Published on August 18, 2020

 Tower Health Enrolls Patients For COVID-19 Research Study 

West Reading, Pa., August 18 - Tower Health has recently enrolled 36 COVID-19 patients in the "IMmunoPhenotyping Assessment in a COVID-19 Cohort" study, or IMPACC, that aims to develop effective treatments for COVID-19. Researchers are tracking adult COVID-19 patients at Tower Health facilities, including Reading Hospital, which currently has 36 patients enrolled; Chestnut Hill Hospital, which currently has two patients enrolled; and Pottstown Hospital, which also currently has two patients enrolled, as part of the national study of approximately 2,000 patients undergoing treatment for COVID-19 in a hospital. The goal for Tower Health is to enroll 100 participants in the study.

Tower Health is among 10 leading medical institutions nationwide embarking on the IMPACC study that is funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. IMPACC will help determine how certain immunological measures correspond to, or may even predict, the clinical severity of COVID-19. Participants are followed for 12 months after their hospitalization to assess how well they recover and whether they develop durable immunity to the virus. Tower Health is collaborating with the Drexel University College of Medicine in collecting and analyzing data.

Participating patients are enrolled within 48 hours of admission and then followed by researchers and clinical teams who collect blood and nasal swab samples from study participants throughout their hospitalization and at subsequent outpatient visits over the next 12 months. Biologic samples from study participants are analyzed for various aspects of their immune response to the virus, with the goal of understanding why some patients with COVID-19 worsen while other patients recover. As participants recover, investigators will continue to evaluate their immune responses to discover any factors that may provide long-term protection against re-infection.

"We are hopeful that the data collected from the IMPACC study will begin to give us answers as to why the coronavirus affects some patients differently," says Debra Powell, MD, Chief, Section of Infectious Diseases and Medical Director of Infection Prevention for Tower Health. As a Principle Investigator for this study, Dr. Powell adds, "We are thankful for all the patients who have willingly participated in this study so far. The information we receive will help us continue to enhance care and treatment for COVID-19 patients."

"Our goal is to identify biomarkers that can predict the severity of symptoms, guide treatment and help us provide every COVID-19 patient the best care possible," said principal investigator Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FAHA, the Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Dean of Drexel University's College of Medicine and senior vice president for Medical Affairs. "This clinical study also reflects the extraordinary value of the Drexel - Tower partnership by leveraging our extensive expertise in infectious diseases to advance new insights about the immune responses of COVID-19 patients, including long-term consequences of this devastating disease."

For more information on this study, visit ClinicalTrials.gov.

About Tower Health

Tower Health is a strong, regional, integrated healthcare provider/payer system that offers leading-edge, compassionate healthcare and wellness services to a population of 2.5 million people. With approximately 14,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown; and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare services provided by Tower Health at Home; and a network of 25 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. Tower Health offers a connected network of 2,200 physicians, specialists, and providers across more than 230 convenient locations. For more information, visit towerhealth.org.