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Seven-Year NIH Grant to Accelerate Research for Cleveland Heart Failure Regional Clinical Center

January 13, 2012

A Cleveland research consortium is the recipient of a seven-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the National Heart Failure Clinical Research Network. The consortium is led by Drs. W.H. Wilson Tang and Randall C. Starling of Cleveland Clinic’s Kaufman Center for Heart Failure, in collaboration with Dr. Mark E. Dunlap of MetroHealth’s Heart & Vascular Center and Dr. James C. Fang of University Hospitals Harrington-McLaughlin Heart and Vascular Institute.

Over the next seven years, this research consortium will participate and lead multiple Network-wide randomized clinical trials to test new treatment approaches for heart failure. The network will begin participating in two ongoing studies and additional projects are under review.

By combining the diverse patient populations of these institutions, the research consortium will provide more comprehensive data that will lead to better treatment options for heart failure patients.

“We are fortunate to have so many heart failure experts in our region pooling their vast experience and varied skills for a common goal — advancing the diagnosis and management of heart failure” said Dr. Tang, Director of Cardiomyopathy Program at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute. “This cross-collaboration enables us to work closely together to find better ways to treat our diverse patient population.”

Deemed “instrumental” by NIH in accelerating innovative research and strategies to diagnose, manage and treat all forms of heart failure, the Cleveland Heart Failure Regional Clinical Center is one of only nine in the country within the Heart Failure Clinical Research Network.

“This represents a unique opportunity for us to help to shape major research efforts of the NIH to improve outcomes for patients with heart failure,” said Dr. Dunlap, Director of the Heart Failure Section, MetroHealth Heart & Vascular Center.

This award is a direct consequence of the excellence and collaboration between nationally recognized Heart Failure programs at the three institutions, all within Case Western Reserve University’s research infrastructure, the Clinical and Translational Sciences Collaborative (CTSC).

“We are honored to partner with our Cleveland colleagues and our application's success is testimony to the fabulous talent and resources in the Cleveland Heart Failure Network,” said Dr. Starling, Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and Head of the Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine. “Our participation also allows us to work with the finest investigators in the United States and to bring the most innovative clinical trials to heart failure patients in Ohio and the Midwest.”

Approximately 5.7 million people in the U.S. have heart failure, leading to more than 300,000 deaths annually and one of the most common reasons for hospitalizations. The condition is characterized by the heart’s inability to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

“Our unique group is a testament to the power of cooperation and achievement in academic medicine,” added Dr. Fang, Director of the Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The group’s inclusion into this Network provides opportunities for patients of Northeast Ohio to benefit from some of the most important work in the field of heart failure today.”

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S.News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. About 2,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers and 11,000 nurses represent 120 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic Health System includes a main campus near downtown Cleveland, eight community hospitals and 18 Family Health Centers in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Cleveland Clinic Canada, and opening in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. In 2010, there were 4 million visits throughout the Cleveland Clinic health system and 167,000 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 100 countries. Visit us at www.clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at www.twitter.com/ClevelandClinic.

About MetroHealth Medical Center

Celebrating 175 years of service in 2012, The MetroHealth System is a comprehensive academic healthcare system which serves as the safety net public hospital for Northeast Ohio. MetroHealth has a nationally renowned Level I trauma and burn center and an acclaimed critical-care transport program – Metro Life Flight. MetroHealth’s network of health centers incorporates a patient-centered medical home team care approach to optimize patient outcomes through chronic disease management. Founded in 1837, MetroHealth has been a major affiliate of Case Western Reserve University since 1914 and all MetroHealth active physician staff hold faculty appointments at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. MetroHealth provides one million inpatient and outpatient visits – with overall revenue of $800 million. For more information on The MetroHealth System, visit www.metrohealth.org.

About University Hospitals

University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the core of our health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org.

Media Contacts

Brian Kolonick, 216.444.0898, kolonib@ccf.org
Christina Karas, 216.778.5370, ckaras@metrohealth.org
Mike Ferrari, 216.844.7239, mike.ferrari@uhhospitals.org