Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Research Opportunities from the City of Dreaming Spires

Old world meets new world...

This week, at the University of Oxford (the oldest English speaking university in the world which was started in the 12th century) there is a gathering of academic, industry and governmental leaders to discuss enhanced collaboration across these organizations to accelerate innovation and research.

The Oxford - UIDP summit, invited technology, research and innovation leaders from diverse fields (beyond healthcare) came together to discuss the impact of AI/Machine learning, academic-industry consortia, unique industry-academic partnerships, changing workforce needs and more. In the opening session, we heard from Sir Mark Walport (who runs the United Kingdom Research Institute) and Walk Copan, Under-secretary responsible for the U.S.'s National Institute of Standards and Technology. These are among the largest funders of research for England and the United States on the same stage! 


And, of course, it is Oxford so you need to take a little time and see some of the historic sites such as the pictures below from Bodleian Library, the main library of the University of Oxford and one of the oldest libraries in the world.

It was exciting to take part in this summit and I was proud that I could represent MedStar and Georgetown at this prestigious event.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

MedStar Honored for Work on Health Equity by AAMC

Almost three years ago, MedStar Health researchers, along with collaborators from Georgetown University, joined a group of eight institutions brought together by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), to plan and evaluate strategies to produce coordinated systems for community health. I am happy to announce that their work on this project is complete and acknowledge the team for their efforts!

At the end of June, the entire team received an award for their participation at a dinner and the work was presented at the final meeting for participating sites by Angela D. Thomas, DrPH, MPH, MBA; Vicki W. Girard, JD; and Deliya Wesley, PhD, MPH.

The research conducted during this initiative was presented at the 2019 MedStar Health-Georgetown University Research Symposium! The poster, "An Empirical Approach to Planning for Medical-Legal Partnerships (MLPs): Initial Findings from the MedStar Franklin Square Service Area, " can be viewed here.

Congratulations to the MedStar AAMC Team for all your hard work, dedication and contributions!

The full team was Angela Thomas, Jamie Padmore, David Mayer,Terry Fairbanks, Chris Goeschel, Deliya Wesley, Derek Delia, Vicki Girard, Lisa Pollan , Deborah Perry, Emeobong Martin, Tricia Isennock, Diana Quinn, Sullivan Robinson, Eileen Moore, Ana Caskin, Megan Wall, Allyn Rosenberger, and Uchenna Emeche.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Importance of Diversity In Research

Below is my monthly message for the July 2019 edition of the MHRI newsletter, Focus. You can view Focus online at

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Happy 4th of July holiday! I hope everyone had a chance to celebrate with those close to you and had a break from your routine. As we come off the holiday weekend, I was wondering if there was anything from the break that left a lasting impression?

For me, on this celebration of America, I was struck by a full-page NY Times ad by the Carnegie Corporation of NY ( entitled “Great Immigrants, Great Americans” with dozens of pictures of well-known Americans (with Andrew Carnegie prominently displayed). In their words, “Every Fourth of July since 2006, Carnegie Corporation of New York honors Andrew Carnegie’s legacy by celebrating the wide-ranging contributions of immigrants who enrich our communities and culture, strengthen our economy, and invigorate our democracy.” This holds especially true for the medical sciences.

Keeping all politics aside, immigrants represent diversity. For science, it’s a diversity of thought, perspective, experience, and ingenuity. Diversity creates the richness of possibilities. However, diversity also creates a wider spectrum of expectations, desires, and needs. The Washington - Baltimore area is incredibly diverse. In many respects, we are a microcosm of the US and therefore a microcosm of the challenges that US healthcare faces. While those challenges are formidable, they also present a wonderful opportunity for MedStar, in partnership with Georgetown University, to excel in health equity research. This is an important part of the work of an Academic Health System, a health system that applies academics to advance the health of the entire community we serve.

As you review this month’s e-Newsletter FOCUS, you will see articles about research on diversity and health equity. For example, MedStar Health, in partnership with Georgetown, was recently recognized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for investigating the potential impact of medical-legal partnerships to improve health. The research collected qualitative and quantitative data at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and its Family Health Center in Baltimore. High risk health factors included low socioeconomic status, caring for young children, and homelessness. Legal issues that arise from these circumstances included custody, domestic violence, health insurance, and eviction. Addressing these social determinates of health often have a larger impact on the patients’ ultimate health outcome than just the medications prescribed.

Being in the nation’s capital also allows us to examine the impact of health equity research in the context of health policy. The MedStar-Georgetown Surgical Outcomes Research Center, working with colleagues from the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, is investigating the unintended surgical outcomes consequences of healthcare policy, specifically in low-income and ethnic and racial minorities. With this information, the research can focus on expanding the ways to improve the delivery of surgical quality, language effects, and disparities in access to and outcomes of surgical care.

I am very proud of the work we are doing to recognize the diversity of our community and extending our health services research to improve health equity for the diverse populations we serve. On this holiday in celebration of America, we should step back and recognize our contributions. Together, we are advancing the health of our slice of America…we advance health in many ways and we advance health by staying connected to our community.


Read Focus at

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Five Years of Encouraging Future Researchers

Guest Blogger:
Colleen A. Kelly, CCRC, CIM
Manager, Clinical Trials; MHRI Baltimore Cardiology

Cynthia Lynn Yashinski, BA, CCRC
Clinical Research Coordinator III, Cardiology

This year marks the fifth year of the Baltimore Cardiology EP summer internship program!

It was initiated in 2014, when I (Colleen) was approached by a former colleague about whether our department had a position available for her college-aged son who wanted to pursue a career in medicine. While my department did not have any paid positions available at the time, we explored the MHRI volunteer program. Cynthia had also expressed an interest in mentoring an EP intern. That is when the program was born!

The subsequent year, we met with Shawn McNamara, EdD, MS, RN, Dean, School of Health Professions, Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) about working in collaboration with MHRI to offer a summer position to one of their Allied Health Sciences students since CCBC’s campus is adjacent to Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. So the past 4 years, Baltimore Cardiology has hosted a CCBC student as a summer EP intern.

Our former intern presenting her research as a PhD candidate!

The interns have the chance to learn and observe many different things while they are here, as well as meet researchers, physicians, nurses and representatives from industry. They get to observe patient visits, ablations and device implants, as well as study procedures like device checks, blood draws and lab processing, and data entry. They get to see how we interact with patients, and learn basic clinical skills such as how to take vital signs, perform an EKG, and draw and process blood (using employee volunteers).
They also learn about good clinical practice, HIPAA privacy laws, and the research process from IRB submission to closeout.

We have been fortunate to have selected some outstanding students that have go on to advance their careers in health-related fields. One continued their studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, two have gone on to nursing school, and one entered a PhD program.

Thank you to Dr. Glenn Meininger for his support of this program. We are proud to be able to offer a rich and valuable experience for these young students and help lead them into research! 

Happy 4th of July!

As MHRI celebrates our nation's freedom, let us honor the men and women dedicated to preserving the independence of all Americans. Enjoy the time with your family and friends.

Have a safe, happy, and healthy Independence Day!