Ohio University

Ohio University, OhioHealth agreement expands medical and health research collaborations

Published: January 19, 2021 Author: Staff reports

OhioHealth and Ohio University have entered into a memorandum of understanding that encourages and streamlines their medical research collaborations.

The organizations have long conducted joint medical and health research. “The agreement smooths the startup process, essentially easing the administrative burden at both institutions so we can focus on the science and the patients,” said Joe Shields, Ph.D., Ohio University vice president for research and creative activity.  

“Ohio University has strength in its academics, and we have a large patient population, as well as physicians and other providers who want to conduct research from a clinical or patient care perspective,” said Doug Knutson, M.D., vice president for quality and patient safety at OhioHealth and lead for the OhioHealth Research Institute. “Our staff benefit from the research expertise, infrastructure and support of Ohio University, and their staff benefit from an access to patients, patient data and the clinical environment.”

The agreement builds on their longstanding relationship, especially in training medical and health sciences students. OhioHealth is the preeminent education partner for the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Dublin campus. Many OhioHealth physicians have faculty appointments with Ohio University.

“This collaboration provides a framework that allows us to join our research strengths with the resources of a large medical system,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “Our relationship with OhioHealth has the potential to yield research results that can have regional, national and global impacts on health care.”

OhioHealth researchers have worked on projects with faculty and students from the Heritage College and the College of Health Sciences and Professions. Joint endeavors have included areas of population health/health disparities, direct patient care and patient-reported outcomes. OhioHealth has also provided research mentorship for medical and graduate nursing student projects.

“We’ve achieved so much with OhioHealth in training physicians and health professionals who serve our communities,” said Kenneth Johnson, D.O., Ohio University chief medical affairs officer and executive dean of the Heritage College. “This agreement furthers our ability to serve Ohio.”

“The agreement also makes it easier for more researchers throughout the University to collaborate with OhioHealth,” Johnson said.

“Our collaborations have been important in furthering health in the populations we care for,” Knutson said. “With this agreement, we’ve removed barriers. We’ve made it so much easier for our physicians and faculty to conduct locally relevant research that gives us insight and creates solutions to the health issues faced by our patients and by our communities.”

The memorandum of understanding governs issues of confidentiality; regulatory compliance; sharing of data, biological samples and facilities; intellectual property; and publication of research findings. “We now share common language. We now have agreed-upon templates, so we’re not starting from scratch with our legal departments with each new project,” Shields said. “If someone is sending biological samples from OhioHealth to Ohio University, the basic agreement is there, and we fill in the details specific to that project.”  

Ohio University maintains a high level of research activity on a wide variety of medical and health-related areas, including clinical research and trials. The OhioHealth Research Institute participates in regional, national and international research clinical trials, networks and research studies.

“Engaging in high-quality research plays a vital role in OHIO’s mission to advance knowledge and supports creative activity,” said Ohio University College of Health Sciences and Professions Interim Dean John McCarthy, Ph.D. “CHSP is proud to continue its collaborative efforts with OhioHealth, and we look forward to leveraging our collective research to better understand the global dimensions of health and healthcare issues while further addressing the needs of underserved populations.”

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