October 2015

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Published monthly by the Office of Communications and Media Relations. News, article ideas, calendar events, letters, and photographs are welcome. Submissions may be edited.

Clinical Center News
National Institutes of Health
Building 10, 10 Center Drive
Room 6-2551,
Bethesda, MD 20892-1504
Tel: 301-594-5789
Fax: 301-402-0244
Molly.hooven@nih.gov

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"Best survey this year"

Hospital passes national review with high scores

Just after Labor Day, the Clinical Center hosted four surveyors for three days from the Joint Commission. The surveyors conducted a demanding assessment of the hospital, paying close attention to patient safety and the delivery of high quality care. The Clinical Center maintained its accreditation, with one surveyor saying that the hospital had "astonishingly intelligent staff."

Established in 1951, the Joint Commission is a not-for-profit organization that evaluates health care organizations. The Joint Commission assesses and accredits more than 20,500 health care organizations in the United States, including 3,300 hospitals.

Every three years, the Clinical Center hosts the surveyors in an intensive, unannounced review of patient safety and care.

As a part of the rigorous assessment, the surveyors visited every inpatient unit and many outpatient areas; most clinical departments and all areas performing conscious sedation and high level disinfection and sterilization. They also reviewed multiple patient records and met with several patients.

The Joint Commission assesses 277 standards in each accreditation survey and found only eight minor risks: a 97.2% compliance rate. Six of the risks were immediately corrected and action plans were developed to resolve the remaining issues. These plans will be shared with the Joint Commission.

This result was a 33% improvement over the last accreditation survey in 2012 when 12 potential risks were found.

"The real value in Joint Commission accreditation is being able to benchmark our clinical care and patient safety against a national standard. The ongoing commitment to care by our dedicated staff is apparent through these results," said Laura Lee, special assistant to the Clinical Center Deputy Director for Clinical Care.

"Many thanks to Laura Lee for leading our effort to prepare for the Joint Commission. The results demonstrate that the focus on patient care and safety throughout the organization help the Clinical Center stand out as a unique and special hospital," said Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center.

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The sweet sounds of the National Symphony Orchestra resonate through the Clinical Center

aerial view of the National Symphony Orchestra

The National Symphony Orchestra filled the NIH Clinical Center atrium with music from Mozart, Zart, Ravel, Elgad, Rodrigo and Debussy on Sept. 22. The event marks the 11th time musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra have performed at the NIH. The performances are a part of their Sound Health initiative, which brings orchestral music to area hospitals and medical centers.

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NIH experts earn Service to America Medals

Dr. Steven Rosenberg with patient

Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute, was named the Federal Employee of the Year and awarded a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal.

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers and colleague

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, right, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, was a Science and Environment Medal Finalist for developing treatment for sickle cell disease.

Dr. Jean C. Zenklusen and Dr. Carolyn Hutter

Dr. Jean C. Zenklusen, left, of the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Carolyn Hutter, right, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, were Science and Environment Medal Finalist for advancing precision medicine.

Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute, was named the Federal Employee of the Year and awarded a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal [disclaimer] on Oct. 7.

Rosenberg is joined by three other NIH experts who were honored by the non-profit Partnership for Public Service with a 'Sammies' award for their significant contributions to the country.

In the Clinical Center, Rosenberg and Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, perform both clinical and research work.

Rosenberg was also named a Career Achievement Finalist for developing life-saving treatments for millions of cancer patients, pioneering the use of the body's immune system and genetically engineering anti-tumor cells to fight the disease.

Rodgers was named a Science and Environment Medal Finalist for developing the first effective drug treatment for sickle cell disease to lessen pain and suffering.

He also collaborated in a stem cell transplant clinical trial that reversed the debilitating illness in a majority of patients.

While the two other NIH honorees don't perform daily work within Building 10, the initiatives they've developed will likely one day impact patients within the research hospital and around the world.

Dr. Jean C. Zenklusen, of the National Cancer Institute, and Dr. Carolyn Hutter, of the National Human Genome Research Institute, were recognized as Science and Environment Medal Finalist, along with The Cancer Genome Atlas team of federal employees and contractors.

