January/February 2016

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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

2016 ISSUES:
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Updated waiting room opens for guests of ICU patients

Dr. John I. Gallin (left), Heidi Grolig (center) and Jerry Sachs (right)

Dr. John I. Gallin (left), director of the Clinical Center, cut the ribbon with Heidi Grolig (center), executive director of the non-profit organization Friends of Patients at the NIH, and Jerry Sachs (right), a board member of the non-profit and a patient at the Clinical Center.

In January, the Clinical Center opened a renovated family waiting room for patients in the NIH Clinical Center's Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, hosted a ribbon cutting, along with Heidi Grolig, executive director of Friends of Patients at the NIH [disclaimer], a non-profit focused on supporting patients receiving treatment at NIH.

The Clinical Center hosts a 12-bed Medical/Surgical ICU with an adjoining six-bed intermediate care unit. This unit provides hemodynamic monitoring (measuring the blood pressure inside the veins, heart and arteries), diagnostic ultrasound, ventilator support, renal replacement (support for patients with impaired kidney function) and cardiovascular assistance.

Maureen Gormley, Clinical Center chief operating officer, was inspired to launch the Clinical Center-wide project to renovate the hospital family waiting rooms after having spent weeks last year at a Brigham & Women's in Boston with a sick family member. She was compelled by the quality of their waiting space and approached Grolig to partner on this project.

"Providing the highest quality patient care at the Clinical Center includes caring for the caregivers," Gormley said. "Families need a place to wait, unwind, and relax outside the patient care unit. Fixing our rooms for this purpose is right in line with the mission of the Friends of the Patients at NIH and we are so grateful for their support."

The waiting room was renovated to add space for conversation, watching TV, dining and playing table games. The construction also added more convenient access for guests to charge their electronic devices to ensure they can keep in touch with family, work and other aspects of their lives while supporting loved ones through treatment and recovery.

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Town Hall provides NIH updates, open forum for staff

a speaker at the open forum

The open forum provided an opportunity for staff to learn about Building 10 updates and offer input.

The NIH Medical Executive Committee (MEC) hosted the annual Clinical Staff Town Hall Meeting Jan. 11 in the Clinical Center with Dr. Avi Nath, Clinical Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Chair of the MEC monitoring the meeting. The open forum provided an opportunity for staff to learn about Building 10 updates and offer input on topics such as new approaches to patient safety and mitigating risk, patient activity, Clinical Center budget, an improved patient portal and a new referring physician portal.

Dr. John I. Gallin (left) and Dr. Avi Nath

Dr. John I. Gallin (left) and Dr. Avi Nath address Town Hall attendees.

Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, provided an update on the expanded partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to enable access of Clinical Center patients for clinical services at the WRNMMC in support of the clinical research mission. In addition, in 2016, staff can also expect a new wayfinding app which will be able to provide turn-by-turn directions throughout the building.

Dr. Michael Gottesman, the deputy director for intramural research at NIH, also held a discussion on producing sterile products for human clinical trials at the NIH and determination of need and alternative sources to the Clinical Center Pharmaceutical Development section.

Additional speakers included Steve Holland, chief of the Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and deputy director for Intramural Clinical Research, Fred Ognibene, Clinical Center deputy director for Educational Affairs and Strategic Partnerships and Debbie Merke, chief of the Pediatric Consult Service. View more details (NIH staff only).

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NCI welcomes Oncology Nursing Society to the Clinical Center

Dr. Pete Choyke speaking to the tour group

On Jan. 28, fifteen members of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) visited the NIH Clinical Center to learn more about the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Cancer Research (CCR) and the research that takes place in the building. The NCI Advocacy Office led the tour through the Radiation Oncology Branch and later provided an open forum for discussion with members of the ONS and experts at the NIH. Dr. Pete Choyke, Senior Investigator in the NCI CCR Molecular Imaging Program, seen above (center), discussed his research and walked the group through the latest cancer imaging technology.

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New survey will shape future of the Clinical Center

Clinical Center staff group photo

Everyone who works in the Clinical Center, in every type of occupation, can provide feedback.

All Clinical Center employees now have the opportunity to provide feedback to leadership about important issues. The 2016 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey made specifically for the Clinical Center is a collaboration between the Office of Workforce Management and Development and the Society for Human Resource Management.

