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On the Frontline of Medical Discovery

Clinical Center News

Published monthly for CC employees by Clinical Center Communications

past issues

May 2001

Title 42 offers pay options for some

CC develops an online course for research training

Help desk replaced by newer system

Katie Couric to receive NCI award

Nurses receive recognition during their week

Nursing Department joins forces to advance research

Take your child to work day

QWI stresses importance of diversity

Local lodge donates to support kids

An outstanding volunteer!

News briefs

Volunteers needed

Title 42 offers pay options for some

Clinical Center nurses and allied health professionals will soon have the option of changing to an alternative personnel system, intended to be more flexible and streamlined for both employees and management.

Title 42 for Clinical Research Support is an employment system for CC employees engaged in direct or indirect clinical patient care service. The system is centered around pay bands that use competency, and not longevity, to determine the amount of individual pay increases or supplemental pay (awards, bonuses) given to employees.

The current GS schedule follows grades and steps, which limit employees to a set salary and generally require them to wait one year within their current grade before being promoted. Under Title 42, managers will have the flexibility to negotiate salaries and promote employees based on performance, without a waiting period.

"It allows for managers to recruit faster, be more in control of the pay, and not be restricted by the Title 5 [GS schedule] rules," said Tom Reed, director, Office of Human Resources Management.

Current employees will have the option of staying in the GS schedule or converting to Title 42. Most new hires will be placed under Title 42. Benefits such as life and health insurance, leave and retirement benefits are the same.

Hiring under Title 42 doesn't necessarily require the rating and ranking system that selects the top three candidates and passes their applications to the hiring official. Instead, all qualified applications would be submitted to the hiring official, creating a larger pool of applicants.

Depending upon the position, each job will fall into one of three pay bands. CC Director Dr. John Gallin will establish the pay band ranges to make sure they align with similar positions in the private sector and other federal agencies.

The change to Title 42 is expected to increase the Clinical Center's ability to retain and recruit highly qualified employees, enhance performance management and incentive systems that motivate and develop employees, and create a diverse workforce in which all employees are respected and treated fairly. This will be implemented in a human resources system that can respond quickly to changing programs and market needs.

"This new system supports our strategic initiatives, gives us another tool for workforce planning, and positions the CC to compete well in future labor markets for the best and brightest people," said Reed. "If the employees know they are good workers and their manager recognizes it, then both will likely benefit from the Title 42 system."

-by Tanya C. Brown

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CC develops an online course for research training

An interactive online course on how to conduct clinical trials is currently available on the Clinical Center's website

The course was developed by the CC to teach essential principles and processes to conduct clinical research at the CC. It is required for all clinical principal investigators conducting trials at the Clinical Center.

"As of March, no Clinical Center protocol will be approved if the principal investigator has not passed the course," said Dr. John Gallin, Clinical Center director, who was instrumental in developing the course.

The course was instigated by guidelines developed in 1996 by the International Conference on Harmonization, a consortium of regulatory bodies for Europe, Japan and the United States that defines resources required for clinical principal investigators. Based on these guidelines, the Clinical Center Medical Executive Committee developed a set of standards for conducting clinical research within the NIH intramural program. One of those standards required training and education of all principal investigators on protocols to ensure clinical researchers have a consistent and complete understanding of their responsibilities.

The course provides the training and structure needed to conduct research protocols that protect patient safety and assure quality results. It also encourages consistency in data collection and storage so that there is wide access to methods and results.

Course topics cover ethical issues in human subjects research, roles and responsibilities of the investigator and the institution, regulatory issues and interacting with the mass media.

The course was first conducted last year, with two live sessions in September and December in Lipsett Auditorium. Four-hundred researchers took and passed the course in those two sessions. A video version was installed on the Clinical Center's website in January 2001, and the interactive web-based version has been tested on the site since early March. One hundred fifty-one people have taken and passed the course on the web.

-by Colleen Henrichsen

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Help desk replaced by newer system

A new computer support system that assigns a technician to each department will soon replace the help desk. The new system will take effect May 15.

The change will allow for increased interaction between user and technician to help solve computer issues, according to Richard Gordon, chief information officer.

