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NLM Web Site Wins Harvard University's 'Oscar' Award, the web site developed by the National Library of Medicine, is the recipient of Harvard University's "Oscar" of government honors — the Innovations in American Government Award. The site is one of five winners of the award, and will receive a $100,000 grant to support its replication.

"We are extremely proud of this resource," said NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. "It is accessible to all and written in a manner that patients can understand. The site tells the public about the location of clinical trials, what they are trying to do, where they are located and how any member of the public can volunteer to participate. Even more, it links to additional information about diseases and disorders. We are delighted by this recognition."

Dr. Alexa McCray runs NLM's award-winning site. grew out of 1997 legislation that required HHS to broaden the public's access to information about clinical trials on a wide range of serious or life-threatening diseases by establishing a registry for both federally and privately funded trials. The site is completely confidential; no registration or personal identification of any kind is required. People who search the site are not contacted by the sponsors of clinical trials or anyone else.

"Created in 2000, the web site gives patients and families convenient access to information on clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions," said NLM director Dr. Donald Lindberg. "If we are to continue to make the giant strides in diagnosis, treatment and cure of illness that marked the last century, we must have the participation in clinical trials by well-informed volunteers."

Dr. Alexa McCray, who directs the project, said, "Most gratifying to us has been the reaction of our users. Our primary, overriding goal is to provide patients, their families, and other interested individuals with high-quality, reliable health information."

Traffic on the site is one measure of its value. Since its inception, the site has logged more than 75 million hits. During the last 2 years, daily visitors to the site have more than doubled from 7,130 to 16,055. In February 2000, included about 4,400 trials. Today, that number has more than doubled to 11,000.

The Innovations in American Government Awards is a program of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. The award is administered in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government.

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