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MIHS and Johns Hopkins University Awarded $4.2 Million Grant

November 15, 2016
MIHS

Researchers at Maricopa Integrated Health System and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been awarded a $4.2 million federal grant to study whether Emergency Departments can be used to quickly identify, evaluate and treat patients during a public health emergency.

The project’s goal is to determine whether Emergency Departments can be used to evaluate drug therapies and new treatments during an emerging infectious disease outbreak like Zika or during a bioterrorism event, said Dr. Frank LoVecchio, Research Director at MIHS’s Maricopa Medical Center.

“This is an important step forward in how we prepare for an emerging infectious disease,” LoVecchio said. “It’s a testament to the caliber of the influenza research we’ve been doing here at MIHS for a number of years.”

“From development to testing to approval, the process for bringing a new drug to patients can take years,” says Richard Rothman, MD, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator and Professor of emergency medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, which serves as the Lead and Coordinating Center for the project. “Since emergency departments are often considered the front door to the U.S. healthcare system, the goal of this research is to determine whether we can expedite the testing phase, particularly in the face of a public health emergency.”

The grant is funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The organization's mission is to develop, manufacture and acquire medical countermeasures, including vaccines and medication, and to address public health threats, including chemical, biological and nuclear incidents, pandemic influenza and emerging infectious diseases.

Research will take place this flu season in the Emergency Departments at MIHS and The Johns Hopkins Hospital Researchers will be determining whether they can effectively identify and enroll patients in the Emergency Departments with confirmed influenza into a study testing oral and IV influenza therapeutics that have already been proven to be helpful treatments for influenza. Researchers will then follow the patients, checking their progress on a daily basis up to a month.

“This award is testament to the caliber of the outstanding team of physicians and researchers here at Maricopa Medical Center and MIHS,” said Steve Purves, President and CEO.

About Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS)

Located in Phoenix, Ariz., Maricopa Integrated Health System has a proud tradition of being both the community safety net healthcare system, with a mission and commitment to serving the underserved and Arizona’s only public teaching hospital. MIHS consists of Maricopa Medical, the only Level I Trauma Center in Arizona verified by the American College of Surgeons to care for both adults and children, Arizona’s only nationally verified Burn Center serving the entire Southwestern United States, MIHS’s McDowell Healthcare Center, which is the largest provider of HIV primary care in Arizona, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, the Arizona Children’s Center, two behavioral health centers, and 13 neighborhood Family Health Centers. To learn more about MIHS, please visit www.mihs.org.

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