"This change will provide the service our customers requested," said Gordon. Three additional technicians will be hired to help handle the workload. With the additional hires, Gordon said there would be one technician for every 200 employees. On average, the help desk receives 1,100 requests per month.

The new system will be monitored for several months and then reviewed to assess its progress and determine if it works better than the centralized system.

Department of Networks and Applications (DNA) will contact each department to give them the name and number of their technician.

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Katie Couric to receive NCI award

portrait of Katie Couric

NBC's Katie Couric

The National Cancer Institute will honor Katie Couric, co-anchor of NBC News "Today," with its Extraordinary Communicators award on Friday May 18, at 2:30 p.m. in Masur Auditorium. Couric will present "The Power of Television" in this second lecture of the Eleanor Nealon Extraordinary Communicators Lecture Series.

Through her work on "Today," as a contributing anchor for "Dateline NBC," and as co-founder of the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, Couric teaches millions of Americans that colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable. Her crusade against the disease is both professional and personal. She will share how cancer has touched her family and describe her mission to promote colorectal cancer screening.

The Eleanor Nealon Extraordinary Communicators Lecture Series, which is free and open to the public, is a tribute to outstanding individuals who have advanced the science of communication and/or the communication of science through their professional and/or personal experiences. The series honors Eleanor Nealon, a beloved NCI employee who displayed passion and persuasion in her communication and advocacy work until breast cancer claimed her life in 1999.

For more information, please visit, contact Linda Gaskill at 301-984-7191, or e-mail

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Nurses receive recognition during their week

May 6-12, is National Nurses Week. As part of their celebration, the Nursing Department selected three nurses who have been recognized by their managers and colleagues for making major contributions to the Clinical Center and excelling in their areas.

picture of Kathy Feigenbaum sitting at her computer workstation

Kathy Feigenbaum
Kathy Feigenbaum is no stranger to the Clinical Center. She started her career here in 1980 as a nursing assistant, working during her summer vacation from the University of Maryland Nursing School.

After completing her bachelor's degree, she became a clinical staff nurse in the adult oncology program. Because of her commitment to nursing, Feigenbaum went on for her master's degree in nursing and became certified in nursing specialty areas including medical surgical, gastroenterology and ambulatory perianesthesia.

Feigenbaum is manager of the endoscopy suite and coordinates protocol-related activities for the Digestive Disease Branch of NIDDK. Her knowledge in nursing recently led to her promotion to clinical nurse specialist where she initiates staff involvement in new equipment trials, new protocol implementation and complex nursing care.

"I've made a commitment to this department and to nursing as a whole," said Feigenbaum. "I enjoy working with the patients and seeing them on a regular basis, and I am dedicated to the job, the staff and the patients."

Feigenbaum is also a faculty member of the Nursing Department's physical assessment course and has presented at national and regional nursing conferences. She also served as a clinical expert on the Food and Drug Administration's "Scoping the Scope" project that looked at how endoscopes were being disinfected and developed recommendations for improvements. The recommendations led to changes nationally in the practice of scope cleaning.

picture of Lisa Marunycz talking with a coworker

Lisa Marunycz
Two years ago, Lt. Lisa Marunycz joined the Clinical Center as a commissioned corps nurse. Since then, she has emerged as a leader by becoming acting nurse manager of the neurology program of care.

As acting manager, Marunycz is responsible for staffing, scheduling of 30 RNs, and day-to-day operations of the unit. Since taking on these duties, Marunycz has partnered with the National Eye Institute to place patients on 5W, a unit that generally focuses on neurological disorders. She has also streamlined the admissions process, which allows for better use of inpatient beds and resources.

"The management role is something I've wanted to do for a long time," said Marunycz. "Nurses work really hard and need someone to take care of them and that was my goal, to make a difference in nursing and to help them."

Marunycz received her bachelor's degree in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, she wanted to do something challenging and out of the ordinary with her degree. So she joined the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps and served at the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base.

Four years later, she left the Air Force and joined the U.S. Public Health Service. Her first duty station was the 5W inpatient unit. "I really like it here and I enjoy the people I work with," she said.

picture of Allison McLean standing at a computer workstation in the critical care unit

Allison McLean
Several years ago, Allison McLean was ready to give up nursing and take an offer to become a broker on Wall Street. But that decision didn't sit well with her.

