Children’s Mercy Hospital to receive millions in research money

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Millions of dollars in research money is coming to Children's Mercy Hospital thanks to a new pediatric clinical study unit. The center allows kids to try new treatments that otherwise might not be available to them.

Doctors at Children's Mercy say a sales tax for translational research would bring even more clinical studies to Kansas City.

There are currently nine clinical trials taking place at Children's Mercy with 370 patients receiving experimental medication that could help them. It's all part of $2 million in research currently taking place at the pediatric research unit.

Lyman Staton, 8,  is one of the patients who is part of a clinical trial receiving medication for cystic fibrosis. This is only one of six places across the nation where he can get these drugs that could make a difference in his life.

Many patients travel from out of state to take part in studies like this one. Supporters of the medical research sales tax claim that the existence of this clinical trial center would help attract even more researchers and research dollars to Kansas City if the tax passes and doctors take advantage of it to pursue new medicines and cures here.

"This is absolutely enabling for a lot of clinical studies when investigators are applying for funding," said Dr. Mark Clements, medical director the pediatric clinical research unit. "Without this unit they might not be able to convince a funding agency that they can get the job done."

Dr. Clements claims the tax combined with this research center will bring more families from out of town to try these potentially life-saving treatments. Research is often credited with generating new jobs throughout the Kansas City economy.

Children's Mercy already receives nearly $23 million in research funding. The tax is being billed as a way to take research from the laboratory bench to the bedside of patients who need it, all in one place, in Jackson County.

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