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Pediatrics / Pediatric Research Newsletter / January 2012 / Supportive Care Research

January 2012 Newsletter

Supportive Care Research

How do we make it easier for children and families to deal with chronic illness which can be so overwhelming physically and emotionally?  What can we do to ease the pain of a child and family dealing with a life-threatening disease?  How do we support the parents of a fetus with a major congenital anomaly?  Or prepare a newly pregnant woman for that remote possibility?  David Korones, M.D., in the Department of Pediatrics and Timothy Quill, M.D., in the Department of Medicine seek to answer these questions for the future as they care for children and families in the present.  These are not easy studies to do.  There is no gold standard.  There are no biomarkers.  And caregivers are an even less “controlled” population than the people they treat!  Funding for such studies is difficult to come by as well.  But as we enhance therapies and convert previously-fatal diseases to chronic diseases, these are all-important questions.  Being able to provide care to current patients and families and to push back the frontiers so that such care is ever better as time goes on requires funding that cannot be gotten from conventional granting agencies.  That’s where we count on the public and on the understanding of our friends that medicine must continue to be about people and not just about illness and organ systems.