NCH Research Institute Takes NCH to the Next Level

by Paul Hiltz, President/CEO, FACHE

With an eye to the future, I  am excited to announce that the NCH Healthcare System is kicking off a major new initiative, with a goal to take our hospital system to the next level – placing Naples among the top ranks of medical research facility locations.

The newly instituted Research Institute will help take our healthcare system toward the forefront of hospitals in the country. Developing a robust research capability is intended to elevate NCH from its status as a top-ranked regional hospital system; in fact, one of the top-ranked in the state, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings.

However, cutting-edge developmental and testing research on new medical devices and drugs is the province of only the most advanced hospital systems in the country, and this is the level on which we are setting our sights.

Hosting a research institute will benefit NCH on several levels. By escalating the professionalism and raising the profile of the hospital system, we will be helping to develop new treatments for a host of conditions around the country and the world.

Working with the nation’s foremost pharmaceutical companies and medical device innovators, NCH physicians will gain knowledge of and skills utilizing the latest treatment modalities years before the results are released to the general market.

The studies cover both medical devices and pharmaceuticals, working with some of the biggest names in the medical world. For example, our Research Institute is participating in a trial of a new device designed to improve blood flow for patients whose hearts are unable to pump enough blood to meet their bodies’ demands. Developed by EBR Systems, the Wise system uses an electronic stimulation and an implantable sensor the size of a grain of rice to monitor and synchronize blood flow, which could result in patients being able to avoid open heart surgery. This trial, led by Dr. Dinesh Sharma, Electrophysiologist on the NCH Cardiac team, has already enrolled its first patient.

Studies such as these enhance the professionalism of the entire hospital system, and help to recruit top medical talent, as well as retain highly trained and skilled physicians and staff.

The NCH Research Institute will be a big step forward in our focus on enhancing the total quality of patient care, outcomes, and experience across all of our clinical areas, while supporting our goal to be recognized as one of the highest quality institutions in the country.

The NCH Research Institute has come to fruition thanks to a generous donation from Kathy and Fritz Friday. The NCH Center for Philanthropy is continuing to raise funds to help support this new initiative. For those interested in supporting the NCH Research Institute, please visit

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