Friday, March 25, 2016

'Diabetes to Go' gets new NIH Grant

Great news for one of our researchers! Michelle Magee, MD, Director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute, was awarded an NIH grant to expand her work on “Diabetes to Go” from the ambulatory setting to inpatients. Over the last several years, Dr. Magee and her team have received grants from the DC Dept of Health, American Diabetes Association and others to develop methods of identifying and educating patients with diabetes (or pre-diabetes) on how they can improve their health and stay out of the hospital.  Through this work in the emergency department and outpatient clinic setting, she has refined the approach, and used tele-health virtual follow up, to greatly improve participants health.

Now her approach to bedside education with patients will be expanded to work with the front-line nurses in MedStar Health hospitals showcasing what is truly bring novel academic findings to real-world, real-time medical care. This is a great example of research on the delivery of care, or health services research.

With diabetes affecting nearly 10% of the population in the US, this grant and research fills a growing need in the community. MedStar’s efforts to reconnect care to our communities is supported by research like this.

More information about this study is available here.

Congratulations Dr. Magee and the MedStar Diabetes Institute research team! 

Monday, March 21, 2016


Today is one week after a great system-wide MedStar Health Research Symposium however I am still enjoying it by going back and looking at the Twitter feeds. 

For the first time this year, we had attendees live-tweeting at the Symposium! A fun additional way to enjoy and share the experience with others.  We were able to utilize the @MedStarHealth twitter account and showcase the great things that were happening in real-time.

I'm excited to see Twitter used more at MHRI and how we can share information about the great work of our researchers. 

Check out some of the great quotes from our speakers from last week.  You can view the tweets with the hashtag #MHRISymposium16.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Leadership Rounding with Baltimore Oncology Coordinators

Guest Blogger: Tina Stanger, Director, Office of Contracts and Grants Management

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Baltimore Oncology Coordinator’s meeting to discuss the MedStar 2020 vision, and how we (MHRI) fit into that vision. We discussed the changing healthcare landscape, MedStar Health’s growth of a distributed care delivery network, and the opportunities for research growth. These opportunities include integrating research and clinical care across multiple settings, the expansion of Health Services Research at MHRI, the ability to bring advanced clinical technology to healthcare via research, and how MHRI brings a foundation for innovation and professional development to our investigators across the MedStar Health system.

We were also able to discuss associate engagement and their office’s plan for professional development opportunities, a quick CTMS update, and updates of my own Office of Contracts and Grants Management. Andrew Carter was introduced to the group as their point of contact for Oncology contracts, and it was great to finally put names with faces after working together via phone and emails for so long.

A thank you goes out to Jean Flack for inviting me to her meeting. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with her staff and appreciate them letting me sit in on their presentation by Liz Ness, Nurse Consultant for Education at the National Cancer Institute. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

How Do Your Values Shape Your Work?

Guest Blogger: Antoinette Newman, Clinical Research Assistant, Oncology Research

Courtesy of Michael Marteen via
“…Day after day, he sat outside a store in Sacramento, California.

[He] was homeless, but he wasn't begging for money. He was begging for a job…

He sat down, clutching his resumé and hoping that someone would pay attention.

He sat down, but he wasn't down and out... He held a sign that said: "Need work and food."

Many take those two for granted. [But he] did not. He didn't want money. He wanted a chance to work and look after himself.

Finally, someone took notice. He posted [about this man] on Facebook.

Now, [he] works as a cook at a restaurant…
Perhaps his values seem quaint. Perhaps his approach isn't something you'd ever consider.
[He] sat on a sidewalk, clutched his resumé and hoped that someone would hire him.
And you think you're too good for your job, right?”

Reflecting back on my days as a medical assistant, I never would have expected to take on any other duties outside of that role. However, I found myself also acting as the CEO of shredding years of piled up documents in a small gastrointestinal private practice, in Newnan, GA. Never in the history of that office had any employee shred as many papers, as I did. Nonetheless, I took pride in what I did. 

