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Created in the Corridor: Tanager Place Research Center

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS 2/FOX 28) - When you hear the words 'research center' you likely think of a large institution with laboratories and white coats. Now, for the first time in Iowa and quite possibly the nation, there's an innovative research center with no walls and no boundaries Created in the Corridor.

Thousands of children with mental, emotional or behavioral challenges already get help from Tanager Place. We serve, yearly, over 4,000 kids and families," says George Estle, Tanager's CEO since 1982.
Tanager's outpatient and inpatient programs are located on its main campus in southwest Cedar Rapids and many of its services are based in schools. But Tanager sees a need to provide more than just treatment.
Explains Estle, If were truly going to be innovation driven, if were going to be true to our mission, that has to be fundamentally driven by data. We have to know what were doing and why and what works and
what doesnt work. So Estle and his staff are doing something that hasn't been done before; partnering with five Corridor Colleges and Universities for a Research Center embedded in a practice setting.

As one example, the University of Iowa is researching a form a play therapy for children and their parents. Volker Thomas, Associate Professor and Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program at the College of Education says parents can learn as much as the researchers. The children respond in such wonderful ways that the parents quite often say, Wow, how did that work? I wish I could do that too. And they say, Well, well teach you how to do it.

At the same time Melinda Green,  Associate Professor of Psychology at Cornell College, is looking at biometric markers of Bulimia nervosa. The number one cause of death for women with bulimia are sudden cardiac arrhythmia, says Green. So she is studying a nerve dysfunction that causes these cardiac events. And Green has been able to grow the number of participants thanks to funding from, and access to, Tanager Place. Again, it's about conducting research where people live with no limits on the areas of exploration. Since we want to do it in the real world rather than at the lab at the University," says Professor Thomas, "thats why it is so important for us to come to places like Tanager and work with them.

Estle says the research possibilities are endless.  An open ended approach like this, I dont know of anything like it in the country. 
Tanager received a $130,000 gift from longtime advocate Marty Andreas who helped jump start the center. And the stakeholders believe its findings have the potential to impact the nation.

Participating research partners include the University of Iowa, Mount Mercy University, St. Ambrose University, Cornell College and Coe College.
You can find more information about Tanager Place and its new Research Center by visiting the News Links section of this website.
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