Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Recognizing A Job Well Done

Our associates put in a lot of time working with investigators from every angle. I was pleased to hear that two of our own investigators, Douglas Van Nostrand, MD and Leonard Wartofsky, MD, have edited a new book on clinical management guide for thyroid cancer!

Dr. Van Nostrand was the Director of Nuclear Medicine at MWHC for many years and is now the director of nuclear medicine research at MHRI. He is supported by Ron Migues, MD, as a his Scientific Center Administrative Director.

As a thank you for his support and hard work, Dr. Van Nostrand presented Dr. Migues with a dedicated, signed copy.

I can’t say this any better than Mary Anne Hinkson, our Vice President of Research Operations said it: “Our investigators are at the center of everything we do.  We build trust with our investigators by delivering on our promises. Job well done Ron and thanks for all you do for our research teams.”

Monday, November 28, 2016

Two Weissmans

It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was working in the core lab (my area of research reading cardiac ultrasound exams) - it was a quiet day and I had only a few internal meeting so it was one of those rare days I did not wear a tie. 

I met with Gaby Weissman (no relationship despite also being a cardiologist) and look how the two Weissmans were dressed that day!  Too funny!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Research is a Team Sport: MHRI Fall Town Halls

We finished our MHRI Fall town halls last week, and after connecting with hundreds of associates from Baltimore through DC, it’s clear how large and effective our research teams are at MedStar.
I wanted to change the traditional format of our town halls to highlight the work that we complete as team. I think that, based on your Slido audience response results, it was important to showcase how many associate touch just one research study.
At Union Memorial, I was joined by Rachel Campbell, RN, Inpatient Research Nurse Coordinator for the REPRISE valve study. This study of a new heart valve is being conducted at both MUMH and MWHC. Even at just one hospital, over 50 associates touch this study!
At both UTC and MWHC, I was joined by Terry Moriarty, MSN, RN, research nurse coordinator and primary coordinator for the RESET Study. This study test a new medication for patients who are hospitalized for a sickle cell crisis. This study touches even more than 50 associates, with members of the infusion lab and emergency department playing an active role!
Being part of these teams’ shows that research is not an individual activity, but that it is a team sport. I liked relating this to gears in a clock- we are all working together in a coordinated, inter-locking manner to achieve a unified goal; each associate plays a key role in their duties and as a member of the team.
In addition, Mary Anne Hinkson (VP Operations) provided a brief update on the status of the CTMS (clinical trial management system), OnCore. Thank you to all the associates who have been a part of that team to help us roll-out a successful pilot. Karen Wade (VP Administrtion) shared a few brief reminders: open enrollment is happening until Nov. 17, flu shots need to be received by Dec. 7, and we all look forward to seeing you at the year-end celebrations!
I was also pleased to share some photos and results from the Power to Heal campaign. I appreciate all the donations that you have made to the New Investigator fund and the enthusiasm that came from our “Call-Out Challenge”.  If you would still like to make a donation, please visit MedStarResearch.org/PowerToParticipate
Congratulations to all our raffle winners! If you want to see what calories your favorite activity burns, check out the data from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
I will be looking at your feedback on how MHRI can improve our teams. If you have any additional questions or feedback, please contact me or use the 2-Way Communication feature on StarPort. Thank you to all who attend the town halls and the associates who shared their part of the team.
On my way back to my car at MWHC, I came across this sign. It seemed so approriate after our town hall focus on teams!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Number One [Blog] Fan

I started sharing my monthly Focus message on this blog only a few months ago. It turns out that this has had at least one big effect- I got such a nice email on Monday from my "#1 fan".... 

I just read your blog.... it was GREAT. So good that you researched it. Really enjoyed reading it... your line about enjoying each day was perfect.
Have a super day.
Love ya

Yup, my #1 blog fan is my Mom.  Now that was a nice way to start the day!

Here is a picture of my Mom a few months ago on her 80th birthday and a more recent one where she took part in a play as Marilyn Monroe.


