October 24, 2007

CONTACT: Karen Kreeger
(215) 349-5658
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu


University of Pennsylvania Receives $4 Million for Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (Penn CERT) will receive $4 million over the next four years to continue and expand its work on improving the use of therapies for infections.

The Penn CERT is a collaboration among Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Leonard Davis Institute, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

This award allows us to continue and expand our work in improving the use of antibiotics, incorporating the new tools of health IT,” says Penn CERT director Brian Strom, MD, George S. Pepper Professor of Public Health & Preventive Medicine. “It is an indication of Penn's national stature in patient safety, especially in the use of drugs.”

Penn’s CERT will concentrate on the:

  • Effectiveness of new healthcare information technology on improving the use of preventive antibiotics given before operations,
  • Impact of clinical laboratory text message alerts to physicians for instituting appropriate antimicrobial therapies for patients,
  • Effect of public reporting on the incidence of hospital-acquired infections, and
  • Evaluation of disseminating pediatric anti-microbial information.

The Penn award is part of the federal government’s $41.6 million expansion of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s CERT program, which is under the US Department of Health and Human Services.

 “This expansion allows AHRQ to build a strong evidence base that consumers, clinicians, and others can use to make critical treatment decisions about therapeutic products and interventions, “ says AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD. “The increased number and breadth of expertise in the CERTs will broaden the range of knowledge to help the health care system make measurable improvements in the quality and safety of medications and other treatments and health care.” 

The CERTs program now consists of a new coordinating center and 14 university-based research centers (http://www.certs.hhs.gov/).

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PENN Medicine is a $3.5 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to most recent data from the National Institutes of Health, received over $379 million in NIH research funds in the 2006 fiscal year. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals — its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S.News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.


This release is available online at
http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/oct07/therapeutics-center.html