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Montefiore in the News

November 20, 2013

Funds to support research focused on underserved populations 

NEW YORK (November 20, 2013) – The New York State Department of Health has awarded Montefiore Medical Center a $1.17 million grant to support the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, a joint project between Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The funds from the Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program (ECRIP) will allow Montefiore and Einstein to further generate synergy among its clinical researchers who are engaged in diverse areas of research to compare the effectiveness of different prevention, screening and treatment options for economically underserved populations.

“We are honored to receive this grant and are committed to furthering our academic community goals to facilitate extensive research collaboration focused on comparative effectiveness,” said Julia Arnsten, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the division of general internal medicine at Montefiore and Einstein and professor of medicine, psychiatry & behavioral sciences, and epidemiology & population health at Einstein. “This innovative model, based on research, allows us to develop novel diagnostic and treatment options and, in parallel, quickly bring new advances directly to patient care.”

The grant allows Montefiore and Einstein to focus on growing the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, which was established earlier this year by Dr. Arnsten with the strong support of Brian Currie, M.D., M.P.H., Einstein’s assistant dean for clinical research at Montefiore and professor of clinical medicine and clinical epidemiology & population health at Einstein. A portion of the funds will be used to recruit new faculty with expertise in comparative effective research studies as well as clinicians and scientists with expertise in analyzing clinical data. Funds also will be used to award pilot grants focused on comparative effectiveness research for current faculty and clinicians and to support essential data programming capabilities.

“The diverse patient population we serve in the Bronx has been largely excluded from the clinical and comparative effectiveness research that has essentially determined which drugs to use and how people are treated,” said Dr. Arnsten. “Our Center hopes to contribute to the understanding of how therapies impact different groups so as to better direct – and customize – patient care.”

The grant awarded to Montefiore is part of more than $17.2 million in funding that was given to 31 academic medical institutions across the state to help train physician researchers working on clinical research projects, ranging from the prevention of obesity to treatments for glaucoma. Funds help to cover the costs of physicians in training fellowships and the associated costs to conduct clinical research. Once ECRIP fellows conclude their training through this program, they will be well prepared to apply for National Institutes of Health and other federal research funding. These awards will help train more than 100 physician researchers over the next two years.

“The Empire Clinical Research Investigator Program provides essential support to hospitals across the state for training physicians in clinical research and improving the detection and treatment of diseases,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “These awards also help position New York’s hospitals as international leaders in biomedicine, attracting top physicians and medical students and elevating our state’s standing for future federal research funds. But most of all, this program enhances the quality of health care statewide which will help create healthier and stronger communities for years to come.”