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Cutting-Edge Research Unit Brings New Hope For Sick Kids

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PHOTO: Hundreds of patients already have benefited from the new Pediatric Clinical Research Unit at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of Children's Mercy Hospital.
PHOTO: Hundreds of patients already have benefited from the new Pediatric Clinical Research Unit at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Photo courtesy of Children's Mercy Hospital.
 By Mona ShandContact
October 17, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Parents of children with complex diseases could find new hope at Kansas City's Children's Mercy Hospital, thanks to the opening of the Pediatric Clinical Research Unit.

The unit is a place where cutting-edge clinical trials involving new medications and procedures are under way, providing potentially lifesaving treatments for sick children.

Open just a few months, the unit has already been used for dozens of clinical studies including several from the National Institutes for Health.

Medical Director Dr. Mark Clements says a facility like this is a field of dreams in the research world, one that will attract more research, more trials and ultimately more cures.

"To have a resource like this really helps reviewers to see that we have an environment that is not only supportive but technically capable to allow us to get the research done,” he says.

The unit is the only pediatric-focused research facility in the region.

Clements says the unit is not only good for the hospital and its patients but it benefits the entire region as it helps establish the area as a research hub. He says the kind of research doctors are doing in the unit involves state-of-the-art techniques and cutting-edge treatments.

"People will often travel far and wide to participate in clinical trials like this, sometimes flying across the country, sometimes driving five hours," he says.

The Pediatric Clinical Research Unit includes six beds, three private rooms, a medication room, a laboratory, a kitchen and a playroom among other resources.


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