To help improve health outcomes of patients who require emergency care, the National Institutes of Health has created a new Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR). The office is a focal point for basic, clinical and translational emergency care research and training across NIH.
“NIH has supported research to advance emergency care for years; however, now we have a single office to coordinate and foster our activities in this arena,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “The NIH Office of Emergency Care Research will focus on speeding diagnosis and improving care for the full spectrum of conditions that require emergency treatment.”
Although OECR will not fund grants, it will foster innovation and improvement in emergency care and in the training of future researchers in this field by:
- Coordinating funding opportunities that involve multiple NIH institutes and centers.
- Working closely with the NIH Emergency Care Research Working Group, which includes representatives from most NIH institutes and centers.
- Organizing scientific meetings to identify new research and training opportunities in the emergency setting.
- Catalyzing the development of new funding opportunities.
- Informing investigators about funding opportunities in their areas of interest.
- Fostering career development for trainees in emergency care research.
- Representing NIH in government-wide efforts to improve the nation's emergency care system.
The creation of OECR is the culmination of more than five years of discussions between NIH and the emergency medicine community. OECR also responds to reports about the nation's emergency medical system issued in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine.
OECR is housed in NIHs National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), which supports basic research and research training. While a search is being conducted for a permanent director, OECR is being led on an acting basis by Walter J. Koroshetz, M.D., deputy director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Assisting him is Alice M. Mascette, M.D., senior clinical science advisor in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
A steering committee chaired by the director of NIGMS oversees the office. This committee also includes the directors of NHLBI, NINDS and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Nursing Research.
For more information about the Office of Emergency Care Research, visit http://www.nigms.nih.gov/About/Overview/OECR/.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.