| NIH Opens New Clinical Research Hospital Sept.
The National Institutes of Health celebrates the
opening of the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center on Wednesday,
Sept. 22. This new hospital totally dedicated to clinical research
research involving patients is the most significant
addition to the NIH campus in more than 50 years and provides a
unique opportunity for scientists, clinicians, and patients to study
and conquer both chronic and acute disease in the 21st century.
“The Hatfield Center at the NIH represents an important investment
in science and treatment on behalf of the American people. Through
its doors will come patients, who in partnership with NIH’s
doctors, nurses and researchers, will try to find answers to some
of the most perplexing questions in medicine,” said HHS Secretary
Tommy G. Thompson.
The 870,000-square-foot Hatfield Center connects to the existing
Warren Grant Magnuson 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.
"We have patients who come here who've lost hope for any other
treatment,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. “This
is why we really are very pleased to have received the support of
Congress, the support of the American public, and most importantly,
the thousands of patients who come from all around the country and
the world to participate as partners in clinical research."
Some NIH advances resulting from this partnership include:
- First cure of a solid tumor with chemotherapy
- First chemotherapy for childhood leukemia and Hodgkin’s
- 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
“Patients are our partners in discovery and at the
heart of the Clinical Center’s mission,” said Clinical
Center Director John I. Gallin, M.D. “This new building will
be a remarkable resource for science because it has been designed
in concert with the patients who come here and the scientists and
clinicians who work with them to find new and better ways to prevent
and treat disease.”
The Hatfield Center will continue to set the pace for developing
the most promising medical advances. Annually, more than 1,000 clinical
studies are conducted at NIH and the proximity of labs, equipment,
and patient care units 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
In 1989, an assessment of the existing Clinical Center’s
building systems concluded that the hospital had 12-15 years of
useful life left. In 1994, by mandate of Congress, NIH convened
an external advisory committee to conduct an in-depth review of
the agency’s intramural program. This committee strongly endorsed
NIH’s research program and recommended the immediate revitalization
of the Clinical Center through construction of a new 242-bed hospital,
followed by the phased renovation of the existing Clinical Center.
Former NIH Directors Bernadine Healy, M.D. and Harold Varmus, M.D.
provided crucial support to this effort.
Named in honor of former Senator Mark O. Hatfield, who served in
Congress for 30 years and provided steadfast support to NIH and
clinical research, the new hospital will allow for cutting-edge
research and patient care in the 21st century. The Hatfield Center
will open with approximately 240 inpatient beds and 80 day-hospital
stations. Laboratories and patient rooms are highly flexible and
can quickly adapt to meet new requirements and changing priorities.
The Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership designed the Hatfield Center,
winning an international design competition among 29 firms.
Currently, laboratory and office moves are underway. Patients will
move into the new hospital in December.
Senior officials, researchers, and patients will attend the opening
ceremony on Sept. 22, including former Senator Hatfield, Secretary
Thompson, and U.S. Representative C.W. Bill Young, Chairman, Committee
on Appropriations, U.S. House of Representatives.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for
conducting and supporting basic clinical and translational medical
research. NIH is comprised of 27 institutes and centers and investigates
the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.