When you’re faced with a challenging illness, the thought of having to travel hours away for treatment is likely the last thing you want to deal with. This is often the case for patients seeking novel, cutting-edge clinical trials as part of their treatment plan, and it is exactly why Samaritan Health Services’ Research & Quality department works diligently to help patients get the care they need, close to home.
Samaritan health care providers work closely with the clinical research staff as part of a patient’s care team. Clinical trials are used as another tool to care for patients, only considered as an option when the patient and provider both agree that it would be the most appropriate treatment. They also give patients the opportunity to be a part of the research process and contribute to improving patient care for others. The trials chosen at Samaritan are carefully reviewed, and only those that fit into the areas of greatest need for patients are chosen.
“Medicine is not an algorithm, it’s a practice,” explained Anthony Franklin, registered nurse with Samaritan Research & Quality. “Research provides doctors guidance when the answers aren’t clear. By participating in research, Samaritan is taking a leadership role in the future of medicine.”
Samaritan’s clinical trials bring together a multi-disciplinary team that taps into the expertise of the whole spectrum of care providers. From doctors to lab technicians to pharmacy staff, it takes a team approach to run a successful study.
Samaritan currently has 12 open oncology trials and five open cardiology trials. The clinical research team also supports other research efforts in the fields of athletic medicine, orthopedics, infectious disease and endocrinology.
Clinical trials for cancer treatment are an important component to the research work Samaritan does. All of Samaritan’s oncology providers participate in research in some way, highlighting the significance these studies can have in helping progress the treatment options available.
“Treatments in oncology are constantly changing as more effective agents with fewer side effects are developed,” said David Hufnagel, MD, with the Samaritan Cancer Program. “It’s important for the Samaritan Cancer Program to be involved with research so that our patients can have access to cutting-edge treatments close to home.”
To learn more about current clinical trials and the important work the Samaritan Health Services clinical research department does, visit samhealth.org/Research.