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Corvallis Clinic Health Information Blog

May 20: A day to celebrate clinical research worldwide

May 17, 04:26 PM

Clinical Research Center

By Julie Carrico, MBA

Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world on May 20. Clinical Research professionals mark this day for its place in history as the beginning of modern clinical trials.

In May 1747, sailors in the British Royal Navy were more likely to die of scurvy than fighting the French and Spanish navies.  Aboard the HMS Salisbury, surgeon James Lind, acting on a hunch that scurvy could be cured through the introduction of acids, recruited 12 men for his “fair test.”  Dr. Lind’s experiment paved the way for new and efficient methods of planning clinical trials, and he was one of the first to conduct a clinical trial using control groups, a method still used today. Clinical Research methods have improved since this first recognized scientific clinical trial, but the basic methods Dr. Lind developed remain cornerstones of research methodology.  For more information about James Lind, click here.

Dr. Lind could not have anticipated the sheer size of our modern pharmaceutical industry and the sophisticated design of today’s clinical trials.  But I think he would be proud that his “fair test” led to improving the health and well-being of countless people.

At the Clinical Research Center we too are always striving to improve medical and patient care, whether it is to obtain the most beneficial and groundbreaking studies for our patients, or to make sure patients are comfortable during their research visits by offering juice or water or a warm blanket.  So let us be the first to wish you… Happy Clinical Trials Day!

The Clinical Research Center is currently seeking volunteer patients in studies for Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, those with very high triglyceride levels, and COPD.   

If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form. And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch.

- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinical Research Center. 


Traumatic Media: Why tuning out and getting out might be wise

May 13, 01:03 PM


Herbert Harman, M.D.

To view a video of Corvallis Clinic psychiatrist Herbert Harman talking about the topic of social media, go to Tune Out and Get Out. And get to know Dr. Harman by going to his web page or by viewing his video

By Herbert Harman, M.D.

Suicide bombers massacre more than a 100 people at a peace rally in Turkey. A stray bullet fired during a drive-by shooting in Baltimore kills a 3-year old girl.  And, in our backyard, a disturbed young man murders nine at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg.

Tragic events have always been a part of the human experience, and instant communication of such events has been possible for decades. Social media, however, has made even the most remote occurrences of violence ever-present. 

For example, we could be in line at the grocery store, viewing our phone to see if a friend posted that photo she told us about, when a streaming video appears of someone we have never met being assaulted by someone we don’t know in a town in which we have never been.

Although FBI data show violent crime is decreasing, with similar trends outside the U.S., most people perceive it to be the opposite.  It might be that we are now more fearful than ever because the sights and sounds of horrific violence – worldwide - are part of our everyday lives.

So, what does this mean for our mental health?

Despite the many benefits of instant communication, it may also be contributing to, or even causing, mood and anxiety disorders. A study published in The Archives of General Psychiatry in 2009 found that adolescents who consume more television were more likely to become depressed.  This was not the case for adolescents who played more video games or listened to more radio, the study said.

In essence, there is a lot we still don’t know.

However, giving ourselves permission to take a break from news media that highlight tragic events might be one key to prevention of mental health problems.  A Stanford University study shows that time spent unplugged and surrounded by nature can improve our mood and decrease worry.  It might just help remind us that the world is not as violent or as dangerous as newscasts tend to lead us to believe.

With depression being the leading cause of suffering and disability globally, it might be equally if not more important to highlight efforts at preventing depressive illness before it becomes necessary to treat it. If you have been feeling more depressed or anxious and you want to find a method for preventing a major depressive episode or avoid having a panic attack, it would be wise to consider turning your television off, putting your phone down and going for a walk or a hike with a good friend. The news and your email inbox will be there when you get back.

I promise.

Herbert Harman, M.D., is a psychiatrist at The Corvallis Clinic. He can be reached at 541-754-1288.


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Sunscreen: Your daily regimen for healthy skin

Apr 30, 09:21 AM


Brad Yentzer, M.D.

Get to know dermatologist Brad Yentzer by going to his web page or by viewing his video. 

By Brad Yentzer, M.D.

What’s the secret to healthy, younger looking skin?

It comes in a bottle and has a number with the abbreviation SPF behind it.

Good old sunscreen is one of the best ways to avoid skin damage that can lead to wrinkles and other blemishes, all while significantly reducing your risk of skin cancer.

Regardless of the time of year, whether the sun is out or if it’s a cloudy day, if you work in an office or outdoors, I recommend that everyone use sunscreen daily.

Regular use is better than discretionary use because it can prevent the cumulative damage that puts us at greatest risk of skin cancer. We also create a good habit that can prevent a painful sunburn when we forget to apply or aren’t prepared.

What’s in a number?

The sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen. In general, the higher the SPF, the more protection the sunscreen offers against the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, DNA damage, and photoaging.

Many patients ask what is the best level of SPF to use. My answer is the higher the number, the better you will be protected. However, there is not a linear relationship between the numbers and the level of protection. SPF 70 is not twice as effective as SPF 35. A lower SPF (≤15) may block most (about 85-90 percent), but not all the radiation. A higher SPF (≥50) can block nearly all of the radiation, or closer to 98 percent if applied correctly.

