Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Father - Son Connection to Japan

I often hear from readers of this  blog that you enjoy the 'personal' stories so here is one.....

This week, my son used his spring break to take part in Model UN which is an educational simulation in which students learn about international relations, diplomacy and how the UN works. Participants in Model UN conferences, referred to as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries to represent. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with the topics that their committee will discuss. Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in committee. Well, my son's team was assigned Japan so the kids each worked on a different aspect. In the past few weeks, I heard about the results of research on Japanese micro-economics to watching him build Mt Fuji out of paper mache with a friend. 

Below is a picture of his classmates with their Japanese display on the first day of Model UN.

Now, you ask, why is this post titled 'Father-Son Connection'?  Well, as my son was in  NY representing Japan at Model UN, his father was actually in Japan (at the Japanese Society of Echocardiography) representing the United States (American Soc of Echo).  While I got to see a new city (Kitakyushu in the southern part of Japan), meet many nice people and try some new food (don't ask!), I am guessing he had a lot more fun than me and will remember the experience for the rest of his life.

Here is a picture of me with my 'friends'.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

MHRI Research Symposium: Showcasing Nursing Research

from the MedStar Washington Hospital Center e-Nurse newsletter:

Four MedStar Washington Hospital Center nursing posters were accepted for presentation in the MedStar category Nursing Research at the MedStar Health Annual Research Symposium, in Columbia, Md., on March 9. The symposium, in its fourth year, has continued to grow, with 120 posters presented and more than 450 people attending this year. Joe Selby, MD, executive director of the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute spoke about the potential of research in the community care environment.

Seema Hussein, RN; and Marie Turner, RN; with their
poster Improving surgical inpatient readiness.
The four MWHC posters were:

Improving surgical inpatient readiness. Seema Hussein, RN; Marie Turner, RN; Regina Clavelli-Morales, RN;  Rashida McDonald, RN; Virginia Brown-Gray, RN; Ariana Yitbarek, RN; Jane McGee RN;  and Shabnam Hafiz, MD; John Ricotta, MD; and  Bridget Olson-Wright, MS.

Sensory deprivation simulation exercise and nurse empathy. Liz Kmiecik, RN: Joanne Pritchett, RN; and Tabitha Evans.

Development of a neuro-intensive care unit. (Virtual) Charlie Sederstrom, RN.

Engaging unit leaders through daily rounding to drive quality care. Lucy Wilcox, RN; and Lee Hicks, RN.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MHRI Goes Green for National Nutrition Month!

After going "RED" for heart health last month, we decided to go "GREEN" this month in honor of National Nutrition Month! We encouraged MHRI associates to recognize this month by getting a fresh start with healthy eating habits and to "think green"!

MHRI Associates at the Hyattsville office thought it would be appropriate to Go Green on St. Patrick's day with a potluck luncheon.

In keeping with our wellness theme, associates brought in healthy green lunch options like salad, grapes, avocado, boiled eggs (dyed-green), green juice, and even a green pistachio cake!

Feel free to share your "green" plates this month by emailing

Monday, March 16, 2015

Research Symposium: Building Philanthropic Relationships

Guest Blogger, Katie Coyle, Vice President of Philanthropy, Centers and Institutes, MedStar Health 

Philanthropy Committee Member and UMH Board Member,
Jim Paquette (center)
Following Monday evening’s very successful research symposium at the Columbia Sheraton, MHRI was delighted to host a philanthropy dinner for community leaders and philanthropists.  The purpose of the event was  to promote the idea that research efforts across MedStar Health are significant and require private funding. Nearly 40 guests from the Baltimore and Washington region joined Drs. Neil J. Weissman, Steve Evans, Dana Frank, Bill Oetgen, Mark Smith and David Mayer for a lively discussion about the scope of research across MedStar. 

Dr. Kenneth Means, Larry Kushner (Asst. VP of
Philanthropy for UMH and FSMC) and Chuck and
Sandy Goodman
Some guests were not aware that 1 in 5 people in the greater Washington metro area are treated at one of the MedStar Health facilities.  Dr. Evans stressed the importance of MedStar Health to serve this population through research.  Both Evans and Weissman reinforced the economic ramifications of healthcare costs.  Research is the key to the future of unraveling the mystery and burden of diseases like diabetes and heart failure, to name a few.  With a population as diverse as that in the Washington and Baltimore metro areas,  it is the responsibility and mission of MedStar Health to help better understand and treat these diseases. Those in attendance recognized that this will take a partnership with community members.

