COVID-19 Community Research Partnership

Thank you for your interest in learning more about this study. Please read the following information to ensure that you would like to participate. Then click the link below to get started.

Researchers at MedStar Health are partnering with patients to better understand the spread of COVID-19. Study participants will answer short online questions (that take less than 30 seconds a day) over several months about possible exposures, symptoms and health care visits. Some volunteers may be asked to complete an in-home test kit for antibodies to COVID-19.

This study is available to patients who have received care at MedStar Health.

Questions on this research study can be answered by calling 833-998-0900 or emailing COVID-19 Community Research Partnership at [email protected].

Research studies are designed to gain scientific knowledge that may help people in the future.

Please take your time deciding whether or not you wish to participate in this research study. You may also discuss this study and your decision to participate with your friends and family. If you have questions about the study, please call 833-998-0900 or email COVID-19 Community Research Partnership at [email protected].

View updated participant data from the COVID-19 Community Research Partnership.
Although we appreciate the interest of the entire community, this study is available only to patients who have received care at MedStar Health. Anyone who is at least 18 years old and has received care at a MedStar Health facility is eligible to enroll. Other health systems will be participating in this study soon and will be listed here when they come online.

Only MedStar Health patients will be able to participate in the study.

If you are eligible to participate, you will first read the informed consent and provide your electronic signature.

Informed consent is important because it:

  • Describes the study
  • Explains why the study is being done
  • Describes what is expected from you
  • Describes the risks and benefits of taking part
  • Explains how to contact the study team with questions

If you read the informed consent and decide that you don’t want to participate in the study, that’s OK. Please do not sign the consent form if you don’t want to participate.

As you are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency.

By studying who has been exposed and possibly infected, better identifying the timing and circumstances of exposure, and where infection patterns of the COVID-19 are advancing, researchers can help the medical community better understand the pandemic and develop strategies and treatments to contain and possibly eliminate it.

The goal of this study is to collect information about the community’s COVID-19 exposures, symptoms and health care visits due to the disease. If you are a health care worker, the study will collect information on your use of personal protective equipment.

There is no cost for participating.

The information collected about you is for research purposes only. This information will not be used to guide your medical care. Your doctor or health care provider will not have access to this information.

The research study cannot provide medical care or COVID-19 testing if you become sick. The questionnaires and at-home testing are for research purposes only.

After completion of the online informed consent, you will be asked to complete a brief enrollment questionnaire.

You will receive an email with a link to complete an online registration form. The form can be completed on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Periodically, for up to one year, you will receive a link to a very brief questionnaire to complete.

It takes less than 30 seconds to complete, and you can answer the questions on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Initially, you will receive the questionnaire every day. Over time you may receive it less often. The study will continue as long as there are concerns about the pandemic in our region; however, you can stop receiving the questionnaires at any time.

The questionnaire will cover the following:

  • Your COVID-19 illness history or symptoms
  • Your visits to the doctor and treatments
  • Your contact with other sick people
  • If you are a health care worker, your use of personal protective equipment

The information collected in the questionnaire will be used for research purposes and will not be entered into your medical records.

Some participants may also be asked to complete an in-home test kit for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). You can decide to only complete questionnaires or you can add the at-home testing to your participation.

In this part you may be asked to complete monthly at-home tests which detect antibodies to the virus. At-home testing requires a finger prick for collecting a sample of your blood on a stick. Your kit will instruct you to either:

  • Take a picture of the test stick and send the picture using an app on your smart phone; or
  • Package the test stick in an enclosed return mailer and put into the US mail.

The at-home testing does not diagnose COVID-19. Testing is for research purposes only.

Questions on this research study can be answered by calling 833-998-0900 or emailing COVID-19 Community Research Partnership at [email protected].

Get Started

To participate in the study, you must be a MedStar Health patient.

Seeking Potential Plasma Donors Who Had COVID-19 and are Fully Recovered 

MedStar Health is seeking people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are fully recovered.  Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 infection may be able to donate plasma as a potential therapy for patients with serious COVID-19 infections.

Plasma, the liquid portion of the blood, contains blood proteins (antibodies) that can attack the virus.  MedStar Health will be conducting a research project using plasma as a treatment for patients who are seriously ill from COVID-19.

If you have had a COVID-19 positive test and have fully recovered and if you are interested in participating or would like to know more about this study, please call 202-877-6290.

Research Activities During COVID-19

The Office of Research Integrity has been actively supporting research teams regarding the possible need for changes to research activities during COVID-19.

MedStar Health Research Institute has been working with MedStar Health Corporate Compliance and the Georgetown HRPP team to develop joint guidance for the MedStar Health Research Institute, Georgetown University Medical Center, and Georgetown University Main Campus.

This guidance will require revision as conditions change. We will keep you informed of any updates to this guidance as they are available. 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns with this guidance, please contact ORI for clarification or additional guidance.

MHRI Office of Research Integrity
[email protected]et
Jim Boscoe
Director, Office of Research Integrity, MHRI
[email protected]

Guidance for COVID-19’s Possible Effects on Research Involving Human Subjects (updated March 19, 2020)

In light of the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to sustain our research activities as efficiently as possible, the following guidelines are issued jointly by the Medstar Health Research Institute, and the Georgetown University Medical Center and Main Campus, for the benefit of investigators and associated staff in both institutions. Specific questions relating to IRB practices and procedures should be directed to your home institution's IRB office.

The guidance/FAQ document can be viewed here.


Guidance for COVID-19 and Emergency Use (updated March 19, 2020)

We have a patient who tested positive for COVID-19 and want to pursue an Emergency Use of a Test Article. What do we do?  The guidance/FAQ document can be viewed here.

Raj Ratwani Appointed to Newly Created Vice President of Scientific Affairs Position

As part of our continued progress toward becoming a world-class academic health system, and advancing health through research and innovation, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Raj Ratwani, PhD, as Vice President of Scientific Affairs for MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI). In this new position for MedStar, Raj will play a pivotal role in connecting the scientific activities of MHRI, MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), and the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS). He will join the MHRI executive leadership team to provide additional scientific perspectives that support research activities and their interaction with clinical operations.

In his new role on the MHRI executive team, Dr. Ratwani will contribute to the strategy, growth, and administration of research across MedStar, with a focus on working closely with organizational leaders and investigators to translate research results into practice. He will supervise and mentor investigators to support research activities, identify new areas of research funding and enhance MHRI’s reputation as a leading research organization. Furthermore, Dr. Ratwani will lead strategy development for MHRI to support the effective dissemination of research outputs. Dr. Ratwani will remain director of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ratwani on his promotion as we continue to advance health for our patients and community.

