New to Research? 10 Helpful Hints

NEW TO RESEARCH?  10 Helpful Hints:

  1. When completing forms or study diaries, always write in black ink. No pencil. No blue, red or green ink.
  2. If you have middle initial, please use it when signing any forms.
  3. If you need to correct something you wrote, cross it out with one single line, and write your initials and the date next to it.
  4. At your study visit, bring back to RCR all empty study pill bottles, blister packs, packages, and used kits (that we have given you). They all need to be accounted for.
  5. If you start a new medication for any reason, we need to know the exact name, dose and date you started it. Please bring the medication bottle to your next RCR visit.
  6. Fasting for blood work means nothing to eat or drink, except WATER.  We encourage you to drink plenty of water, as being well-hydrated will make it easier to draw your blood.
  7. If you are told you will have an EKG at a visit, please do not wear skin lotion on your chest or legs.
  8. Check your appointment card for specific instructions about your next visit. We will send you an email reminder of your upcoming appointments. If you prefer a telephone reminder please let the front desk know.     
  • You have a question about a diary or other form.
  • You are hospitalized more than 24 hours for any reason.
  • You need to reschedule your appointment.  Appointments need to be rescheduled within a “visit window” of a few days.
  • You would like to end your participation in a study.
  • You are running late or you will not be able to stay for your full visit (check your appointment card for expected visit duration).
  1. Tell your friends and family about RCR.  We are always in need of study volunteers.


Diabetes Self Management Group

DSMG is FREE and participation will give you the confidence to face the challenges of diabetes.

  • Learning as much as you can about diabetes
  • Improving control of your diabetes to help delay or prevent complications
  • Developing positive life-long health habits
  • Working collaboratively with your physician and diabetes educators


Class Schedule

Wednesday, April 9 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Mervyn Weerasinghe, MD

What is Diabetes? Prevent it! Control it! You can do it!

Wednesday, April 16 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Amy Stacy, MS, RD, CED, CDN

Diet and diabetes

Discussion of carbohydrate counting, healthy fats and the role of fiber.

Wednesday, April 23 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Kristen Rusho, MS

Physical activity and exercise

What exercise is best for you?

Wednesday, April 30 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Mervyn Weerasinghe, MD

Complications of Diabetes.

Why Control is Important.

Wednesday, May 7 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Mervyn Weerasinghe, MD

Medications, meters, medical care & the latest research.

Space is Limited.

Call today to reserve a seat.


2013 RCR Pumpkin Competition

RCR is having a Pumpkin Competition for Halloween. Every patient coming into RCR today can cast their vote for their favorite pumpkin! Let’s take a first look at those amazing pumpkins! And tell us which one is your favorite!


pumpkin competition

Awaiting the Great Pumpkin

The 26 Vaccine-preventable Diseases

The 26 vaccine-preventable diseases

preventable diseases-vaccine_Rochester Clinical Research

Once considered a dead area of drug development, vaccines have enjoyed a resurgence in the last several year as drug developers seek to expand the list of vaccine-preventable diseases. Recent additions to the list include shots for rotavirus (1998), HPV (2006) and swine flu (2009). Since the discovery of the first vaccine for small pox in 1796, the list of preventable diseases has swelled to 26, and continues to grow as drugmakers battle for market share in this rejuvenated field.



Yellow fever

Cervical cancer


Chicken pox

Pneumococcal infections





Group A, C meningococcal infections


Hib infections


Hepatitis A

Hepatitis B



Japanese encephalitis





Typhoid fever



CEO Patricia Larrabee nominated for the Outstanding Philanthropist Award

Patricia Larrabee Nominated for the AFP Genesee Valley Chapter Outstanding Philanthropist Award

Patricia Larrabee, CEO at RCR, nominated for the AFP Valley Chapter Outstanding Philanthropist Award

ROCHESTER, N.Y.— Patricia Larrabee, RNNP, CCRC, has been nominated for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Genesee Valley Chapter Outstanding Philanthropist award. The AFP Genesee Valley Chapter will honor the nominees in seven categories on National Philanthropy Day® during a luncheon on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Larrabee, CEO of Rochester Clinical Research, is being nominated for her financial and volunteer support of Mary Cariola Children’s Center and Mercy Community Services. Larrabee’s financial support has provided the means for new and innovative music therapy to be available for children with complex multiple disabilities. She serves on the board at Mary Cariola, as well as Mercy Community Services where she was chair of their events committee and helped organize numerous fundraising events for the organization.






New Weight Loss Drug

New Weight Loss Drug Approvals!
RCR contributes to development process

A huge ‘THANK YOU’ to the hundreds of RCR volunteers who have participated in weight loss studies over the last several years. There are now 2 new weight loss medications, the first ones to be FDA approved since 1999.

Qsymia (pronounced kyoo-sim-EE-uh and manufactured by Vivus Pharmaceuticals) and Belviq (pronounced bel-VEEK and manufactured by Arena Pharmaceuticals) were shown to be effective in helping people lose weight during their clinical trials.

We are grateful to our volunteers who were part of these landmark studies. For anyone interested in these medications, we recommend that you speak with your healthcare provider.


