McLaren Oakland hospital expands research program, enrolls patients into COVID-19 trial

McLaren Oakland, the Pontiac-based hospital serving all of Oakland County, recently opened an office to allow for an expansion of the McLaren Center for Research and Innovation, MCRI. Part of McLaren Health Care, MCRI is the health system’s centralized clinical trials operation, making those trials available to the community through its hospitals throughout the state.

As part of its first task, the MCRI office at McLaren Oakland and infectious disease specialist Dr. Frank Rosenblat have enrolled the first patient into the program’s COVID-19 Phase II drug trial.

The trial is for patients who have become infected with COVID-19 and are experiencing severe lung complications — patients who are typically treated in the intensive care unit.

The study uses a medication made from a purified form of human plasma in high doses to defeat the coronavirus infection by boosting the body’s immune system. Researchers will review the data collected from these patients to determine the safety and efficacy of the medication.

“Participating in a Phase II trial can be very demanding on the staff involved, and I’m very proud at the way our staff has responded to meet those demands,” said Margaret Dimond, Ph.D., president and CEO of McLaren Oakland. “Engaging in meaningful research studies, especially around an effective COVID-19 treatment, is a project and program we’re all enthusiastic to be a part of.”

This particular clinical trial will involve approximately 100 patients across 25 centers throughout the United States. McLaren Health Care, through its hospitals in Oakland, Macomb and Flint, represent three of the 25 centers.

In addition to providing space for MCRI, McLaren Oakland also provided clinical support personnel, equipment as well as the assistance of several hospital departments.

Learn more about the services offered at McLaren Oakland at

About McLaren Oakland

McLaren Oakland is a 328-bed medical center that provides primary and specialty healthcare services to the greater Pontiac and Oakland County community. Founded in 1953, McLaren Oakland has grown to a comprehensive medical community that includes outpatient facilities in Clarkston and Oxford, in addition to an inpatient hospital in Pontiac providing a range of clinical services including emergency and trauma care, cardiology, cancer services, minimally invasive robotic surgery and orthopedic services. With a network of more than 300 physicians, McLaren Oakland owns a network of employed physician offices throughout Oakland County and a nursing home in Lake Orion. McLaren Oakland is a Level II verified trauma center and an accredited stroke center. McLaren Oakland offers AOA approved residency and fellowship programs in anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family practice, general surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, podiatry, radiology, and otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery.

About McLaren Health Care

McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a fully integrated health network committed to quality evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 13 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, an employed primary care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 630,000 lives, home health and hospice providers, retail medical equipment showrooms, pharmacy services and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive centers in the U.S. McLaren has 26,000 employees and more than 52,500 network providers. Its operations are housed in more than 350 facilities serving the entire Lower Peninsula of the state of Michigan along with a portion of the Upper Peninsula.