WVU research team builds COVID-19 registry to understand impact on state

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute has created a COVID-19 patient registry that he hopes will help him and other researchers better understand the impact of the virus over West Virginia.

The institute works in conjunction with WVU Medicine, and so far it has recorded over 7,500 negative cases and over 450 positive cases. Dr Sally Hodder, director of the institute, said the nation often looks to cities like San Francisco and New York for advice, but that’s not a good way to go because Virginia- Western is very different and must be considered individually. .

Dr. Sally Hodder
Director, WVCTSI

“The patient registry looks at our population and looks at outcomes, patient outcomes, whether it’s maybe some of the things that have improved outcomes or have been associated with worse outcomes and it can really give you what we call the generation of hypotheses. This raises questions that can be examined in a more focused way.

– Dr. Sally Hodder

There have been reports from across the country, Hodder said, that indicate African Americans have worse outcomes when it comes to COVID-19, but their own registry has yet to confirm that. However, because the registry records patients’ basic demographic information, such as their age, race and gender, the institute will be able to determine how or why certain populations, such as the African-American community, may have been more affected. by the virus than others.

Hodder said many factors, such as geography and race, could explain why there are disparities, but they won’t know until they add as many people to the registry as possible. Currently, the institute is in talks with other state health systems to add its data to the registry to create a more comprehensive data set.

“We have other great partners including Charleston Area Medical Center, Marshall University, Lewisburg School of Osteopathy, West Virginia, Virginia, and I think that would be a real strength. “, said Hodder. “We’ve had discussions with some of these groups, and absolutely, they’re really great partners and they’re contributing effectively to a lot of programs.”

Hodder said they are also looking to work with states that have large rural populations like West Virginia.

Overall, Hodder said she believes the people and government of West Virginia have done a “fabulous” job in handling the health crisis and said the institute wants to do its left to help the state.

“I think it’s important for a registry that not only do we find things and publish articles, but one of the things that I think is really important, and unfortunately we don’t have a lot of data or results yet, but those need to be shared effectively with the people of West Virginia, with the communities, with the community health care providers,” Hodder said. “Often the dialogue that comes out of the discussions, I think, is also more revealing and useful, so that is our intention.”

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