TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - WIBW General Manager Jim Ogle isn't shy about getting involved in things. Clinical trials are no exception.
Ogle says his first experience was with a blood pressure survey 25 years ago. He's participated in five more since then. Why? Because, Ogle says, clinical trials make it so people know what's safe and what isn't..
Ogle's most recent trial was a test of insulin delivery systems through Cotton-O'Neil Clinical Research. The branch of Stormont-Vail Health Care launched seven years ago to assist and encourage more trial participation. Starting with just a few, today, Cotton-O'Neil has 60 physicians enrolling in more than 150 active trials. They recently signed up their 3000th study participant.
Director Mary Martell says the trials bring access to treatment options patients might not have otherwise. In that way, she says, the benefit is twofold. Not only are participants helping the greater good, they may also see an immediate impact for their own health.
Of course, there are no guarantees. In medication studies, for example, not everyone gets the new drug, but, Martell says, all studies follow rigorous standards. She says patients are given information on the risks and benefits and are closely followed and monitored.
Ogle can attest to that firsthand. In fact, he left the diabetes study early when medical staff discovered he was having an adverse reaction. Still, it hasn't turned him away from possible future trials. He says they're the only way we can hope to find cures for the incurable or, at least, new treatments to offer hope. He says it's a way he can be a part of the process of extending life and making people able to live a more fruitful life along the way.
Cotton-O'Neil is sponsoring its first "Research Participant Appreciation day" during First Friday Art Walk festivities in the NOTO Arts District. The free event is 5 to 7 pm, Friday, Nov. 4. All research volunteers are invited for refreshments, and to add their mark to an artwork celebrating clinical research at the NOTO Community Arts Center, 922 N. Kansas Ave.