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Avera Joins National Institutes of Health Pediatric Clinical Trials Network

Oct 01, 2020 09:29AM ● By Med Magazine

The Avera Research Institute Center for Pediatric and Community Research has received a $1.9 million grant to join a nationwide partnership for pediatric research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Avera will enter the ECHO IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN), a NIH-led program, making South Dakota the 18th state to join the clinical trials network. As part of the network, Avera, South Dakota tribal leaders and health organizations in western South Dakota will work together to conduct clinical trials focused on a wide range pediatric health conditions.

The organizations will develop capacity for clinical trials and contribute important information to the network.

“We’re honored to bring South Dakota into the ISPCTN, and expand the work we established with the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) studies from observational research to interventional research that can help children,” said Amy Elliott, PhD, Chief Clinical Research Officer at Avera Research Institute Center for Pediatric & Community Research. “The grant will help develop research infrastructure and train personnel needed to expand the community-based pediatric research in South Dakota, including an ability to reach underserved populations.

It will also help early stage investigators develop their skills and build their research portfolios in health care research.”

Avera researchers will connect work conducted in South Dakota to the larger national network.

“This grant will truly allow us to weave the robust efforts of research with our clinical teams, and make positive impacts in many lives over many years,” said Elliott.

Since the network includes both observational and interventional research, clinical teams work hand-in-hand with study investigators.

“We can build upon the ECHO study, augmenting those observations with new clinical trials that can have life-improving consequences not just in our state, but around the world,” said Katherine Wang, MD, Avera Medical Group neonatology. “This is an amazing opportunity for South Dakota, and will allow our clinicians and researchers to provide much-needed information for the families of our state.”

In its history, the program has revised a number of approaches to pediatric health approaches, including studies that focus on obesity, asthma and other chronic conditions.

“Research of this kind builds long-lasting clinical research systems that help children, not just in South Dakota, but nationwide,” said Jessica Snowden, MD, principal investigator (PI) for the ISPCTN Data Coordinating & Operations Center. “We are excited to expand the network and to see the many ways Avera research and clinical teams increase our knowledge of health conditions that affect children. Being awarded the funding demonstrates the proven talent and dedication of the entire health system and its robust research efforts.”

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