Diabetes to Go

Diabetes to Go


Diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) is key to reducing the burden of diabetes both on those living with this chronic, complex condition and on the healthcare system.1 DSMES is defined as the ongoing process of facilitating the knowledge, skills, and ability necessary for diabetes self-care.2–4 Effective delivery and patient uptake of DSMES has been shown to improve outcomes, including reduction in hemoglobin A1C, diabetes-related complications 5,6 and acute care encounters,7 and to promote adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors.3,8–10

Research confirms that DSMES is largely underutilized. For example, less than 5% of Medicare beneficiaries access their DSMES benefits,11 and as few as 7% of patients with private insurance receive DSMES within the one-year after diabetes diagnosis.12 Innovative approaches for reaching patients with T2DM and successfully engaging them in DSMES are required to optimize its potential impact.

Diabetes survival skills education (DSSE), a component of DSMES, is the process of facilitating the core knowledge, skills, and ability necessary for safe and effective diabetes self-care in the short term.14–16 The goal of DSSE is to keep patients safe and stable during transitions of care (e.g., from hospital to home) and for patients with T2DM to be able to recognize when their diabetes is not well managed (e.g., hypo or hyperglycemic events).

Approaches to effectively deliver standardized self-care management education and support for adults living with Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) are needed to enable optimal outcomes.

Diabetes To Go is the education program of the MedStar Diabetes Institute.

This program has been developed by our diabetes specialists, including Endocrinologists and nurses, nutritionists, nurse practitioners and pharmacist who are diabetes educators, in partnership with our Primary Care Physicians. Our patients and a health literacy specialist helped develop and reviewed the program.

The Diabetes To Go Booklet covers diabetes survival skills – or the basics about diabetes.

The Diabetes To Go Pocket Guide is a brief summary of the same content that is found in the booklet.

The Diabetes To Go program has a full set of companion videos.  A few samples of these videos are found below for viewing.


For Patients

Know About Your Diabetes: Full Guide

Survival Skills Basics Pocket Guide


Diabetes to Go Sample Videos


Application Process: Logic Chart for Video Playlists


For Staff & Clincians

Process Chart for Education Delivery

Tablet Cleaning Job Aid

Create a Patient Account

Script: Invite a Patient to Join in Education

Survival Skills Basics Pocket Guide


MedStar Diabetes and Research Institutes’ “Diabetes To Go-Inpatient Study” was funded by the National Institutes of Health-NIDDK R34 DK-105903 Award. This grant funded redesign of the MDI’s Diabetes To Go education materials .


  1. Powers MA, Bardsley J, Cypress M, et al. Diabetes Self-management Education and Support in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Educ. 2017;43(1):40-53. doi:10.1177/0145721716689694
  2. Armstrong C. ADA Updates Standards of Medical Care for Patients with Diabetes Mellitus. Am Fam Physician. 2017;95(1):40-43. Accessed May 5, 2017.
  3. Powers MA, Bardsley J, Cypress M, et al. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support in Type 2 Diabetes: A Joint Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015;115(8):1323-1334. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2015.05.012
  4. Beck J, Greenwood DA, Blanton L, et al. 2017 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support. Diabetes Educ. 2017;43(10):1409-1419. doi:10.2337/dci17-0025
  5. Steinsbekk A, Rygg L, Lisulo M, Rise MB, Fretheim A. Group based diabetes self-management education compared to routine treatment for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. A systematic review with meta-analysis. BMC Health Serv Res. 2012;12(1):213. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-12-213
  6. Rise MB, Pellerud A, Rygg LØ, Steinsbekk A. Making and Maintaining Lifestyle Changes after Participating in Group Based Type 2 Diabetes Self- Management Educations: A Qualitative Study. PLoS One. 2013;8(5):e64009. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064009
  7. Healy SJ, Black D, Harris C, Lorenz A, Dungan KM. Inpatient diabetes education is associated with less frequent hospital readmission among patientswith poor glycemic control. Diabetes Care. 2013;36(10):2960-2967. doi:10.2337/dc13-0108
  8. Chrvala CA, Sherr D, Lipman RD. Diabetes self-management education for adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review of the effect on glycemic control. Patient Educ Couns. 2016;99:926-943. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2015.11.003
  9. Magee M, Bowling A, Copeland J, Fokar A, Pasquale P, Youssef G. The ABCs of diabetes: diabetes self-management education program for African Americans affects A1C, lipid-lowering agent prescriptions, and emergency department visits. Diabetes Educ. 37(1):95-103. doi:10.1177/0145721710392246
  10. Gurková E, Čáp J, Žiaková K. Quality of life and treatment satisfaction in the context of diabetes self-management education. Int J Nurs Pract. 2009;15(2):91-98. doi:10.1111/j.1440-172X.2009.01733.x
  11. Strawbridge LM, Lloyd JT, Meadow A, Riley GF, Howell BL. One-Year Outcomes of Diabetes Self-Management Training Among Medicare Beneficiaries Newly Diagnosed With Diabetes. Med Care. 2017;55(4):391-397. doi:10.1097/MLR.0000000000000653
  12. Li R, Shrestha SS, Lipman R, et al. Diabetes self-management education and training among privately insured persons with newly diagnosed diabetes--United States, 2011-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(46):1045-1049. Accessed July 8, 2019.
  13. Ferguson S, Swan M, Smaldone A. Does Diabetes Self-management Education in Conjunction With Primary Care Improve Glycemic Control in Hispanic Patients? Diabetes Educ. 2015;41(4):472-484. doi:10.1177/0145721715584404
  14. Hardee SG, Osborne KC, Njuguna N, et al. Interdisciplinary diabetes care: A new model for inpatient diabetes education. Diabetes Spectr. 2015;28(4):276-282. doi:10.2337/diaspect.28.4.276
  15. Youssef G, Ip EH, Magee M, et al. Validity and Reliability of a (Brief) Diabetes “Survival Skills” Knowledge Test: KNOW Diabetes. Diabetes Educ. 2019;45(2):184-193. doi:10.1177/0145721719828064
  16. Lewis VR, Benda N, Nassar C, Magee MF. Successful Patient Diabetes Education in the Emergency Department. Diabetes Educ. 2015;41(3):343-350. doi:10.1177/0145721715577484







ObEN Creates Healthcare Avatar for MedStar Health Heart Disease Study


Personal AI of nurse to aid in at-home monitoring of patients suffering from heart failure

Pasadena, CA/Hyattsville, MD (March 4, 2019) — ObEN Inc., the artificial intelligence (AI) company creating Personal AI (PAI) technology to revolutionize digital interactions, is pleased to announce it is working with MedStar Health Research Institute for a study on the use of Personal AI (PAI) healthcare assistants for patients suffering from heart failure. For the study, ObEN has created a medical health assistant app, called PAI Care, to help monitor patients of heart failure.

Under the direction of the principal investigator Nawar Shara, PhD, Director of the Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics at MedStar Health Research Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, the study will investigate the use of voice-activated and avatar-enabled technologies for monitoring heart failure patients at home and whether this monitoring improves health and recovery outcomes. The study will include patients interacting with Tara, an intelligent 3D Healthcare Assistant Avatar created using ObEN’s PAI technology, via an app on a tablet.

“Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that impacts millions of people worldwide and is increasing in incidence,”said Dr. Shara. “Hospitalization is a major driver of treatment costs and adversely affects the quality of life and outcomes for heart failure patients. Prevention of heart failure hospital readmission is an area of unmet need. This study leverages voice and avatar-enabled artificial intelligence technologies to empower patients to better manage their condition.”

For this four-month study, ObEN’s technology will fuel the voice, appearance, and animation of the healthcare assistant avatar in PAI Care as well as the chatbot feature through which the patients can interact with the PAI. Under a daily schedule, participants in the study will answer a series of health and wellness questions that will help the study collect data and also monitor the health of the patients.

ObEN is also providing additional technology for a related-study by MedStar Health Research Institute, using voice-enabled healthcare support. This study is made possible with grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) through the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS).

“ObEN’s technology can potentially create a way to provide triage, management, and routine health reminders while alleviating pain points within the healthcare industry including patient monitoring, EHS systems management, and geriatric care and companionship,” said Nikhil Jain, CEO of ObEN. “With the healthcare industry facing rising costs, insufficient resources and a lack of manpower around the world, we believe PAI can serve as the basis for solutions to the most pressing issues in healthcare and provide better access to service for all people.”

Using ObEN’s proprietary full-stack AI technology, ObEN can create personalized, intelligent 3D avatars that look and sound like the user, can learn to behave like the user, and even learn skills the user does not possess, like speaking in multiple languages. ObEN has also adopted the Project PAI blockchain protocol, an open source decentralized public utility blockchain, to secure and authenticate the PAIs and the associated user data, allowing people to gain more ownership of their own digital identity. For healthcare applications, ObEN enables the creation of Nurse and Doctor PAIs that can be individualized to the real professionals providing care to their patients.

To learn more about Personal AI technology visit

About ObEN
ObEN is an artificial intelligence (AI) company developing Personal AI technology that revolutionizes personal digital interaction, enabling never before possible social and virtual interactions. The company’s technology allows users to create intelligent 3D avatars that look, sound, and behave like them. Deployed on the Project PAI blockchain, ObEN’s Personal AI (PAI) technology enables users to create, use, and manage their own PAI on a secure, decentralized platform. Founded in 2014, ObEN is a K11, Tencent, Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Vive X portfolio company and is located at Idealab in Pasadena, California. To learn more about ObEN, please visit

About MedStar Health Research Institute
MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion, and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit


Click below to go to our Newsroom.


Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
[email protected]

Lisa Wang
Senior Marketing Manager, ObEN
[email protected]

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service





Privacy Policy

Effective November 23, 2018

This Privacy Policy explains our practices regarding the collection, use and disclosure of information that we receive through our services, which include our Site, the services (including a virtual currency wallet), and our mobile device application (“App”) (together, the “Services”). This Privacy Policy does not apply to any third party websites, services or applications, even if they are accessible through our Services. Unless we define a term in this Privacy Policy, all capitalized terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms of Service.

All individuals whose responsibilities include the processing of personal information on our behalf are expected to protect that data by adherence to this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy is intended to meet requirements globally, including those in North America, Europe, APAC, and other jurisdictions.

  1. Information We Collected or Received from You.

(a)Account Information. If you create an Account, we’ll collect certain information that can be used to identify you, such as your name, email address, password, gender, wallet IDs, connection status, your Face ID authentication, postal address and phone number. If you create an Account using your login credentials from one of your SNS Accounts, we’ll be able to access and collect your name and email address and other information (such as gender and date of birth) that your privacy settings and/or the privacy policy on the SNS Account permit us to access. You may also choose to share anonymous data (such as crash statistics) with us.

(b) Information Collected From Blogs, Newsletters & Posts. We may offer publicly accessible pages, blogs, private messages, or community forums (“Forums”). You should be aware that, when you disclose information about yourself in these Forums, our Site and/or third party sites will collect the information you provide in such submissions, including any personal information. If you choose to submit content to any public area of the Site, such content will be considered “public” and will not be subject to the privacy protections set forth herein.

(c) Automatic Data Collection Including Information Collected Using Cookies and other Web Technologies. Like many website owners and operators, we use automated data collection tools such as Cookies and Web Beacons (defined below) to collect certain information through our Services or other methods of analysis, such as your Internet protocol (IP) address, cookie identifiers, mobile carrier, mobile advertising identifiers, MAC address, IMEI and other device identifiers that are automatically assigned to your computer or device when you access the Internet, browser type and language, geo-location information, hardware type, operating system, Internet service provider, pages that you visit before and after using the Services, the date and time of your visit, the amount of time you spend on each page, information about the links you click and pages you view within the Services, and other actions taken through use of the Services such as preferences.

(d) “Cookies” are small text files that are placed on your device by a web server when you access our Services. We may use both session Cookies and persistent Cookies to identify that you’ve logged in to the Services and to tell us how and when you interact with our Services. We may also use Cookies to monitor aggregate usage and web traffic routing on our Services and to customize and improve our Services. Unlike persistent Cookies, session Cookies are deleted when you log off from the Services and close your browser. Although most browsers automatically accept Cookies, you can change your browser options to stop automatically accepting Cookies or to prompt you before accepting Cookies. Please note, however, that if you don’t accept Cookies, you may not be able to access all portions or features of the Services. Some third party service providers that we engage (including third party advertisers) may also place their own Cookies on your device. Note that this Privacy Policy covers only our use of Cookies and does not include use of Cookies by such third parties.

(i) “Log Data” means certain information about how a person uses our Services, including both Account holders and non-Account holders. Log Data may include information such as your Internet Protocol (IP) address, browser type, operating system, the web page that you were visiting before accessing our Services, the pages or features of our Services browsed and the time spent on those pages or features, search terms, the links on our Services that were clicked on and other statistics. We use Log Data to administer the Services, and we analyze (and may engage third parties to analyze) Log Data to improve, customize and enhance our Services by expanding their features and functionality and tailoring them to your needs and preferences. We may use your IP address to generate aggregate, non-identifying information about how our Services are used.

(ii) Our uses of such these technologies fall into the following general categories:

  • Operationally Necessary. We may use Cookies, Web Beacons, or other similar technologies that are necessary to the operation of our Sites, Services, Apps, and tools. This includes technologies that allow you access to our Sites, Services, Apps, and tools; that are required to identify irregular site behavior, prevent fraudulent activity and improve security; or that allow you to make use of our functions such as shopping-carts, saved search, or similar functions;
  • Performance Related. We may use Cookies, Web Beacons, or other similar technologies to assess the performance of our Sites, Apps, Services, and tools, including as part of our analytic practices to help us understand how our visitors use our Sites, determine if you have interacted with our messaging, determine whether you have viewed an item or link, or to improve our Site content, Apps, Services, or tools;
  • Functionality Related. We may use Cookies, Web Beacons, or other similar technologies that allow us to offer you enhanced functionality when accessing or using our Sites, Services, Apps, or tools. This may include identifying you when you sign into our Sites or keeping track of your specified preferences, interests, or past items viewed so that we may enhance the presentation of content on our Sites;
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If you would like to change your preferences and/or opt out of the technologies we employ on our Site(s), Services, Apps, or tools, you may do so by blocking, deleting, or disabling them as your browser or device permits or by visiting the third party links listed below.

