Baptist Clinical Research Institute focusing on everyday impact of leading-edge research

Research might seem like a distant process that rarely affects our daily lives. But Dr. Maggie DeBon, executive director of the Baptist Clinical Research Institute (BCRI) is quick to remind people that the impact of research is found everywhere…the flu vaccine, laser surgery, CT scans, and the virtual eradication of polio.

“Research begins with the needs of patients; from someone asking the questions such as: ‘Why is this happening to my patient?’ ‘What can make this situation better for my patient?,’” said Dr. DeBon.

These questions drive the BCRI.

“Baptist has so much potential,” Dr. DeBon continues. “It’s important to see research as another treatment option on the care continuum. We have tremendous support from senior leaders Dr. Paul DePriest (executive vice president and chief operating officer), Dr. Mark Swanson (vice president of Baptist Physician Enterprise and president/CEO of Baptist Medical Group) and Dr. Henry Sullivant (vice president and chief medical officer). And we’re hoping to continue to expand our efforts.”

A few of the recent research initiatives include:

  • Collaboration with the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (SIMPRO Project), a consortium of 6 health care systems whose goal is to integrate the use of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) into the routine practice of oncology. The overall goal is to develop, implement and evaluate an electronic PRO reporting and management system that will improve symptom control for patients recovering from cancer surgery as well as those receiving palliative chemotherapy, regardless of whether they receive oncology care in a small-sized rural, moderately sized community, or large cancer center. Dr. Raymond Osarogiagbon serves as the site’s principal investigator.
  • National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) Project- Dr. Osarogiagbon) “Our future focus is on two NCI grants: NCORP 2 and a rural cancer initiative,” said Dr. DeBon. NCORP 2 will leverage Baptist’s shared mission agreement with Mississippi Baptist Health System, offering more clinical trials to under-served minority and rural Mississippi residents. “The rural cancer initiative will allow us to test and implement the use of multidisciplinary decision-making conferences across our health care system’s rural locations to improve the treatment and outcomes of our lung cancer patients,” Dr. DeBon added.
  • Dr. Osarogiagbon and research partners have worked with pathology partners to develop a novel gross dissection method to better diagnose and appropriately stage patients with lung cancer so they can receive the most appropriate treatment. Based on his research, the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer created a quality benchmark for lymph node examination in early-stage lung cancer resections.

“The Baptist vision is to create and contribute to the future of leading-edge care for our patients,” said Dr. DeBon. “The future of research at Baptist could be as commonplace as wearing latex gloves.”