Monday, November 7, 2016

The Gift of Time

Below is my monthly message from Focus. You can view November's edition of Focus on StarPort.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We all woke up this morning to a rare gift – the gift of an extra hour.

Lately, I have heard many comments about how quickly time is passing by. We are already well into the fall while it feels like summer just ended. The beautiful colors and the fallen leaves this weekend remind us that winter is just around the corner. And it is not just the rapid change of season. My gosh, I have trouble fathoming that my son is in high school and is already starting to talk about getting his drivers’ permit – how did that happen so fast?

Well, the truth is that perceived time does move more quickly as we get older. When we were children, the summer holidays seemed to last forever and the wait till Christmas felt like an eternity. But as adults, time zips by with a whirlwind of activity and blurred calendars. As a scientist, I was curious about this and found out there are some biologically plausible explanations.

The most commonly accepted theory is that the perceived passage of time is related to the amount of new perceptual information we absorb. With lots of new stimuli, our brains take longer to process the information so that the period of time feels longer. In addition, when faced with a new situation, our brains will record details more richly into our memories. This makes our recollection of the event appear slower rather than the event was itself. This phenomenon helps explain the ‘slow motion’ effect described by a victim after an accident.

But does this explain the continued shortening of perceived time as we age? As we get older, we get more familiar with our surroundings and we no longer need to remember the details. The more familiar we become with our day-to-day experiences of life, the less details we need to remember and the faster time seems to run.

So what is the solution? It’s simple – take in and enjoy the new experiences that each day has to offer, both at work and at home. At MedStar Health, we are fortunate to have so many opportunities, every day, to gain new experiences caring for people and advancing health. By definition, advancing health through research, innovation, education or new quality/safety initiatives, is a new experience. And not only are you helping the patients of today and tomorrow, you are getting a meaningful experience yourself (i.e., new memories for your brain).

Yes, winter is just around the corner but for today, the sun is out, the sky is blue, and the colors are tremendous. So, rather than worrying about how fast time is moving, just:
  1. Recognize that our perceived speed of time has a biologic bases; and,
  2. Understand that both the perceived and actual time, like the actual beauty of today, is just a function of what you do with it.

Enjoy what the fall has to offer and thank you for creating new experiences at MedStar by advancing health.




Tuesday, November 1, 2016

MedStar Physician Leadership Development - Staying Connected

When twenty-five MedStar physicians completed the 18-month MedStar Physician Leadership Development Program last June, an overwhelming number of them stated in their evaluation that what they liked most in the program were the relationships formed among the cohort. As one participant said, “I have friends and connections throughout the MedStar System for life.”

One commitment this cohort made to each other was to stay connected. They are determined to come together twice a year to reunite, catch up with each other and learn something new. Last month, they met in the late afternoon and I was delighted to be invited as their guest speaker. The organizers invited me to share my leadership story and then deliver my presentation on "Redefining the Academic Health System.”

The challenge, however, is that some had already heard this presentation. So, I tried something new. I opened the presentation as usual. After the first few slides, I stepped out of the formal presenter role and then told 'the story behind the story.'  

While I wanted to share the content a how MedStar is redefining the academic health system, I wanted to let this group know 'the story' of how this topic became important to me and how it came together through my interactions with other MedStar leaders. Putting together impactful presentations is an important skill for leaders to develop.

I was honored to be this groups' first guest speaker and look forward to working with all 25 of these physicians as they take on leadership roles throughout MedStar Health.

If you are interested in the Physician Leadership Development Program, nominations are currently being accepted through Nov 7th for the next 18-month offering, which will kick off in January 2017. A maximum of 25 physicians will be selected from a pool of candidates nominated by the MedStar Leadership Team, MedStar Chief Nursing Officer Council, MedStar Medical Group (MMG) Executive Team and MMG Governing Council. Program candidates must be MedStar Health employed physicians with: (1) an established leadership track record, (2) the ability to advance MedStar’s operating and strategic plan, and (3) a willingness to invest the time and effort to become a MedStar Leader of the Future. For more information please contact Nancy Williams at nancy.m.williams@medstar.net