(d) Location Information. When you use our Services, we may collect and store information about your location by converting your IP address into a rough geo-location or by accessing your device’s GPS coordinates or coarse location if you enable location services on your device. We may use location information to improve and personalize our Services for you. If you do not want us to collect location information, you may disable that feature on your device.

(e)Information from Other Sources. We may receive information about you from other sources, including through third party services and organizations to supplement information provided by you. For example, if you access our Services through a third party application, such as an App Store or SNS, we may collect information about you from that third party application that you have made public via your privacy settings. Information we collect through App Stores or SNS accounts may include your name, your SNS user identification number, your SNS user name, location, sex, birth date, email, profile picture, and your contacts on the SNS. This supplemental information allows us to verify information that you have provided to us and to enhance our ability to provide you with information about our business, products, and Services.

  1. How We Use Your Information

We acquire, hold, use, and process personal information about you for a variety of business purposes, including:

(a)To Provide Products, Services, or Information Requested. We may use information about you to fulfill requests for Services, including information about potential or future Services, including to: generally manage your information and Accounts; respond to questions, comments, and other requests; provide access to certain areas, functionalities, and features of our Services; contact you to answer requests for customer support or technical support; and allow you to register for events. We will also use the information about you to personalize our Services by, among other things, customizing the content; enhancing the safety and security of our products and services; verifying your identity and preventing fraud or other unauthorized or illegal activity.

(b)For Administrative Purposes. We may use personal information about you for its administrative purposes, including to: measure interest in our Services; develop new products and Services; ensure internal quality control; verify Individual identity; communicate about your Accounts and activities on our Services and systems, and, at our discretion, changes to any of our policies; send email to the email address you provide to us to verify your Account and for informational and operational purposes, such as Account management, customer service, or system maintenance; process payment for products or Services purchased; process applications and transactions; prevent potentially prohibited or illegal activities; and enforce our Terms of Service.

(c)To Market Our Services. We may use personal information to provide you with materials about offers, products, and Services that may be of interest, including new content or Services. We may provide you with these materials by phone, postal mail, facsimile, messaging services through the Service or your device or email, as permitted by applicable law. Such uses include: to tailor content, advertisements, and offers; to notify you about offers, products, and services that may be of interest to you; to provide Services to you and our sponsors; for other purposes disclosed at the time you provide information; or otherwise with your consent. You may contact us at any time to opt out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes, as further described below.

(d)For Research and Development. We may use personal information to create non-identifiable information that we may use alone or in the aggregate with information obtained from other sources, in order to help us to optimally deliver our existing products and Services or develop new products and Services. From time to time, we may perform research (online and offline). We may engage third party service providers to conduct research on our behalf. We may also conduct surveys from time to time. All survey responses are voluntary, and the information collected will be used for research and reporting purposes to help us better serve individuals by learning more about their needs and the quality of the products and Services we provide. The survey responses may be utilized to determine the effectiveness of our Services, various types of communications, advertising campaigns, and/or promotional activities. If you participate in a survey, the information given will be used along with that of other study participants. We may share de-identified individual and aggregate data for business, research and analysis purposes.

(e)For Direct Mail, Email and Outbound Telemarketing. You may receive periodic emails, newsletters, mailings, or phone calls from us with information on our or our business partners’ products and services or upcoming special offers/events we believe may be of interest. We offer the option to decline these communications at no cost to you by following the instructions in below.

(f)For Services via Mobile Devices. We may provide Services that are specifically designed to be compatible and used on mobile devices. We will collect certain information that your mobile device sends when you use such Services, like a device identifier, user settings, location information, mobile carrier, and the operating system of your device. Mobile versions of our Services may require that users log in with an Account. In such cases, information about use of mobile versions of the Services may be associated with Accounts. In addition, we may enable you to download an application, widget, or other tool that can be used on mobile or other computing devices. Some of these tools may store information on mobile or other devices. These tools may transmit information to us to enable you to access your Accounts and to enable us to track use of these tools and Services. Some of these tools may enable users to email reports and other information from the tool. We may use personal or non-identifiable information transmitted to us to enhance these tools, to develop new tools, for quality improvement and as otherwise described in this Privacy Policy or in other notices we provide.

(g)For De-Identified and Aggregated Information Use. We may use personal information and other information about you to create anonymized and aggregated information, such as de-identified demographic information, de-identified location information, information about the computer or device from which you access our Services, or other analyses we create. Anonymized and aggregated information is used for a variety of functions, including the measurement of visitors’ interest in and use of various portions or features of the Services. De-identified or aggregated information is not personal Information, and we may use such information in a number of ways, including research, internal analysis, analytics, and any other legally permissible purposes. We may share this information within we and with Third Parties for our or their purposes in an anonymized or aggregated form that is designed to prevent anyone from identifying you.

(h)For Sharing Content with Friends or Colleagues. Our Services may offer various tools and functionalities. You may be able to forward or share certain content with a friend or colleague, such as an email inviting your friend to use our Services.

(i)For Other Uses. We may use personal information for which we have a legitimate interest, such as direct marketing, individual or market research, anti-fraud protection, or any other purpose disclosed to you at the time you provide personal information or with your consent.

  1. Information We Collect From Third Parties

(a)Information Shared with Our Service Providers. We may engage third party service providers to work with us to administer and provide the Services. These third party service providers, which include other users who will be authenticating your PAI, have access to your information only for the purpose of performing Services on our behalf. We may also share your information with our marketing service providers to help us better market our products provide and Services to you. These marketing service providers may use your information only for the purpose of helping us to relevant products and Services information to you.

(b)Information Shared with other Third Parties. We may share de-identified or aggregated data we collect from the use of the Services, such as de-identified demographic information, de-identified location information, information about the computer or device from which you access the Services, market trends and other analysis that we create based on the information we receive from you and other users.

(c)Information Shared with Analytics and Other Service Providers.

(i)Google. We may use Google Analytics and Fabric Analytics, a service provided by Google, Inc. (“Google”), to gather information about how users engage with our Site and Services. For more information, please visit and You can opt out of Google’s collection and processing of data generated by your use of the Services by going to

(ii)Facebook. We may use certain tools offered by Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) that enable it to collect or receive information about actions users take on: (a) our Site and elsewhere on the internet through use of Cookies, Web Beacons and other storage technologies; or (b) our App and other mobile applications, in order to provide measurement services, targeted ads and other services. For more information regarding the collection and use of such information by Facebook, please see the Facebook Data Policy, available at:

(iii) Social Plug-Ins or Widgets. Our Site includes social media features such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram and Medium (that might include widgets such as the share this button or other interactive mini-programs). These features may collect your IP address, which page you are visiting on our Site, and may set a cookie to enable the feature to function properly. These social media features are either hosted by a third or hosted directly on our Site. Your interactions with these features are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing it.

