Moving Endocrinology Care Forward
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is one of the pioneers in treating diabetes and other endocrine conditions. Our medical researchers and pediatric endocrinology specialists have been instrumental in conducting several landmark studies, clinical trials, and endocrine research.
We are consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in America for endocrinology care by U.S. News & World Report. Advances developed here have shaped the care for children managing diabetes and other endocrine disorders and have not only saved lives but helped our patients achieve long-term wellness.
A Pioneer in Treating Endocrine Issues
Each year, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s receives nearly 8 million dollars in endocrine research funding to learn more about the causes, treatments and prevention strategies for childhood diabetes, growth disorders in children, childhood obesity and other endocrine disorders. We conduct endocrine system research in partnership with the National Institute of Health, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Diabetes Association and several pharmaceutical companies looking to test new endocrine therapies for children. Through these studies we have been able to develop a standard of care that is unmatched across the country, including:
- The Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) Study: This is one of the most well-known studies of diabetes, which started more than 25 years ago. It links the idea of better blood sugar control to fewer complications in diabetes patients. It also looks at the impact of genetics. Endocrinology specialists at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s have been involved in this study since its inception. Along with our colleagues at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, we serve as the national clinical coordinating center for the study.
- Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY): This landmark National Institutes of Health study monitors more than 700 children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes. The study takes place in multiple centers across the nation. It considers why diabetes is on the rise in children and how this links to obesity. Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital are among 15 sites selected to participate, and one of our pediatric specialists is a lead researcher on the project.
- Predicting diabetes complications: UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s researchers are conducting an innovative trial to determine if biochemical markers on the skin may help predict whether a child or young adult is at high-risk for developing diabetes complications. It is thought these predictors may be more accurate than traditional blood sugar tests.
- Understanding the relationship between cystic fibrosis and diabetes: We are leading the way in studying diabetes with roots in cystic fibrosis (CF). About 30 percent of children with CF will develop a unique type of diabetes. UH received an award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to develop a special clinic to gather data and treat more children with the condition.
- Continuous glucose monitoring in young adults with diabetes: Clinical researchers are examining the potential for advanced continuous glucose monitoring systems to improve outcomes for children with diabetes.
- Growth disorders: Clinical research explores how to best treat children with short stature of various causes.
- Obesity: UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s conducts several programs focusing on the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity and other chronic conditions.
- Clinical drug trials: Many of the therapies commonly used to treat adults with diabetes and other endocrine disorders are not available for children because they have not been thoroughly tested. UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s is working to change that. Our endocrine doctors have several clinical drug trials underway, testing therapies that are approved for adults to make sure they are appropriate for the unique needs of younger patients.
Teaching the Endocrinology Specialists of Tomorrow
UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is home to a three-year Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship Training Program in which we train future endocrinologists to diagnose and treat a variety of endocrine conditions. We have the only ACGME-accredited pediatric endocrinology fellowship program in northern Ohio.
Setting the Standard of Care for Diabetes and Other Endocrine Disorders
In addition to conducting evidence-based research and clinical trials, our pediatric endocrine specialists sit on many regional and national organizations for the profession, helping us keep our finger on the pulse of what’s new in the field. For example, we are involved in the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and other focused national organizations dedicated to the treatment of children with endocrine issues.
For many of these national organizations, we create policy reports, including one recent report dealt with childhood obesity and is now the basis for proposed state legislation aimed at addressing obesity in children. As we are always evolving our care practices and pushing the boundaries of the standard of care, we are instrumental in setting national best practices for pediatric endocrinology. We are constantly moving forward, and you can be confident the care your child receives at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s will be at the forefront of innovation.