The new Baptist Center for Clinical Research opened in June, and will conduct drug trials for obesity, low testosterone, and diabetes.
"Our object here is to extend Baptist's mission to take care of the sick," says Dr. Rich Pellegrino.
According to clinical research coordinator Donna Battles, that means trying out new medications to help fight diseases that have hit the Natural State hard.
"Because we have such a high concentration of diabetes here in Arkansas as well as obesity, we know that we like to eat in the south," Battles says.
Not only diabetes, but also low testosterone.
"It's something that a lot of people don't like to talk about, men don't like to talk about but it's real," she says.
Dr. Rich Pellegrino says if someone is interested in being treated for one of those diseases they will speak to the coordinator first.
"We begin by making sure people understand exactly what we are talking about and what the clinical research process is," he says.
Once a patient is approved for this study, investigative drugs will be given to them.
"Patient care is free, the patients are often compensated," Pellegrino says.
The Center for Clincal Research will conduct four phases for drug testing, all approved by the FDA.
Pelligrino says volunteers will be helping with research of new drugs.
"We provide a service to the community by attracting different medications here," he says.
That will possibly help a variety of health issues.
One of the things that makes this clinical research center unique is Dr. Pelligrino's experience in research, along with the great connections that Baptist Health offers.