"I enjoy what I do and I like what I do," said McLean. "Caring and nursing are synonymous. I wanted to stick with nursing and I have no regrets."

That was 16 years ago. Since then, she hasn't looked back. McLean received her associates degree in nursing from Hunter College in New York where she grew up. She received some of her training at a local hospital, after which, she spent two years in home health care. She later moved to Maryland and applied for a position as a nurse in the Critical Care Department where she was trained to become a critical care nurse, where she has remained for the past 13 years.

"This job helps me to focus on the holistic approach to patient care. The ICU environment allows me to systematically care for patients and understand the rationale behind why processes occur," she said. "In regular nursing, you don't find out the dynamics of the patient, you're just too busy."

McLean serves as a coordinator in the critical care unit and has taken advantage of opportunities to work as an associate investigator on research projects and make presentations at conferences. Two years ago, McLean received her bachelor's degree from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park. She said she hopes to attend a certification program in the business of nursing at Johns Hopkins and then complete her MBA with a minor in nursing administration.

"Nursing at NIH is a unique opportunity that has fostered my love for the profession," said McLean.

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Nursing Department joins forces to advance research

The CC Nursing Department has recently joined forces with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) on several major initiatives aimed at increasing nursing research opportunities among Hispanic nurses.

"We see this collaboration as a wonderful opportunity to capture the interests of exceptionally talented nurses, from students to the post-doctoral level," said Dr. Gwenyth Wallen, CC senior nurse specialist for research. "Most importantly, this collaboration will introduce Hispanic nurses to the CC research training programs, which we hope will increase the number of Hispanic nurses involved in nursing research."

The first phase of the collaboration involved a visit by NAHN board members, which included more than 15 representatives from hospitals nationwide.

The CC Nursing Department, along with the NAHN's leadership, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Office of Equal Opportunity, and the Office of Loan Repayment and Scholarship, designed a two-day strategic planning workshop, which was held in March and included tours, presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on issues surrounding research and training opportunities. Participants were welcomed by Dr. Clare Hastings, chief of the CC Nursing Department, and given tours by CC Nursing Department's Margaret Bevans, R.N., M.S.N, and Tino Merced-Galindez, R.N., M.S.N., who also serves as an NAHN board member. Georgie Cusack, R.N., M.S.N., provided a presentation highlighting her career development to illustrate the role of the nurse in clinical research.

The second phase of the partnership will include a strong presence at the NAHN annual conference, which will be held July 18-20, in San Antonio, Texas. July 20, has been set aside as NIH Day and will include presentations to the entire association membership on training opportunities at NIH, including specific CC nursing research and training programs.

"These kinds of collaborations are important to us because we cannot effectively provide patient care services to Hispanic patients and be completely culturally competent if we don't train and support the career development of Hispanic nurses," said Dr. Wallen. "We are also hopeful that some of the Hispanic nurses who come here to train and decide to return to their communities will be able to have an impact on reducing health disparities in the Hispanic community through their own nursing research."

"Reducing Health Disparities in the Hispanic Community," is the theme for this year's conference for the NAHN, the only national professional organization representing Hispanic nurses. For the past 26 years the NAHN has been committed to working toward improving the quality of health and nursing care for Hispanic consumers, and toward providing equal access to educational, professional, and economic opportunities for Hispanic nurses.

-by LaTonya Kittles

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Take your child to work day

photo of a young boy smiling while participating in one of the activities

Kids were dressed up in gowns when they took a "Fantastic Voyage Through Laboratory Medicine," sponsored by the CC Department of Laboratory Medicine (DLM).

Each group of kids was given a chance to learn about immunology, chemistry, micobiology, hematology and phlebotomy. The NIH Office of Communication and Public Liason/OD, sponsored a "Hands in Science" program that allowed kids to dissect frogs and sharks.

a young girl standing behind a video camera

The Medical Arts and Photography Branch offered kids a chance to film their own music video. Each child learned all aspects of filming, and each child received a copy of the video they helped to create. DTM showed kids how to properly draw blood from a patient, letting them stick a fake arm with a needle and drawing red fluid into a test tube. They also learned about proper sanitation techniques.

Children were able to see the streptococcus virus, tapeworms and other parasites, as part of the demonstration presented by the Department of Laboratory Medicine (below, left), while the National Capital Therapy Dogs sponsored a "Caring Canines" demonstration to show how dogs provide therapy and assistance to patients at NIH. (below right) Willow, one of the caring canines, is getting to know Stephanie DeRosa, as her sister Lacey looks on.

a participant is looking through a microscope A dog is sniffing the face of a young girl

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QWI stresses importance of diversity

Last month, the CC Quality of Worklife/Diversity Council brought you information on NIH resources that can help you improve your quality of worklife, particularly in relationship to stress management. This month, the council would like to share information about diversity, a critical component of worklife in our organization.

On April 4, the NIH sponsored a symposium, "Diversity in the New Millennium," which was attended by a number of our CC QWI/Diversity Council members. This event included a forum on managing diversity and an awards ceremony. The guest speaker was Mr. Trevor Wilson, who presented a stimulating discussion on "Global Diversity at Work." Also, the agenda included the presentation of the following statement of policy at NIH, which our council would like to share:

It is the policy of the National Institutes of Health to manage the diversity of our employees by building an inclusive work force, fostering an environment that respects the individual, and offering opportunities for all persons to develop to their full potential in support of science.

Diversity is the mixture of differences and similarities each employee brings to the workplace to accomplish the goals of the NIH. Diversity management is a long-term change strategy enabling the NIH to examine its fundamental values and culture to determine whether all employees are reaching their full potential and making maximum contributions to the mission of the NIH. Effective diversity management promotes productivity and respect for the differences and similarities each person brings to the workplace.

Every employee at the NIH has an active role in implementing the Workplace Diversity Initiative. Management officials at all levels share responsibility and accountability for achieving our diversity goals. For diversity management to be integrated successfully into all facets of the organization, initiatives must continue to be guided by leadership's full commitment and employees' full participation. Full support of this policy is critical to diversity management becoming an integral part of the organization and benefiting not only the individual, but also the NIH's scientific mission.

This information was provided by the CC QWI/Diversity Council

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Local lodge donates to support kids

An outstanding volunteer!

congress woman morella poses with a group of five children Floride Canter holds her plaque and poses with Mathew Swinburn of the Red Cross
Congresswoman Connie Morella (R-Md.) joined members of the Benjamin B. French Freemasonry Lodge as they donated $3,000 to the Children's Inn. The group sponsored a pizza party with clowns and games, and gave out T-shirts to children in the 14th floor playroom. Morella has supported the effort of the lodge since it began its support of the Children's Inn three years ago. Pictured (front l to r) Akilah Fearon, Lucille Ozkaya, (back l to r) Congresswoman Morella, Andrew Ozkaya, Chris Davis, and Alison Thiel. Floride Canter, shown with Mathew Swinburne of the American Red Cross, was awarded a plaque for volunteering 15,000 hours of work to the Clinical Center. Canter is the head of the Red Cross volunteers at the CC and began volunteering here 18 years ago. Currently, she works five days a week for eight hours, and has even encouraged her friends and family to volunteer at the information desk, the Friends of the Clinical Center Flower Shop and other areas around the CC.















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New location
As of March 2001, the NIMH Geriatric Psychiatry Branch clinical program moved to the NIMH 4 West patient care unit. The 4 West patient care unit now includes inpatients and outpatients admitted by the Clinical Neuroendocrine Branch, the Geriatric Psychiatry Branch and the Biological Rhythms Section. Staff working with these programs can be reached at 301-496-5831.

Free concert
Join the Manchester String Quartet on May 14 at 12:30 p.m. in the Masur Auditorium for a free concert. The quartet will perform Shostakovich Quartet #10, Opus 118. For more information, sign language interpretation or special accommodations, email Sharon Greenwell at or call 301-496-4713.

Cafeteria update
The opening of the B1-level cafeteria this spring will be delayed. The planning and redesign have delayed construction for the past three months, and the opening is now slated for late fall. Construction is scheduled to resume this month. For more information, contact Dwayne Parris at 301-402-8180, or email him at

Support group
You are invited to attend the Thyroid Cancer Support Group for survivors, families and friends, every second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Meetings are held in the Social Work Conference Room 1N248, Bldg. 10. For more information contact Margaret Sarris at 301-496-6020.

