PRMC opens Richard A. Henson Research Institute

It all started with one patient 25 years ago. 

"The whole idea of clinical research here started with cancer research and actually I enrolled a patient along with one of the PRMC nurses," Dr. David Cowall says,"It was a breast cancer study for one patient." 

Now Peninsula Regional Medical Center has opened its very own research center, the Richard A. Henson Research Institute. 

It's the first of its kind here on the lower shore and Dr. Cowall, the research director, says this will only enhance a patient's care. 

"It's going to help them by giving them the opportunity in clinical trials to be involved in taking new investigational drugs that may not currently be available to the general public." 

Having this type of research institute will not only bring new clinical trials to local patients but it will also encourage more doctors to come to Delmarva.

"It attracts new physicians that wouldn't otherwise come here because part of the science is part of the fun of health care and there's a magnetism there that makes us all work together." 

Dr. Cowall, who's been spearheading clinical trials for years, says having this institute dedicated to research only improves the lives of their patients and future patients. 

"Every patient that participates in a clinical trial and we really appreciate our research patients on average they have better outcomes then patients treated with community standards," he continues, "It's all about the best care for the patients and the way you find out what the best care is is you do these clinical trials and it's generation after generation of clinical trials, continuous improvement.

The research institute is already gearing up for a brand new study they plan on rolling out in January. It's looking at septicemia or people that have blood stream infections. 

According to Dr. Cowall, there's new technology that identifies the infectious germ more rapidly than before and it then can identify which antibiotics it would be sensitive to. 

"So this trial is going to look at whether this new technology is going to save lives in our community whether it lowers our intensive care unit stays, shorten the time the patient is on the antibiotic, and their overall hospital stays," says Dr. Cowall. 

The Research Institute also has a partnership with Johns Hopkins that allows access to their clinicals as well. 

Along with the National Cancer Institute, PRMC is only one of two hospitals in Maryland to have those partnerships. 

Categories: Local News, Maryland