Monday’s philanthropy event was among the first organized effort to actively cultivate leaders and philanthropists around research activities across the system.  Follow up conversations, meetings and other strategic actions will continue over the next several months.  The goal is to partner with our community to support the important research efforts of MedStar Health.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday the 13th Meets Science

On this second Friday the 13th of three in 2015, you may be wondering how to escape the zombies. Fear not. Cornell graduate student Alex Alemi and others wrote a scientific paper, "You Can Run, You Can Hide: The Epidemiology and Statistical Mechanics of Zombies," that presents a "quantitative study of [a] full-scale U.S. outbreak, including the average susceptibility of different geographical regions." The paper notes that zombies are a growing field in academic research!

For the true scientists out there that want to learn more, you can see the paper and get more info at this Cornell University Library website.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Research Symposium: Creating Lasting HSR Relationships!

Guest Blogger, Angela Thomas, MPH, MBA, Executive Director, Health Services Research Administration, MedStar Health Research Institute

Each year it gets bigger and better!  I’ve had the pleasure of attending all four annual Research Symposium events, and each year I marvel at its ability to create a tangible and infectious energy around research aimed at advancing health.  As the Executive Director of Health Services Research (HSR) Administration, this year was particularly special because it also represented a celebration of many great strides we've made in health services research this year.

We had over 30 health services research posters presented at this year’s symposium representing a variety of topics including telehealth, quality, safety, human factors, palliative care, simulation, patient engagement, and surgical outcomes.  The Executive Director of PCORI, a major health services research funding agency, our guest speaker, Dr. Joe Selby not only delivered remarks that spoke to the necessity of research in a real-world, care delivery setting, but also dedicated his time, knowledge, and expertise to meet with several health services investigators and members of the MedStar Health Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality and Safety (PFACQS) prior to the symposium.   Both meetings helped to inform future directions of our health services research program.

This year, we were also pleased to welcome several outside guests who have become collaborators with several investigators in our health services research program.  Guests from Booz Allen Hamilton attended the event and were not only extremely impressed with the quantity and quality of research happening at MedStar, but also walked away with ideas in several areas for continued collaboration with MedStar.  We also welcomed Dr. Karl Steiner, Vice President of Research for University of Maryland at Baltimore County.  He was impressed with the strong academic nature of the posters presented and commented to me that he remains excited to be collaborating with MedStar!  All guests remarked that they were impressed with the MedStar Health leadership’s engagement and support of research.

Finally, this was the first year of post-reception events, including our first Health Services Research Post-Symposium Reception.  Here, the goal was to capitalize on the tremendous energy from the symposium, have a networking reception for the investigators to make new connections, connect with Dr. Selby and our Booz Allen Hamilton guests, and to foster new collaborations.  We also aimed to celebrate our success over the past year having several projects awarded, including most recently the ACTION III Network.  The result? We laughed, we ate, we drank, we connected, and we celebrated!  The night ended around 9:30 with several of us giving each other hugs in the parking structure.  I’d say that we accomplished our aims!  It was a long day, but a great one! I look forward to attending my fifth research symposium next year!

Monday, March 9, 2015

It Warms My Heart - the 4th Annual Research Symposium!

What a Wonderful Event!

Approximately 400 people from across the MedStar-Georgetown community came together today for the fourth annual system-wide MedStar Health Research Symposium in Columbia, Maryland. Approximately 130 investigators presented late breaking research findings in diverse areas, from cardiology to oncology, neuro-rehab, diabetes, critical care and more.  We had a very nice mix of clinical and translational research and health services research. 

This program brought people out from around the system - in addition to the scientific community, we had members of the corporate executive team, hospital leadership, department chairs and philanthropy leaders.  As I stated in my opening remarks, 'it warms my heart' to see the depth and breath of research, the interest and support of the research from across the system and how  our academic world is integrated into the 'real world' healthcare environment of MedStar.
While there were many highlights, I particularly enjoyed the keynote speech by Dr. Joe Selby, the executive director of PCORI who spoke about the potential of research in the community care environment.

It was also great to see the full launch of our 'Research Brings Hope' campaign and introducing it to a wider audience. 

I want to send a huge thanks to all of the investigators and attendees that came out to support Med Star Health’s research initiatives and to the absolutely fabulous MHRI  associates who were wonderful hosts and made sure the event went without pause.

Remember, you can continue the collaboration and share the Symposium with those that were not able to attend by visiting the virtual Symposium created by SiTEL which will include all submitted posters. You can find the virtual symposium here: