinical Research Network.

The network, which is one of several founded in 2014 with funding from the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, was recently awarded $3.2 million of additional infrastructure funding from the People-Centered Research Foundation (PCRF).

“We’re very thankful to PCRF for this continued funding, and also very pleased to welcome Mayo and Wake to our network. Our aim is to improve the health of entire populations, and this expansion gives our network a new geographical reach, with electronic health record data on over 14 million patients. Together we’re bringing new flexibility, efficiency and power to clinical trials and effectiveness research,” said Rothman, professor of Medicine, Ingram Professor of Integrative and Population Health, and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research.

Among recent research based on data from the network have been a study showing that adults with severe obesity had greater initial and sustained weight loss with gastric bypass surgery than with either sleeve gastrectomy or adjustable gastric banding, and a study showing that antibiotic use at younger than 24 months of age was associated with slightly higher body weight at age 5.

The STAR CRN partners now include VUMC, the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, Meharry Medical College, the University of North Carolina, Duke University Medical Center, Health Sciences South Carolina, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Wake Forest Baptist Health, and Mayo Clinic.

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