Sunday, June 17, 2018

Guiding Medical Students to Research

Each year, MedStar Health awards scholarships to approximately 30 first-year Georgetown University medical students so that they can participate in research projects over their summer break. For seven weeks, each summer scholar shown in this picture will work under the direction of a MedStar Health physician-investigator. In addition to conducting research, the students are given the opportunity to have clinical exposure early in their medical school career. Their experience culminates with a capstone presentation in the fall.


Last week was the start of the student’s official work and they all met at MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI) for orientation before dispersing to meet with their mentors that afternoon.


Congratulations to the Class of 2021 Scholarship Recipients! I hope you enjoy your summer experience and keep research in mind as you move forward in your studies. You can see the full list of recipients here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Manager's Retreat: Teamwork & Team Dynamics


Guest Blogger: Karen Wade
Vice President, Research Administrative Services
At the Research Institute, we all work hard to support our clinicians & investigators to help provide positive patient outcomes. As a management team, we were long overdue for dedicated time together to refocus our energies on continuing to strengthen our bonds as team members and enhancing our professional growth as leaders of the Research Institute.


Well, we took this time at the end of May and it was such an enlightening experience! The retreat began on Thursday evening, with dinner where we spent time catching up with each other and getting to know the newer members of the team. We then moved into very simple, though some may say not so simple, exercises in verbal and non-verbal communication. How eye-opening it was to realize how much we communicate non-verbally, both positive and negative! We closed out the evening with a team-building exercise which taught us the importance of effective listening (it took us a bit to figure this one out) and partnership to achieve a common goal. The realization of the power of effective teamwork was very evident.


We got an early start on Friday with exercises geared to identifying the qualities we each bring to the organization and how best to collectively use those qualities to make MHRI a better organization. We put this newly acquired information to the test when we formed teams to build structures using tape and spaghetti that would support a marshmallow for 3 seconds. While this may sound silly, the exercise made us keenly aware of the team dynamics and how best to leverage everyone’s contribution for a successful outcome, something that I hope all of those in attendance can take back to their teams.


Closing the Retreat with a walkthrough MHRI’s rich history and all that we have accomplished as an organization was a great way to remind us of the impact of our work. We have so much to celebrate and so much more to look forward to in the years to come.


There is also a short video with more photos from the retreat that can be watched here.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Three C's

Below is my monthly message for the June 2018 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at MedStarResearch.org/FOCUS.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Why do we work? Why do we drag ourselves out of bed every morning? What a silly question. We work because we have to make a living. Sure, but is that the only reason?

On Friday afternoon, I was driving back from an all-day, off-site meeting with all the MHRI managers from locations across the system. These talented colleagues are at the heart of our research operation that happens at 40 different MedStar sites. Given the geographic spread, these MHRI leaders are often limited to virtual interactions and rarely have the opportunity to spend time together. While we spent time on many topics, from communication styles to associate pulse survey results and suggestions, what was really happening in that room was fascinating, wonderful—and heartwarming.

As we closed the meeting, we spent a few minutes to reflect on what was most notable about the meeting. Every comment was about the people in the room rather than the work we were doing. People appreciated having a chance to get to know their system-wide teammates and working with them together in the same location.

On my drive home, as I was smiling and thinking about these comments, it reminded me about a recent Harvard Business Review article entitled The 3 Things Employees Really Want: Career, Community, Cause. Adopted from the article:
  • Career is about work: having a job that provides autonomy, allows you to use your strengths, and promotes your learning and development. It’s at the heart of a learning healthcare system.
  • Community is about people: feeling respected, cared about, and recognized by others. It drives our sense of connection and belongingness.
  • Cause is about purpose: feeling that your work makes a meaningful impact, identifying with the organization’s mission, and believing that it does some good in the world. It’s a source of pride.
In the article they present research data (and maybe that is why I like it so much!) from a Facebook employee survey, which found that most people are not satisfied with just one aspect reflected in their jobs and often rate all three buckets as important - 90% had a tie in importance between at least two of the three buckets. The research found that priorities were strikingly similar across age groups. Similarly, there were no major differences by role, or by location.