(d)Information Disclosed in Connection with Business Transactions. Information that we collect from our users, including personal information, is considered to be a business asset. Thus, if we are acquired by a third party as a result of a transaction such as a merger, acquisition or asset sale or if our assets are acquired by a third party in the event we go out of business or enter bankruptcy, some or all of our assets, including your personal information, may be disclosed or transferred to a third party acquirer in connection with the transaction.

(e)Information Disclosed for Our Protection and the Protection of Others. We cooperate with government and law enforcement officials or private parties to enforce and comply with the law. We may disclose any information about you to government or law enforcement officials or private parties as we, in our sole discretion, believe necessary or appropriate: (i) to respond to claims, legal process (including subpoenas); (ii) to protect our property, rights and safety and the property, rights and safety of a third party or the public in general; and (iii) to stop any activity that we consider illegal, unethical or legally actionable activity.

  1. Third Party Websites, Social Media Platforms, and Software Development Kits

(a)Third Party Sites. The Site and Services may contain links to other websites and other websites may reference or link to our Site or other Services. These other domains and websites are not controlled by us, and we does not endorse or make any representations about third party websites or social media platforms. Any information that you provide on or to a third party service or that is collected by a third party service is provided directly to the owner or operator of the third party service and is subject to the owner’s or operator’s privacy policy. We do not endorse, screen or approve and are not responsible for the privacy practices, security practices or content of such other websites or applications. To protect your information, we recommend that you carefully review the privacy policies of all third party services that you access.

(b)Blogs and Forums. Our Services may include or link to sites or services that offer publicly accessible blogs, community forums, or private messaging features. The Site and our other Services may also contain links and interactive features with various social media platforms (e.g., widgets) as described above. If you already use these platforms, their technologies and cookies may be set on your device when using our Site or other Services. You should be aware that personal information which you voluntarily include and transmit online in a publicly accessible blog, chat room, social media platform or otherwise online, or that you share in an open forum may be viewed and used by others without any restrictions. We are unable to control such uses of your information when interacting with a social media platform, and by using such services you assume the risk that the personal information provided by you may be viewed and used by third parties for any number of purposes.

(c)SDKs and APIs. We may use third party software development kits (“SDKs”) and APIs as part of the functionality of our Services. Third party SDKs may allow third parties including advertisers to collect your personal information to provide content that is more relevant to you.

  1. Third Party Payment Processing

You may acquire virtual items or merchandise through our Services. When you make purchases through the Services, we may process your payments through a virtual currency exchange or a third party application, including the Apple App Store, Google Play App Store, Amazon App Store (together with any similar applications, “App Stores”) and social networking sites such as Facebook. The third party application may collect certain financial information from you to 5.process a payment on our behalf, including your name, email address, address and other billing information.

  1. Revisions to this Privacy Policy

We may revise this Privacy Policy from time to time. If we make any material changes to this Privacy Policy, we’ll notify you of those changes by posting them on the Services or by sending you an email or other notification, and we’ll update the “Last Updated Date” above to indicate when those changes will become effective.

  1. Your Choices

We offer you choices regarding the collection, use and sharing of your information. Please note that if you decide not to provide us with the information that we request, you may not be able to access all of the features of the Services.

(a)Opt-Out of our Mailings. We may periodically send you free newsletters and e-mails that directly promote our Services. When you receive such promotional communications from us, you will have the opportunity to “opt-out” (either through your Account or by following the unsubscribe instructions provided in the e-mail you receive). We do need to send you certain communications regarding the Services, and you will not be able to opt out of those communications – e.g., communications regarding updates to our Terms of Service or this Privacy Policy or information about billing.
(b)Opt-out of Cookies and Ad Tracking. You can opt out of the collection and use of your information for ad targeting by going to or to limit collection through the Site or by configuring the settings on your mobile device to limit ad tracking through the App. As noted above, you may stop or restrict the placement of cookies on your computer or remove them from your browser by adjusting your web browser preferences. To be clear, these cookie-based opt-outs must be performed on each device and browser that you wish to have opted-out. Please note that cookie-based opt-outs are not effective on mobile applications. However, on many mobile devices, application users may opt out of certain mobile ads via their device settings. Further information about your options can be found here:
(c)Modifying or Deleting Your Information. The Services offer the ability to modify or delete your information in the following ways: (i) logging into your Account and updating your address and contact information and (ii) deleting your Account.

  1. Responding to Do Not Track Signals

Our Site does not have the capability to respond to “Do Not Track” signals received from various web browsers.

  1. Data Retention

We retain the personal information we receive as described in this Privacy Policy for as long as you use our Services or as necessary to fulfill the purpose(s) for which it was collected, provide our Services, resolve disputes, establish legal defenses, conduct audits, pursue legitimate business purposes, enforce our agreements, and comply with applicable laws.

  1. The Security of Your Information

We take reasonable administrative, technical and physical measures designed to protect the information that we collect from or about you from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. When you enter information on our forms, we encrypt this data using SSL or other technologies. We offer a variety of security techniques including a PIN, a paper key and biometric authorization (e.g., fingerprint, Face ID or touch ID) depending on your device. Please be aware, however, that no method of transmitting information over the Internet or storing information is completely secure. Accordingly, we cannot guarantee the absolute security of any information.

  1. International Transfer

You agree that all information, including personal information, may be transferred to, and maintained on, computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the privacy laws may not be as protective as those in your jurisdiction. You agree that all personal information collected via or by us may be transferred, processed, and stored anywhere in the world, including but not limited to, the United States, the European Union, in the cloud, on our servers, on the servers of our affiliates or the servers of our service providers. Your personal information may be accessible to law enforcement or other authorities pursuant to a lawful request. By providing information to us, you explicitly consent to the storage of your personal information in these locations.

  1. Our Policy Toward Children

Our Services are not directed to children, and we do not knowingly collect information from children. If we learn that we have collected information from a child under 13 (or 16 in some jurisdictions), we will take steps to delete such information from our files as soon as possible.

  1. Your HIPAA Privacy Rights.

Federal law permits users to request and obtain from, free of charge, a list of the third parties to whom we have disclosed their personal information (if any) for their direct marketing purposes in the prior calendar year, as well as the type of personal information disclosed to those parties. Except as otherwise provided in this Privacy Policy, we do not share personal information with third parties for their own marketing purposes.

  1. Redress/Compliance and Accountability

If you have any questions about our privacy practices, this Privacy Policy, or how to lodge a complaint with the appropriate authority, please contact us by email at [email protected]. We will address your concerns and attempt to resolve any privacy issues in a timely manner.




