The Children's Heart Program of South Carolina is a statewide consortium of pediatric cardiologists, who care for >95 % of the 4.7 million residents in the state. This consortium has all the critical elements for a center to be a successful collaborator in the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN): adequate patient volume, established clinical research infrastructure, a track record of outstanding subject enrollment, and a dedication to hypothesis driven research. These elements have allowed MUSC to be a highly successful and administratively active participant in the PHN and one of only 5 core centers to be continuously funded since its inception in 2001. Furthermore, MUSC faculty have participated as Pl's in a wide variety of non-PHN multicenter studies, often acting as the lead investigator. MUSC faculty also currently direct numerous local clinical research protocols. The combined resources of patient volume, research infrastructure and dedication have enabled MUSC to be among the top subject enrollers in the PHN.
The Pediatric Heart Network has established best practices for multi-center research in congenital and acquired pediatric heart disease. Collaboration among the Clinical Research Centers, the Data Coordinating Center and other stakeholders permits multi-center evaluation of medical, interventional and surgical therapies; provides a training platform for fellows, junior faculty, and nurses; supports development of novel techniques and methodologies; and promotes dissemination of study results to improve the scientific basis for the care of affected individuals.
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