Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM)
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, MSM is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians and was recently recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for achieving a social mission. The National Center for Primary Care (NCPC) at MSM has the unique distinction of being the only Congressionally-sanctioned center in the country dedicated to promoting excellence in community-oriented primary health care and optimal health outcomes for all Americans, with a special focus on underserved populations and on the elimination of health disparities. The NCPC team provides training for primary care practitioners, conducts practice-based research to improve health outcomes, creates protocols and tools for improving primary care effectiveness, and undertakes policy analyses focused on how to make primary care more accessible and more effective.
Clinical Research Center (CRC)
Dr. Elizabeth Ofili, Director.
The MSM campus includes one of the few free- standing, JCAHO-accredited Clinical Research Centers (CRC) approximately 12,000 sq ft). The CRC has five fully equipped examination rooms; shared use laboratories; 12-bed study participant observation unit; state-of- the-art emergency alert system; cardiovascular laboratory (equipped with echocardiography, vascular ultrasound and vascular compliance instruments); negative-pressure Isolation exam room and kitchen. The CRC provides shared resources in: research subject recruitment, analytical laboratory, nutrition core (with nursing and bionutrititionist), research nurses, research assistants, consultation for IRB applications and consultation for biostatistical support (two PhD-level biostatisticians) as well as clinical trial design. Given that the patient population served by MSM and its community-based affiliates is predominantly African American, the CRC is in the privileged position of being a major resource for the inclusion of minority subjects into clinical studies. The MSM CRC has an excellent track record in organizing a wide variety of outreach programs in minority communities that promote the involvement of minority participants in clinical studies. The creation of a MSM CRC Community Advisory Board (CAB) that includes community leaders has further strengthened MSM- community interactions and enhanced these recruitment efforts. The CRC, Cardiovascular Research Institute, and CEHD provide access to community-based practices that typically do not become involved in clinical research. One of our most recent initiatives is the creation of the Community Physicians Network (CPN), a practice-based consortium that has grown to a diverse group of 150 primary care practices, subspecialty and surgical practices with over 350,000 annual out-patient visits throughout metro-Atlanta, Macon and Columbus. Georgia. Moreover, the creation of this unique resource provides an exciting opportunity to conduct clinical research with high-risk populations in the "real world" setting of ethnic communities. The CPN was established to address disparities in health care by focusing on provider-specific strategies, increased participation in clinical trials of effective therapies by African Americans and other underrepresented minorities and diminishing barriers in the healthcare delivery system resulting in poor access to care. CPN is an AHRQ designated Practice Based Research Network with a good track record both in Quality Improvement activities at the practice level as well as facilitating improvements in self-management skills among patients with chronic diseases.
Mobile Clinical Research Vehicle
The mobile clinical research vehicle is a 38 ft. self-contained, handicap accessible, mobile research facility that can be used to conduct clinical research. The mobile unit allows MSM researcher to reach people in rural areas and those unable to come to the center, diverse populations and visitors to various Atlanta venues to become a part of clinical research, as well as learn about various health disparities that still plague our communities and will extend their research excellences. It contains two exam rooms, a laboratory, private areas for patient interviews, restroom, and audio/visual technology for patient education. Onboard equipment includes cardiac monitors, refrigerator and freezer, portable ultrasound, scale and computers with internet access.