September 19, 2018
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center is pleased to announce that Yukiko Kimura, M.D., chief of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and immediate past president of Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), has completed enrollment for the groundbreaking Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) study to examine treatment strategies for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Dr. Kimura is the lead investigator of the PCORI funded study which successfully enrolled 402 patients, the largest cohort of new-onset JIA patients that has ever been enrolled in a research study. Of the 57 sites participating across the U.S. and Canada, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital enrolled the most patients for the study.
“Congratulations to Dr. Yukiko Kimura and her entire team on this tremendous accomplishment,” said Ihor Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, president of Hackensack University Medical Center and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. “This innovative research will transform treatment options and improve outcomes for children with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Thanks to Dr. Kimura and her team, Hackensack University Medical Center continues to be on the forefront of pediatric rheumatology.”
JIA affects as many as 300,000 children in the U.S. and is a leading cause of acquired disability in childhood. It is a chronic disease that has no cure and can start at any age, even infancy. More than half of children with JIA have polyarticular JIA (poly JIA), a subset in which five or more joints are affected. Symptoms of JIA include, but are not limited to joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
“We are thrilled that our team, which includes all the CARRA investigative sites, was able to complete enrollment in this important study. This is the first large-scale CARRA-wide comparative effectiveness study of CARRA’s consensus treatment plans (CTPs). This research will help us design new and innovative treatment strategies to improve outcomes for children suffering from this debilitating disease,” said Dr. Kimura.
Dr. Kimura presented preliminary findings of the STOP-JIA study earlier this month at the 25th European Pediatric Rheumatology Congress (PReS 2018) in Lisbon, Portugal. The study compares three different treatment approaches started as first-line treatment for children with poly JIA (pJIA). STOP-JIA aims to answer a critical question facing patients and doctors: “When is the best time to start biologic medications in polyarticular JIA?”
This is the first time that doctors and researchers partnered with patients and their caregivers to conduct a JIA research study. As members of the study team, patients and caregivers helped formulate research questions and informed researchers on ways to make it easier for families to participate, as well as supported recruitment efforts.
Vincent Del Gaizo, a father of a patient with JIA, serves as a key member of the STOP-JIA study team. Del Gaizo is also the director of Strategic Partnerships and Patient Engagement for CARRA. “What an exciting opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking study that embraced patient and family participation. As caregivers, we knew first-hand how to make the study more accessible to patients and caregivers, ensuring that families understood the study and why it is so important to them.”
Results from this research will be released in 2019, and will help doctors, patients, and families decide which treatment to try first to improve the lives of children with pJIA.
In 2015, PCORI awarded $2.8 million to Dr. Kimura and her Hackensack University Medical Center team to fund the STOP-JIA study. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative clinical effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed health and health care decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.
Hackensack University Medical Center is a leader in the field of pediatric rheumatology. Dr. Kimura and some of the medical center’s patients were presenters in the first-ever externally-led FDA JIA Patient-Focused Drug Development (PFDD) meeting in Washington, D.C. in August. Earlier this year, the medical center was selected to be one of only three pilot pediatric sites in the United States to participate in a groundbreaking rheumatology initiative led by The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and funded by the Arthritis Foundation. This project will create an innovative, new model to enable co-production of health care for children, teenagers and adults suffering from inflammatory arthritis.
ABOUT HACKENSACK MERIDIAN HEALTH
Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.
Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 16 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.
Additionally, the network has more than 450 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has 33,000 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.
The network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” The network was also named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2018” list.
Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University to launch the first private medical school in New Jersey – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University – in more than 50 years to address a growing shortage of physicians and dramatic changes in health care delivery. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s oldest and most respected behavioral health provider, signed a definitive agreement to merge.
Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.
For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.