Monday, January 8, 2018

What We Accomplished in 2017

Below is my monthly message for the January 2018 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It seems that every newspaper, TV show, and magazine is doing a recap of “the top” things from 2017 these days. Life can go by quickly and I have found some of the year-in-reviews provide an appreciation for the number of events that can occur – especially in our 24-hour news cycle!
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
These recaps reminded me of a conversation I had with an MHRI manager who was frustrated because there were so many things she felt she needed to get done. I asked her to take a moment and come to my computer where I pulled up a document I keep on my desktop. When I started my current position, someone suggested that I create a living document of accomplishments for the year and pull it out whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or frustrated. It is one of the best pieces of advice I got. We work so hard and get so many things done but our ”results-oriented” personalities tend to focus more on what is left to do.

So, heeding that advice from 10 years ago, here are some research accomplishments at MedStar Health from this past year that we can all be proud of:
  • Created new knowledge through research that was shared in over 1000 peer-review publications and range from new cardiovascular devices to wearable sensors in contact sports to healthcare disparities in surgical outcomes.
  • Nearly 1000 MedStar associates conducted research at 40 MedStar sites in dozens of clinical service lines – this has helped advance the health of our patients, elevate the level of care we provide and enhance our reputation as a site for excellent care
  • Received grant funding for a wide range of clinical and health services research that improve the care of our patients. For example, our Human Factors research team, led by Dr. Raj Ratwani, received grants from AHRQ and Pew Foundation this year to study how to improve patient safety with the use of electronic health records.
  • Our broader philanthropic community demonstrated their commitment and trust by investments in our research including:  1) a multi-million dollar bequest, 2) $500K donation by a single grateful patient for thyroid cancer research and 3) approximately $1M raised toward a new health economics and aging research institute based at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital.
  • Made major investments in our research infrastructure, in strong collaboration with Georgetown University Medical Center, launching a new CTMS (clinical trial management system) with unified processes and approximately a dozen new joint policies with Georgetown. 
  • Advanced the MedStar–Georgetown partnership with the evolution of our Scientific Advisory Board into an Academic Council, with a reporting structure to both MedStar and Georgetown executives and Boards.
  • Continued our commitment to becoming an ‘Academic Health System’ and started to get national recognition for this work (e.g., Modern Healthcare viewpoint).
  • For the first time, we transformed our annual MedStar Health Research Symposium into the look and feel of a national conference and combined it with a first-ever system-wide resident research day. The Symposium was attended by over 800 MedStar associates.
  • None of these things could be accomplished without our MHRI associates, a talented and wonderful team of research professionals. Once again, MHRI achieved an engagement score over 80 on the associate survey, which further supports that we are committed and excited to advance health through research at MedStar.
Thank you for a great year! I hope you share my pride and excitement for what is ahead. Stay warm and let’s get started on our list for 2018!


Read Focus at

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