Striving for excellence

Striving for excellence . . .

Rochester Clinical Research‘s vision is to be the best clinical research site in Rochester. We do this by providing high quality care for our study volunteers and co-workers, while providing our study sponsors with high quality data. Key to our success is maintaining a friendly, welcoming, caring and efficient office environment.

To keep us on track, our Vision Everyday Team, led by Adam Larrabee, has worked on several new initiatives:

      A “Cheer for a Peer” board for staff to recognize and affirm one another’s contributions.


      Participation in Wegman’s “Eat Well, Live Well Challenge”.


      Promotion of healthier “standing” workstations


      Office-wide “spring cleaning” and decluttering party.


      Promotion of enhanced communication techniques among staff.


      Development of “Referral Bonus” program for study volunteers.


    Volunteer surveys to solicit feedback and to keep improving our customer service!

Your input is welcome. Anything we can do to improve your experience at Rochester Clinical Research – please let us know! You can call 585.288.0890 or send us an email at

Meningitis B Vaccine

Meningitis B Vaccine Research Study

For 10-25 year olds

When my teenagers got their meningitis vaccines, I thought they were protected against all causes of the dreaded disease.  said Michael Brennan, FNP  ”I was wrong.”

The currently licensed meningitis vaccines, such as Menactra®, do not provide immunity against the Meningitis B strains, which cause one-third of the cases of bacterial meningitis in the U.S.

So researchers are evaluating  this new investigational Meningitis B vaccine.

Participants in this study will receive 3 shots over 6 months, and there is no blood work involved.

Call today to see if you or your child qualifies. 585-288-0890 or click here for more information and to see if you pre-qualify online.

Aiming at Heart Attack Prevention

Your risk of a heart attack increases with age, with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. While there has been a direct relationship between high LDL levels (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and heart attacks, a full 50% of first heart attacks occur in people who have LDL levels considered to be ‘normal’.

Is there another risk factor we’ve been missing?

Researchers have found compelling evidence that inflammation plays a role in the formation and rupture of artery-clogging plaque deposits. Some individuals appear to be at higher risk of heart attacks simply because they have higher levels of inflammation in their blood vessels.

So what’s C-reactive protein?

Produced by the liver, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels rise when there is inflammation in the body, and these levels can be checked by a blood test. Small elevations (1-5 mg/L) of CRP appear to be associated with an increased risk for heart disease, and are measured using a high sensitivity CRP test (hs-CRP).

Who should have their hs-CRP checked?

The American Heart Association (AHA) states that high sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) may be useful in evaluating those at moderate risk for heart disease (based on their number of risk factors) – to see if more intensive treatment is warranted. Those at high risk should be treated aggressively regardless of their hs-CRP level, and those at low risk need not be tested.

Should my elevated hs-CRP be treated?

If your hs-CRP level is elevated, it should not be ignored. Our research study of an investigational drug for people who have had a heart attack closely monitors the study participant’s hsCRP levels. This is a huge study, involving more than 17,000 people around the country. The investigational drug is being evaluated to see if it can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. If you or someone you love has had a heart attack, please call 585-288-0890 to learn more about this pivotal research study.

RCR Supports the Tyler Putnam Foundation

Tyler Putnam, an athletic and vibrant 16 year old at Irondequoit High School, died tragically of Meningitis on July 7th, 2011.  To honor Tyler’s memory, and to continue his legacy of giving back to others, Tyler’s father and sister, Lindsay and Shannon Putnam, established a charitable foundation in Tyler’s name.

As Tyler was a highly-skilled hockey player who loved the game, the foundation that bears his name provides assistance to Rochester youth who also love the sport, but cannot afford it. The Foundation website is:

Sadly, Tyler died of Meningitis B.  Here at RCR, we are conducting a study of an investigational vaccine to protect against Meningitis B, a form of Meningitis not covered by Menactra®.

For every subject enrolled in the study, RCR will be making a donation to the Tyler Putnam Foundation.  We welcome this opportunity to honor Tyler, and to carry-forward his legacy of selfless service to others. Click here to learn more and to see if you or your child pre-qualifies.

Making Weight Loss Easier

Want to lose those pounds gained over the holidays? Sorry to say, but there is no magic. Weight loss is still achieved by eating fewer calories than you burn. But why not use the newest technology to help you eat less and exer­cise more? And while your at it, see if you qualify for a clinical research study for people who want to lose weight!

Becoming aware of your eating and exercise habits is the first step towards making positive changes. The easier it is to record both, the more likely you will stay on track.

There are many free or low cost programs or apps which can be downloaded for use on computers, smart phones and tablets. Some programs will allow you to take a picture of a food label’s bar code instead of looking at food lists.

Most programs keep lists of your “frequently eaten or favorite foods”, which makes it even easier to add up your daily food intake. Others track your daily nutrient intake as well as your weight, adjusting the calorie level as you shed pounds.

Concerned about a specific nutrient? Watching your calcium intake? Electronically track your intake over time, and adjust your intake accordingly.

