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HackensackUMC Awarded Funding for Arthritis Research

Hackensack University Medical Center announces that Yukiko Kimura, M.D., chief of Pediatric Rheumatology at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and her team have been awarded $2.8 million in funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study treatment strategies for juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). The study is one of just 46 proposals that PCORI approved for funding to advance the field of comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) and provide patients, healthcare providers, and other clinical decision makers with information that will help them make better-informed choices.

“I want to congratulate Dr. Yukiko Kimura and her entire team,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of the Hackensack University Health Network. “They are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to providing the highest quality care for patients with juvenile arthritis, as well as the innovative research they are doing to promote better outcomes for these children.”

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 healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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.

“Only patients and their families truly know how devastating poly JIA can be,” said Dr. Kimura. “We are eager to begin this work, which we believe will make a tremendous impact on how this disease is treated as well as improve patients’ lives.”

Dr. Kimura will lead this study, which compares three different treatment approaches started as first-line treatment for children with poly JIA at over 50 Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) research sites across the U.S. and Canada. Information learned in the STOP-JIA study will then be shared with healthcare providers and patients/caregivers to improve the lives of many more children with poly JIA. The award has been approved pending completion of a business and programmatic review by PCORI staff and issuance of a formal award contract to HackensackUMC.

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