You can help advance medical science

Clinical trials can give you access to the latest medicines and treatments. They sometimes can offer a solution when other treatments have failed. They also give physicians and other providers early access and hands-on experience with promising new medications and medical devices.

The Aspirus Research Institute was established in 1996 to help advance medical science. The Aspirus Research Institute allows Aspirus providers to gain continuous insight into cutting-edge medical science and approaches to better patient care.

According to Aspirus Electrophysiologist Dr. Ronnie Ortiz, medical director of the Aspirus Research Institute, nearly 90% of participants in Aspirus Research Institute studies feel their healthcare outcomes improved because of participation in a study. 

What exactly is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are medical research studies that rely on human volunteers. These studies determine if a new treatment or medical device—such as an experimental drug to control high blood pressure—is safe and effective. They may also be used to test new uses for existing treatments.

Clinical trials have ushered in some of medicine's most important breakthroughs, from the protease inhibitors that extend the lives of people with AIDS, to cholesterol lowering medication, to the latest cancer treatments.

Why should I consider volunteering?

By volunteering, you may gain access to a promising new treatment that is not yet widely available. This may be particularly advantageous if conventional treatments haven’t controlled your disease. Also, you can help others by contributing to medical research.

Participating in a research trial is free and some trials offer reimbursement for travel expenses.

What are the risks?

Again, there are no guarantees that the treatment under investigation will work. Additionally, in some trials neither you nor your doctor will know if you are receiving the experimental treatment, the standard treatment or a placebo ("dummy pill" with no active ingredients). So, you can't assume that by participating in a trial you will obtain the newest treatment.

Are there safeguards to protect me?

Under federal guidelines, every trial in the United States must be approved and monitored by an institutional review board (IRB). This independent committee of Aspirus doctors, statisticians and community advocates initially approves and then reviews all research to make sure any risks to volunteers are as low as possible and worth the potential benefits.

How are volunteers selected?

All trials have participation guidelines based on factors such as age, medical history and current health status. Some trials seek volunteers with illnesses or conditions to be studied in the trial, while others seek healthy volunteers.

Where can I find out about ongoing clinical trials?

If you have questions about whether joining a clinical trial is a good idea, talk to your doctor. Participation in studies through the Aspirus Research Institute are open to everyone who qualifies. You do not have to have an Aspirus provider to participate in a research study.

Information about the studies available through the Aspirus Research Institute are available at