Monday, September 29, 2014

Making that 'Go' vs 'No Go' Decision

For every investigator that designed and implemented a research study, they know that there is a moment (or two or three!) of apprehension when you wonder if this study will prove the hypothesis true or not (or even worse, if the study was designed well enough to be able to answer the research question).  Many times, we do a pilot study first, to test feasibility and get data to determine the sample size.

For the  2014 Teaching Scholars, that is exactly what happened last week.  They have each been conducting a pilot and at our recent off-site meeting, they had to present their preliminary results to each other.  Then, the next day, we all sat around the picnic tables and each person shared whether they felt their study was a 'go' as is, needed modification or should be scraped because it was a 'no go.'

This proved to be a great exercise because after their decision, the rest of the group voted.  In most cases, the group agreed with the  investigator but there were a few that the group encouraged the investigator to continue even when they did not (or modify in ways the investigator did not consider).

All in all, a very educational experience for all - just look at the picture to the right - everyone was much happier after getting to the point of making a decision! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MedStar Georgetown Medical Student Capstone

What a proud moment.
Last night, MedStar Health Academic Affairs and MedStar Health Research Institute hosted a capstone event for the Georgetown Medical Students who took part in a summer research internship at MedStar. 

As we previously introduced in a prior blog post  MedStar organized and supported a research experience for 15 Georgetown medical students between their first and second year. These students did research in locations across MedStar Health facilities (including ambulatory sites and community based hospitals like MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital) in very diverse areas - everything from 'high end' areas like transplantation to non-traditional areas such as human factors to areas of prevention and population health.

Last night we had a capstone at the French Embassy across the street from Georgetown University Medical Center. The summer research students presented posters with a few selected oral presentations. Over 350 people attended, including the majority of the first year class. 

What was great was to see the great work the students did and to see how MedStar was a productive platform for these students to get a meaningful research experience.  This is in large part to the fabulous research teams we have so, thank you to all who worked with the students to make this such a success.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Schedule Doctor Appointments Without Picking Up a Phone

The world is changing and so is patients' expectations!

MedStar Medical Group recently partnered with, a free, web-based appointment scheduling tool. The goal is to provide patients with faster, easier access to doctors’ schedules and appointments. It allows patients to:

·         Find local doctors who take their insurance;
·         See their real-time availability, and;
·         Book appointments online.
·         Use the ZocDoc tool from your smart phone

You can use this tool to assist patients in scheduling doctor appointments or to set appointments for yourself or a loved one. Search for a doctor by:

·         Location
·         Specialty
·         Gender
·         Languages spoken

ZocDoc provides verified patient reviews, pictures of the doctor and/or office setting, and professional statements from the doctors themselves. Patients can complete their medical forms on ZocDoc prior to their visit to reduce in-office wait time. All these steps help alleviate stress and anxiety that can be associated with a doctor visit.

For more information or to see for yourself how it works, visit  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge--still going strong!

This month's FOCUS message with the link to my ice bucket challenge video has inspired many of you to send nice emails and videos of yourselves doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We've enjoyed seeing your personal videos and encourage you to share them below with the MHRI family!

To start, we have one from our friends at MHRI's Office of Contracts Management nominating lots of other folks at MHRI. Don't forget...Once you are challenged you have 24 hours to do the challenge or donate! 

See their video here ( and post yours in the comments section below! 


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Get Involved and Make a Difference

On May 9th, several districts of the U.S. Postal Service conducted a food drive whereby people left a can or box of food at their mailbox.  That weekend, an army of volunteers came out to collect, transport, sort, and pack this food and then stock the shelves of food banks across the country.  Thousands of tons of food were collected in that single day; millions of meals were provided over the subsequent months, and not a penny was paid.
I had the pleasure of contributing to this experience as a volunteer doing some of that sorting, packing and stocking.  I did it with my family and some of my son’s friends from school at a food bank that was two miles from my house, which I never even knew existed.  I learned about a sector of my community that lives on the edge, is thankful for just one meal a day and worries about food for their children tomorrow. I also learned how much more we can do together, as a community, than any one of us can do alone.  While I gave just a few hours of my time that day, I got back an experience and new understanding that will last me a lifetime.
As we all get 'back to school' and into our family routines, it is a great time to think about 'giving back.'
I am proud that many of our MHRI  colleagues are leading the way by organizing volunteer teams for spirited activities and fun runs to raise money for medical research.  Here are a few - consider signing up for at least one this fall and bring your friends and family along! 

-Sprint Four The Cure

September 20, Potomac Parkway, Washington, DC
The Four Seasons Hotel’s 34th Annual Sprint Four the Cure is taking place this September 20, 2014! The 5k run/walk raises money to support cancer research at the Washington cancer Institute at MedStar Washington   Hospital Center

-American Diabetes Association: Step-out: Walk to Stop Diabetes

October 18, National Harbor
Join the MedStar Diabetes Institute Team and your MedStar colleague walkers from MWHC, MGUH and MHRI. Teams come in all sizes.This year we hope to field a large team to wave the MedStar flag on behalf of our patients living with diabetes. Whether you gather your friends, family, patients or coworkers you can team up with us to Stop Diabetes! and go to the MedStar Team Walk Center

-Super H 5K Run, Walk & Wheel

September 21, Tysons Sport & Health, McLean, VA
Participation supports the MedStar NRH Adaptive Sports Programs which helps children and adults with physical disabilities to pursue healthy, active lifestyles through recreational and competitive sports.