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May 17, 2011

Children's Research Hospitals

[Page: S2905]  GPO's PDF 

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Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Madam President, I just met in a room near the Senate floor with doctors and others from three of America's great children's hospitals: Rainbow Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital. I think Ohio leads the Nation in the number of children's hospitals and, frankly, I think the quality of children's hospitals.

There are so much we need to do--I know the Presiding Officer from North Carolina sits on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and has had an interest in this--where we don't quite focus enough attention on children's health. In the past, when we did research in this country--and we are only now beginning to change this--we used to think about children as just small adults, and if you needed X milligrams in a prescription for a 150-pound adult, for a 30-pound child you gave them one-fifth as much. We now realize that is not the way we should do research or practice medicine. So we have seen a lot of progress, and much of that comes from the activism, if you will, of doctors and nurses and administrators at Nationwide Children's in Columbus, Cincinnati Children's, and Rainbow Children's in Cleveland, affiliated with the University Hospital.

We have been able, through a longtime program--about a dozen years old now--to do something called children's gradual medical education in training pediatricians. We have also seen it find its way into making pharmaceuticals--something called 340B--and getting pharmaceuticals, particularly for orphan drugs and rare diseases, to children's hospitals, which helps many small children in this country.

We are also working on legislation--and Kit Bond, the Republican Senator from Missouri who retired in January, and I worked on this--to really focus on pediatric research and designate a handful of children's hospitals--maybe 15 or 20--around the country, some of the best research hospitals, to get them more focused on children's research because even though we have done better, we are not doing well enough, and this is an opportunity to do that.

So I wanted to share on the floor with my colleagues the importance of this legislation, the importance of that focus on children's hospitals, the importance of training pediatricians, and the importance of children's hospitals overall to our Nation's health, especially as regards the future of our Nation and our children.

Madam President, I yield the floor.

(Senate - May 12, 2011)

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