Clemson Rural Health Joins Forces with Guardian Research Network to Improve Community Health

New alliance opens doors to clinical trial opportunities in underserved South Carolina communities

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Oct. 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Guardian Research Network (GRN) announces that Clemson Rural Health (CRH), a Clemson University institution dedicated to statewide rural health services initiatives, has joined its nationwide healthcare research consortium. This new partnership will fuel CRH’s mission to transform health outcomes in rural communities by conducting and facilitating clinical trials in historically underserved regions. GRN’s expansive healthcare database will help CRH bolster community health efforts to reduce premature mortality, decrease preventable hospitalizations and improve overall quality of life for local South Carolina patients.

“Clinical trials are critical to realizing our vision to transform health outcomes in rural and underserved communities,” said Ron Gimbel, PhD, Clemson professor and director of Clemson Rural Health. “As health care technology advances at a rapid pace, we are committed to bringing clinical research to the medically underserved in the state who could significantly benefit personally and as a community.” 

By joining the GRN consortium, CRH now offers more opportunities for patients with chronic and untreated diseases to participate in potentially life-saving clinical diagnostic and therapeutic trials. These trials will be integrated into CRH’s hub clinics, which serve a two-hour driving radius via a fixed primary care clinic and a fleet of mobile health units. Every hub clinic is equipped with an integrated electronic medical record (EMR) system, telehealth platform, produce prescription program and a multidisciplinary care team. To create a structure and oversee operations, CRH hired Katie Poplin, M.S., as the associate director for clinical research to work alongside GRN to facilitate the delivery of state-of-the-art healthcare to communities that previously lacked access. 

According to research conducted by Rural and Remote Health, increasing access to clinical trials reduces health disparities in rural areas. GRN’s advanced real world data algorithms expedite the pre-screening process, helping smaller research facilities like CRH focus more on building relationships between eligible patients and the research team, ensuring no patient is inadvertently overlooked to participate in research. 

GRN, a non-profit organization, is a nationwide healthcare organization consortium that focuses on advancing technology to accelerate cures. The organization strives to increase participation in data-driven precision medicine trials, employ real world data for clinical research and precision medicine, and improve patient access to diagnostic studies in under-served communities.

“Partnering with Clemson Rural Health is a significant milestone for GRN,” said Bruce Holstien, chairman and CEO at GRN. “Bringing this innovative team into our consortium demonstrates our unwavering commitment to improving access to cutting-edge studies in underserved communities. I look forward to the work we will accomplish together in our shared mission of driving community health advancements.”

Through this strategic partnership, CRH and GRN will simultaneously boost community health efforts and contribute critical health data to GRN’s database to help accelerate research and development of cures and improved care. Together, these two South Carolina entities are elevating the quality and scope of care provided in both the community setting and to patients across the nation.

About Guardian Research Network
Guardian Research Network, a non-profit organization, is a nationwide research consortium comprised of community healthcare organizations focused on advancing technology to accelerate cures. GRN works with life sciences clients and health system members to increase participation in data-driven clinical trials, optimize therapeutic and diagnostic studies, and employ real world data to improve patient access to precision medicines in under-served communities. For more information, visit

About Clemson Rural Health
Clemson Rural Health is a part of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, a 21st-century land-grant college joining together a unique combination of schools and departments: Communication, Nursing, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health Sciences and Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. These areas have distinctive characteristics and missions – all joined together by a common thread of service to people and communities. For more information, visit

GRN Media Contact:
Andy Teague

CRH Media Contact:
Dianna Colvin

SOURCE Guardian Research Network