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volunteers needed

Schizophrenia study
The Clinical Brain Disorders Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health is conducting a six-month inpatient research study. The program is free of charge and involves extensive diagnostic evaluations, medication-free studies, neuroimaging and cognitive and neurological testing. Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 65, be diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, and be free of significant medical/neurological illnesses and active substance abuse. For more information or to volunteer, contact E. Anne Riley, Ph.D. at 301-594-0874 or call toll-free at 1-888-674-NIMH (6464) or e-mail: or website:

Blood draw
College-educated, middle-aged adults needed for a two-day outpatient study at NIMH. Involves blood draw, routine clinical, neurological and cognitive procedures. Compensation is provided. Call 301-435-8970.

Dental study
NIDCR is seeking healthy volunteers, age 40-60, to participate in a research study comparing absorption of drug levels to aid in treatment of oral ulcers. You may be eligible if you are not taking any prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, except birth control, do not have oral ulcers or a chronic illness, and are not participating in any other research study at the same time.Participation involves three outpatient visits. Compensation is provided. For more information or to volunteer, call 1-888-606-0220.

Women needed
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is seeking women, ages 18-42, to participate in a study comparing bone density in healthy women. You may be eligible to participate if you have no medical conditions and a regular menstrual cycle, not pregnant, nursing or planning pregnancy over the next three years; do not use oral contraceptives or prescribed medications; smoke less than two cigarettes per day; and drink less than two alcoholic drinks per day. Participation involves four visits over a three-year period, blood test, bone density test, urine test and cognitive testing. Compensation is provided. For more information call 301-435-7926 or 301-594-3839.

Uveitis and JRA
Doctors are investigating the safety and effectiveness of the drug etanercept (Enbrel) against a placebo. If your child has uveitis associated with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, consider enrolling him/her in the study by calling 1-800-411-1222 (TTY 1-866-411-1010). All participants will have the opportunity to be on the study medication. Volunteers will be compensated.

Sickle cell study
Individuals with sickle cell disease are asked to participate in a six-hour bood study during which nitric oxide, a substance produced naturally by the body, will be given. Researchers believe that nitric oxide may improve the flow of blood, which may reduce complications and improve the overall health of people with sickle cell disease. Volunteers will receive a free heart exam as part of the study and will have their progress followed for two years. If you are between the ages of 18 and 65 and have sickle cell disease, you may be able to take part in this study. Call 1-800-411-1222 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010).

Menopause study
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development invites healthy women, ages 45-70, to participate in a study of a new investigational hormonal treatment for menopause. You may be eligible if you are not diabetic, had no menstrual periods for at least one year, do not take hormone replacement therapy, do not smoke and have not had a hysterectomy. Participation involves brief weekly outpatient visits over 8-10 weeks. Compensation is provided. Call 1-800-411-1222 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010).

Crohn's disease
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is conducting a study to test the safety and effectiveness of a potential new Crohn's disease treatment against a placebo (a substance that neither harms nor helps). If you are 18 or older with moderate Crohn's symptoms, call 1-800-411-1222 (TTY: 1-866-411-1010) for more information.

Jaw pain/TMD
The National Institutes of Health seek people 18-65, with early onset or later stage TMD for a study testing treatment medications against a placebo. Call 1-800-411-1222 (TTY 1-866-411-1010).

Back and leg pain
The NIH Pain Research Clinic is conducting research studies to improve the treatment of chronic back and leg pain. The clinic is interested in pain resulting from a pinched lumbar nerve caused by conditions such as a herniated disc, a bone spur or arthritis. You may be able to take part if you are age 18 or older and if you have had pain in your back and leg or buttock for the last 3 months. Call 1-800-411-1222 (TTY 1-866-411-1010).

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Editor: Tanya C. Brown
Contributing writers: Latonya Kittles, Colleen Henrichsen

Clinical Center News, 6100 Executive Blvd., Suite 3C01, MSC 7511, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-7511. Tel: 301-496-2563. Fax: 301-402-2984. Published monthly for CC employees by the Office of Clinical Center Communications, Colleen Henrichsen, chief. News, article ideas, calendar events, letters, and photographs are welcome. Deadline for submissions is the second Monday of each month.

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This page last reviewed on 09/9/09

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