Need to get moving? The best way to do that is to put you in competition with yourself by tracking your daily steps. Some step counters also track your sleeping habits and can be synced with dietary analysis software.

Want some new recipe ideas? Many excellent low-calorie recipe websites keep you motivated with weekly emails of healthy recipes, complete with other’s comments. Here’s a list of products and websites to get you started. This is by no means a complete list, nor do we have stock in any of these companies!

Dietary Analysis software/apps:

  • Step/Sleep counters: Fitbit
  • website:
  • Websites for Healthy recipes:

Interested in weight loss studies? Although we don’t currently have any weight loss studies, you can always subscribe our newsletter to receive the newest study alert.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Research Studies

Such a devastatingly disabling disease, for which new and effective therapies are sorely needed.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, we are currently enrolling for 3 different studies.

In our experience, participants in our RA studies derive a lot of satisfaction in knowing that they are helping to develop new therapies for others with their disease.

There is altruism at the heart of the motivation to participate in such research. Our RA study volunteers are everyday heroes – improving the lives of others.

We are fortunate to have 2 board certified Rheumatologists on staff; Dr. Tammi Schlotzhauer and Dr. Keith Pryhuber. If you have RA, then RCR is the place to be!

See if you qualify for one of our RA studies by clicking here!

New Drugs for Diabetes

For diabetics taking metformin, we have two studies of new investigational oral therapies.

Until now, insulin has always had to be given by injection. This exciting new medical breakthrough is evaluating an insulin that can be taken in pill form.
Two pills at bedtime is the simple regimen. If it works, and gets FDA approved, diabetics around the world will be celebrating!

We have another study of a GLP-1 medication, similar to Byetta® or Victoza®, which is taken orally. Again, this potentially marks a huge step forward for diabetes therapy.

If you have diabetes, we invite you to come be part of the solution! To see if you pre-qualify click here or email

Rochester, NY is Second in Nation for Volunteering

RCR would like to take this moment to thank the 28,215 people that have participated or expressed interest in a clinical research study with us! If it weren’t for you volunteering your time to help advance new medicines, there wouldn’t be any!

Summer Sun and the Vitamin D-fense!

Short durations of sunlight will enhance your vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary for calcium and phosphate absorption and metabolism for healthy bones and teeth. Its primary food sources include fortified milk, butter, whole eggs and salmon. Vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is manufactured from cholesterol within cells that lie beneath the skin’s surface. Vitamin D deficiencies are common among those who live in areas with cold, overcast weather. Low Vitamin D levels can play a role in bone loss and bone thinning resulting in chronic diseases such as osteoporosis.

How do I know what my blood level is?

A simple blood test can tell you if your level is normal. For low levels eating more foods high in Vitamin D,  taking a supplement, or spending limited time in the sun without sunscreen can help.But be careful when seeking the sun!Folks have avoided the sun because of concerns about skin cancer. In order to synthesize vitamin D levels in the skin, there is no need to soak up rays for hours. Only 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure three times per week can do the trick!

Lower your Lipids to Lengthen your Life

Worried about Cancer? Be more concerned about heart disease, and take steps to prevent it. More Americans will die of heart attacks this year than from all the various forms of  cancer – lung, breast, cervical, colon, etc. – combined. The risk of heart disease increases with smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, physical inactivity and obesity, but one of the most direct risks is that of elevated blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is a soft, fatty substance that your body needs to function properly, but too much of it can plug-up the arteries that carry oxygen to your heart muscle, causing a heart attack.

Lowering your total cholesterol by 10% (say from 220 to 200) will decrease your risk of a heart attack by 15%. Raising your HDL, the “good” cholesterol, by just 5 points can lower your risk by 25%.

Beware of saturated fat – your body converts it to cholesterol.  Read nutrition labels and check serving sizes.  Dietary cholesterol and trans fat are also your enemies. Eat a low-fat, low cholesterol diet to lower your LDL.

Get regular exercise to increase your HDL. Walking 30 minutes a day will do it. Do you know your numbers? If not, we offer free cholesterol testing here at RCR. We get results 5 minutes after pricking your finger. Call us for a ‘free screen’ at 288-0890.

Menstrual Migraines

A tip from the National Headache Foundation

Amazing advances have been made in pharmaceutical medicine in the last 10 years. Treatment options for headache sufferers have expanded dramatically. Occasionally, opportunities to participate in  investigational drug research studies become available. These studies are usually conducted on a widespread basis by major pharmaceutical companies. While these studies are not ones in which the National Headache Foundation has an active part, we believe providing notice may be useful to headache  sufferers who wish to inquire about participating.

Could your migraines be connected to your period?

Migraines afflict approximately 21 million US women – three times more women than men. So it makes sense that women’s migraines may be hormonally related. Studies have suggested that for many women, migraines may have something to do with changes in hormone levels that occur around the time of your period. This hormone-related migraine is often referred to as a Menstrual Migraine.

When compared with migraines that occur at other times of the month, Menstrual Migraines have been reported to:

  • Last longer – up to 72 hours
  • Be more severe
  • Occur more often with nausea and vomiting
  • Be more difficult to treat & occur more frequently

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