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Rush joins elite group of institutions with accredited research programs

(CHICAGO)―The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP) has awarded Rush University Medical Center full accreditation for the next three years. Rush is one of the first academic medical centers in Illinois to receive the accreditation.

"The accreditation provides an important external endorsement by the people who benchmark research for the nation, that Rush's approach to research meets national best practices," said Dr. Larry Goodman, Rush CEO. "While many organizations meet government regulations regarding participant safety and welfare, Rush has met a higher standard, set by our peers in the national research community."

As a mandate from the Institute of Medicine to build public trust in clinical research, a nonprofit organization was established (AAHRPP). This institution accredits organizations conducting human research that can demonstrate that their research protections processes exceed the safeguards required by the U.S. government. Today, Rush joins 172 other leading research institutions in having earned AAHRPP's accreditation, which has emerged over the last 10 years as gold standard worldwide for clinical research quality.

"AAHRPP certification reaffirms that Rush is fully compliant with best research practices. It is a demonstration of our strong commitment to protecting research participants and promoting high-quality research," said Dr. James Mulshine, vice president for research at Rush. "Research is our best hope for understanding disease so we can find new prevention or treatment approaches. It's critical for research study volunteers to feel comfortable in agreeing to participate, and we hope this accreditation will further encourage more people to take part in this important endeavor," said Mulshine. "Without this vital relationship, it would be much more difficult to improve health outcomes."

To earn accreditation, organizations must meet or exceed a wide set of stringent criteria and demonstrate commitment to enhancing the appropriate safeguards and protecting the rights and welfare of research participants. The accreditation process requires organizations to take a comprehensive look at their human research protection programs (HRPPs) to identify and address any weaknesses and to build upon their strengths. The result is a more cohesive HRPP, with the systems in place not only to protect research participants but also to advance research more efficiently and effectively.

AAHRPP accreditation is available to U.S. and international organizations that conduct biomedical, behavioral or social sciences research involving human participants. AAHRPP has accredited organizations in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, China, India, Korea and Singapore.

As of May 2012, total year-to-date external research awards at Rush equaled more than $72.4 million with approximately 2,000 human subject research studies in progress.

Contact: Nancy Difiore
Rush University Medical Center

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