WASHINGTON and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Children's National Health System and information technology leader Cerner Corporation (Nasdaq:CERN) today announced the formation of The Bear Institute, a joint effort that will be the first exclusively pediatric health informatics institute in the nation. The Bear Institute is a seven-year agreement that will advance evidence-based pediatric care delivery, research, and education through innovation in electronic health information technology (IT). We believe this is the only such institute devoted solely to IT innovation in pediatric care. The Institute will accelerate the development of fully-integrated electronic health records, accessible to care providers, patients and families, health care facilities, educators, and researchers within, and affiliated with, Children's National. The Institute also will facilitate the rapid development of sophisticated health IT capabilities including: linking genomic profiles to decision support for personalized health care; matching patient information with a database of open clinical trials for research opportunities; and more nimble patient and family engagement with their health through secure web-enabled portals and mobile devices. "If we are to achieve healthier societies, we will need innovation in two critical areas: Information Technology and the health and well-being of children. As information technology becomes more central to delivering world-class care, we see an opportunity to lead IT practice for children's health," said Kurt Newman, President and CEO, Children's National. "We share this vision with Cerner, and that shared vision was the determining factor in the selection of Children's National to be the partner for the Bear Institute. Together, we will serve as innovators for children and families." With the formation of The Bear Institute, Cerner and Children's National will invest in innovative programming and product development. Successful developments will translate into intellectual property development and research. "Cerner is thrilled to collaborate with Children's National in creating the first pediatric health informatics institute. Their 140-year history of excellence in serving the health needs of children, commitment to research, and proven record of incorporating health information technology in care all make this a very compelling collaboration," said Neal Patterson, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Cerner, recently ranked 7 th among Forbes' Most Innovative Companies in America. "Children in the region, across the country, and around the world will benefit from the work of The Bear Institute." Children's National brings to the Institute its existing and ongoing significant investment in digitizing health care delivery, as well as its national leadership among pediatric health care organizations in using the electronic health record system to benchmark and track quality and safety initiatives. Additionally, Children's National has led the development of the Children's IQ Network®, a pediatric health information exchange for children, which provides the foundational information technology capability to realize an integrated health care delivery system reaching across the mid-Atlantic region.