Within the first three weeks of opening recruitment for the Phase I gestational diabetes study in Evansville, three patients have signed up to take part. All three are now enrolled in the study known as Hoosier Moms, led by David Haas, MD. The study focuses on women who are currently pregnant, to help researchers better understand the risks that could lead to gestational diabetes, and eventually to the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.
"We are so excited to be able to expand maternal-child research toward a more state-wide approach with the Hoosier Moms study," said Haas. "The partnerships we have established with the Evansville group and that we are establishing with others around the state will make our findings more relevant to all Hoosiers and allow us to address some of the disparities in health outcomes around the state."
This marks the first time IU School of Medicine has partnered with the Research Institute of Deaconess Clinic, which is based in Evansville. Greg Folz, CCRP, who is the administrative director of the Research Institute of Deaconess Clinic, says the Hoosier Mom study is the first-of-its-kind research collaboration for the region involving Deaconess, IU School of Medicine, The Women's Hospital, and Women's Health Care, PC, the area's largest OB-GYN group.
Constantine Scordalakes, MD, with Women's Health Care, PC, is serving as the lead researcher for the study in Evansville. The team had been preparing for the study’s launch for a few months, which has contributed to their success so far. Folz says their medical community is always looking for ways to improve patient outcomes, including using leading-edge clinical studies as an option in clinical care.
“Having access to innovative research and treatment options here in our community is a great benefit to our patients, " said Scordalakes. "We are proud to be part of the Hoosier Moms study and work alongside Dr. Haas and his team on this important research."
The first phase of the Hoosier Moms study involves a screening visit for a woman who is less than 20 weeks along in her pregnancy, then two follow-up visits while she is still pregnant. The women who participate are given a wearable activity tracker and can receive a 3D ultrasound of their baby. The study also includes two follow-up visits after each patient gives birth.
When the Hoosier Moms study started recruiting back in 2018, the only available site was in Indianapolis. The second site in Evansville was added in February, and researchers also plan to recruit pregnant women from Bloomington and Fort Wayne. There are currently 160 women participating in Phase I of the study based in Indianapolis.