Expanding Research Initiative Across the Region

March 3, 2014 8:36 pm

Taking advantage of its broader reach, Mercy Health to establish a broad clinical research effort for the benefit of patients

Beginning March 1, the opportunity to participate in clinical trials will become more available to more people in west Michigan.  Mercy Health announces that it is forming a regional Institutional Review Board (IRB) which will enable the health system to consider clinical trial studies done in multiple sites throughout west Michigan.

Susan Hoppough 2

Susan Hoppough, PhD


Brenda Hoffman

The new regional board will be chaired by Brenda Hoffman. Susan Hoppough, PhD, Regional Executive Director of Research and Innovation, who spearheaded the effort, notes that, “until now, trials were limited to one location or hospital within the west Michigan region. That meant that the ability to participate in a trial might not be as convenient for patients. Now, with this new structure, patients will have access to trials at multiple locations under one supportive infrastructure.”

Working with Hoppough will be Bill Baer, MD, PharmD, the new medical director of Research and Innovation for the Mercy Health system. Dr. Baer is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pharmacology with expertise in pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine. Prior to joining Mercy Health, Dr. Baer was the Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer of ClinXus at the Van Andel Research Institute, where he was able to leverage the various life science and clinical expertise of West Michigan to bring innovative research opportunities to the region.

Adds Roger Spoelman, president and CEO of Mercy Health, “Taking a regional approach to research and a regional IRB increases options for our patients.  Under the leadership of Hoppough, Baer and Hoffman we will continue to grow and expand clinical research and partnerships to strengthen services available to our patients and their families in West Michigan.”

The new IRB will be the Institutional Review Board of record for CHE Trinity Health and more system-based.  This will enable a much larger and more diverse patient population to become involved. The new IRB will also act as a site management organization to expand our outreach and opportunities to various patient populations and research initiatives.



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