The team is coordinating a research effort mapping gene sequences for 33 types of cancerous tumors, advancing precision medicine in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases.


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Alter receives the Fries Prize for improving health

Dr. James Fries, Dr. Harvey Alter and Dr. Tom Frieden

Dr. Harvey Alter, center, received the award from Dr. James Fries, left, professor emeritus of medicine at Stanford University and chairman of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, and Dr. Tom Frieden, right, director of the CDC.

On Oct. 6, Dr. Harvey Alter received the 2015 Fries Prize for Improving Health. He was honored for his scientific research and leadership in translating science into practice which has prevented millions of new infections and cases of severe disease and death from hepatitis C and B virus and HIV. Alter received the award at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, and presented information about his research to a crowd of nearly 500 people.

Alter serves as the chief of the Infectious Diseases Section and associate director of Research for the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the NIH Clinical Center. He is the 24th honoree to have received the Fries award for making great contributions to human health.

Dr. James F. Fries, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine for whom the award is named said, "The Fries Prize is independent of field of endeavor and represents improvement of health outcomes. Informally, we refer to it as the Noblest Prize of all."

In an email to Alter, Fries also said "The jury recognized and discussed [many] elements in your own quest toward the eradication of three of the most important viral diseases of our time and of mankind. Our congratulations again, and our thanks."

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Distinguished Clinical Teaching Award presented to Hallett, NINDS doctor

Dr. John I. Gallin, Dr. Mark Hallett and Dr. Agnes Mwakingwe

Dr. Mark Hallett, center, received the 2015 NIH Distinguished Clinical Teaching Award from Dr. John I. Gallin, left, director of the Clinical Center, and Dr. Agnes Mwakingwe, right, committee chairperson of the award.

The 2015 NIH Distinguished Clinical Teaching Award was presented Sept. 9 to Dr. Mark Hallett for his commitment to training clinical investigators at the NIH and his overall contribution to medical education.

Hallett is the chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and chief of the branch's Human Motor Control Section in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Prior to the presentation of the award, attendees heard several clinical fellows' testimony that was included in their nomination.

"[Hallett] teaches scientific integrity by modeling and direct mentoring," said Vesper Ramos, a former Clinical fellow at NINDS. "He is hands-on in the clinic, pointing out significant exam findings and double-checking crucial ones in the laboratory and in writing manuscripts. He patiently teaches us the ropes. He has clinical and scientific expertise with an incredible gift of balancing clarity, brevity and empathy, which is sought all over the world."

The award, which was established in 1985, is the highest honor bestowed on an NIH investigator, staff clinician or tenure-track investigator by the NIH Fellows Committee. The award recognizes nominees who mentor health care professionals, teach issues related to direct patient care and contribute to the advancement of clinical research. Those nominated for the award, in addition to Hallett, included Drs. Ilias Alevizos, James Gulley, Harvey Klein, Ravi Madan, Irina Maric, Constantine Stratakis, Anthony Suffredini, Brigitte Widemann and Carlos Zarate.

Following the presentation of the award, a Clinical Center Grand Rounds Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers Lecture was held. Dr. Kenneth R. Cooke, a pediatric oncology professor from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, led a talk entitled 'What I Always Wanted to Do When I Grew Up: The Excitement, Trials and Tribulations of Conducting Translational Research.'

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Hospital welcomes new Social Work Department chief

Kathy Baxley

Kathy Baxley, the chief of the Clinical Center Social Work Department.

Kathy Baxley started as chief of the Social Work Department at the Clinical Center Sept. 21, following Dr. Adrienne Farrar's retirement in July.

"I am honored to be working here at NIH with such a high-performing team of professionals, facilitating the Clinical Center's mission and assisting patients and families throughout their journey of hope and healing," she said.

Just prior to joining NIH, Baxley was a social worker with the Department of Defense (DoD). She has held various positions of increasing clinical and managerial responsibility within DoD since 2001, culminating with her selection as deputy chief of the Social Work Department at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 2010. Her past positions include medical social work in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery; team social worker for the early intervention program at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.; and management of Navy programs for family maltreatment, clinical counseling, new parent support and sexual assault response coordination in Washington, DC. Baxley began her career as a child protective services caseworker in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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September symposiums focus on transfusion medicine

Dr. Harvey G. Klein and Dr. Susan L. Stramer

Dr. Harvey G. Klein, chief of the Clinical Center Department of Transfusion Medicine, presents Dr. Susan L. Stramer, from the Red Cross, the Richard J. Davey Lectureship Award Sept. 9.

Immunohematology and Blood Bank Event Sept. 9

The Department of Transfusion Medicine and the American Red Cross co-hosted the 34th annual Immunohematology and Blood Bank Symposium Sept. 9. More than 200 people participated in the symposium that provided information about recent developments, current practices, controversies and laboratory management issues related to transfusion medicine.

Dr. Susan L. Stramer received the Richard J. Davey Lectureship Award for her contributions that have significantly advanced the field of transfusion medicine. She is a long-time employee of the American Red Cross, and her many contributions to transfusion medicine have focused on transfusion-transmitted infectious agents, including data collection and analysis, and mitigation strategies.

Red Cell Genotyping Event Sept. 10

Dr. Lynne Uhl

Dr. Lynne Uhl of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and current president of AABB discusses "Molecular Immunohematology in the Era of Precision Medicine." Uhl was one of the presenters during the Red Cell Genotyping 2015: Precision Medicine symposium held at the NIH Clinical Center Sept. 10.

More than 100 researchers and scientists attended the 5th annual Red Cell Genotyping 2015: Precision Medicine symposium held in the Clinical Center Sept. 10. This symposium was co-hosted by the Clinical Center's Department of Transfusion Medicine and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

The symposium included information about clinical applications and new technologies in transfusion medicine. Dr. Willy A. Flegel, chief of the Clinical Center Department of Transfusion Medicine Laboratory Services Section, served as the symposium moderator, and Dr. Celina Montemayor, also with the Department of Transfusion Medicine, presented a clinical vignette about a clinical application.

Other speakers came from the BloodCenter of Wisconsin, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research with the Food and Drug Administration, the School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences in the United Kingdom, the University Giessen in Germany, Héma-Québec in Canada and Hospital Sírio- Libanês in Brazil.

About 30 symposium attendees came from institutes and centers within the NIH; others came from around the world. Participants in the symposium could earn up to six hours of American Medical Association Physician's Recognition Award category one credits dependent upon their level of participation.

This symposium is definitely a success, said Phyllis Kirchner with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. "Every year,we keep coming back," she added.

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29th NIH Research Festival celebrates intramural science

Dr. Hari Shroff speaking

The NIH Research Festival, Sept. 16-18, drew hundreds of people to the Clinical Center to discuss the important findings and scientific advances accomplished in the NIH intramural program. Lectures were held on chronic inflammation, creating NIH technology incubators and responding to public health emergencies.

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Introduction to the principles and practice of clinical research course now open

Registration for the 2015-2016 "Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research" course is now open. It will run from Oct. 13, 2015, through March 22, 2016. This course will be of interest to physicians, scientists, medical students, nurses, public health professionals and all other health professionals planning a career in clinical research. Classes will be held on the NIH campus at the Clinical Center, Building 10, Lipsett Amphitheater, starting at 5 p.m.

Participation is open to people on the NIH campus or off-site. Registered participants can view the lectures live in person at the NIH or online by NIH videocast. Sessions will also be archived and available for later viewing. There is no attendance requirement for the course.

Objectives include:

  • To become familiar with the basic biostatistical and epidemiologic methods involved in conducting clinical research.
  • To understand the principles involved in the ethical, legal and regulatory issues in clinical human subjects research, including the role of IRBs.
  • To become familiar with the principles and issues involved in monitoring patient-oriented research.
  • To understand the infrastructure required in performing clinical research and to have an understanding of the steps involved in developing and funding research studies.

There is no charge for the course; however, the textbook, Principles and Practice of Clinical Research, Third Edition, is suggested as supplemental information for the classes. The curriculum has been enhanced and will include additional lectures providing more comprehensive content on clinical research infrastructure. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion, which is based on receiving a passing grade on an open-book final course assessment.

View more details including the schedule and registration information. For reasonable accommodations or to become an approved remote site, contact the course coordinator 301-496-9425, daniel.mcanally@nih.gov

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NIH congratulates clinical research RNs on graduation of residency program, welcomes third class of novice nurses

group photo

The Clinical Center Nursing Department leadership, family and friends joined in celebrating the accomplishments and hard work of Cohort 2 of the Clinical Research Nursing Residency Program on Oct. 1. The 12 month program, which will be commencing its 3rd class in November, is designed to assist new nurse graduates as they transition from novice nurses into clinical research nurses, providing high quality care to research participants in a clinical research environment. The residency program assists new nurses from a variety of clinical specialty areas develop clinical and research skills and knowledge through a diverse educational curriculum. Residents are also provided with transition support from coordinators, peers and stakeholders as they grow professionally and personally. Successful residents graduate from the program with the skills, experience and knowledge required to provide high quality care to research participants in the clinical research setting.

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Clinical trials at NIH Clinical Center in need of participants

NICHD seeks healthy, children 8 to 17 years old to join a research study of growth and health behaviors. Compensation will be provided. Parents/guardians must give permission for children to participate. (Study #15-CH-0096)

NIAID seeks healthy 18-50 year olds for an investigational malaria vaccine study. You will have outpatient study visits to the NIH Clinical Center. Compensation may be provided. (Study #15-I-0169)

NICHD seeks adults who are overweight, have high blood pressure and/or pre-diabetes to participate in a study. Researchers are examining the effects of the medication, colchicine on the complications of obesity. Compensation is provided. (Study #14-CH-0119)

For more information on the studies above or others available, call the NIH Office of Patient Recruitment 1-866-444-2214, (TTY 1-866- 411-1010) or visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

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The West Africa Ebola Response: A new exhibit now on display in the Clinical Center

West Africa Ebola exhibit

A new West Africa Ebola exhibit is now on display on the first floor corridor just past the Pediatric Clinic of the Clinical Center, on route to Lipsett Amphitheater. The display, which will be up for a few months, is a tribute to the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers and the NIH medical teams who worked tirelessly to treat patients with the Ebola virus during a six-month field operation in Liberia from November 2014 to May 2015. The hand-carved Camp Eason sign was displayed at the Monrovia Medical Unit (MMU) in Liberia and includes the Public Health Service Seal. The Monrovia Medical Unit at Camp Eason was named in honor of CAPT. John C. Eason, Jr., who was the first African American to be commissioned by the United States Public Health Service in 1943. CAPT. Eason served as a Health Liaison Officer in Monrovia Liberia in 1945. The exhibit represents only one part of NIH's contribution to the effort in West Africa. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases continues to have a presence there.

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Data sharing for secondary research expands the impact of studies conducted at the NIH

The Clinical Center welcomes thousands of patients every year who give of themselves to promote medical discovery. They share their time, bodies and experience so that NIH investigators and laboratories can identify and develop new treatments and cures. With each test, interview and examination, participants help provide billions of research data. The sharing of these data plays an important role in how investigators use and leverage the power of each participant's contribution to advancing science.

A long-standing component of doing research at NIH, data sharing for secondary and future research purposes is being promoted more and more. Over the summer, the Intramural Research Program issued a new Human Data Sharing Policy.

The policy applies to all research projects with human data initiated on or after Oct. 1, 2015. Under the policy:

  • Data should be collected in a way that permits and promotes the broadest sharing possible. This means that studies and consents should be designed for broad sharing.
  • Investigators should share data broadly for secondary research purposes, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, policies and agreements.
  • Investigators should deposit data in publicly accessible research repositories for sharing whenever feasible.

To ensure they are meeting these goals, investigators need to plan for data sharing prior to starting their research by developing a Data Sharing Plan. Any project that collects, uses or stores human data or derivatives of human data needs a Data Sharing Plan. Investigators may draft a plan in a form, style or format that works best for them, consistent with any guidelines of their institute or center.

Sharing will depend on the nature of the research, the participant's consent and the availability of tools for data sharing, e.g., existing public repositories. Many repositories and resources are available to help.

View a list of NIH-supported repositories that allow data to be accessible for secondary use. Many institutes and centers also have specific programs in place to advance data sharing.

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NIH holds first annual nursing recognition day

Nursing Recognition Day group photo

On Sept. 23, the Nursing Department's Recognition and Retention Committee hosted the first Nursing Recognition Day. Here, Phyllis Vinson, Clare Hastings, chief of Nursing Department, Valery Rodrigue, Marjory Cudworth and Tyhis Coates gathered to celebrate Clinical Center nursing achievements, including most notably the years of service for Clinical Center nurses. Tannia Carteldge, not pictured, the deputy chief nurse officer for clinical operations in the Nursing Department, was recognized for her 40 years of service. "I have been blessed to have a job for the past 40 years that was interesting, challenging, and made a difference," said Cartledge. "There have been so many days that I couldn't wait to get to work!" The ceremony was followed by a reception featuring poster presentations highlighting the many accomplishments in the Nursing Department over the past year, including awards for recent graduates and Commissioned Corps employees.

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The Queen of Spain tours CC labs, pediatric clinic

Dr. Lee Helman giving a tour to Queen Letizia of Spain

On Sept. 16, Her Majesty Queen Letizia of Spain visited the NIH Clinical Center to discuss opportunities in cancer research. Dr. Lee Helman provided a tour of the National Cancer Institute Pediatric oncology lab before the Queen walked through the Clinical Center's Pediatric Day Hospital. The Queen, joined by Carmen Vela Olmo, Spain's Secretary of State for Research, Development, and Innovation, also met with leading NIH representatives on the precision medicine initiative. During their trip to the U.S., the Queen and her husband, King Felipe VI, also met with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in an effort to reinforce the American-Spanish relationship.

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Upcoming Events

Most lectures will be streamed live and archived

National Physician Assistant (PA) Week group photo

Back (left to right): Jatin Matta, Jacquelyn Lane, Jennifer Lotter, Janet Valdez, Theresa Jerussi, Richard W Kwan. Front (left to right): Merate Legesse, Marilise Berniger, Lauren Wetzler, Kerry Ryan, Catherine Vangellow.

National Physician Assistant Week
Oct. 6-12, 2015

National Physician Assistant (PA) Week is a time to honor and thank the NIH's 35 PAs for their dedication to providing patient care. In addition, this year is particularly special because it marks the 50th anniversary of the profession. PAs have been helping the NIH strive in a wide range of specialties, including HIV and other infectious and autoimmune diseases, cancer and transplant medicine. Trained in the medical school model by physicians, PAs are licensed to practice medicine across the country. Most PAs work at the NIH Clinical Center within NCI, NIAID, NIAMS, NHGRI, NIDDK and NHLBI. Others work off campus within NIDA.

NIH Digital Summit: Optimizing Digital to Reach Patients, Scientists, Clinicians, and the Public [disclaimer]
Oct. 19, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Masur Auditorium
The summit will focus on digital health and the public and explore the use of digital tools by researchers and health professionals.

Clinical Center Grand Rounds Lecture
John Doppman Memorial Lecture for Imaging Sciences; New Developments in Cardiovascular MRI: From Form to Function
Oct. 21, 2015, Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Thomas M. Grist, MD, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Charity Bake Sale: Baking it Possible
Oct. 27, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Outside of the 2nd floor cafeteria
Sales to benefit the CFC. Baked goods competition will be judged at 11:00 a.m. Winners announced at Noon. Contact David Saeger for more details: 301-402- 8081, saegerda@cc.nih.gov.

Clinical Center Grand Rounds Lecture
Fatty Liver Disease: Under­standing and Developing Therapies for a Growing Epidemic; Lipodystro­phy, Leptin, and Liver Disease
Oct. 28, 2015, Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Yaron Rotman, MD, NIDDK and Rebecca Brown, MD, NIDDK.

Clinical Center Family Caregiver Day Fair and Expo
Nov. 17, 2015, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
7th floor, Clinical Research Center
NIH and outside exhibitor resources will be available for family caregivers. No registration required.

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