Monday, June 29, 2015

1000th D2d Participant in the Nation Enrolled at MHRI!

MHRI, collaborating clinical site for the Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes (D2d) trial, enrolled the 1000th randomized participant in the nationwide study. 

MedStar has been a recruitment leader and is currently the only site in the D2d study that has reached 90% of its time-adjusted goal.  Out of all the sites across the United States, the MedStar site has been the first to reach 60% of it's goal, with a total of 90 participants out of a 150-patient goal. MedStar currently is conducting the study at the Hyattsville University Town Center MHRI offices and at the Good Health Center at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. 

The D2d study is a large clinical trial taking place in more than 22 cities across the United States and is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association. The goal of the D2d study is to determine whether Vitamin D supplementation is safe and effective in delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at risk for the disease and to gain a better understanding of how vitamin D affects glucose metabolism. The D2d study will enroll approximately 2,400 participants who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Participants are randomly assigned to receive either vitamin D or placebo and be followed for up to 4 years for development of diabetes. The D2d study is expected to define the role of vitamin D supplementation in modifying diabetes risk in people at risk for the disease.

Congrats to the D2d team and keep up the great work! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Compliance Training at MHRI

Guest Blogger, Joan K Bardsley, MBA RN CDE FAADE, Assistant VP Special Projects, MHRI

Compliance training is well under way with nearly 100% of associates taking part. We know it is hard to take time out of one’s busy schedule to focus on a topic that is based in regulations. However, high marks have been received because of the great  group of instructors that includes the team from Corporate Compliance and our regulatory department.    

Priscilla Adler, director of regulatory affairs, and Maureen McNulty, quality assurance associate joined forces with Mutanu Mutuvi-Thomas, privacy director at MedStar Health and Rebekah Stewart, assistant vice president, hospital compliance at MedStar, to provide policy based perspectives and expertise illustrated by actual cases. 

Attendees were able to get specific questions answered and showed how the policies related to their research situation. We look forward to continuing this training for the rest of MHRI and seeing you all soon! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MHRI's Customer Service Survey

Did you know that every year, MHRI conducts a 'customer' service survey?

At a research organization, one may not think of 'customers' or 'service' but in fact, we do provide a service to our investigators, to our patients, to our sponsors and to each other (other members of the research team). One of the core organizational goals of our organization is to deliver the best possible customer service experience to the MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI) community.  We are constantly seeking to provide efficient, customer-focused, user-friendly service in every interaction, in order to better showcase our expertise and offer excellent research support across MedStar Health. 

As a part of this effort, we are inviting our investigators to take part in a brief customer service survey this month.

Investigators are asked to rate MHRI’s customer service overall through a series of 6 questions and then have the opportunity to provide specific feedback to help our continued growth regarding any of the research operational or administrative areas.  

All investigators should have received an email from me last week and again earlier this week with a link but if you did not, email to get your link to take the survey.  It will only take 5 minutes and the feedback will help us learn how to continue to grow and improve.  Thank you!

Monday, June 8, 2015

AAMC Advisory Panel on Research

I recently had the fortune to be asked to be part of AAMC (Association of American Medical College's) Advisory Panel on Research.

This Advisory Panel is made of approximately 15-20 research leaders across the nation who get together to discuss contemporary issues in academic medicine. At this meeting, we addressed two major topics:  transparency of clinical trial data and changes at the NIH.  For the discussion on making clinical trial data more available and transparent to the public, we started with a panel of experts with representatives from a patient perspective, industry perspective and an expert from  All agreed that having research data more widely available is advantageous to the field; the challenges are in the logistics and maintaining confidentiality.  The second part was a report and discuss led by Sally Rockey, the Deputy Director for Extramural Research at the NIH (who also writes a very popular blog). This was very informative to understand the history of NIH funding, their goals and considerations to achieve those goals. The meeting ended with an advocacy update as it relates to research.

Overall, I found the meeting very informative and a great chance to meet several others who lead up the research efforts for their universities and hospitals.  It was also a great opportunity to share with this prestigious group the great work happening across the MedStar-Georgetown research community. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Georgetown Selects New Executive Dean

I am very pleased to share with you that Georgetown University's president recently announced that Dr. Edward Healton will be the Medical Center's next Executive Vice President and Executive Dean.  Besides being highly respected for his current role as chairman of neurology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and his past role as VP of Medical Affairs at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, Ed is also an active investigator, a member of the MedStar-Georgetown Scientific Advisory Board and sits on the MHRI Board of Directors.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Healton as we all look forward to working with him to build the Georgetown-MedStar research community to have even greater impact and advance health for our community.  The full announcement is on the Georgetown website at:

Monday, June 1, 2015

Quarterly Managers' Meeting

Did you know that each quarter, the managers from across MHRI come together as a team, to address organization-wide issues?  

We call it our 'Quarterly Managers' Meeting' - while the agenda varies each time, it is usually a full day of activity that revolves around some major topic (last week, it was the roll out of the associate survey results and the prior quarter it was about professional development with a guest speaker).  The managers often will work through 'councils' (and we have 4 councils that align with our four pillars on our operating plan:  research development, people, compliance and admin/finance).  In addition to working together as an organizational-wide team, we always use the last 1-2 hours for updates and announcements.

Below are a few pictures from our managers' meeting last Thursday where we were joined by Dr Evans (Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Medical Affairs for MedStar Health) who started the meeting with an update on the state of MedStar Health: