UA’s Dr. Scott Klewer Receives Congenital Heart Surveillance Grant from the March of Dimes

The Arizona CHSTRONG project will provide a more complete understanding of the social and quality-of-life issues facing individuals with congenital heart disease from throughout the state as they transition into adulthood.

Scott Klewer, MD, professor with the UA Department of Pediatrics in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, was awarded a one-year, $260,000 grant by the March of Dimes to fund the “Arizona CHSTRONG Project.” CHSTRONG stands for “Congenital Heart Surveillance to Recognize Outcomes, Needs, and well-beinG.”

Dr. Klewer also is chief of Pediatrics’ Division of Cardiology, a member of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center and the Peggy M. Barrett Endowed Chair for Congenital Heart Disease in Adults with the UA Sarver Heart Center.

Thanks to medical and surgical successes over the past 50 years, the number of adults living with congenital heart disease (CHD) now outnumbers children with CHD. However, long-term outcomes for this rapidly growing population are not well understood.

“The Arizona CHSTRONG project will provide a more complete understanding of the social and quality-of-life issues facing individuals with CHD from throughout the state as they transition into adulthood,” said Dr. Klewer.

In the first year of the study, individuals identified in the Arizona birth defects system who were born with CHD between 1986 and 1997 will be recruited to participate in the study.

“This type of population-based surveillance for CHDs across the lifespan is necessary to determine the type and number of services required to address needs, estimate costs of health services, and assess outcomes that affect the survival of all individuals living with CHDs,” explained Dr. Klewer. “This project could not be accomplished without our congenital cardiology collaborators in Phoenix and Flagstaff and the support from the UA Center for Population Science and Discovery.”

Once the population-based surveillance is completed, the data will be reviewed by March of Dimes and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to identify the needs for specific programs. Dr. Klewer and his team will publish their findings and formulate areas for future research programs.

About the UA Steele Children’s Research Center

The UA Steele Children’s Research Center is one of the prestigious Centers of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. It is the state’s only academic pediatric research center designated by the Arizona Board of Regents, and the only facility in Southern Arizona where researchers and physician-scientists are dedicated to advancing medical knowledge through basic and translational research to improve children’s health. As researchers, they seek to discover answers to children’s medical mysteries. As physician-scientists, they provide compassionate care to hospitalized patients at Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center and pediatric outpatient clinics throughout Tucson and the state. And, as faculty members with the UA Department of Pediatrics, they teach and train the next generation of pediatricians and researchers.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: http://uahs.arizona.edu