R&D Senior Director’s Corner

R&D Senior Director’s Corner

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Welcome to my first Senior Director’s Corner!

My background is in developing and testing programs, practices, and policies with the goal of reaching a broad and representative proportion of patients and achieving clinically meaningful effects that can be sustained overtime. As such, my vision for research at Carilion Clinic is that we take a patient–centered approach to developing research questions, designing studies, and interpreting our results. The ultimate goal is to conduct innovative research that ethically, safely, and effectively improves the health of our patients. Our current work in basic science, applied clinical science, and clinical trials aligns well with this overarching goal.

One of my charges is to continue to support a strong research climate within Carilion Clinic. As I have met with a number of department chairs, one of my initial strategies in this regard is to ask for their support to have research returned to a measurable factor on the organizational scorecard. I’m also working through a summary assessment of the current infrastructure that includes the function and services offered by of the Office of Sponsored Projects. We are hoping to identify current opportunities for improvement and strengths in our current infrastructure. It will also provide information for methods to better match our research to timely and important practice needs.

Overtime, we also plan to collaboratively develop a formal mission statement for Carilion Research that highlights the intention for an integrated research–practice enterprise that is beneficial to patients, physicians, employees, researchers, research groups, clinics and departments within Carilion. A related goal is to refine the organizational structure to allow for research and practice activities to become integrated with facilitative policies that make research–practice interactions easier to engage in while adhering to necessary ethical, patient safety, and privacy issues.

I also have a charge to develop areas of research that are distinct from, yet complimentary to, current and future work of faculty at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. It is my belief that a strong Carilion Clinic research department will be one that facilitates opportunities for research in collaboration with both VTCRI and VTCSOM; it will also be one that develops an infrastructure that can support patient–centered research conducted by internal investigators.

If you have any ideas on the direction we need to take in the research department please let me know! On a more specific level, we also plan to make some changes to our quarterly newsletter. We will continue to highlight one of our investigators each quarter and I am hoping we can get an interview with one of the department chairs each quarter to talk about research, hot topics, or future directions relative to their discipline. Finally, we want to highlight Carilion Clinic researcher publications and to report our success in obtaining extramural funding.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you about your ideas for research!