Terms of Service

These Terms of Service (which we call the “Terms”) form a legally binding contract between you and MedStar Health Research Institute Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics (“B&B”). (“B&B”). By using our websites, online or mobile applications, and other products and services (collectively, our “Services”), you are agreeing to these Terms.

ARBITRATION NOTICE: Please be advised that these Terms contain an arbitration clause. You and B&B agree that any dispute between us will be resolved by mandatory binding arbitration and you and B&B waive any right to participate in a class action lawsuit or class wide arbitration.

  1. Who Can Use Our Services
    By using the Services, you state that: (i) you can form a binding contract with B&B; and (ii) you agree to comply with these Terms and all applicable laws and regulations.
  2. Our Property
    The Services, including all work, material and/or product, taken by, submitted to, provided for or created through use of any portion of our Services is wholly the sole and exclusive property of B&B.  Any unauthorized use of such property beyond the Terms stated herein or any unauthorized monetary exploitation or financial gain resulting therefrom shall constitute infringement of our intellectual property and you may be potentially liable for maximum damages, sanctions, disgorgement of profits, penalties and fines, as permitted by law.
  3. Rights We Grant You
    B&B grants you a personal, non-assignable, nonexclusive, revocable, and non-sublicensable license to access and use our Services. This license is for the sole purpose of letting you use our Services in a way that these Terms allow. Any software that we provide you may automatically download and install upgrades, updates, or other new features. You may be able to adjust these automatic downloads through your device’s settings. You may not copy, modify, distribute, sell, or lease any part of our Services, nor may you reverse engineer or attempt to extract the source code of that software, unless applicable laws prohibit these restrictions or you have our written permission to do so. For avoidance of doubt, you have not been granted any rights whatsoever in any content that is created or edited with use of any portion of our Services as such content remains the sole property of B&B. Should you wish to license and/or exploit the rights of the content you created for, you must contact B&B in advance and submit your written request providing enough details describing your request to B&B’s satisfaction and agree that you shall not license and/or exploit the content created hereunder for any reason whatsoever beyond sharing on your personal social media profiles (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) without B&B’s mutual approval. Should you receive any monetary or financial gain resulting from the exploitation and/or publication of the content you created hereunder without receiving B&B’s advance written approval, B&B shall be entitled to recover all net proceeds you actually receive or realize and shall have the right to demand an inspection and accounting thereof of all related bookkeeping and records.
  4. Rights You Grant us
    Some of our Services let you create, upload, post, send, receive, and store content including, without limitation, any voice input, voice note or audio recording when using any portion of our Services; any photos and images taken or provided to us when using any portion of our Services; any songs, greetings and audio recordings or voice notes generated or created when using any portion of our Services; any images, models, graphics, simulations and/or other content generated or created when using any portion of our Services.  You grant us and our affiliates a worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, and distribute that content and to create derivative works from, promote, exhibit, broadcast, syndicate, publicly perform, and publicly display your content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). We may access, review, screen and delete your content at any time and for any reason. We shall not be responsible for the content you create, upload, post, send or store through or related to our Services and you shall alone remain responsible for the content you create, upload, post, send, or store through our Services. Any feedback or suggestions you submit about B&B or our products or Services are non-confidential and will become the sole property of B&B.
  5. Content of Others
    Some of the content on our Services is produced by users and other third parties. Whether that content is posted publicly or sent privately, the content is the sole responsibility of the person or organization that submitted it. Although B&B reserves the right to remove any content that violates these Terms, we do not necessarily review all of it. Therefore, we do not take responsibility for any other content that others provide through our Services. You acknowledge and agree that B&B is not responsible for examining or evaluating any aspect of any third-party services, applications or websites (collectively “Third Party Apps”) including those that use the Services. We make no representations or endorsements regarding those Third Party Apps, including without limitation as to their quality, accuracy, completeness, copyright compliance, legality, decency, reliability, security or any other aspect.
  6. Privacy
    Your privacy matters to us. You can learn how we handle your information when you use our Services by reading our privacy policy. We encourage you to review the privacy policy as your use of our Services signify that you agree that B&B can collect, use and transfer your information consistent with that policy.
  7. Respecting Other People’s Rights
    B&B respects the rights of others. You may not upload, post, send or store content that: violates or infringes someone else’s rights of publicity, privacy, copyright, trademark or other intellectual property right; bullies, harasses or intimidates; defames; or spams or solicits B&B users. You must also respect B&B rights. These Terms do not grant you any right to: use branding, logos, designs, photographs, audio, recordings, videos or any other materials used in our Services except as explicitly allowed by these Terms or our Services; copy, archive, download, upload, distribute, syndicate, broadcast, perform, display, make available, or otherwise use any portion of our Services or the content on our Services except as set forth in these Terms or as our Services allow; use our Services or any content on our Services for any commercial purposes without our consent. In short: You may not use our Services or the content on our Services in ways that are not authorized by these Terms. Nor may you help or enable anyone else in doing so.
  8. Respecting Copyright
    B&B honors the requirements set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We therefore take reasonable steps to expeditiously remove from our Services any infringing material that we become aware of. And if B&B becomes aware that one of its users has repeatedly infringed copyrights, we will take reasonable steps without our power to terminate the user’s ability to access or use our Services. If you believe that anything on our Services infringes a copyright that you own or control, please file a notice with our office at: 6525 Belcrest Avenue, Suite 700, Hyattsville, MD 20781, email: [email protected]. If you file a notice with our designated agent, it must comply with the requirements set forth at 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3). That means the notice must: contain the physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner; identify the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed; identify the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed, or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to let us locate the material; provide your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and an email address; provide a personal statement that you have a good-faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, is agent or the law; and provide a statement that the information in the notification is accurate and, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
  9. Safety
    By using our Services, you agree that: you will not use our Services for any purpose that is illegal or prohibited in these Terms; you will not use any robot, spider, crawler, scraper or other automated means or interface to access our Services or extract other user’s information; you will not use or develop any third-party applications that interact with our Services or other users’ content or information without our written consent; you will not use our Services in a way that could interfered with, disrupt, negatively affect, or inhibit other users from fully enjoying our Services, or that could damage, disable, overburden, or impair the functioning of our Services; you will not use or attempt to use another user’s account, username or password without their permission; you will not solicit login credentials from another user; you will not post content that contains pornography, graphic violence, threats, hate speech or incitements to violence; you will not upload viruses or other malicious code or otherwise compromise the security of our Services; you will not attempt to circumvent any content-filtering techniques we employ, or attempt to access areas or features of our Services that you are not authorized to access; you will not probe, scan or test the vulnerability of our Services or any system or network; and you will not encourage or promote any activity that violates these Terms.
  10. Your Account
    You are responsible for any activity that occurs in your account. Please select a strong password that you don’t use for any other account. By using our Services, you agree that, in addition to exercising common sense: you will not create more than one account for yourself; you will not create another account if we have already disabled your account, unless you have our written permission to do so; you will not buy, sell, rent or lease access to your B&B account without our written permission; you will not share your password; you will not log in or attempt to access our Services through unauthorized third-party applications or clients. If you think that someone has gained access to your account, please immediately reach out to B&B Support.
  11. Data Charges
    You are responsible for any mobile charges that you may incur for using our Services, including text-messaging and data charges. If you’re unsure what those charges may be, you should ask your service provider before using our Services.
  12. Third-Party Services
    If you use a service, feature or functionality that is operated by a third party and made available through our Services (including Services we jointly offer with the third party), each party’s terms will be given the respective party’s relationship with you. B&B is not responsible or liable for those third party terms or actions taken under the third party’s terms.
  13. Modifying the Services and Termination
    We may add or remove features, products, or functionalities, and we may also suspend or stop our Services altogether. We may take any of these actions at any time, and when we do, we may not provide with you any notice beforehand. B&B may terminate these Terms with you at any time, for any reason, and without advanced notice. That means that we may stop providing with you any Services, or impose new or additional limits on your ability to use our Services. For example, we may deactivate your account due to prolonged inactivity. Regardless of who terminates these Terms, both you and B&B continue to be bound by Sections 3, 6 12-21 of the Terms.
  14. Indemnity
    You agree, to the extent permitted under applicable law, to indemnify, defend and hold harmless B&B, our directors, officers, employees, and affiliates from and against any and all complaints, charges, claims, damages, losses, costs, liabilities, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) due to, arising out of, or relating in any way to: (a) your access to or use of our Services; (b) your content; and (c) your breach of these Terms.
  15. Disclaimers
  16. Limitation of Liability
  17. Arbitration, Class Waiver and Jury Waiver
  1. Applicability of Arbitration Agreement
    All claims and disputes arising out of or relating to these Terms or the use of our Services that cannot be resolved in small claims court, will be resolved by binding arbitration on an individual basis, except that you and B&B are not required to arbitrate any dispute in which either party seeks equitable relief for the alleged use unlawful use of copyrights, trademarks, trade names, logos, trade secrets or patents.
  2. Arbitration Rules
    The Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this dispute-resolution provision. Arbitration will be initiated through the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). If the AAA is not available to arbitrate, the parties will select an alternative arbitral forum. The rules of the arbitral forum will govern all aspects of this arbitration, except to the extent those rules conflict with these Terms. The arbitration will be conducted by a single neutral arbitrator. Any claims or disputes where the total amount sought is less than $10,000 USD may be resolved through binding non-appearance-based arbitration, at either party’s election. Any judgment on the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court of competent jurisdiction.
  3. Additional Rules for Non-appearance Arbitration
    If non-appearance arbitration is elected, the arbitration will be conducted by telephone, online, written submissions, or any combination of the three; the specific manner will be chosen by the party initiating the arbitration. The arbitration will not involve any personal appearance by the parties or witnesses unless the parties mutually agree otherwise.
  4. Authority of the Arbitrator
    The arbitrator will decide the jurisdiction of the arbitrator and the rights and liabilities, if any, of you and B&B. The dispute will not be consolidated with any other matters or joined with any other cases or parties. The arbitrator will have the authority to grant motions dispositive of all or part of any claim or dispute. The arbitrator will have the authority to award monetary damages and to grant any non-monetary remedy or relief available to an individual under applicable law, the arbitral forum’s rules, and the Terms. The arbitrator will issue a written award and statement of a decision describing the essential findings and conclusions on which the award is based, including the calculation of any damages awarded. The arbitrator has the same authority to award relief on an individual basis that a judge in a court of law would have. The award of the arbitrator is final and binding upon you.
  5. Waiver of Jury Trial
    YOU AND B&B WAIVE ANY CONSTITUTIONAL AND STATUTORY RIGHTS TO GO TO COURT AND HAVE A TRIAL IN FRONT OF A JUDGE OR A JURY. You and B&B are instead electing to have claims and disputes resolved by arbitration. Arbitration procedures are typically more limited, more efficient, and less costly than rules applicable in court and are subject to very limited review by a court. In any litigation between you and B&B over whether to vacate or enforce an arbitration award, YOU AND B&B WAIVE ALL RIGHTS TO A JURY TRIAL, and elect instead to have the dispute be resolved by a judge.
  6. Waiver of Class or Consolidated Actions
    ALL CLAIMS AND DISPUTES WITHIN THE SCOPE OF THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT MUST BE ARBITRATED OR LITIGATED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT ON A CLASS BASIS. CLAIMS OF MORE THAN ONE CUSTOMER OR USER CANNOT BE ARBITRATED OR LITIGATED JOINTLY OR CONSOLIDATED WITH THOSE OF ANY OTHER CUSTOMER OR USER. If, however, this wavier of class or consolidated actions is deemed invalid or unenforceable, neither you nor we are entitled to arbitration; instead all claims and disputes will be resolve in a court as set forth in Section 17.
  7. Confidentiality
    No part of the procedures will be open to the public or the media. All evidence discovered or submitted at the hearing is confidential and may not be disclosed, except by written agreement of the parties, pursuant to court order, or unless required by law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no party will be prevented from submitting to a court of law any information needed to enforce this arbitration agreement, to enforce an arbitration award, or to seek injunctive or equitable relief.
  8. Right to Waive
    Any rights and limitations set forth in this arbitration agreement may be waived by the party against whom the claim is asserted. Such waiver will not waive or affect any other portion of this arbitration agreement.
  9. Arbitration Agreement Survival
    This arbitration agreement will survive the termination of your relationship with B&B.
  1. Choice of Law; Exclusive Venue
    The Agreement is governed by Maryland law, excluding its choice of laws principles. The exclusive venue for any litigation arising from or related to the Agreement, the Services shall be the courts of Howard County, Maryland, except for any optional arbitration as described above. This Agreement will not be construed against either party as the drafter.

