Skip Navigation



Home » Industry News and Resources » Research Centers

Research Center Profile:
NIRA (Northern Indiana Research Alliance)

Center Information

Julie Diehl, RN
Director of Research
NIRA (Northern Indiana Research Alliance)
7916 West Jefferson Blvd.
Ft. Wayne, IN 46804
260-434-6081 (fax)
View Map

Contact Center

Therapeutic Areas

Cardiology/Vascular Diseases

Center Overview

NIRA (Northern Indiana Research Alliance), an affiliate of Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. is an independent clinical research center that conducts clinical research trials for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Clinical Research Experience

Our Research Department has participated in several clinical pharmaceutical and device studies and is dedicated to conducting quality research. We have been involved in trials of new agents for the treatment of diabetes, atrial fibrillation, ventricular arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, angina, hypertension, unstable coronary syndromes and acute myocardial infarction. Device studies have included implantation of coronary artery stents for the treatment of coronary artery disease.

Facility Description

NIRA is located within the same complex as Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C.. All study related procedures are performed here, or at Lutheran Hospital, adjacent to our facility.

Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. is a leader in regional medical advances. For example, we performed the first balloon angioplasty and the first atherectomy in northeast Indiana. We were also part of the team that performed the first heart transplant in this region at Lutheran Hospital.

In addition to providing comprehensive, cutting edge treatments for our patients, we are committed to preventive care and have established a complete line of preventive services. These programs are offered in a variety of settings, ranging from individual consultation to employee wellness programs for large corporations.

Staff Expertise

Robert E. Swint, M.D., F.A.C.C., serves as the Medical Director of NIRA. He is also the President and founding member of Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. Dr. Swint was the first board-certified cardiologist in Ft. Wayne and the surrounding region when he arrived in 1977, and performed the first heart catheterization in Northeast Indiana. Dr. Swint is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Geriatrics.

Peter C. Hanley M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.C.P., joined Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. in May 1990, and created the Research Department 1993. He remains active as advisor. Dr. Hanley is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Critical Care Medicine.

Steven W. Orlow, M.D., F.A.C.C., joined Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. in July 1990. He heads our interventional cardiology program. Dr. Orlow has participated as principal investigator in several medical device studies during his tenure at our facility. Dr. Orlow is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases.

Kent Farnsworth, M.D., joined Medical Group of Fort Wayne, December 1996. He currently serves as chairman of the Lutheran Health Network Institutional Review Board. Dr. Farnsworth is a graduate of Harvard Law School and practiced law for five years before attending medical school. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Legal Medicine.

NIRA holds regular bi-monthly research committee meetings. Serving on the Research Committee in addition to Dr.’s Swint, Hanley, Orlow, and Farnsworth, are Cardiologist, Scott E. Mattson, D.O.; Gastroenterologist, Andrew E. Katz, M.D.; Pulmonologist, Fred L. Rasp, M.D., F.C.C.P.; Rheumatologist, Steven C. Behrendsen, D.O.; Chief Executive Officer, Joel Sauer; Nurse Practitioners, Lucia Kroh and Diane Lewton; Clinical Research Coordinator, Julie Diehl; and Regulatory Administrator Carla Scherer. These meetings provide a forum for the review of conduct and progress of current trials, evaluation of potential new trials, and the discussion of regulatory issues as they arise.

Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. continues to add staff to meet the needs of the community. Our in-house medical staff consists of physicians specializing in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Pulmonology, and all areas of Cardiology, including Electrophysiology. We currently provide services for over 150,000 patients. A complete listing of our multi-specialty physicians and their profiles can be found on our web site at In addition to physicians, our staff includes two research nurses, several nurse practitioners, a host of nurses, each specially trained in their field, cardiac sonographers, exercise physiologists, pacemaker nurses, nuclear medicine technicians, holter monitor specialists, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, laboratory technicians, x-ray technicians, and a variety of other health care professionals.

Other Information

Our Mission:

Medical Group of Fort Wayne, P.C. is a team of multi-specialty health care professionals focused on individual patients. The philosophy of the practice is to provide the most courteous treatment with the highest quality of medical care available at a cost that is appropriate and reasonable.

NIRA (Northern Indiana Research Alliance) is dedicated to bringing the latest medical advances to patients through clinical research trials, including medical devices and new procedures. It is our belief that through dedication to research, we will remain on the cutting edge of health care science and technology, providing new avenues of treatment for the benefit of both current and future patients.

Our shared goal is to emphasize personalization of patient care, prevention of disease and promotion of wellness, and improvement of quality of life.

Contact Center

If you are interested in contacting this center to discuss placing a clinical trial there, please complete and send the email form below. A representative from the research center will then follow up with you.

Zip/Postal Code:
Please leave this field empty.