The survey was sent to all Clinical Center staff with unique login information. Staff will use that information to log into the survey and complete questions made specifically for Clinical Center staff. This survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and will be entirely confidential. It will be available until March 11.

A survey kickoff took place in the Clinical Center atrium Feb. 1 and there were treats for those who had already completed it. Staff will also come to the units to help clinicians, nurses, and technicians complete their surveys when it is convenient and easy for them.

This unique survey is designed to help leadership understand the needs and opinions of all Clinical Center staff. This survey relies on employee input and engagement to determine and shape the future of the entire Clinical Center. The future is in our hands!

Maureen McDonnell (left) and Heather Bryant (middle) discussing the survey with Lieutenant Leslie Poudrier (right)

The 2016 NIH Clinical Center Employee Survey was sent out to Clinical Center federal employees Feb. 1. Clinical Center volunteers promoted the survey during a launch in the atrium to help spread the word. Employees were able to take the survey with two workstation on wheels (WOWs) that were provided by the Department of Clinical Research Informatics. Maureen McDonnell (left) and Heather Bryant (middle) discuss the survey with Lieutenant Leslie Poudrier (right) from the Nursing Department.

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Israeli health officials visit NIH, talk collaboration

MK Rabbi Yacov LItznan speaking

After meeting with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell in Washington, D.C., Israeli Minister of Health MK Rabbi Yacov Litznan, center, visited the NIH Clinical Center.

On Jan. 4, Israeli Minister of Health MK Rabbi Yacov Litzman, Israel's Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, and Director General of the Ministry of Health Moshe Bar Siman Tov visited the Clinical Center.

During their visit, Litzman, Dermer and Bar Simon Tov met with NIH senior leadership, including Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of NIH, and leaders from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the Clinical Center Medical Board Room. They also took a walking tour with Undiagnosed Diseases Network Director Dr. William Gahl and National Human Genome Research Institute Director Dr. Eric Green. During the tour, Gahl and the Israeli visitors met an 8-year-old patient and his father and where able to hear about their experience and treatment.

"We discussed the expansion of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network to a network of centers across the country and to an international organization," said Gahl. "One topic of conversation was our collaboration with Israeli investigators, which is very possible through the sharing of databases."

The visitors also met with Israeli postdocs and physicians conducting research at NIH and talked about NIH researcher/clinician fellowships that allows international physicians to conduct research in the U.S. and see patients related to their research at the same time.

"This program contributes to advancing and improving medical practice," said Sigal Shachar, an NCI researcher. "We explained to them how we should try and implement a similar program in Israel and also the possibilities of building a similar institute like NIH in Israel one day."

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Dr. Richard Childs honored as Assistant Surgeon General in U.S. Public Health Service

Krishna Jain on the treadmill

Dr. Richard W. Childs, joined by his wife, son and daughter, said the oath of office, and had soft shoulder boards with rank of rear admiral placed on his shoulders by his children.

On Dec. 18, Dr. Richard W. Childs was promoted to rear admiral (lower half) in the US Public Health Service and now holds an honorary title of Assistant Surgeon General. He is just one of three NIH employees in the intramural program to earn this honor, and the only one within Building 10.

Childs, who sees patients in the Clinical Center, is the clinical director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Division of Intramural Research and a senior investigator in the Laboratory of Transplantation Immunotherapy. Last year, Childs served as Chief Medical Officer for a team in Liberia in response to the Ebola crisis.

In accepting the honor, Child's said "The clinical research that we're engaged in ... can only be done at a place like the NIH Clinical Center which is unquestionably the greatest research hospital in the world." Childs is one of more than 300 Commissioned corps officers working at the NIH. Last year, Childs served as Chief Medical Officer for a team in Liberia in response to the Ebola crisis.

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Ribbons, bows and 'ho, ho, hos' spread holiday cheer

Menbere Haile and his B1 garage decorations

In December, there was plenty of holiday cheer for both patients and staff at NIH. Parking booth attendants, such as Menbere Haile from B1 garage in the Clinical Center, and others across the NIH campus decorated their facilities. They participate in a yearly competition for best decorations and the winner is chosen by The Children's Inn at NIH.

Dhruv and Santa

On Dec. 15, pediatric patients, such as Dhruv (right above), received a warm welcome from Santa in the playroom and on 1NW, made possible by the Rehabilitation Medicine Department's Recreation Therapy Section and the NIH Fire Department.

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Dr. Clare Hastings retires as chief nurse

Dr. Clare Hastings and Dr. John I. Gallin

Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, presented Hastings with the 'dirt award' in early December at her retirement gathering.

After a 25 year career at the NIH Clinical Center, Dr. Clare Hastings, Chief Nurse of the Nursing Department, retired Dec. 31.

Hastings first came to the Clinical Center in the summer of 1978 as a staff nurse who had been out of nursing school for about a year.

"I basically grew up here as a nurse," she said.

Hastings left the Clinical Center in 1989 to serve in senior nursing leadership positions at the University of Maryland Medical System and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. In 2000 she returned as the chief nurse.

"I went and got my stripes in what we called the real world and then came back," Hastings said. "One of the things that drew me back was the multidisciplinary environment between the investigators and all the clinical research staff.

During her tenure as chief nurse, Hastings has worked to increase the understanding of the contribution nurses make to the clinical research process. Nurses are an integral part of the research team, she said.

"Nursing leaders always try to advocate for nurses because sometimes nurses seem invisible," she said. "But patients look to nurses to make sense of everything for them. Patients have called nurses the 'glue' that holds the health care system together. "I've worked to formally document the role of nursing in clinical research: the role, the competencies, the practices and the processes."

Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, presented Hastings with the 'dirt award' in early December at her retirement gathering. The award includes dirt saved from the groundbreaking ceremony for the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center in 2004.

"Clare is well known locally, nationally and internationally as a leader and mentor in nursing, and played an important role over the past 10 years in defining and documenting Clinical Research Nursing as a specialty," he said. "We will miss her and send our best wishes as she moves into a continued life of service to others."

During Hastings's time at the Clinical Center, the role of nursing has evolved.

"The stature of nursing has grown. Nurses have improved their ability to speak about what they do and I see them more recognized," Hastings said.

Some of the major accomplishments overseen by Hastings, with the help and support of her nearly 700 Nursing Department staff, include:

  • Moving the nursing department to the new Clinical Research Center in 2005, which required a major reconfiguration of all research teams and unit locations.
  • Developing metrics to measure the impact of nursing on clinical quality, which have allowed the Nursing Department to benchmark where it compares to other hospital facilities.
  • Creating a shared governance environment within nursing here that encourages staff participation and decision making, which has become a pipeline for emerging leaders in the nursing discipline.
  • Establishing a small but very high-impact nursing research program, which has received two strong Board of Scientific Council reviews.

As she ventures into the next stage of her life, where she plans to continue helping others, Hastings said what she will carry with her is the kaleidoscope of people she has meet and worked with here – patients and staff.

"I've always loved what I do. It's all about the people. I think everyone will tell you that," she said. "NIH leaves a mark on people, a very inquiring turn of mind that makes them question what they see and want to make a difference."

Dr. Gwenyth Wallen will serve in the role of Interim Chief Nurse for the Clinical Center. Wallen is the Deputy Chief Nurse for Research and Practice Development at the Clinical Center, and has led the development of the Nursing Department's clinical research portfolio as well as a comprehensive program for education, evidence-based practice and performance metrics for nursing at the Clinical Center.

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Updated FAES gift store opens in the atrium

the Clinical Center atrium gift shop

Top selling books, unique apparel for kids, coffee mugs and more adorned by the trusty NIH logo now occupy the updated gift store in the Clinical Center atrium. The gift shop was recently re-opened under management of the Foundation for the Advancement of Education in the Sciences. With a brand new layout, the shop offers a variety of apparel, cards and gifts every weekday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. In addition, the NIH Recreation and Welfare Association has re-opened a gift store on the first floor of Building 31.

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Clinical Center Director's Annual Address and Director's Awards honor staff

At the Clinical Center Director's Annual Address and Awards Ceremony on Dec. 18, Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the Clinical Center, summarized the events that occurred in 2015 and honored staff from various departments.

crowd photo of the ceremony in Masur Auditorium

About 300 awards were presented at the ceremony in Masur Auditorium.

Richard Gustafson, Denise Knisely-Carrigan, Dr. Gallin and Maria Navarro

Nearly 500 staff, joined by family and friends, attended the Annual Address and Awards Ceremony. Above, Richard Gustafson, Denise Knisely-Carrigan and Maria Navarro, from the Nursing Department, receive an award for the key roles they played in the strategic initiative to update the dialysis unit.

"During this holiday season of promise and joy, we continue to be inspired by the dedication and spirit of our staff," said Gallin. "This year brought leadership and clinical operations changes, a Joint Commission visit, continued Ebola responses, VIP visitors and the Discovery Channel project. We stepped up to face all of these challenges and will do so again in 2016. You are the reason the Clinical Center remains the House of Hope."

Gallin recognized Clinical Center staff who are NIH leaders on the front lines of clinical research and innovation. Highlights included recognition for excellence in customer service, mentoring, scientific advancements, enhancing the electronic medical records system, patient care and safety, improving quality of work life and diversity, and training.

Read the program PDF Icon (2.49 MB) (NIH staff only)

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Motivational speaker showcases importance of improvising, adapting and innovating at work

Avish Parashar speaking

Avish Parashar, center, brought audience members on stage to showcase that planning is important, but the ability to improvise is essential.

On Dec. 3, energetic and lively public speaker Avish Parashar gave a seminar, "Improvise, Adapt, and Innovate in an Ever-Changing World," to a captive NIH audience at the Clinical Center. Designed to help people practice making better decisions when faced with the unexpected, the talk combined audience participation, humor, and improv comedy games to underscore three important response levels – improvising, adapting, and innovating – when the unexpected occurs.

"Anyone can do great things when all goes according to plan. Your value to your organization is how you respond when things don't go according to plan," Parashar said. To begin, he had audience members demonstrate how to think fast when you hear a "ding" from a bell. In this game, participants were asked to have a conversation without using any words containing the letter "s." When an "s" was used, Parashar would ding a bell and the audience member would have to temporarily step out of the game. As one can imagine, the bell was dinged many times, but participants did manage to have a coherent conversation by thinking fast on their feet. This game set the stage for Parashar's talk on the three levels of response that he believes are critical to move forward positively in fluid situations.

Improvising: The first level of response, he explained, is improvising. At this level, it's about reacting with a mindset that increases your ability to be creative. When you hear a "ding," according to Parashar, your mindset should be "have fun, be willing to fail, and focus on what you can control." He used an audience participant to demonstrate how a person afraid of failing is actually more likely to fail. "Fear of failure cuts you off from creativity when you need it the most," Parashar advised.

Adapting: The second level of response is adapting. The central goal of adapting is to make the new reality better than the old reality. "When you are faced with a 'ding moment,' how can you look better, not back?" Parashar asked the audience. He challenged audience members to recognize strengths in new situations – whether it's new supervisors, departmental structures, or technologies. Maintaining business as usual when change occurs is ineffective, Parashar asserts, and that mindset leads to failure.

Innovation: The third response level is innovation, and this is the most empowering of all three response levels. "You don't need to wait for bad things to happen, you can change the game pre-emptively, or create your own 'ding moments'," explained Parashar. "Often, people think the answer is to work longer or put more money into a problem, when people can simply change the game to propel them forward." At this level it's critical to say "Yes, and" instead of "Yes, but." Parashar used audience members to demonstrate how situations change drastically when you respond with "Yes, and" to colleagues. According to Parashar, this simple "and" versus "but" allows you to dig deeper and find new solutions to problems. "When we say 'Yes, and' we agree to step to the edge and even a little over it. That's critical for innovation. The 'Yes, and' is the engine that drives innovation. Explore the ideas that at first don't seem viable by using this phrase," Parashar concluded.

He closed with a personal anecdote about a family friend treated at the Clinical Center. He described what a big difference the organization has made in the patient's life and the lives of her family members, reminding all of us that our work truly does make a difference.

The lecture was a part of the Deputy Director for Management Seminar series which offers the NIH community engaging presentations that provide meaningful insights into leadership and management concepts, challenges, and solutions.

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An extraordinary opportunity: high school student shares her volunteer experience

Rebecca Vichi

Rebecca Vichi, Clinical Center volunteer.

By Rebecca Vichi, Walter Johnson High School Senior

As a high school student, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work as an intern in the Clinical Center Office of Communications and Media Relation (OCMR) at the NIH. I have learned a lot in my ten months here, and hope to continue my work with the department until I go off to college this fall.

While volunteering, I have been given many opportunities to help with very exciting projects. My absolute favorite assignments that have had the most influence on me include assisting with film crews in the building, photographing the Clinical Center and visiting The Children's Inn at NIH.

I was introduced to the OCMR team and was able to shadow a documentary film crew in one of the labs at NIH. We helped the lab technician focus on his interview and avoid distractions. I found the laboratory extremely fascinating. The technician was working on an experiment showing the effects different medications had on the brain. I even got to be filmed while the technician elucidated his experiment and processes to me.

I was also able to shadow another film crew and meet a brilliant patient who was currently enrolled in medical school. She was very inspiring and uplifting. It shows that if you put your mind to something, you can do anything.

Another project I work on is taking seasonal pictures of the outside of the Clinical Center. This way, I can contribute to my love to photography, and explore different parts of the building that I may not get to regularly see on a normal day. My photos have been used on the social media accounts and as the main image of the website, for thousands to see.

While working, I was also able to visit The Children's Inn at NIH. I was there specifically to get consents for some pictures that were taken on Sibling Day, however I experienced much more. I sat there as I watched the siblings of very sick children tell their families about their experiences. It was so touching that I shed tears. I was so heartbroken for what the families were going through and yet was also encouraged at their strength and bravery. Aside from my favorite projects, I have also done other things such as editing important documents and transcribing interviews. Although they are smaller jobs, they are just as significant to me as anything else I get to do. No matter the assignment, it is important to put in full effort.

There is so much going on at NIH all the time. At first I was very frightened and overwhelmed, like anyone would be on their first day of anything. New is stressful. Everything the Communications department does is extremely necessary and important. However, everyone in the department has been more than friendly. They are all very serious about their jobs, but I feel like they are all one big family. They have been helpful, loving and attentive.

It has been very generous and trusting of them to let me take part on such important projects, and I have learned a lot. I am currently a senior, so it has helped me with writing and editing college essays. Socializing and communicating with many different types of people has also helped me improve my speaking skills. The work is so thorough and so intelligent that you have no choice to be very focused and patient. The Clinical Center is a huge and important place, and I am very thankful to be able to take part in the activities that take place here.

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Clinical trials at NIH Clinical Center in need of participants

An NIDDK research team seeks people with fatty liver disease to participate in a study. Researchers are looking at a breath test to measure how the body breaks down food in people with fatty liver disease. If have been diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or steatohepatitis you may be interested in participating. Compensation is provided. (Study# 15-DK-0080)

NHLBI researchers are studying the lungs of healthy adult volunteers to learn more about the causes and progression of lung diseases. At least one outpatient NIH visit. Compensation is provided. (Study# 15-H-0017)

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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Upcoming Events

Most lectures will be streamed live and archived

National Wear Red Day
Feb. 5, 2016, 9:00 a.m.2:00 p.m.
Clinical Center North Atrium
Give us your advice for the heart! Join NHLBI to celebrate National Wear Red Day and share your heartfelt advice for heart health. And don't forget to wear red!

Washington Regional Nursing Research Consortium Meeting and Lecture [disclaimer]
Lateral Violence: How Prevalent is it and What can You Do to Prevent It?
Feb. 9, 2016, 3:00 p.m.4:00 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Barbara Jordan, NIH CC, and the CC Nursing Department.

Contemporary Clinical Medicine: Great Teachers
The NIH Clinical Center's 2016 Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Residence Lecture
Costimulation Blockade for Organ Transplantation
Feb. 10, 2016, 12 noon1:00 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Allan D. Kirk, MD, Duke University School of Medicine.

Clinicopathologic Grand Rounds: Clinical Cases from the NIH Clinical Center
From Pathogenesis to Treatment of Chronic Atypical Neutrophilic Dermatosis with Lipodystrophy and Elevated Temperature Syndrome (CANDLE), a Rare Type I IFN-mediated Autoinflammatory Disease
Feb. 17, 2016, 12 noon1:00 p.m.
Lipsett Amphitheater
Presented by Gina Montealegre, MD, NIAMS; Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, MD, NCI; Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, MD, NIAMS.

9th Annual Rare Disease Day
Feb. 29, 2016, 7:30 a.m.3:30 p.m.
Masur Auditorium
RDD aims to raise awareness about rare diseases, affected patients and research collaborations addressing rare disease challenges. Sponsored by NCATS and the CC, this event features presentations, posters and exhibits, an art show and tours. Register online [disclaimer].

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