29 Apr Medical Volunteering: An Investment in Positive Health Outcomes
In a recent blog the very important role of the Principal Investigator was described and we provided information on what clinical research is. Beyond their day to day involvement at High Point Clinical Trials Center, Physician Investigators, Dr. Jonathan Austin and Dr. Mark Pearson, are also involved in the community and have participated in other volunteer medical initiatives both domestically and overseas. These activities not only provide healthcare services to the medically underserved but they serve as an educational opportunity where Patients learn about clinical trial research and evolving new therapies.
Dr. Austin and Dr. Pearson have been adamant about participating in community-based medicine and supporting Patients who may not have the financial resources to access primary and preventative medical services otherwise. For example, their involvement at the Community Clinic of High Point (CCHP) allows them to offer care in an outpatient setting to those with acute or chronic medical conditions and limited means of accessing healthcare. Patients with little or no insurance and low income are treated at CCHP by an expert group of volunteer physicians from all walks of medicine who generously donate their time and skills to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.
Dr. Austin has initiated a screening program for evaluation of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in Patients by symptom driven surveys with state of the art spirometry assessments. Additionally, he has also teamed with iCardiac, a leading core laboratory for cardiac safety testing. Their cardiac technology will enable high quality bedside EKGs to be obtained from Patients along with iCardiac’s cardiologist assessments to guide subsequent Patient care.
Dr. Pearson has volunteered overseas doing medical and surgical work at a Missionary Hospital In southern Nigeria for several years, then moved to and worked doing Medical outreach and education for 6 years in northern Haiti from 2000 to 2006. He also recently completed a Fellowship at LSU, New Orleans in Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Care.
The importance and benefits of clinical research have been demonstrated repeatedly and across several therapeutic areas. Experimental therapies have provided tangible benefits to Patients suffering from debilitating and chronic conditions and the involvement of physicians within the community is important to provide Patients with the necessary information and address their questions first hand as to what clinical research is and how it can potentially benefit them.
Only by giving back to our community and sharing opportunities for Patients to benefit from clinical research can the progress in both novel treatment development and Patient care continue.