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PROJECT SUMMARY Children living in rural regions of the United States have limited opportunities for research participation. The Institutional Development Award (IDeA) Program was launched in 1993 to enhance biomedical research opportunities in states with low rates of National Institutes of Health funding. The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) IDeA States Pediatric Clinical Trials Network (ISPCTN) was formed in 2015 to provide clinical trial participation opportunities to children living in IDeA states and to enhance workforce capacity for pediatric clinical trials. The ARkansas ECHO ISPCTN Site (AREIS) based at Arkansas Children?s Research Institute will build upon previous work and continue to expand research participation opportunities for children living in rural regions in Arkansas. To this end, AREIS will continue to work closely with the Data Coordinating and Operations Center, with other ISPCTN sites, and with local experts affiliated with the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. In the next cycle of funding, AREIS will 1) provide research expertise and leadership to the ECHO ISPCTN for the development and implementation of robust clinical trials in high priority ECHO focus areas; 2) increase clinical trials competency and leadership skills among AREIS faculty and staff; and 3) leverage existing resources to implement innovative community engagement and community partnership approaches that will enhance the participation of rural children in clinical trials. Innovations in clinical trials, such as the incorporation of telehealth approaches, will allow AREIS to conduct research in low-resourced settings, such as rural communities. The collective impact of this research with increase the enrollment of rural children in clinical trials in ECHO focus areas and increase clinical trial competencies among faculty and staff affiliated with AREIS. In addition, the continued development of strong partnerships with other ISPCTN sites and the DCOC will enhance the success of future research collaborations in ECHO priority areas.

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