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Clinical research trials improving care, access for those who need it most

swab and tube

For more than three decades, Via Christi Research, part of Ascension’s Kansas ministry, has been conducting clinical trials of pharmaceutical and medical devices.

We work with more than 100 large pharmaceutical and medical device companies through some of the world’s largest contract research organizations and are currently enrolling patients in more than three dozen studies.

The studies in which we participate primarily are in four of five Ascension-prioritized areas: Behavioral health, cardiac, neuro, and orthopedic (cancer studies, the fifth area of priority, is conducted under the umbrella of the Wichita NCORP). We also look for studies designed to meet other community needs, such as a soon-to-open study of a medication to treat gastroparesis, a digestive ailment common among diabetics.

Other open studies include:

  • A prevention trial that uses a mouth swab to gather DNA to find future participants who are genetically predisposed to be at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
  • Beat HF, an FDA-approved fast-track study of an implantable device designed to improve the health of seriously ill patients with heart failure.
  • An FDA fast track study of a nasally administered investigational agent for major depressive disorder — the first new drug for treating clinical depression in a decade.
  • Route 6, a new extended-release delivery mechanism for treating schizophrenia. Over the past five years, we have participated in other deep muscular injection studies with the same company, beginning with a study of a 30-day, then a 90-day and now the current six-month injection. The goal is to increase treatment plan compliance among patients diagnosed with schizophrenia so that they can lead healthier and more productive lives.

Through our participation in studies such as these, we are contributing to medical advancements designed to help patients worldwide through scientifically meritorious studies.

We also are helping bring leading-edge care close-to-home for Kansans, including those who might otherwise have difficulties in accessing the care they need for lack of insurance or financial resources. Our studies are all sponsor-funded, so there is no cost to participants who often are compensated for their time and travel — provided that they meet the clinical criteria for participation and have reviewed and signed a carefully explained informed consent form.

Finally, we are helping Via Christi and our community attract and retain physicians committed to making a difference, both by contributing to scientific breakthroughs and to caring for some of our community’s most vulnerable patients.

Through the continuing work of Via Christi Research, our team is helping remove financial barriers to accessing high-quality care — while helping develop better treatment options for everyone. And that’s something that should make us all feel good.

For more information about Via Christi Research studies, call 316-291-4673.

About Mike Good

Michael Good is director of Via Christi Research, where he has served for the past 18 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy and his MBA from KU’s School of Business. When he is not at work, Mike enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities.