More specimen-draw booths and a more open and cheerful patient waiting area allow the busy department to accommodate visits more efficiently and comfortably.
Each phlebotomist now has a newly renovated individual draw station, which increases patient confidentiality and privacy.
The area is now centrally located and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
“I am proud to oversee the Department of Laboratory Medicine phlebotomy operation in this brand new space where barcode technology in every draw booth has enhanced patient safety,” chief medical technologist Gina Mattia said of the new space.
Left top, Mattia (right) reviews safety procedures with phlebotomist Tarsha Price.
Left bottom, lead phlebotomist Linda Arnett (left) enjoys her new work area with phlebotomy supervisor Veronica Washington (center) and Arlene Hagan.
Clinical Center offers new sabbatical in clinical research
The Clinical Center is accepting applications for a new sabbatical program in clinical research management. This initial offering is a pilot project.
“This program will provide management training to help ensure that medical research programs are safe, ethical, and efficient. The sabbatical offers flexible and specialized educational opportunities in this field and gives students the opportunity to work and learn with the full complement of clinical research experts at NIH and components of the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration,” said Dr. John I. Gallin, Clinical Center director. “The program will help demystify the complexities of governmental regulatory agencies while providing an opportunity to achieve excellence in clinical research management.”
The program is open to clinical investigators, health-care managers and administrators, and others who oversee clinical trials, including international research studies.
“Participants select electives from six core modules that offer exposure to all aspects of the clinical research environment infrastructure,” said Dr. Frederick P. Ognibene, director of the CC Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education and deputy director for CC Educational Affairs and Strategic Partnerships.
The core modules are: critical infrastructure, support services, legal and regulatory infrastructure, communications and outreach, strategic management, and funding opportunities. “All have been structured to provide the didactic training and hands-on experience required to manage a clinical research program of the highest quality,” Ognibene said.
Electives within the modules include topics such as protocol writing and tracking, bioethics and human subjects’ protections, international research, informatics, research nursing, development of biologicals, patient recruitment, and budget management.
Re-engineering the clinical research enterprise—including training in the discipline—is one of the initiatives in the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, launched in 2004. “The Clinical Center’s new sabbatical is an innovative approach to assuring leadership in clinical research, which will lead—in turn—to more rapidly moving advancements in medical science to improvements in health and health care for all. Our hope is that participants will go on to help lead major clinical research programs in the United States and abroad. We are pleased to be at the forefront of this endeavor,” said Gallin.
There is no fee for participating in the program. For more information, visit the program Web site: http://clinicalcenter.nih.gov/training/sabbatical/index.html or contact Ognibene at 301-496-9425 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner in translational research elevates service and with it, morale
The more than 40 escort employees field upwards of 10,000 calls per month for patient transport (about 23 percent of the requests) and movement of research specimens, blood products, and medications.
The department, recently brought under Hospitality Services, has integrated customer service standards and training to elevate their interactions with patients and other staff. The escorts have seen their morale elevate with the change.
“I love patient escort; I love my job,” said Shelia Genrette, training coordinator.
Denise Ford, chief of Hospitality Services, emphasizes professional attitude and appearance. “Patient escorts feel good about what they do, and that shows in how they deliver service,” she said.
Service manager Bonita Witherspoon noted that since the shift in focus, her staff feel more like part of the CC community and enjoy their work more. “Before they saw it as just a job, but they view it differently now,” she said.
With the increased patient census, Messenger and Patient Escort Services has seen a surge in orders. As Genrette, and intake coordinators Chris Strickland and Nicholas Clarke explain their process, the phone rings off the hook. Each call and computer order is entered into their system that records what they do and how much time it takes them to do it. “We measure the workload and how we perform, so we can adjust and improve,” Strickland said.
High-volume requests, like stat orders and those from the Pharmacy Department, get dedicated escorts. The pharmacy’s tube system is used as much as it can be, but many research medications cannot be agitated and must be moved by hand.
Messengers check the outpatient clinics, phlebotomy, and inpatient units on rounds every hour. Putting orders in the system correctly and placing specimens in the proper pick-up locations helps the escorts expedite the process of translational research.
“We’re not just an escort; we’re partners in research,” Clarke said. “It’s important to communicate with us so we can help you complete your task.”
Strickland echoed his co-worker, “It’s all about communication. Everyone in this building is a customer to another department. It’s full-circle.”
Clinical Center gets an outstanding rating from The Joint Commission
The element of surprise did not affect the favor of The Joint Commission on their site visit in early October.
The health-care-organization accrediting and reviewing non-profit arrived with no advance warning early the morning of October 6 to begin a three-day investigation into the Clinical Center’s facilities and activities to evaluate our commitment to certain quality standards.
“This is the best hospital I have ever seen,” one of the surveyor reports read. CC Director Dr. John I. Gallin presented The Joint Commission’s findings at a town-hall meeting on October 8. The CC received an outstanding score—compared against 301 standards the surveyors identified only six areas requiring improvement—and the compliment, “Awesome!” from another surveyor. The Joint Commission lauded the CC for our culture of safety, commitment to the patient mission, and knowledgeable staff.
Gallin thanked everyone who helped earn such a high rating—the CC staff, institute and center partners, Offices of Research Facilities and Research Services, and the patients. Survey coordinator Laura Lee got a special shout-out.
“We may have a fabulous building, but what really makes this place special are all of you,” said Gallin to the crowd listening in Masur Auditorium and on videocast. An archived version of the meeting can be viewed at http://videocast.nih.gov.
Recreation therapist named Clinician of the Year by her peers
A surprise to no one but her, Clinical Center recreation therapist Robin Greenfield was named Clinician of the Year by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) at its annual conference in Minneapolis in October.
Greenfield knew nothing of the nomination or her win until the conference’s opening ceremony when she was called before a couple hundred of her peers to accept the honor.
“It’s very humbling. I’m very honored. There are certainly a number of wonderful specialists,” Greenfield said.
With more than 24 years in the field, she returned to the NIH in May (after working for the CC from 1988 to 1997) following stints in Bel Air, Texas; Atlanta; and New Orleans. Greenfield’s ATRA involvement includes a membership of more than 15 years and service as a program chair for the 2001 conference, a 2001 awards committee member, and co-coordinator of the ATRA Mental Health Treatment Network.
She was nominated by her coworkers Marcia Smith, clinical coordinator of the CC Rehabilitation Medicine Department Recreation Therapy Section, and fellow recreation therapist Karen Perkins. Smith lauded Greenfield for her “ability to assess the patient thoroughly and accurately” and for “researching the appropriate intervention to use with the population she is going to serve in order to provide outcome-oriented interventions.”
The nomination noted how Greenfield has implemented or improved a variety of patient wellness programs such as chair yoga, rehabilitation using the Wii game system, and intergenerational activities. Her adaptation to a patient’s condition—whether an epileptic confined to his or her room for monitoring or a brain tumor patient with compromised cognitive skills—was also cited in the nomination.
The ATRA Frank N. Brasile Clinician of the Year is given annually to one distinctive member of the association. “She is a consummate professional who embodies what our profession represents,” said Smith of this years’ awardee. “She truly works to improve the quality of life of her patients.”
Video contest focuses on students’ role in increasing diversity in medicine
Are you or do you know a young college student who dreams of pursuing a medical degree?
Students are asked to submit a short video in response to the contest question. Ten winners will receive $500 toward the cost of applying to medical school and a suite of AAMC publications, including The Official Guide to the MCAT®.
In an increasingly diverse world, it is necessary to have a physician workforce that can identify with the cultural needs of different patients. The online video contest gives undergraduate college students the chance to receive assistance toward becoming a doctor by explaining how they plan to play a role in meeting this demand.
Submissions should be no longer than two minutes, and answer the question: What motivates you to increase diversity in medicine? Upload the video to YouTube, and fill out the entry form at www.aspiringdocs.org/onlinecommunity/videocontest. Visit www.youtube.com/aamcvideo for updates and to see videos featured online. Entries are due at midnight, EST on December 1.
The video contest is a feature of the AAMC’s AspiringDocs.org campaign, a Web site and outreach effort to increase diversity in medicine. It also helps students understand and navigate the medical school application and admission process, prepare for the MCAT, and apply for financial aid.
Piano virtuoso wows Clinical Center crowd
A world concert tour hits the major spots—New York City, Budapest, Paris, and Bethesda, Md. In the midst of a three-month trip playing his music around the globe, international piano sensation Adam György of Hungary stopped at the Clinical Center on October 20.
He found a connection to NIH on a stop in Washington, DC, two years ago. In the audience at György’s show at the Hungarian Embassy was National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse Scientific Director Dr. George Kunos (whose birth name is coincidentally György). They got to talking at the reception following the concert, and Kunos mentioned that NIH sponsors cultural and art events. The two stayed in touch and planned a stopover the next time György the pianist was in town.
“He was unbelievable. I’m really fired up,” Kunos said of his young compatriot before the October performance.
In the eighth show of the NIH Clinical Center Piano Concert Series, György played his own improvisations as well as the pieces from other famed musicians, such as Bach, Chopin, and Liszt. Hundreds filled the seats set up in the CC atrium, stopped to listen on their way through, or pulled a chair into view on the upper levels.
“Music lets you fly away for an hour, or later remembering that hour,” György said. “It lets you communicate your philosophies and thoughts … Music is an international language.”
At age 12 in 1994, György was accepted to the B la Bartók Conservatory, and four years later won the National Youth Piano Competition. He also won Hungary’s Pianist 2000 award, the 2002 Vienna Classics Prize, and the 2003 Special Prize at the San Remo International Piano Competition.
In 2004 CNN World Report identified György as a “rising star,” and the next year he was invited to the Steinway Artist community.
György graduated from the Frank Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 2000, and is back pursuing his doctoral studies. “The goal is to be a better musician and a better person every day,” he said.
Polar bears on parade
Kathryn Foat, education advisor for Polar Bears International (PBI), stopped by the 1NW pediatric unit on October 27 to teach some interested young patients—from left: Anjelica Areas, Rudi Belen, and Cristopher Peralta Portes—about the great, white animal using a cast of a male bear head.
“Scientists predict that, if current warming trends continue in the Arctic, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear by 2050,” cited the PBI Web site. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear and its habitat through research and education. Experts estimate the polar bear population between 20,000 and 25,000—with more 60 percent of them in Canada—but climate change is threatening their icy home.
Foat, also vice president of interpretation, education and volunteer programs at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, was on campus to advocate for PBI at the Clinical Center’s Combined Federal Campaign charity fair. The organization also donated a basket for the CC’s CFC basket drawing.
Astute Clinician Lecture looks at genomics of inflammation
Toolkit aims to ensure informed consent
The AHRQ Informed Consent & Authorization Toolkit for Minimal Risk Research provides information on how to ensure that people of all health literacy levels understand what studies entail and to what they are consenting when they agree to participate. AHRQ developed the toolkit because researchers often use long consent forms that potential study participants can find difficult to comprehend. Their research has also shown that a large proportion of study participants did not understand what they had consented to when they joined a study.
The AHRQ toolkit is based on real world experience with HIPAA and was tested by researchers from Boston University. It includes recommendations for improving the informed consent and authorization process, sample consent and HIPAA authorization documents in English and Spanish, recommendations for adapting and testing the documents, statutory requirements and exceptions, and a tool for researchers’ certification of consent and authorization. The toolkit is available at http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/informedconsent.
Registration for the Giant A+ Bonus Bucks Program can be done at the stores or online at www.giantfood.com/aplus using the NIH Children’s School ID: 02983. Interested parties can also call the school’s office at 301-496-2077 to register and to get more information. All that is needed is a free Giant club card; participants can register for more than one school.
Safeway’s system requires enrolling with the eScrip program, www.escrip.com. Our school’s Group ID number is 149030534. By registering with eScrip, purchases made at some other establishments will earn points for our school.
The drive will end in March, giving you plenty of opportunity to benefit the NIH Children’s School each time you stop to stock your fridge or grab a gallon of milk.
Exercise your creative muscle and your sweet tooth
Last year the Hospital Epidemiology Section took first place for their Jingle Jungle treehouse, and this year’s sixth-annual contest promising to pull another round of inventive entries. All staff are invited to participate—assemble a team and e-mail Ann Marie Matlock at email@example.com by November 13 to join in the fun. Information on the rules and on when and where to pick up the houses will be sent out later this month.
The houses will be displayed in the atrium from December 4 through the holidays. CC staff, patients, and visitors vote on their favorite house. Winners will be announced on December 18, and the top three will be awarded a prize.
CFC charity fair puts mission on display
The CFC continues through the end of the year.
November 4, 2009
CC Grand Rounds
Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers
Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
Fevers, Genes, and Histories: Adventures in the Genomics of Inflammation
This page last updated on 12/14/2017