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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Don Ralbovsky
Bonnie Kinney

NIH Opens New Clinical Research Hospital

What: The National Institutes of Health will open a new hospital totally dedicated to clinical research on Wednesday, September 22. The Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center will provide a unique opportunity for clinicians, scientists, and patients to study and conquer both chronic and acute disease in the 21st century. This new 870,000-square-foot facility will connect to the existing NIH Clinical Center, which opened its doors to patients in 1953. In the 50 years since its opening, NIH has worked in partnership with more than 350,000 participants in clinical studies from every state in the U.S. and from around the world. Some advances include:
  • First cure of a solid tumor with chemotherapy
  • First chemotherapy for childhood leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease
  • Discovery of evidence of a genetic component in schizophrenia
  • First use of nitroglycerin for acute myocardial infarction
  • First use of hydroxyurea to treat sickle cell anemia
  • First gene therapy
  • First successful replacement of a mitral valve
  • First use of AZT to treat AIDS
  • Development of screening tests for AIDS and hepatitis, which reduced the transmission rate of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis from 30 percent to near zero
More than 1,000 clinical studies will be conducted in the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center. The promise of prospective cures energizes scientists, clinicians, and patients today no less than in previous decades. This new hospital will continue to set the pace for developing the most promising medical advances, providing a synthesis of medical knowledge to radically improve human health. The proximity of labs, equipment, and patient care units in the new hospital will help to rapidly move biomedical laboratory findings into the mainstream of medical practice — carrying on the "bench-to-bedside" tradition of the original NIH Clinical Center.
When: Wednesday, September 22, 2004, 10:30 a.m.
Where: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Senior officials, researchers, and patients will be available to discuss the importance of this new hospital and the impact it will have, and to relay personal stories of triumph. Former Senator Mark O. Hatfield will be honored at this special event and also provide remarks.

  • Tommy G. Thompson - Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. - Director, National Institutes of Health
  • John I. Gallin, M.D. - Director, NIH Clinical Center
  • U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young - Chairman, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives
Note to Editors: Reporters interested in covering the Clinical Research Center opening event are encouraged to take metro to the Medical Center stop (Red Line). A "CRC Event" shuttle will be available from the Medical Center stop to the front of the Clinical Research Center. Press credentials are mandatory. Press should enter at the Press Only Entrance, located at the front of the Clinical Research Center. Public affairs staff will register TV crews and reporters and distribute press kits, B-roll, and other materials. B-roll is available in English and Spanish. Highlights include NIH leaders, patient stories, aerial shots, and architectural footage. For television crews or reporters who wish to drive, please call the NIH Office of Communications at (301) 496-5787. For more information, visit the CRC press room at http://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/crc/pressroom.html or call (301) 496-5787.

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