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Grant leads to CARD expansion

by Canda HarbaughWestern News
| May 21, 2009 12:00 AM

The Center for Asbestos Related Disease put in for a Senate appropriation this year to help fund its operations and ended up, instead, receiving a grant to build an addition.

“We were quite surprised by it and we weren’t prepared for it,” said Kimberly Rowse, clinical research coordinator at CARD, “but you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”

The CARD clinic will almost double in size with a 24-by-26 foot extension to its west side that is estimated to cost $260,400. Construction for the project is planned to begin as early as next month.

“We’ve always been hungry for space,” Rouse said. “We’ve worked with the hospital (in the past) to try to find a bigger area.”

With close to 2,600 patients in the clinic’s caseload and only three small examination rooms, Rouse said that the add-on will allow patients to be more comfortable.

The addition will become a new patient care area with four spacious examination rooms and a private room for patients to give research consent. The grant will also pay for a heating and cooling system upgrade in the current building.

Once the new patient care area is built, the old space will accommodate an additional pulmonary function lab where patients can perform breathing tests.

“We’re not able to accomplish all of the research activities that are proposed just because of the shortage of space,” Rowse said, so more space may mean more research.

If the facility can accommodate more studies, it may receive more research funding, which will allow CARD to hire more clinical staff.