Often, employees take so much for granted in the work place. Sometimes, I hear others say “It’s not part of my job description, so I’m not going to do this or that…” or “I’m not on the clock, so I won’t answer the phone…” etc. All employees should want to exceed beyond the sky’s limit every day, no matter their job title. We fail to realize that unwanted tasks, or un-assigned duties help shape who we are not only as employees, but also as individuals as well as, the impact it has on those around us. Perhaps, some people may never know how valuable unassigned tasks are to others until they too are on that very sidewalk the homeless guy sat on. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Power of Collaboration: 5th Annual MedStar Research Symposium

Oh what a night!

With almost 500 attendees from across the MedStar Health system and our collaborative partners, we presented more than 100 posters on the research that MedStar has executed over the last year. This was the largest symposium to date and uniformly the highest quality!

Presentations covered all aspects of health care from nursing practices and palliative care to neurology and cardiology to sports medicine and critical care research and more. Our academics paired with real-world medicine to deliver innovations in care that extend across the system to all the populations that we serve.

Our partnership with CVS Health was showcased with our keynote speaker, Dr. William Shrank. His presentation on the benefits of partnering with innovative healthcare organizations who rapidly learn to better serve their patients was a highlight of the evening. His praise of MedStar as a place that CVS wants to partner with further energized the audience.

I want to share my thanks and appreciation for all the investigators and their research teams who submitted their work to display at the Symposium and to all who came out to support the great investigative work. And of course, none of this would be possible with out the wonder associates of MHRI that I get the privilege  to work with every day - thank YOU!

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:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lunch and Learn - Gaining Momentum across MHRI!

Last month we highlighted information about a "Lunch and Learn" at MHRI's University Town Center (UTC) offices on advanced uses of excel.  Well, last week we welcomed Donna Reeder from MedStar Health Information Services to learn more about SharePoint and how associates can use it to innovate their day-to-day tasks. They also heard about a few ways to make using SharePoint easier through simple tips.This is handy tool available to all MedStar associates and a great way to collaborate.

Donna reviewed how to use this and the other collaboration sites.  It was exciting to hear of the innovations that are in use across the system, from call centers to shared calendars. There are almost 3,000 collaboration sites within the MedStar Health SharePoint network! Several recommendations were suggested for ways in which MHRI can make use of these features.

Since MHRI associates are spread out across the health system and embedded within different facilities, this program helps to link departments and people together in ways that will allow for more efficient coordination and support.

What ways can your department use SharePoint and think outside the box to make you more successful at MHRI?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Driving Change

As part of MedStar Health’s community involvement, we have partnered with Uber! This innovative collaboration makes it easier for patients to get to and from their appointments, be they with their primary care doctor or a researcher.

One issue that patients face in supporting their health is the accessibility to healthcare services. In order for patients, and participants, to advance their health and knowledge, they need to be able to see their doctor at their scheduled appointment time. This partnership uses innovative technology that helps to drive change, which supports our system approach to healthcare. 

Patients play an important role in healthcare, through participation in trials or being proactive in their health and this partnership allows them to access their care more efficiently.

Check out the system here or read the press release.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

MedStar on Wheels

Our simulation education partner – SiTEL – has taken the MedStar commitment to accessibility to a whole new level with its new mobile simulation lab.

This innovative technology allows MedStar associates to hone their skills and learn new ones in an interactive, dynamic environment that literally wheels right to them.

The mobile lab is an extension of MedStar SiTEL’s learning centers in downtown Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. SiTEL’s mission is to transform educational approaches in healthcare by developing 21st century training technologies with state-of-the-art educational approaches – I would say this definitely achieves just that!

Recently, associates at MedStar Health's ambulatory site in Mitchellville were able to work on the mobile lab, during a simulation of a "patient" undergoing a cardiac event and one experiencing low blood sugar. These “patients” are a core part of SiTEL and come with the mobile lab -- they are high-tech mannequins that are controlled by behind-the-scenes simulation specialists who manipulate the scene to mimic real-life medical situations.

Keep an eye out—the mobile lab is on a road show around the region. You can follow the trail of the lab using the hashtag ‪#MobileSimLab on Facebook and, if you’re interested in using the lab where you are, just contact the operations manager, Kelly Haynie at

Learn more by visiting their website.