NIH Clinical Center

This file is provided for reference purposes only. It was current when it was produced, but it is no longer maintained and may now be out of date. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing information may contact us for assistance. For reliable, current information on this and other health topics, we recommend consulting the NIH Clinical Center at

NIH mark National Institutes of Health 2003 Clinical Center Profile

Skip left navigation list link group.Contents


Message from the Director

Historical Highlights

Clinical Center Governance and Accreditation

Organizational Structure and Programs

The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center

Preparing for the Clinical Research Center Activation

The Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge

Clinical Research Initiatives

Clinician Highlight

Clinical Research Training Programs

Organizational Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiatives

Public Outreach

End of left navigation list link group.

Clinical Center Governance and Accreditation

Clinical Center Governance

Photo: The Patient Advisory Group

Members of the Patient Advisory Group suggested that extended visitor badges and vehicle hangtags be available to patients who make frequent visits to the Clinical Center.

The Clinical Center’s unique and valuable contribution to the healthcare sector rests in its ability to respond quickly and creatively to ever-changing and growing clinical research needs. Strides in medical technologies, imaging sciences and molecular research require an adaptable, flexible facility and organization for scientific investigation and exploration. The responsive, articulate cooperative interactions of its governing and advisory bodies enable the Clinical Center to better meet and respond to the demands and challenges of the clinical research world.

Board of Governors
This 15-member group, established in 1996 by the Health and Human Services Secretary, consults with, and makes recommendations to, the NIH and Clinical Center directors on issues relating to the operations of the Clinical Center, including budget and strategic and operational planning. The full board meets three times annually and the executive committee meets twice a year. Board membership, appointed by the NIH director, is comprised of physicians, scientists and healthcare managers from across the NIH and representing the nation’s top academic medical centers and from across the NIH.

Board of Scientific Counselors
The purpose of this group is to secure unbiased and objective evaluations of the intramural research programs and work of individual scientists. Expert scientists from outside NIH participate as members of this review group. The Board of Scientific Counselors of the Clinical Center was established in October 1990 and advises the NIH director, NIH deputy director for intramural research and the Clinical Center director regarding the organization’s intramural clinical research programs though periodic visits to the laboratories to assess the research, progress, evaluation, productivity, and performance of staff scientists.

Clinical Center Research Steering Committee
In December 2000, the NIH acting director recommended the establishment of the Clinical Center Research Steering Committee to replace the Clinical Center Advisory Council. The committee, comprised of NIH institute and center directors along with other clinical research leaders, focuses on Clinical Center policy issues such as long-term strategic planning for clinical research activities.

Medical Executive Committee
This committee serves to advise the Clinical Center director on the clinical aspects of operations and develops policies governing medical care standards in the Clinical Center. Membership is composed of clinical directors from each NIH institute and other senior clinical and administrative representatives. The group meets twice a month.

Patient Advisory Group
Members of this group serve as informal advisors to the Clinical Center director regarding issues of concern to patients. Former and current patients may be nominated for membership by NIH institute directors. The Patient Advisory Group was originally convened in 1998 to facilitate planning for the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center now under construction.

Clinical Center Accreditation

The Clinical Center adheres to the highest standards in the conduct of its clinical research, delivery of patient care services and clinical research education. This assures safe, quality patient care and the highest level of clinical research practices. Several organizations guide the overall Clinical Center operations through the evaluation and accreditation processes.

Lt. Cmdr. Lucienne Nelson, RN, research nurse, is recognized for her role in helping during the tragedy of the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Lt. Cmdr. Lucienne Nelson, RN, research nurse, was one of many Clinical Center healthcare professionals recognized by the US Surgeon General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services for their role in helping during the tragedy of the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
ACGME is responsible for the accreditation of graduate medical training programs within the United States. Accreditation is accomplished through a peer review process and is based upon established standards and guidelines. Both individual training programs and the primary institution are reviewed on an approximately five-year cycle by ACGME. The NIH and Clinical Center are institutional sponsors of 16 ACGME-accredited programs. An institutional site visit and document review was conducted in May 2002. The reviewer met with members of the NIH Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC), consisting of the 16 program directors and the acting director of the NIH Office of Education, co-chairs of the GMEC who prepared all of the review documents, and the NIH and Clinical Center leadership. The NIH and Clinical Center received a favorable review with institutional reaccreditation. A resurvey is planned in five years.

Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP)
AAHRPP works to protect the rights and welfare of research participants by fostering and advancing the ethical and professional conduct of persons and organizations that engage in research with human participants. As part of a pilot test to develop an accreditation process for human subjects research, an AHRPP team evaluated the clinical research programs at the Clinical Center. The evaluation team met with Clinical Center staff, NIH institute representatives and researchers and observed more than a dozen NIH Institutional Review Board sessions. The team was favorably impressed with how the Clinical Center conducts biomedical research. The pilot test served to enhance AAHRPP’s efforts to establish a “gold seal,” and the process necessary to reach that threshold signifying adherence to a rigorous set of human protection standards.

College of American Pathologists (CAP)
The Clinical Center’s department of Laboratory Medicine was accredited “with distinction” in 2002 by the CAP. The peer-to-peer inspection is conducted every two years as part of the CAP’s Commission on Laboratory Accreditation. In 2002, the commission added the terms “with distinction” to mark laboratories that passed the rigorous criteria with especially high marks. The Clinical Center’s Department of Laboratory Medicine is one of more than 6,000 nationwide CAP-accredited laboratories. The accreditation program began in the early 1960s and is recognized by the federal government as being equal to, or more stringent than, its own inspection program. The CAP is a medical society serving 15,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world.

Joint Commission
Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that sets the standards by which healthcare quality is measured both nationally and internationally. It evaluates the quality and safety of care for more than 17,000 healthcare organizations. To maintain and earn accreditation, organizations must have an extensive onsite review by a team of Joint Commission healthcare professionals at least once every three years. The review’s purpose is to evaluate the organization’s performance in areas that affect patient care. The Clinical Center’s next accreditation survey site visit will be conducted in the fall of 2003. Based on Joint Commission’s most recent visit in October 2001, the Clinical Center received an adjusted overall score of 96 out of 100 points. That score places only 10 percent of healthcare facilities in the United States above the Clinical Center and reflects the continuing provision of outstanding patient care and services by a high quality staff.

See more information:
The Board of Governors of the Clinical Center >
Clinical Center Medical Executive Committee >

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

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