Sentara Healthcare announces the formation of a new research institute dedicated to halting the number one killer of men and women, cardiovascular disease.
Based at Sentara's Norfolk campus, the Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute (SCRI) enhances the strong cardiovascular research program that has been in place at Sentara for years. The new organizational structure will foster outstanding interdisciplinary studies and allow scientists to focus on more complex research efforts by minimizing administrative responsibilities.
Sentara's vision for heart care has long included enhancing research efforts.
"There's no question that increasing preventive and treatment options
available only through cardiac research will positively touch the lives of thousands of Hampton Roads residents," says Sentara President and Chief Operating Officer Howard P. Kern. "Improving the cardiac health of this community is important to us, he continues.
Drs. John M. Herre, cardiologist, and Jeffrey B. Rich, cardiothoracic surgeon, have been named scientific directors of Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute. With the support of a new research manager and additional research nurses, the institute expects to increase the number of studies undertaken by the dozens of physicians currently involved in research at Sentara.
While about 50 cardiovascular studies are underway annually, since the addition of resources in early 2005 about 20 studies have been added to the roster.
Among SCRIs goals is to attract funding that will enable population-based researchstudies designed to address the cardiovascular issues specific to the Hampton Roads community. One area family, which believes strongly in local research efforts, has established with Sentara a $100,000 research endowment to fund clinical cardiac studies for years to come.
"Establishing this research institute speaks to Sentara's long-time commitment to comprehensive heart care. Not only does research offer area residents treatments not broadly available, it promises to raise the standard of care," says Dr. Carl W. Hartman, Medical Advisor, Department of Cardiac Services, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute will study a wide array of preventions and treatments for conditions such as congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and heart valve disease. Studies may involve the use of medicines, devices, heart transplants or new treatment options.