NIH Clinical Center

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Public Outreach: Clinical Center Profile 2002

The Astute Clinician Lecture Series. The fourth annual Astute Clinician Lecture addressed chronic myelogenous leukemia. Dr. Brian Druker, Professor of Medicine and the Director of the Leukemia Center of the Oregon Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University was the guest lecturer. The Astute Clinician Lecture was established through a gift from Haruko and Robert W. Miller, M.D. The lecture honors an American scientist who has observed an unusual clinical occurrence, and by investigating it, has opened an important avenue of research. The lecture is hosted by the Clinical Center and is part of the NIH Director’s Lecture Series.

Photo: Employees distributing toys to Pediatric Unit Children.

Employees brought smiles to the faces of children on the pediatric units as they distributed toys to the youngsters during the fifth annual Toys to Share Program at NIH.

Medicine for the Public. This lecture series on health and disease presented by NIH physicians and scientists completed its 25th season. Targeted to the lay community, each of six featured lectures drew approximately 400 attendees from across the region. Topics for the most recent season included information on pain and palliative care; the threat of the sexually transmitted disease epimedic; new strategies for the detection and treatment of colon cancer; progress and promise in breast cancer research; and better therapies for Type I diabetes. Each of these lectures is web-archived.

Media Relations. Clinician-researchers at the Clinical Center are increasingly called on by mass media to serve as the authoritative voice on clinical trials. The Clinical Center Director, Center-based investigators and NIH Institute-based researchers responded to more than 150 media inquiries last year. Interviews were conducted with domestic and international media outlets from broadcast, print, wire service, and Internet-based news organizations. News crews routinely sought out the Clinical Center to film its research facilities. A new media pattern reflects the self-empowered nature of patients today. More and more health, science and medical writers, reporters and producers request to speak with actual patient volunteers who participate in clinical trials. This past year NIH Clinical Center scientists and patients were featured on a variety of programs aired on the major commercial news networks, the Public Broadcasting System and Internet-based programs.

Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison. A total of 9,455 new patients and healthy volunteers were admitted to the Clinical Center in 2001. Of those, more than 33 percent were referred by the Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL). More than 42,800 contacts/inquiries were received last year, a 37 percent increase over the previous year. PRPL referred more than 10,500 prospective patients to intramural protocols, 7 percent more than received in 2000. The number of minority contacts increased 42 percent, from 1,961 to 2,786 during 2001. PRPL continues to work with the NIH Institutes to develop and implement recruitment campaigns locally and nationally. Numerous outreach activities with physicians, minority communities and senior citizens were initiated in 2001. To promote involvement of clinical research subjects in protocols, a successful media campaign advertised current studies in newspapers throughout rural communities in Maryland, southern Virginia and West Virginia.

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