At MedStar Health, we are fortunate that we do such important, meaningful work. If ever there was an important cause, I cannot think of one more important than saving and improving lives. At MHRI, the associate survey has helped identify career and professional development as an area of opportunity, which we will continue to give greater attention and effort. However, what I was reminded about on Friday is that we are also so fortunate to have a rich, talented and caring community.

As we wind down this rainy weekend, let’s all take this moment to reflect about our own personal ‘community.’ It’s all about the people in our lives – our family, our friends and the people we share our lives with at work. And it’s also about the people we don’t know as well but still help through our advances in healthcare today… and for the people we may never get to meet that will benefit from our advances tomorrow.

Thank you for all you do today and tomorrow to advance health at MedStar.

Neil



Thursday, May 24, 2018

Georgetown-MedStar Joint Academic Councils

Supporting our vision to advance health, we launched our joint Georgetown-MedStar Academic Councils today.  These new academic councils, which include a scientific council and an education council, are borne out of the 50-year agreement that reaffirms our organizations' robust commitment to partnership in providing world-class health care and excellence in academics and research. 





The Georgetown-MedStar Education Council and the Georgetown-MedStar Scientific Council will identify opportunities to optimize joint resources and programs, coordinate our efforts on development of researchers/educators, increase the recognition of academic accomplishments and contributions, identify areas of mutual academic priority and develop an annual work plan for these priorities. The result of this work will be reported to the Boards at both MedStar and Georgetown annually.



This is an exciting step forward in our partnership.  I am excited about the synergistic potential and the energy/enthusiasm I experienced in the room today. 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

MIND Lab

I was at the corporate offices in Columbia recently, and I had the pleasure of visiting the brand new MINDLab space. The MedStar INnovation & Design (MIND) Lab highlights much of the great work happening around the system, including research!

The space was designed to engage the mind in innovation, thinking differently, and collaboration with the goal of advancing health. 
One of the highlights is the Wall of Wow, which is an interactive wall that allows visitors to learn more about MedStar Health from stories and photos from across the system. Next time you are at the corporate offices, check it out - the door is almost always open!

If you want to see more photos, check out the #medstarmindlab on Twitter! If you visit the corporate MedStar offices, be sure to stop by and add your photo to the feed.







Monday, May 7, 2018

Gratitude. Research. Hope.

Below is my monthly message for the May 2018 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at MedStarResearch.org/FOCUS.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Life is so busy we rarely take the time to reflect on the ‘big’ questions that are at the heart of living. Why are we working so hard? Does it really matter? Are we making a difference?

Gratitude. Research. Hope.

For the first time, and through the efforts of the MedStar Health Philanthropy team, a video presentation allowed us to follow the journey of two MedStar research participants. These two patients, Jessica and Kevin, shared their personal stories and reminded us about the importance of research at MedStar Health. It was grounding, humbling, and emotional. Through this impactful video, we see first-hand that gratitude is real and research brings hope.

If you were not one of the 800+ attendees at the Seventh Annual MedStar Health Research Symposium, please watch this video NOW  – it will only take you a few minutes but will stay with you forever.
Watch the video on the MedStar Health Youtube channel.
Thank you to Jessica, Kevin and their families for sharing their story. There are thousands of people that take part in research at MedStar and we are changing lives every day, both for our patients today and tomorrow.

This is only possible with your support and hard work. Our research brings hope and instills gratitude. Thank you.

Neil

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Twitter Highlights from the MedStar Research Symposium

With the launch of the @MedStarResearch Twitter just prior to the MedStar Health Research Symposium this year, it was great to see the conversation happening on the #MedStarResearch18 tag through our account this year!


The tag truly highlights the breadth of the event and how successful this seventh annual event was!


If you missed the event, or just want to keep the momentum going, you can see the story by searching #MedStarResearch18 on Twitter.

Thank you to all who were able to attended and who are our ambasssdors to research across the system.