Atrium Health Launches New Vaccine Research Program

09.22.2020 Atrium Health News


CHARLOTTE, NC, September 22, 2020A new vaccine research program, “STRIVE for Healthier Futures,” has been developed at Atrium Health with a goal of identifying a vaccine that safely and effectively prevents the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The STRIVE program, which stands for strategic research, innovation, vaccines, and engagement, is comprised of a diverse, multi-disciplinary team of researchers, scientists, physicians, and other medical experts within the Atrium Health enterprise.

STRIVE opened a voluntary vaccine research registry today which will allow people to learn more about vaccine research and development. People who take part in the registry may be invited to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials in the future and will be provided with convenient access to trials should they be interested. Currently, there are no antiviral medicines available to treat COVID-19 and no licensed vaccines to prevent infection or serious illness related to the disease.

Dr. Christine Turley, vice chair of research at Atrium Health Levine Children’s and lead physician investigator of the STRIVE program, believes that research and clinical trials are the best hope for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. “Vaccines are the way forward and will allow us to turn the page on this pandemic across the world, our country, and our local community,” said Turley. “Each person now has a unique opportunity to play a role in this effort.”

Atrium Health is looking for at least 10,000 volunteers to join the registry as a critical step in providing a strong, regional response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the launch of the registry, Atrium Health will open a COVID-19 vaccine trial that will be unique to the region – and the first trial at Atrium Health to address the prevention of COVID-19.

Atrium Health anticipates the trial will help guide scientists closer towards to identifying a safe and effective vaccine that will be widely accepted and provide strong community immunity as soon as possible. As a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care at hundreds of care locations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, Atrium Health is in a prime position to create a COVID-19 vaccine research registry and to support wide-scale vaccine clinical trials among diverse populations. With a vision of leading its communities to a healthier future, Atrium Health is invested in research and is dedicated to finding answers and solutions to the challenges COVID-19 has brought.

COVID-19 research at Atrium Health is supported by a strong investigational pharmacy program, robust laboratories, and engagement throughout the community. Atrium Health has a strong framework to better understand how the virus that causes COVID-19 affects diverse patients, along with the desire to seek vaccine solutions for all.

In addition to the internal infrastructure required to develop and lead research of this magnitude, it is crucial to have diverse representation in the vaccine program participants. “This disease is having a disproportionate impact on communities of color and our older population,” said Turley. “We are working diligently to communicate to people living and working in the communities we serve that choosing to participate in the registry, and potentially taking part in a vaccine research trial, is essential to finding vaccines that work to protect people from COVID-19.”

Patients’ outcomes with infection or illness, or response to medical treatments may vary depending on many factors. For example, there may be disparities in outcomes based on pre-existing health conditions, race and ethnicity, or treatments that work well in men may not be as effective in women.

“For research of this magnitude, it’s crucial to have diverse representation among the participants in the STRIVE program,” Turley added. “When study participants reflect diversity, we can gather information that allows us to best develop solutions that work for all patients. We can then feel confident in recommending treatment, and accepting treatment, knowing that the work represents our community, and the whole population.”

For more information about Atrium Health’s COVID-19 research registry, call 833-451-1188, visit AtriumHealth.org/COVIDVACCINE or email STRIVEVaccineRegistry@atriumhealth.org


About Atrium Health

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated, not-for-profit healthcare system with over 55,000 teammates at nearly 40 hospitals and hundreds of care locations throughout the Carolinas and Georgia. Atrium Health provides top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care to patients, as well as specialized musculoskeletal programs and organ transplants. Ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for cancer treatment and in eight  different pediatric specialties, it has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and was the recipient of the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. Its flagship hospital, Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, is the region’s only Level I trauma center and is consistently rated among the nation’s best. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all. Over the past three years, Atrium Health has provided nearly $2 billion per year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.