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UL1TR000041
for the NIH CTSA at UNM
News
Trial to Test Knee Cartilage Repair Patch Made from Patient’s Own Cells
CTSC’s participant and clinical interaction unit is working on an industry-sponsored trial of a procedure for repairing damaged knee cartilage using an implant seeded with the patient’s own cartilage cells. Histogenics, a biotech company based in Waltham, MA, is conducting a Phase 3 trial at 32 sites to validate the effectiveness and safety of its product NeoCart.

Those who qualify for the study are randomized to receive either NeoCart or standard-of-care microfracture, which involves making tiny holes in the exposed knee bone to release bone marrow cells that form new cartilage. “Microfracture, developed over twenty years ago, works well in the short term,” says orthopedic surgeon Daniel Wascher, MD, principal investigator and professor in the UNM Department of Orthopaedics, “Though surgeons are finding that, like a patch in the road to fix a pothole, the repaired area is often not as smooth or as durable as the original.”

Read more about the NeoCart trial here.

For more information about the NeoCart study, please contact Michele A. Spear, CTSC Clinical Research Coordinator and Program Specialist, at MSpear@salud.unm.edu or 272-9898.
Complex Data Management for Health Care Innovation Study
Net Medical Xpress Solutions designed an inexpensive, portable and easy-to-use telemed computer for the project. Credit: Net Medical Xpress
CTSC’s informatics team is providing support for a large health care quality improvement study, Access to Critical Cerebral Emergency Support Services (ACCESS), funded by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Health Care Innovation Award program.

UNM HSC, with help from the Albuquerque-based technology firm Net Medical Xpress Solutions, is implementing a telehealth system that allows specialists at UNM to provide real-time, face-to-face consultations over the internet for providers, patients and their families in rural hospitals across New Mexico. Patients are often transported hundreds of miles to see a specialist at UNM or at an out-of-state hospital, since most areas in the state lack access to specialized care for stroke and brain injury.

UNM HSC hopes to be a model for increasing access to timely care and reducing unnecessary medical transports. In a pilot study, the Department of Neurosurgery found that while transport is often crucial, almost 40 percent of patients who were transported by helicopter or small plane to UNM Hospital to see a neurosurgeon or neurologist could have stayed at the local hospital, eliminating the tremendous inconvenience and stress of the transport, as well as the cost. A helicopter transport from a rural hospital to UNMH can cost up to $30,000.

The project is collecting a significant amount and wide variety of data that will be used for studying health care delivery and economics. Edward Weagel, CTSC Informatics Manager, is working with the research team to set up and maintain a complex REDCap database for capturing and storing study information. Data streams include questionnaires at varying intervals to assess patients’ experiences with the system and their health outcomes, provider portals for entering clinical data, consultation data from NetMedical Xpress’s system and billing information. The UNM HSC Center for Participatory Research is also collaborating on a community engagement component at selected hospital sites.

“I’ve been really impressed by the interdisciplinary nature of this project,” said Weagel, noting that meetings are attended by a diverse group, including neurosurgeons, primary care physicians, nurses, lawyers, hospital administrators, a tech company CEO, health economists and informatics specialists.

Howard Yonas, MD, chair of Neurosurgery, is the principal investigator and has been working with NetMedical Xpress Solutions for several years on neuro-telehealth innovations.

Learn more about REDCap, a secure web-based application for building and managing online surveys and databases that is available free of charge to all HSC investigators and departments.

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Featured Publication
A Multisite Community-Based Health Literacy Intervention for Spanish Speakers.

Soto Mas F, Cordova C, Murrietta A, Jacobson HE, Ronquillo F, Helitzer D. A Multisite Community-Based Health Literacy Intervention for Spanish Speakers. J Community Health. 2014 Oct 16.

This article is about a CTSC-funded pilot study that explored the feasibility of using different community settings to implement interventions for improving health literacy. The study team worked closely with community partners in Santa Barbara/Martineztown, an historic neighborhood near downtown Albuquerque, to coordinate participant groups at three sites – an elementary school, a community church, and a large hotel with many Spanish-speaking employees. The participants attended classes and received instruction in a unique curriculum that combines English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction with health literacy education.

Francisco Soto Mas, MD, PhD, principal investigator and professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, developed the curriculum to address health disparities and higher rates of disease among Spanish-speaking adults in the United States. Carla Cordova, MPH, CTSC Community Engaged Research Core (CERC) Manager, and Ambroshia Murrietta, MHS, CTSC CERC Associate Scientist, helped to coordinate and implement the study. Francisco J. Ronquillo, PA, a Health Extension Rural Offices (HEROs) agent, helped facilitate recruitment by giving bilingual presentations and distributing information to community partners.
Read the full article

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Clinical & Translational Science Center
The UNM CTCS is supported in part by the Clinical & Translational Science Awards (CTSA). The CTSA initiative is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health.

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