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Inova Health System Joins Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network - 05/18/2011

Inova Health System Joins Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network

Network Increases Research Opportunities for Patients Throughout the Region
Release Date: May 18, 2011

The five-hospital Inova Health System based in Northern Virginia has joined the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network (JHCRN). Developed by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), JHCRN is designed to bring together community-based clinical researchers to provide new opportunities for research collaborations and accelerate the transfer of new diagnostic, treatment, and disease-prevention advances from the research arena to patient care.

The JHCRN, which was established by Johns Hopkins Medicine in early 2009, included Anne Arundel Medical Center and Greater Baltimore Medical Center as its first non-JHM members. The network creates a bridge for research between Hopkins and community-based medical centers by linking physician-scientists and staff from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions with various centers in the region. It serves several purposes, the most important of which is to make clinical trials available to patients who may not ordinarily have access to them.

“The JHCRN is a unique research resource that increases patient access to innovative therapies and outcomes research in their own local communities. It also empowers physicians to design and conduct a broad array of research projects relevant to their communities,” says Charles M. Balch, M.D., JHCRN director and professor of surgery and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “It is a premier network of affiliated medical institutions which can carry out efficient, collaborative clinical research to achieve high-quality innovative patient care. I am very impressed with the depth and excellence of the clinical trials enterprise at Inova Health System.”

With the addition of Inova to JHCRN, John Niederhuber, M.D., Inova’s executive vice president and CEO of the Inova Translational Medicine Institute, will become a member of JHCRN’s Executive Committee. Niederhuber, former director of the National Cancer Institute, has also been appointed as a deputy director of the JHCRN, along with Adrian Dobs, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins.

“I am excited to bring Inova Health System and our patients to this outstanding clinical trials network,” Niederhuber says. “I look forward to reengaging with Hopkins in this capacity and to do everything I can to help Dr. Dobs in her role leading the network.”

The JHCRN directly addresses the many complexities of conducting multisite and multi-institutional trials by providing investigators with a larger patient pool and a seamless platform that uses common research protocols. The goal of the network is to speed the approval of new trials while ensuring careful oversight of patient safety. Rapid startup and timely completion of research studies, aided by widespread access to the clinical trials, will make promising therapies available for patient use more quickly.

Initially, the JHCRN focused on expanding cancer-related clinical trials (including medical, surgical and radiation-therapy aspects of cancer treatment) and diabetes and surgical studies.  Future collaborations will include a wide range of research areas, including pediatrics and intensive care; cardiovascular, neuropsychiatric, brain, and spine diseases; and radiology and nuclear medicine studies. 

The JHCRN is a program of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), which is a part of a national consortium aimed at transforming how clinical and translational research is conducted at academic health centers around the country. 

 “As part of the ICTR, the JHCRN is developing new and improved tools for analyzing research data and managing clinical trials. It also supports outreach to underserved populations and works with local community and advocacy organizations and health care providers while forging new partnerships with private and public health care organizations,” said Daniel E. Ford, M.D., M.P.H., vice dean for clinical investigation for Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and ICTR director. “This level of collaboration between an academic medical center and community-based research institutions is unprecedented in the region and is bringing a wide array of benefits to both patients and investigators.”

Network researchers from participating hospitals use a centralized data system to coordinate information from diverse information technology and electronic medical records sources.  Clinical research methodologies, data management, research reporting documentation, patient consent forms, and quality and safety control criteria are standardized for each protocol. With this uniformity, network hospitals can better develop and coordinate their own clinical research activities or joint clinical trials with other JHCRN institutions.

“For more information about the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network, visit

Additional Information and Resources
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins Medicine is a nearly $6 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading health systems in the United States.  The mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine is to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, Johns Hopkins Medicine educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness. With more than 3500 active research protocols, Johns Hopkins scientists receive more federal research support annually ($610 million in 2010) than counterparts in other U.S. medical schools. Its more than 30,000 employees make Johns Hopkins Medicine among Maryland’s largest private employers and the largest in Baltimore City.  The total FY 2010 economic impact of all the Johns Hopkins institutions in Maryland alone is an estimated $10 billion. Johns Hopkins International brings world-class health care to more than 25 strategic projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. Johns Hopkins Medicine operates six hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, 30 primary and specialty health care sites that handle more than 600,000 annual patient visits, and employs more than 2,800 physicians; and has about 1.9 million outpatient visits annually.

The Inova Health System
Inova Health System is committed to optimizing the health and well-being of each individual we serve.  A not-for-profit health care system based in Northern Virginia, Inova is revolutionizing individualized care and the application of genomic science in community health. Inova is governed by a voluntary board of community members and consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research.  

 The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research
The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) was established in 2007 with a $100 million Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) grant from the National Institutes of Health.  It is now one of 55 CTSA institutes dedicated to reducing the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients and engaging communities in clinical research efforts. It also is fulfilling the critical need to train a new generation of clinical researchers. Last year, the Hopkins ICTR programs assisted more than 1,300 Johns Hopkins faculty and staff -- representing over 70 different departments throughout the Schools of Medicine, Public Health, Nursing and Engineering -- with their clinical and translational research projects. 

For the Media

Gary Stephenson
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Carrie Rich
The Inova Health System
May 18, 2011