Temple University (TU) serves as the Clinical Hub for the Philadelphia-area Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials (PHILA-NETT) network, a consortium of community and academic medical centers formed to effectively conduct clinical studies related to neurological emergencies. Over the past four years, the primary sites have included TU Health System hospitals and Hahnemann Hospital located in low- income areas of North Philadelphia with high proportions of African American and Latino patients. Temple Clinical Hub created a highly successful organization wherein staff works closely with site investigators and coordinators from multiple disciplines to efficiently execute NETT studies across all sites. Mechanisms that have enhanced the efficiency and quality of research across sites include, for example, the use of a common web-based informatics system developed to safely and quickly identify potential study patients;frequent and regular communication among investigators and coordinators;and diligent site management focused on good clinical research practices and compliance. Over the next five years, the consortium will expand within Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania to improve our reach and to meet the needs of the NETT as a whole. The PHILA-NETT structure is strong and sustainable and yet flexible enough to allow for expansion as needed to carry out the current and anticipated NETT studies. PHILA-NETT investigators have had career-long commitment to research in acute stroke, traumatic brain injury, therapeutic hypothermia and anoxic encephalopathy, all potential areas for NETT studies. These clinician-scientists in adult and pediatric Emergency Medicine, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Trauma, and Neuro-critical care are leaders in their communities and set the standards of care for patients with acute neurological illness and injury. Working with the NETT, the group will execute and design studies to address fundamental research questions. And most important to the mission of Temple University and to the communities in the Commonwealth, we will disseminate information and study results that will serve to guide and advance the treatment of patients with neurological emergencies.
Having a coordinated approach to the study of neurological emergencies is an asset to the people of North Philadelphia. The communities served by PHILA-NETT sites have access to higher levels of quality patient care and the opportunity to participate in cutting edge neurological research. In addition PHILA-NETT's community education component will focus on primary and secondary disease prevention with the hope of decreasing the incidence and improving the outcome of patients with neurological emergencies.