Monday, October 3, 2016

Our Power to Heal

Below is my monthly message from MedStar Research Focus. MedStar Research Focus is released the first Sunday of each month and can be viewed on StarPort.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

“Receiving the new investigator grant has made a huge difference in my research on operating room teamwork.  It has validated my belief that this work is important, and provides the resources and support I need to find meaningful results related to teams and the delivery of care during surgery.  It also struck home that this grant came from my own community, from associates choosing to support the giving campaign.  I find that both humbling and motivating, and those feelings hold me accountable in a way that feels very personal.” – Shimae Fitzgibbons, MD

Each month I spend time thinking about what I am going to write for my personal message to the MedStar research community.  I often pick the topic early in the week, start formulating the ‘message’ in my mind and then sit down at the end of the week to write. This month I reached out to some of the recipients’ of last year’s MedStar New Investigator Grant, which is funded from associate giving during MedStar Health’s Giving: The Power to Heal campaign.  Last year we had over 75 associates donate to the MedStar Health Research Institute which allowed us to fund 5 new MedStar investigators with grants ranging up to $25,000. After reading the messages of some of the 2015 New Investigator Grant recipients, I couldn’t help but scratch my message for this week, and let their personal stories of gratitude speak for themselves. Tomorrow kicks off the 2016 Giving: The Power to Heal campaign – my hope is that this year we can once again come together and support the important research projects MedStar new Investigators are doing across the system to make the health of our communities better tomorrow than they are today. These investigators represent our future and the future of medicine for our patients.

Please take a moment to read how YOU have made a difference and consider giving once again to the Giving: The Power to Heal campaign by visiting (and select MedStar Health Research Institute in the drop down menu if you want to direct your gift to the MedStar New Investigator Fund).

“As a junior faculty member I was fortunate enough to be awarded the MHRI new investigator grant for the evaluation of a novel method to guide resection in early stage breast cancer. This award is allowing me to open the pilot study to evaluate if this idea is even feasible as it has never been attempted for breast carcinoma. This would not be possible without the generous donations from you -Patricia B Wehner, MD

“Being selected as a recipient of the inaugural MedStar New Investigator grant has been a privilege and a blessing for several reasons. First, it was an honor to be recognized by my own home institution. Second, my department chair (Director of the Transplant Institute, Dr. Tom Fishbein) generously agreed to match the grant amount. Third, the topic of the research has helped position me better for a large NIH grant application due this month. I appreciate the faith that my MedStar Associate colleagues have put in me and I look forward to reporting on the project’s results next summer.” -Alexander H Kroemer, MD

“I am utilizing my MedStar New Investigator grant to develop and pilot test a novel interruption management tool for the emergency department.  One of the challenges for new researchers is finding funding support for smaller pilot studies, thus producing data that is essential to applying for larger grants. The New Investigator Grant mechanism fills this essential gap, and demonstrates the commitment that the MedStar Health and their associates have made to fostering a strong research environment, particularly for early career researchers. The supportive environment of my career development by the MedStar Health Research Institute and the strong mentorship at the MedStar Institute for Innovation are truly unique among academic health systems.” – Kate Kellogg, MD


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