If any provision of these Terms is found unenforceable, then that provision will be severed from these Terms and not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions. You cannot assign the Agreement without our written agreement. We can assign the agreement to any entity that agrees to be bound by the terms of the Agreement.

Given the breadth of our Services, we sometimes need to craft additional terms and conditions for specific Services. Those additional terms and conditions, which will be available with the relevant Services, then become part of your agreement with us if you use those Services.

These terms make up the entire agreement between you and B&B, and supersede any prior agreements. These Terms do not create or confer any third-party beneficiary rights. If we do not enforce a provision in these Terms, it will not be considered a waiver. We reserve all rights not expressly granted to you. You may not transfer any of your rights or obligations under these Terms without our consent. These terms were written in English and to the extent the translated version of these Terms conflict with the English version, the English version will control.

Contact Us

B&B welcomes comments, questions, concerns or suggestions. Please send feedback to us by emailing [email protected]

Dated: November 2018


MedStar Researcher’s Power to Heal: Associate Support for New MedStar Investigators

As part of the annual Associate Giving campaign, Giving: The Power to Heal, donations made to support research at MedStar Health are used to fund the New Investigator – Associate Giving Grant Fund. This grant is awarded to researchers who are new to MedStar Health in order to help support new, high potential research endeavors and can lead to external funding.

