A Center of Excellence is a program assembled to supply an exceptionally high concentration of expertise and resources in an area of medicine. The Fatigue Consultation Clinic and OFFER joined forces to establish the Bateman Horne Center, a ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia Center of Excellence. The objective is to meet the pressing needs for research, evidence informed clinical care and education.
As Dr. Bateman explained, a Center of Excellence is not meant to be a high-capacity clinic, but instead to be a high-quality site for research, education, and treatment. While it cannot address the needs of everyone with ME/CFS or fibromyalgia, it can target key scientific and educational sources that create a top-down change for the better. We believe this sustainable, high-impact model is replicable and we hope that other Centers of Excellence will be established to join us in pursuing high-quality, evidence-driven treatment for those suffering with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
For decades, research on ME/CFS has been neglected and severely underfunded. Thankfully it has accelerated in recent years, yet a dramatic increase is still needed.
Medications are just one of the important results of research. As Suzanne Vernon, PhD, explained, the FDA has a strict procedure for testing and approving new medications. The roots of the process lie in researching core signs, symptoms, decrements, and specific functioning of the illness. Without this research scientists would have no concrete way to measure the effects of a medication on the illness. With this research scientists can create safe medications that target specific symptoms.
Since research is so critical, the Bateman Horne Center is invested in creating gold standard ME/CFS and fibromyalgia research. Our Center has a robust, meticulously screened patient population that is the core of ongoing research. Such a population is priceless, as recruiting a high-quality patient population is one of the most challenging and expensive parts of research. Therefore, drawing from our patient population and collaborating with several other institutions, we are able to conduct timely and critical ongoing research that gives us insight into the specifics of ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
What else is the Bateman Horne Center Doing?
Research is a significant part of what we do, but it is not the only way we are addressing ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. As a brief overview of events, we are:
- Providing remote patient education to those who cannot come to the clinic
- Hiring a new physician and actively seeking for more
- Studying early onset patients to learn more about how ME/CFS begins
- Bringing on a data scientist to mine for information in patient records
- Partnering with academic centers to study biomarkers (a biological feature used to indicate the presence of a specific disease)
- Providing thousands of hours of education to medical providers
- Expanding our outreach through even more upcoming research and resources
In summary, we are immovable in our dedication to improve the well-being of those with ME/CFS and fibromyalgia through research and provider and patient education.