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Corvallis Clinic Health Information Blog

Volunteers needed for post-stroke walking-deficit study

Jul 01, 12:51 PM

Clinical Research Center

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number five cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States.  There are three types of strokes: ischemic (occurs as a result of an obstruction in a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain), hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack (TIA). The one thing they all have in common is they prevent blood flow to the brain.  When this occurs, it is common for patients to be left with communication or behavioral challenges or physical limitations, such as difficulty walking. 

The Clinical Research Center is currently seeking patients who have experienced an ischemic stroke at least six months ago who continue to have walking problems.  The investigational medication has been approved as a treatment to improve the walking skills in patients with multiple sclerosis and it is now being evaluated for stroke.

Neurologist Dr. Richard Lafrance is excited about this clinical research opportunity for stroke patients.  He states that although most medical treatments for stroke are appropriately focused on preventing additional strokes, it’s also important to support recovery from past stroke events. Patients who recover as much independence and mobility as possible will have fewer falls and less restrictions on activities, allowing stroke patients to live life as fully and comfortably as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about our studies contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

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

Lowering chronic disease risks can help ease health care costs, Clinic CEO tells Chamber audience

Jun 25, 10:48 AM

By Brad Wakefield
CEO, The Corvallis Clinic

The rising cost of health care continues to be a huge challenge, yet everyone can play a role in reducing that cost. This was my message to business leaders at the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Forum on June 11.

The Kaiser Foundation recently published results of a survey on employer-sponsored health benefits showing that premiums have increased 69 percent over the past 10 years. Workers and employers alike are contributing to the cost inflation. In 2004, workers were contributing $221 per month for their family-coverage health-insurance premiums.  Today, that number has increased by 81 percent.  In 2014, average worker premiums were $402 per month.  At the same time, employer contributions have increase from $600 per month to $1,000 per month.

What can we do?  We can lower our risk of for chronic diseases that affect our nation and cost billions of dollars annually – namely heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory diseases, and anxiety.  Heart disease care cost our country $314 billion in 2009; cancer treatment cost $89 billion; diabetes $116 billion.  The list goes on.  “The World Health organization has estimated that if the major risk factors for chronic disease were eliminated, at least 80 percent of all heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes could be prevented, and more than 40 percent of cancer cases would be prevented.”

Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year and have become the most common mental illnesses affecting 40 million adults in the United States.

The message here is that lifestyle habits lead to these conditions, such as lack of exercise, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and sleep deficiency.

The Corvallis Clinic wants everyone in our community to “Have a Healthy Day.” The good news is that The Clinic has services and providers that can help our residents ease and prevent these diseases. For example, since 2013, The Clinic’s Weight Loss Center and Nutrition Services have supported 437 patients in losing a total of 4,009 pounds. The Sleep Medicine Department is the mid-valley’s premier center for diagnosing and treating sleep disorders so detrimental to physical and mental well-being, and it works closely with our Pulmonary providers and other specialists to help patients quit smoking. For depression and anxiety disorders, our behavioral health providers in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology offer comprehensive mental health services.

Of course, all of these services collaborate with our primary care providers in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Pediatrics. These providers are the foundation of The Clinic’s role as a patient-centered medical home. So take steps in your lives to “be healthy” and stay well.  If we can help, call our Find-a-Physician specialist at  541-757-3757 or email at Find-a Physician

“Registry studies” another aid to research

May 04, 10:43 AM

Clinical Research Center

When most people think of clinical research studies, they think of experimental treatments such as investigational oral or injectable medications.  However, not all studies involve a treatment intervention.  Some studies are designed to simply track the health and disease progression of patients who meet study criteria. 

Such studies are called “registry studies,” and the patients in these studies are carefully selected because they have a disease or condition of interest.  Although registry studies do not provide any treatment, these studies are an important way for medical researchers to learn more about medications that are already approved and effects they have on patients in a real-world setting. The information collected from these studies may ultimately lead to advances in treatment.

