Clinical Center’s Gilman Visits NIEHS
Dr. James Gilman, CEO of the Clinical Center, shared an overview of the hospital he called “the House of Hope” during a recent talk at NIEHS. His visit included a tour of the NIEHS clinical research unit (CRU)—an operation far smaller than the center in Bethesda.
“When we discuss policies or other changes, Jan [NIEHS clinical director Dr. Janet Hall] always raises the question of how it will affect the NIEHS facility,” Gilman said, adding that learning more about the CRU was one inspiration for his visit. NIEHS also has a clinical research group located in Bethesda; its scientists conduct studies in both locations.
“What we do changes as the needs of American people change over time,” he explained, pointing to AIDS and Ebola as two examples. Throughout his talk, Gilman praised the patients who come to NIH for experimental treatments.
“There are 18-25 million people in the U.S. with rare diseases,” he noted. Those who participate do so in the hope that it will help, but with no guarantees. “We promise to use what we learn to provide help for others,” Gilman said. “They are doing something for all of us.
“Patients are our partners,” he continued, stressing the importance of bedside manner in a facility that must balance patient care with basic scientific research.
In response to a question from the audience, Gilman compared the CC with the Department of Defense hospitals he oversaw during his Army career.
“There is the same attitude, that we are here to provide a service,” he said. That attitude is reflected in the center’s new mission statement: We provide hope through pioneering clinical research to improve human health.—Kelly Lenox