Atrium Health Navicent Selected for Major Sexually Transmitted Infection Research Project

Atrium Health Navicent Selected for Major Sexually Transmitted Infection Research Project

Atrium Health Navicent has been designated as one of the primary research sites for a significant study on sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV and Mpox. The four-year, $3.4 million contract was awarded to Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Advocate Health, and Vysnova Partners, with Atrium Health Navicent being a key participant. This initiative is funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as part of their Sexually Transmitted Infections Impact Research Consortium.

The aim of the project is to gather comprehensive data on STIs from five regions in the United States, covering Advocate Health’s extensive network spanning Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, and Wisconsin. With the broad reach of the health system, researchers anticipate engaging a diverse and sizable population across varied geographic areas.

A total of 7,500 participants will be enrolled across all research sites, primarily targeting individuals at high risk of infection. The enrollment process is slated to commence in September.

“We are seeing alarming rates of STIs across our country,” said Dr. Rafael Ponce, Atrium Health Navicent’s principal investigator on the project and an infectious disease physician with Mercer University School of Medicine. “The data gained will help CDC officials understand what factors are driving the increase in STIs. This will help create plans to decrease transmission and the burden of infection in our community.”

The study will be conducted in regions where Advocate Health operates hospitals, including Atrium Health Floyd in Rome, Georgia; Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; Advocate Health Care in Chicago; and Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Advocate Health research team comprises experts from various fields, including emergency medicine, infectious diseases, population health, public health sciences, and urgent care.

“Atrium Health Navicent is proud to be part of this nationwide initiative studying sexually transmitted infections, and to play a role in innovating care,” said Atrium Health Navicent Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrice Walker. “Medicine is constantly evolving as we discover new ways to detect and treat medical conditions. It’s exciting to be on the leading edge of something that could have such far-reaching impacts in addition to helping patients here in central and south Georgia.”

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