Andrews Research & Education Foundation Part of $13M Clinical Trial for Osteoarthritis

Andrews Research & Education Foundation Part of $13M Clinical Trial for Osteoarthritis

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Sept 23, 2019) -- Andrews Research & Education Foundation (AREF) in Pensacola has partnered with four other leading medical research organizations in a $13 million clinical trial studying the ability of stem cells to treat osteoarthritis in the knee.

Along with Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, Duke University, and Sanford Health, AREF will be testing various types of stem cells that will be used to stimulate cartilage growth in the knee joint. The stem cells are administered to the knee through an ultrasound-guided injection, to ensure the stem cells are accurately placed within the joint. Georgia Institute of Technology will be processing the information gathered at each of the four sites.

“We are really proud to be a part of this multi-center trial,” said Ashton Hayward, AREF President. “This kind of research can potentially change the lives of so many people and extend their quality of life in significant ways. It’s a testament to Dr. Andrews and the physicians here at the Andrews Institute to participate in this study with some of the biggest names in medical research.”

These and other less-invasive techniques, often administered in conjunction with ultrasound, are gaining attention as an alternative to traditional surgery, according to Dr. Josh Hackel, who is the primary investigator for the study at AREF. Hackel hopes this research will validate what he and other physicians have been seeing with their own patients - that stem cells can be a viable option for some patients to avoid having full knee replacement surgery.

Each location in the four-site study will have about 120 subjects for the trial and will be testing stems cells from various sources, including the patient’s fat cells, bone marrow-derived stem cells, and umbilical cord tissue cells. They will monitor how each type of cell interacts with knee tissue and measure cartilage regeneration inside the patient’s knee joint. Dr. Hackel has already started treating his first patients in the study, which will last one year.

This clinical trial is being funded entirely by a grant from Bernie Marcus, founder of the Marcus Foundation and co-founder of Home Depot. Osteoarthritis is an issue that is close to the philanthropist's heart because his mother was left disabled by the illness at a young age.

For more information regarding this study, please contact at 850-916-8591.

Andrews Research & Education Foundation Offers Online Continuing Education for Athletic Trainers

November 13, 2018

Gulf Breeze, FL – The Andrews Research & Education Foundation (AREF) is continuing to expanding their education platform to include online courses for continuing education units (CEUs). The course materials will consist of lectures, presentations, and video content that will provide subscribers with full access to the accumulative knowledge of our world renowned physicians and orthopaedic sports medicine healthcare providers. Combining invaluable information with an online education program, AREF will now be able to offer medical personnel a convenient alternative to gain access to higher learning education.

“We are excited to be able to provide the 2018 Injuries in Football Conference course online for athletic trainers,” stated Leandra Price, AREF Education Manager. “This exposure will provide athletic trainers a chance to learn about a variety of injuries and hot topics in football from the best providers that sports medicine has to offer.”

To learn more about our live and online continuing education visit our website

Dr. Brandon Winchester Receives Award for Lead Investigator in a Cutting Edge Research Trial

October 2, 2018

Gulf Breeze, FL – Brandon Winchester, MD is a renowned anesthesiologist known for his expertise in the field of ultrasound guided nerve blocks for orthopedic surgery. As an investigator for the Andrews Research & Education Foundation (AREF), Dr. Winchester was approached by Halyard Health to lead an investigation that would provide real time ultrasound imaging video capture for the development of a regional localization data system. As a result of his proficiency and dedication to research, it was announced by Halyard Health that Dr. Winchester would be recognized for his achievement of being one of the top enrolling investigators for this multicenter research trial.

"When participating in research with the Andrews Research & Education Foundation, anesthesiologists like myself have the unique opportunity to provide safe and efficient clinical care to patients every day while also participating in local and national multi-center studies aimed to advance our specialty and improve international patient care. Balancing advanced clinical practice with cutting edge research is something traditionally reserved for tertiary care academic centers, and is one of the things that makes the Andrews Foundation such a special place to work,” said Dr. Winchester.

Dr. Winchester has collaborated with AREF on a variety of research studies involving the use of ultrasound guided nerve blocks to further develop better outcomes for patients undergoing orthopedic surgery. This new research will allow Halyard Health to develop a database of videos capturing the most commonly used ultrasound guided nerve blocks. The end goal of this exciting study is to have the capabilities to share knowledge from nerve block experts such as Dr. Winchester on a national scale with other practicing anesthesiologist, thus furthering education from research and quality of life for patients.

According to Dr. James R. Andrews, “The thing that sets us apart, and the thing that I emphasize when the foundation was created, is that we need to be involved in education and research and indeed we are doing that at the Andrews Research and Education Foundation.”