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May 31, 2022

Around the nation: HHS formally establishes federal health research agency

Daily Briefing

    HHS formally established a federal health research agency within NIH and appointed an acting deputy director, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Kansas, and Maryland.

    • District of Columbia: HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on Wednesday formally established the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H)—a $6.5 billion agency that aims to strengthen the federal government's ability to efficiently produce biomedical and health research. Becerra named Adam Russell as the agency's acting deputy director, effective in June. Currently, Russell serves as the chief scientist at the University of Maryland's Applied Research Laboratory for Intelligence and Security. He has over 10 years of experience as a program manager, first with the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and then with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In his new role, Russell will oversee the initial stages of building ARPA-H's administrative structure and will manage the hiring of the agency's initial operational employees. In the future, President Joe Biden will appoint an ARPA-H director for administration and operations, who will report directly to Becerra. "We are ecstatic that Dr. Adam Russell has accepted the challenge to help launch ARPA-H, President Biden's bold, new endeavor to support ambitious and potentially transformational health research in this country," Becerra said. "ARPA-H will have a singular purpose: to drive breakthroughs in health, including the prevention, detection and treatment of diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and diabetes." (Emerson, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/26)
    • Kansas: The University of Kansas Health System last week appointed Scott Campbell CEO of its St. Francis Campus in Topeka, effective June 27. Campbell, who has over 30 years of health care executive experience, most recently served as CEO of UT Health Athens and as the regional leader for UT Health Jacksonville, UT Health Quitman, and UT Health Pittsburg. He also previously served as CEO of Bay Medical Center Sacred Heart Health. He succeeds Steve Anderson, who is stepping down to start a private venture in Salt Lake City. (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/26)
    • Maryland: FDA on Thursday announced that Abbott recalled certain lots of its Dragonfly OpStar imaging catheter because of marker bands that could separate from the catheter after use, remain in the patient, and cause a potential injury. Notably, there have been five related incidents and one injury reported to FDA. These catheters are designed to be used for optical coherence tomography of coronary arteries. According to FDA, providers should immediately stop using any devices from the affected lots and report all product performance issues to Abbott. (AHA News, 5/26)


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