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NIH and CDC Sponsored Valley Fever Study Comes to Kern Medical

  • Category: Press Release
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  • Written By: Kern Medical

Kern Medical Is One of Only Six Trial Sites in the U.S.

Bakersfield, Calif. – October 11, 2016 – Kern Medical, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is initiating a clinical trial to improve the recognition and management of Valley Fever. Kern Medical is one of only six trial sites in California and Arizona. Representatives from the NIH and CDC, as well as Congressman Kevin McCarthy, chairman of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, will be on site this week for a commencement event.

“We are honored to partner with the NIH and CDC to conduct this important research,” said Russell Judd, CEO of Kern Medical. “We hope the trial will increase awareness of Valley Fever and improve our ability to diagnose it in its earliest stages.”

Valley Fever is estimated to cause up to 30 percent of all community-acquired pneumonia cases. Due to similarity of symptoms, patients are often misdiagnosed and physicians may not consider Valley Fever until patients fail to show signs of improvement. As a result, antifungal medication, the preferred treatment for Valley Fever, is often delayed. The clinical trial will assess the impact of early antifungal treatment in adult patients diagnosed with pneumonia.

“Since the Valley Fever Symposium in 2013 where we brought Federal officials to join our local and state partners, we remain committed in our fight against this disease that affects too many of our neighbors,” said Congressman Kevin McCarthy. “This clinical trial – a collaborative effort among our local experts, the NIH, and the CDC – is an important step to furthering our knowledge toward potential treatments to ensure a healthier Central Valley for all of us.”

The site initiation will take place on Thursday, October 13 at 10 a.m. in Kern Medical room 1058. The event will include a Q&A session for the media with the following study representatives:

  • Congressman Kevin McCarthy, house majority leader and chairman of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force
  • Dennis Dixon, chief of the NIH Bacteriology and Mycology Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Chris Braden, deputy director for the CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases
  • Royce H. Johnson, chief of Infectious Disease at Kern Medical
  • Arash Heidari, Infectious Disease, Principal Investigator Fleet at Kern Medical

The trial will be conducted by the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the world’s largest academic research organization, with Kern Medical Valley Fever experts serving in an advisory capacity.

About Kern Medical

Kern Medical serves as Kern County’s only trauma center and provides all members of the community access to basic and specialty care through a network of clinics, physicians and affiliated medical groups. It is the area’s only academic training hospital and has an affiliation with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. In addition to its main campus, it operates outpatient clinics on Columbus Street, Truxtun Avenue, and Stockdale Highway for nearly 120,000 patients each year.


Media Contact:
Carrie Weiss