Beacon Health System * Lighting the Way to Wellness - The nonprofit parent organization of Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, providing world-class care throughout North Central Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

Elkhart General Hospital 574.294.2621
Memorial Hospital 574.647.1000

Clinical Research

Beacon Medical Group Clinical Research Institute was developed to help improve patient care. "Clinical research is not only good for Beacon as an organization, it's very positive for patients and the greater community as well," says G. Larsen Kneller, M.D., Medical Director at Beacon Medical Group LaPorte. "It really is a win-win situation for everyone involved."

A wide array of patients are enrolled in trials that study drugs developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, rosacea, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, tendonitis and overactive bladder, among others.

View our current clinical trials.

On average, only one compound in a thousand will actually make it to human testing. For those that make it to Phase 2, 3 or 4 clinical trials like those taking place at Memorial Hospital of South Bend, the road can still be a long, winding and tumultuous one between present knowledge and future advancements.

For Patients

What is a clinical trial?

The only way a new drug comes to market in the United States is after extensive human testing. A clinical or research trial is the method thorugh which those human volunteers help contribute. Beacon Medical Group is our community outlet for pharmaceutical research trials. To learn more about clinical trials, please visit

Who is eligible to participate in a cinical trial?

Volunteers are required to meet criteria designed by the drug maker. The criteria make measurements of outcomes — good, bad or indifferent — possible. Each volunteer is given thorough medical exams and medical history review prior to participation in the trial. All office visits, exams, labs, procedures and study drugs are provided at no cost to the volunteer. Volunteers are frequently reimbursed for travel and time commitment to the study.

"In the past, to participate in clinical trials, patients would have to go to Chicago. Now people don't have to travel far to do something positive for their community," says Dr. Kneller. "That's one of the things that patients like most about it--that they're doing some good for others with the same condition."

"We discovered that one patient who wanted to participate in a Rheumatoid Arthritis trial needed a pacemaker. Another woman in a psoriasis trial learned she had diabetes. People get lots of free, quality medical care," says Kim Emmons, nurse manager of Clinical Research.

Our research experience

2014 begins our tenth year of performing clinical trials in our region. Care is provided by the physicians of Beacon Medical Group and an experienced staff of research registered nurses. Our staff also includes a regulatory coordinator and volunteer recruiter.

"Even if they don't qualify for the trial, people walk away with great health information, free of charge, just for being a part of a clinical trial," says Nicholas Straniero, M.D., Medical Director of Beacon Medical Group Rheumatology South Bend. He adds, "A clinical trial is not something that every patient would be interested in, but for some, it's assuring for them to know that they're advancing medicine not only for themselves, but for all future generations."

We support a network of sites to assure consistent quality, safety and compliance for the clinical trial process.

The Benefits to You
  • Our network: Beacon Medical Group is one of Indiana's largest multi-specialty physician groups.
  • Over 50 practice locations and urgent care centers that service more than 1 million people within 6 counties.
  • Clinical research activities are centrally coordinated and managed by a highly trained research staff, including full time registered nurses, regulatory specialists and designated recruitment staff, in addition to our experienced physician group.
  • Extensive base of volunteers.
  • High retention rate of volunteers.
  • Central IRBs.
  • Regulatory document turnaround of 5 business days on average.
  • Finalization of contract negotiations within 10 days on average.
  • Collectively, Beacon Medical Group physicians have over 186 years of experience conducting Phase 2, 3, and 4 clinical trials.
  • Ready access to a -20 degree freezer and dry ice for storing and shipping lab specimens.
  • Access to a centrifuge and the ability to process lab samples on-site.
  • A 12-lead ECG machine and staff trained to use it.
  • Ample space in locked cabinets for drug storage.
  • Experience with web-based electronic data capture (EDC).
  • Study staff have computers with high speed internet access.
Areas of Clinical Research Expertise
  • High Blood Pressure (hypertension)
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Diabetes (Type II Diabetes)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gout
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Asthma

Current Clinical Trials

Clinical Primary Physician Investigator Apply

Adolescent Depression Study (PDF)