Don’t just dab or glisten

If you’re going to take the time to apply sunscreen, make sure you do it right. It does matter how much you use and people tend to use less than they actually need. That’s especially true for people who might not like the greasy feel of sunscreen on their face. But a drop of sunscreen spread thin won’t protect. SPF is rated at 2mg/cm2 – that’s thick!

Some makeup, moisturizers and lotions do contain a lower SPF sunscreen. While something is always better than nothing, these products aren’t as effective as higher SPF sunscreen.

I recommend searching for a formula that feels right to you. I tell my patients that the best sunscreen is the one that they will actually use on a daily basis.

When applying sunscreen, it should go on thick and white. After about 10 minutes, you can rub it in. Lotions and creams work best because you’ll be able to see if you have enough coverage using this method. They are also more cost effective. Sprays do work, but people usually don’t get enough on. If you use a spray sunscreen, don’t just glisten. Make sure you get a good wet stream and apply it out of the wind so it won’t blow away.

Recent changes in Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements for sunscreen now make it clear how long water- and sweat-resistant formulas should last. Look for the time printed on the label as a guide for how long the sunscreen will be water-resistant. A good rule of thumb is always reapply whenever you towel off. Although there are small differences between sunscreen formulas, the most important words to look for on the label are UVA/UVB or broad spectrum protection.

Sunscreen does not cause cancer!

Several years ago there was a study in rats that raised concerns about a component that is used in sunscreen called oxybenzone, which acts as a chemical filter. The study found that rats fed oxybenzone had a slightly bigger uterus than those that were fed a control diet. This led some to imply that sunscreen applied topically may have adverse hormonal effects and even cause uterine cancer. However, the amount fed to the rats was more than any human would ever apply topically in their lifetime. Subsequent clinical research in humans has shown that there is no evidence of adverse health effects for people, and people should not fear using this chemical in sunscreen products.

The bottom line

Skin cancer can happen at any age, but it happens more as we age. While a sunburn may be painful, the sun’s most dangerous effects accumulate slowly over time. At some point, many people cross a critical threshold where they wear out the warranty on their skin, so to speak, and get skin cancer. Wearing protective clothing, a wide-brim hat and using sunscreen daily can extend that warranty.

Brad Yentzer, M.D., is a dermatologist at The Corvallis Clinic. He sees patients in Corvallis, Albany and Newport. To schedule an appointment, call 541-754-1252 or contact Find-a-Physician. 


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Meet DeAndria (Denny)

Apr 29, 01:49 PM

Clinical Research Center

Chances are you might already recognize Denny because she worked for several years in The Corvallis Clinic laboratory before joining the Research Center about a year ago.  Boy, are we glad she did!  Denny makes sure that the study coordinators have everything needed for each patient visit – getting the patient charts ready, gathering documents and even making the reminder phone calls to patients.

Denny is often the first contact for patients seeking information about our studies as she is usually the friendly voice at the other end of the phone when patients call.  Denny’s lab skills are still put to good use because she does most of the blood draws that our studies require; this is nice for research patients because we can take care of everything in the Research hallway.  In addition, since joining Research Denny has dusted off her bookkeeping skills that were acquired from years of operating her family farm.   

We have discovered a few other things about Denny as well.  She has seven grandchildren who call her Nana and she loves to travel.  However, what most people can tell about Denny right away is that she is a HUGE OSU Beaver fan, especially where the OSU Women’s Basketball team is concerned. 

Denny is also a passionate advocate in raising funds for multiple sclerosis research because a family member was diagnosed with MS in 2007.  Denny’s Walk MS team - cleverly named “You’ve Got Some Nerve!” - was one of the top five fundraising teams at last year’s Corvallis Walk MS event. 

The Clinical Research Center is currently seeking volunteer patients in studies for Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, those with very high triglyceride levels, and COPD.  

If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form. And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch.


All of our research coordinators now ACRP-certified

Mar 23, 11:19 AM

Clinical Research Center

With great pride, we announced on March 15 that for the first time in the history of the Clinical Research Center all of our research coordinators are certified by the Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).  For us, this means all coordinators have the initials CCRC (Certified Clinical Research Coordinator) on our nameplates.  But, what does the CCRC designation mean for study participants? 

Our CCRC initials mean participants can be confident that our coordinators have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities to safely and ethically perform clinical research that complies with international clinical research standards.  Our coordinators have accomplished this by taking an exam that measures acceptable judgment, application of knowledge and problem-solving ability.  In addition, because maintaining ACRP certification requires ongoing continuing education, study participants can be assured our coordinators stay current in their knowledge and skills.

ACRP colleague Deborah Lasher summed up the importance of certification when she stated: “Certification demonstrates my commitment to continuous learning and improvement as a clinical research professional and to upholding the rights and safety of the subjects we treat in clinical trials”. 

Congratulations are in order to Carlene and Rita who just became certified; they join Julie, Kim, Lisa and Pat in proudly displaying the CCRC initials!

The Clinical Research Center is currently seeking volunteer patients in studies for Type 2 diabetes, walking difficulties after a stroke, those with very high triglyceride levels, COPD and contraception.

If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form. And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch.

 - Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinical Research Center.