UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco: A Hub for Pediatric Clinical Research

New UCSF Medical Center & UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. Photo by Nooshin Latour

On February 1, 2015 the UCSF community welcomed the opening of the new state-of-the-art Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.  This also marked the beginning of a new collaboration supporting the critical work of pediatric clinical researchers.  Clinical Research Services (CRS), a program of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, is working in conjunction with the Pediatric Infusion Center (PIC) to provide the highest quality care and incorporate clinical research to the bedside. 

The Pediatric Clinical Research Center (PCRC), operated by CRS, offers skilled nursing services for pediatric clinical research at the new hospital.  The collaboration between the PCRC and the PIC maximizes the resources of both groups to allow clinical research and routine clinical care to coexist in an integrated setting. This collaboration between clinical care and research staff represents a synergy of two core elements of UCSF's mission that will ultimately prove beneficial to all – providing high-quality healthcare to meet the needs of Bay Area families as well as placing clinicians and researchers side-by-side to accelerate medical breakthroughs. 

From left: Hector Vizoso, Administrative Nurse; Raquel Herrera, Patient Care Technician; Jeanie Addis, Administrative Nurse; Tamara Williamson, Unit Coordinator; Sarah Fuerstenau, Clinical Nurse. Photo by Angela Rizk-Jackon, PHD

“The idea is that there will be cross-learning between research nurses and infusion nurses – the proximity creates cross cultural experience where people of both professions will learn from each other.  Principal investigators, coordinators, research and treatment nurses – we’re all working for the benefit of children,” said Philip Rosenthal, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Surgery, Director of Pediatric Hepatology, and PCRC end-user.

Leading up to the opening of the new children’s hospital and to prepare for this new collaboration, research nurses met with patient care nurses to give presentations on pediatric on current clinical research protocols and overlapping patient populations.

By integrating pediatric clinical research at the point of patient care, we have the opportunity to bring the latest healthcare advances and technologies to pediatric patients.

Henry “Chip” Chambers, MD

Director of the Clinical Research Services

“The goal from the beginning of our planning discussions focused on improving the patient and family experience. The collaborative nature of this endeavor supports our patients’ seamless experience through their treatment plan - blending research and standard clinical care in a setting that is warm and supportive, and filled with a high level of expertise that allows us to support our clinical and research missions while delivering the best quality care in the pediatric outpatient infusion setting,” said Marissa Quinn, Nurse Manager of the Pediatric Infusion Center.

The PCRC and PIC work in a collaborative space on the 6th floor of the new Ron Conway Family Gateway Medical Building. Both teams endeavor to provide the highest level of routine and clinical research care by sharing resources.

“The opening of the Mission Bay campus has enabled a more seamless experience for research participants or patients within the outpatient department” said Jeanie Addis, the PCRC Nurse Manager.

The new PCRC facility was designed to accommodate the needs of a high volume of pediatric clinical research protocols and provide assistance to dozens of clinical research investigators.  “CRS is excited to establish a pediatric research unit at the new children’s hospital. By integrating pediatric clinical research at the point of patient care, we have the opportunity to bring the latest healthcare advances and technologies to pediatric patients,” said Henry “Chip” Chambers, MD, Director of the Clinical Research Services.

Highlights of the new Pediatric Clinical Research Center

  • Exam rooms
  • Procedure room
  • Phlebotomy room
  • Infusion chairs
  • Sample Processing Lab
  • Neurodevelopment testing

UCSF's CTSI is a member of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (grant Number UL1 TR000004) at the National Institutes of Health. Under the banner of "Accelerating Research to Improve Health," CTSI provides a wide range of resources and services for researchers, and promotes online collaboration and networking tools such as UCSF Profiles