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NIH Grant for Cardiothoracic Surgery Awarded

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Ochsner Health System (Ochsner) a $1.3 million shared grant for cardiothoracic surgery research. The grant, which will be used over a five-year period, establishes Ochsner as an affiliate linked clinical research center, which will work to conduct collaborative randomized control trials with another site as part of the larger Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN).

This grant marks the first time Ochsner’s cardiothoracic surgery team, based in New Orleans, LA, has participated in a NIH-sponsored clinical trial and focuses on work with CTSN – a network of North American hospitals that work together to conduct collaborative clinical trials aimed at finding solutions for important cardiac issues impacting public health. CTSN was formed in 2007 by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in collaboration with National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). The CTSN Data Coordinating Center is housed at the International Center for Health Outcomes and Innovation Research at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“Ochsner relentlessly seeks innovative solutions for our cardiac patients. Establishing linked research centers across the country expands our access to trials geared toward improving overall cardiovascular health,” said Patrick E. Parrino, MD, FACS, Chief, Section of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Ochsner Health System. “Working hand in hand with Cleveland Clinic and the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network is just one more way we are creating new opportunities for our patients.”

Only four pairs of hospitals were selected to receive funding from the NIH for this initiative. Each pair consists of a core site with an affiliate site, forming a linked clinical research center tasked with conducting collaborative randomized controlled trials, while fostering talent at the affiliate sites. Hospitals selected included:

  • Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, OH) and Ochsner Health System System (New Orleans, LA)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) and St. Vincent Infirmary (Little Rock, AK)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) and Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute (Kansas City, KA)
  • University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA) and West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV)

This project was funded by a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2UM1HL088955-11), part of the National Institutes of Health. It is being conducted in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic Cardiothoracic Collaborative Clinical Center. Alan Marc Gillinov, MD is the principal investigator at the primary site (Cleveland Clinic) and Patrick E. Parrino, MD is the principal investigator at the linked affiliate site (Ochsner Health System).

For more information about CTSN, visit For more information about cardiothoracic surgery at Ochsner, visit


Ochsner Health System

Ochsner Health is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the #1 ranked hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report and is recognized as a “Best Hospital” across two specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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