Maine Medical Center has a three part mission: caring for our community, educating tomorrow's caregivers, and researching new ways to provide care.
For over 50 years, research has always played a key role in Maine Medical Center. The first full-time NIH-funded scientist was recruited to MMC in 1956, and the first NIH research grant award came in 1962. Thanks to an early commitment to cardiac research, MMC was one of the first community hospitals in the nation to perform open heart surgery in 1959. A strong base in research also led to MMC's dialysis program, endocrinology and pulmonary laboratories, and the Foundation for Blood Research.
Maine Medical Center Research Institute was officially organized as a division of MMC in 1991. A state-of-the-art laboratory facility was completed in 2001. MMCRI gained early national recognition in flow cytometry, and established a surgical research program. MMC's bone marrow transplant program and molecular diagnostics lab also spun off the research division. The Maine Medical Center Research Institute currently spans the spectrum of biomedical research, with basic research programs in cardiovascular biology and stem cell biology, a growing clinical and translational research program, outcomes research and evaluation, and psychiatric research.
Maine Medical Center has an internal Institutional Review Board. The clinical trials program has 250 clinical trials in operation, with 3,000 enrolled patients. Many of our clinical departments have active research programs, including surgery, emergency, oncology, cardiology, geriatrics and pulmonary. The Center for Performance Improvement works closely with clinical departments and the Research Institute to gather and analyze data on patient care. The Center for Nursing Research and Quality Outcomes supports and encourages nurse research in patient care, and is actively transforming the way nursing is practiced in our hospital. All of these factors combine to create an environment at Maine Medical Center where practice-based implementation research results in improved, evidence-based patient care.
Moving forward, Maine Medical Center Research Institute continues to strengthen the relationship between medical research and clinical care, by growing our translational and clinical research programs and encouraging collaboration between researchers and clinicians, educators and students. Our partnership with Tufts University School of Medicine is creating new opportunities to merge patient care, education and research in the medical education program and in the simulation center built to support that program. Our President and Board of Directors, have reaffirmed their understanding of the pivotal role played by research in the pursuit of excellence in patient care, and an ongoing commitment to support research at Maine Medical Center.