The Clinical Research Center is currently looking for volunteers to participate in a registry study for those with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).  The purpose of the study is to follow registry patients for five years to collect long-term safety information.  Patients in this study will include those with a newly prescribed FDA-approved disease-modifying therapy (a treatment designed to reduce disease activity and progression) for MS. For this study, the FDA approved disease modifying therapies allowed are: Aubagio, Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, Extavia, Gilenya, Plegridy, Rebif, and Tecfidera.

In addition, patients who are changing from one disease-modifying therapy to another may also be eligible for enrollment. 

Registry study participants will continue with their regular treatment by their own doctor and will fill their own prescriptions.  It may be possible to combine study visits with regular visits to the patient’s treating physician. All patients will have a study-provided skin exam and will have the option to complete a set of surveys; some patients will also have an eye exam or heart tests such as an ECG (an exam which traces the electrical activity of the heart).  At each study visit, patients will be asked about any changes to their medications or about any changes to their health, MS related or not. 

The MS registry study is the first at the Clinical Research Center with neurologist Dr. Weijia “Alex” Wang at the helm.  Dr. Wang’s expertise as a neurologist and his experience as a neuroscience researcher at Cornell, Mount Sinai and JFK Medical Centers makes him the ideal doctor for this important research. 

For more information about the registry study, or any of our other clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  You can also follow us on Facebook at

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

Thanks to all who participated in our first video

Apr 07, 11:14 AM

Clinical Research Center

While the film awards season was in full swing in February, Clinical Research Center doctors, nurses and patients were busy taking their star turns in the first in a series of videos created to showcase our work. 

Several Corvallis Clinic physicians who conduct research studies were interviewed by the professional videographer prior to developing the video content.  Their answers on why they have chosen to participate in research and how research  benefits patients reflect the “patient first” attitude of our team of which I’m proud to be a member.

A few of the research nurses were also interviewed prior to filming. The nurses described how enjoyable it is to work one-on-one with each patient.  One nurse stated that in research “we’re treating the future” and this became the touchstone phrase for the entire video project.

I was personally gratified with how easy it was to recruit patients to appear in the videos. Given the positive feedback we regularly receive about our service, I was expecting it wouldn’t be difficult to find volunteers. Having that affirmed was fantastic.  Patients were more than willing to speak about their experiences in research and were so generous to volunteer their time for filming.

Thank you doctors, nurses and patients who appear in the videos, as well as the staff who worked so diligently behind the scenes during the filming process.  You all deserve an Oscar!  The first video to be released can be viewed here.

If you are interested in learning more about our studies contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

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

Meet Nancy

Jan 21, 10:18 AM

Clinical Research Center

Nancy Sarpola, RN, is the last clinical research coordinator to be introduced to you via this blog.  For the past several months, Nancy has been working quietly in the background supporting all of us in a variety of clinical studies.  Now, it’s Nancy’s turn in the spotlight as she is enrolling not one, but two studies in different therapeutic areas.  Nancy is the coordinator for a new study for those with Type 1 diabetes and another for those with high triglyceride levels (hypertriglyceridemia). 

Nancy is a passionate and generous gardener.  It is a much-anticipated department tradition to hold a staff meeting each summer while basking in the beauty of Nancy’s floral wonderland – words are inadequate to describe her amazing landscape.  Nancy also enjoys spending time with her family and especially her first grandchild, who will no doubt have a “green thumb.”Nancy obtained her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University and then attended nursing school. She began her nursing career in 1988 and all but one year of her career has been at The Corvallis Clinic.  Prior to joining Research, Nancy worked in Obstetrics/Gynecology and the Anticoagulation Clinic.  She joined the Clinical Research Center nine years ago and has been involved in 20 clinical trials, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, women’s health, and COPD.

The Type 1 diabetes study is evaluating an investigational insulin designed to be as similar as possible to Lantus® (insulin glargine) to see how well it works to control blood sugar levels.  Patient volunteers must be between 18 and 65 years old and taking Lantus® (insulin glargine) for at least three months.  The hypertriglyceridemia study is looking at an investigational medication to help reduce the risk of serious heart problems in people who have high triglyceride levels.  The investigational medication is a concentrate of omega-3 free fatty acids, developed from fish oils.

If you are interested in learning more about our studies contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163 or send an email to  Or, follow us on Facebook at

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