HEROs welcome

OneFlorida is among the first PCORnet CRNs to begin enrolling health care workers in the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Registry. The registry invites U.S. health care workers to join this large, national clinical research community and share their clinical and life experiences in order to understand the perspectives and problems they face on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. A clinical trial to evaluate whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 infections is also being planned.

The HERO initiative is being led by the Duke Clinical Research Institute, part of the Duke University School of Medicine. Funding of up to $50 million is being provided by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

OneFlorida sites participating in the HERO registry include UF Health in Gainesville, Jacksonville and Leesburg, the University of South Florida, Tampa General Hospital, AdventHealth, Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and the University of Miami Health System. However, anyone who works in health care — at UF Health or elsewhere — can join the registry. Researchers aim to enroll physicians, nurses, food service workers, respiratory therapists, environmental services workers and others. Those who join the registry will have the option of providing health information about relevant COVID-19 risk factors, medical encounters and health status to the database at Duke University.

After creating a profile on the registry, participants can choose to participate in surveys and receive invitations to future clinical trials. There is no cost to enroll in the HERO Registry, which is completely voluntary and only takes only a few minutes to join. After joining, registry participants will receive surveys and opportunities to participate in future studies. Health care workers can participate as much or as little as they like.

The first trial, HERO-HCQ, will test if hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, brand name Plaquenil®) is effective in preventing coronavirus infections in health care workers. Participating sites within PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, will use the registry to recruit 15,000 health care workers to participate. The registry will also be used for other clinical trials and research studies that address unmet needs for health care workers. UF Health in Gainesville, Jacksonville and Leesburg as well as the University of South Florida, Tampa General Hospital and AdventHealth are among some 40 locations nationwide participating in the hydroxychloroquine clinical trial.

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