Staff Shoutouts: Center for Clinical Research
The past two years have been trying for all of us, says Center for Clinical Research Director Michael Ison, MD, MS. We have been asked to work exceptionally hard and have had to endure major stressors with our jobs. I have been constantly amazed at what incredible work the entire CCR has done. Recently, staffing shortages have added significant strain and required individuals to take on new roles or work harder to support the team and the work we are doing for our investigators. Over the last month, Ison asked CCR team leaders to identify those who have gone above and beyond. Thank you all for your team effort — and lets all take the time to acknowledge the hard work we have been doing.
I’ve been honored to work with Toddie Hays — she has been the NUCATS Navigator who helps nearly everyone who came to NUCATS looking to understand what resources are available and to be connected with the right people and capacities to accomplish their work. She has consistently been a beacon of enthusiasm and help for those seeking NUCATS services. he also has been a critical member of the CCR team. Every time we needed someone to step up and help, she was the first to raise her hand and pitch in. Recently, she has become the Interim Assistant Director of the CCR I’ve had the opportunity to work with Toddie closely in this role. She’s helped to get our staffing where we needed it and to train and support our new hires. Thank you Toddie for the countless areas you have contributed to the success of the CCR.
Michell Kim deserves kudos for her willingness to add an extra workday to her part time, temporary schedule to help train Bridget and Ariana over a 3-month period. Both Ariana and Bridget have praised Michell for her knowledge, advice, support, patience, and thoroughness during their training. Michell took on more of a lead trainer role during staff transitions and new staff training. With Michell’s demonstrated commitment and team support approach, we have been able to maintain the current study assignments. Michell joined the Regulatory team in 2017 and she has remained a valued resource throughout. Michell’s part time role will end in September, and NUCATS and the Regulatory team are grateful for her continued engagement as we transition into a dynamic team.
Elise Van, RN, led a revamp of CRU IPQC (Interprofessional Quality Committee); with a new charter, guidelines and deliverables developed, followed by a successful hand off to staff. This is the shared leadership model for CRU, providing all staff the opportunity to contribute to process improvement in CRU.
From a team standpoint, I’m proud of the work we were able to accomplish with limited staffing and being able to stay afloat given the challenges we’ve faced. Christian Heck deserves a special shout-out for dutifully working with a high volume of new studies – more than anyone could have anticipated – and still willing to lend a hand anywhere it was needed.
Angelica LeungFung, RN, MSD, assumed role of Chair of CRU IPQC. We are happy to report that the majority of CRU staff are participating in IPQC in some way, contributing to ongoing process improvement.
Nellie Perez independently managed and took ownership of the new study submission process, monthly meetings, revisions, and IRB monthly reports from September 2021 through January 2022, while the CRU was short-staffed due to a vacant CRU position. In addition, Nellie took the initiative to train the new staff member in January 2022 with the latest CRU study submission process. Nellie also provided coverage for billing and the study submission process while I was out on FMLA, showcasing her strength in teamwork with coverage assistance.
Nellie continues to provide support to the NU and NM CRU teams. She has received great feedback from colleagues stating she is engaged, dedicated, and willing to receive feedback to ensure a smooth transition across the teams, which is a vital aspect of the role. Nellie continues to retain attention to detail, often identifying billing, study submission discrepancies across documents, and raising important questions to the NMH team to ensure billing compliance and a smooth review and approval process
Joan Pasquesi headed the PI Project: Transition to Risk Based Auditing; Project support from CRU RNs Angelica LeungFung and Deniz Evangelista. The project was completed through the NM LEAD professional development program.