Monday, May 8, 2017

A Grin and a Nod

Friends and Colleagues,

It was only a grin and a nod as he returned to the dugout, but I could tell. My son just came off the mound from pitching a very difficult inning against one of the best teams in his league. These boys were big and swinging the bat hard. It was great seeing his pride as the coach gave him a pat on the back—it was even greater to see him immediately thank the outfielder who had a stunning catch to retire the sides. Baseball is certainly a team sport.

Last week, MedStar Health associates from across the system came together to share in the teams’ pride of advancing health through research, education and innovation at the annual MedStar Health Research Symposium. It was a wonderful event that celebrated the cutting edge research that is taking place every day in our hospitals and clinics (pictures and highlights available on Notes from Neil).

To give you a feel of the event, let me share a few ‘grins’ and ‘nods’ with you:

  1. Throughout the event, it was fantastic to see live tweets (#MedStarResearch17) from MedStar departments and hospitals proudly congratulating their associates on their research.
  2. For the first time, two nurses had the highest scoring poster presentation. When we notified Kathryn Curtain, a registered nurse in the burn unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center that her study on mobility was the award winner, she was quick to point out that it was a collaborative effort with her follow nurse and researcher, Shannon Walters. Research is certainly a team sport too!
  3. It brought together our broader community, including those that help support our innovative research. I found it empowering to watch the interaction between a philanthropy guest and an investigator to learn something new… from each other!
  4. The Symposium helped make new connections with creative minds – an Mi2 associates (Allan Fong) showcases a social networking algorithm (they built to find connections between the 350 posters presented) to our system Chief Medical Officer.
  5. And it catalyzed a continued conversation, such as the email after the event from a hospital president to the resident who presented his award winning research - the congratulatory email led to a deeper email conversation and a planned future meeting.
When you multiply these stories by 800 in attendance, we are clearly moving toward a learning healthcare system that encourages everyone to think differently, make new discoveries and become lifelong learners.

As we close out 2017 Research Week, I’d like to thank each MedStar associate who contributes to research . From the investigators, to the analysts, to the coordinators, to those who support the research team, you each play an important role in advancing the health of our community. Thank you – now go ahead and let that ‘grin and nod’ come out as you take pride in what we are doing at MedStar.


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