National Children's Study to leave USU
Utah State University’s oversight of the National Children’s Study – Cache County is moving to the care of Westat, an international research organization. Cache County is one of the top performers in the National Children’s Study due in large part to the commitment and enthusiasm for the study by study participants, community members and dedicated staff, said Vonda Jump, co-investigator of the National Children’s Study – Cache County. Starting in December 2010, the Cache County site enrolled more than 750 participants, collecting data in homes and over the telephone from the preconception or prenatal period through the children’s second birthdays. Jump urges all those currently participating in the study to continue with Westat so that vital information may continue to be gathered. “We would like to publicly thank all of the participants of the National Children’s Study in Cache County,” Jump said. “Our community participants have been instrumental to our success and their involvement will continue to be an important as the National Children’s Study continues its research for the next 21 years. Mark Innocenti, director of the CPD’s research and evaluation division and co-investigator for the study, also encouraged participants to continue reporting data. “The National Institutes of Health is committed to the pilot cohort of the study,” he said. Westat is a research firm with a long history of conducting scientific studies and has provided research support at both local and national levels for the National Children’s Study for several years. Nationally, the National Children’s Study is shifting oversight of the data collected during the pilot phase of the study from individual contractors to four Regional Operation Centers, reducing the overall study costs and allowing the research to continue for the full 21 years. The centers will manage and collect data for all study locations in their regions. Westat will fully manage the pilot study as of March 31 and will work closely with USU and all study participants to ensure a smooth transition. Future enrollment in the National Children’s Study is planned for 2014 and recruitment will be enhanced by lessons learned from the team at USU. The National Children’s Study has been led locally by Utah State University’s research and evaluation division in the Center for Persons with Disabilities, in conjunction with the University of Utah’s Department of Pediatrics. The study is led nationally by a consortium of federal partners, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the National Institutes of Health; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Participants with questions or concerns may call 435-797-KIDS (5437). Those interested in learning more about the National Children’s Study may visit the website (NationalChildrensStudy.gov).