Since launching the New Investigator – Associate Giving Grant Fund in 2015 with the donations to the Power to Heal campaign by MedStar associates, the Research Institute has provided funding to fifteen investigators at MedStar. Here is an update on the research of prior recipients.

Success in Future Funding 

The New Investigator Fund focuses on funding research so that investigators can seek additional outside funding to continue their research. Alexander Kroemer, MD, PhD, was a recipient of a grant from the 2015 Power to Heal campaign. His research, “The Role of Nuclear Oligomerization Binding Domain-2 in Driving Th17-Mediated Allograft Rejection in Intestinal Transplant Recipients,” built on previous preliminary work to test the hypothesis that Th17-mediated immune responses play a major role in the potential for intestinal transplant rejection. As a result of the pilot data collected during his research, he was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH-NIAID). This is the first-ever NIH R01 grant for our MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute. This project has the potential to help those who could benefit from a life-altering intestinal transplant (ITx), but are unable to do so because of the high risk of immunological complications.

Investigating How Payments Can Affect Care

Jessica E. GalarragaJessica Galarraga, MD, MPH, is investigating the effects of Maryland’s global budgeting payment reform on emergency care quality. “An Evaluation of a Payment Reform Experiment: The Impact of Global Budgets on Emergency Department Return Visits” was funded by the 2016 Power to Heal campaign.

Payment reform has increasingly been at the forefront of the dialogue on health care reform. In an effort to control rising health care costs, the state of Maryland has recently embarked on a large scale payment reform experiment known as the global budget revenue (GBR) program. This study uses data from the Health Services Cost Review Commission’s basic inpatient file, which has comprehensive hospital-based statewide data for Maryland.

The data from this project demonstrated a small, but statistically significant increase in quarterly emergency department return rates with GBR implementation by 0.2%, which suggests that the previously demonstrated GBR-associated decline in emergency department hospitalization rates may be posing a risk for increasing returns to the emergency department after discharge.

These findings have led to a two-year Early Career Research Development Grant by the Emergency Medicine Foundation awarded in June 2018. This funding will support a more in-depth analysis of emergency department returns using Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project data that does not have limitations such as time and tracking measures.

Finding Markers to Better Treat Cancer

chukwuemeka-u-ihemelanduChukwuemeka Ihemelandu, MD, was a recipient of a grant from the 2016 Power to Heal campaign. His research, “Establishment of Patient-Derived Tumor Xenograft Models of Peritoneal Metastasis for Preclinical Evaluation of New Imaging Targets: A Translational Platform for Improving Detection of Microscopic Disease to Impact Survival of Patients with Gastrointestinal Cancers,” was to establish a proof of concept for the use of intra-operative optical fluorescence imaging with NIR light using antibodies that specifically target cancer cells in gastrointestinal malignancies.

Results from the research indicated a difference in the expression patterns of the identified target biomarkers between the right- and left-sided colon cancer. Key data points were achieved to better summarize the molecular heterogeneity of human tumor for optical imaging and ensure translatability of pre-clinical labs. Dr. Ihemelandu was awarded a NIH KL2 grant as a result of these findings which will assist in the development of a successful clinical and translational research career.

Connecting Clinicians for Better Patient Outcomes

Shimae C. FitzgibbonsShimae Fitzgibbons, MD, continued her research in better understanding the familiarity in surgical teams on patient outcomes as a recipient of the 2016 Power to Heal campaign.

The goal of “Impact of Familiarity of Surgical Teams on Patient Outcomes” was to utilize a pre-existing database of surgical reports to better understand the factors and relationships that may contribute to the best patient outcomes. With an increasing focus on operating room utilization in healthcare, it is important to assess potential relationships between surgical team member familiarity and patient outcome. Three approaches to familiarity were used: in-role familiarity (familiarity amongst team members within a given role), cross-role familiarity (familiarity between roles), and overall familiarity (combination of both sets of scores). The core surgical team members participating in the procedure were classified into the following categories: surgeon, anesthesiology team member, scrub technician, and circulator.

More than 4500 knee arthroplasty cases were ultimately included in the dataset. When controlling for patient age, gender, hospital and ASA class, a team’s familiarity score during a case was significantly associated with reduced surgery time and patient length of stay in knee arthroplasty cases. The research identified that with respect to the impact of specific dyad familiarity, all team familiarity is associated with a shorter case length and a shorter length of hospital stay.

The results of this study have been presented at several national meetings. For future research, Dr. Fitzgibbons has proposed two directions that have the potential to generate external funding.

Our Power to Heal

MedStar Health has launched the 2018 Giving: The Power to Heal Campaign. This campaign, which runs through Friday, Oct. 20, invites associates and physicians to invest through philanthropy and support research across the system.

“Associates throughout the MedStar family can have a powerful impact and have the Power to Heal through their support of research among our new investigators,” says Neil Weissman, MD, president of MedStar Health Research Institute. “We remain committed to our investigators and this is a chance to invest in the future of research across the wider MedStar Health community.”

We invite you to discover your Power to Heal and choose to make a difference today! Visit to learn more. To support the New Investigator fund, select Research at MedStar in the drop-down menu when you make your donation.

MedStar Cardiology Researchers Evaluate Results of Valve Comparison Trial at One Year

An analysis led by MedStar researchers to evaluate two options for Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was recently published in Circulation. The study, “Hemodynamic and Echocardiographic Comparison of the Lotus and CoreValve Transcatheter Aortic Valves in Patients With High and Extreme Surgical Risk: An Analysis From the REPRISE III Randomized Controlled Trial,” compared the valve hemodynamics and the impact on outcomes for patients who were part of the REPRISE III clinical trial after one year.

Federico M. Asch, MD from MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network and the MedStar Health Research Institute was the lead author on the paper which was done in collaboration with researchers from Piedmont Marcus Heart Valve Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Luke’s Medical Center, DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center, Boston Scientific Corporation, and Northshore University Health System.

The REPRISE III (Repositionable Percutaneous Replacement of Stenotic Aortic Valve through Implantation of Lotus Valve System – Randomized Clinical Evaluation) study is a multicenter, randomized clinical trial evaluating two transcatheter aortic valve replacement devices, the mechanically expanded Lotus and the self-expanding CoreValve. The Lotus Valve System is a mechanically expanded, fully repositionable and retrievable valve. The CoreValve is a self-expanding valve.

The primary effectiveness endpoint for the trial was the composite one-year rate of all-cause mortality, disabling stroke, and moderate or greater paravalvular aortic regurgitation (blood flowing between the structure of the implanted valve and cardiac tissue as a result of a lack of appropriate sealing) based on core laboratory assessment by the Cardiovascular Core Laboratories at the MedStar Health Research Institute.

The study enrolled 912 patients who were considered high or extreme surgical risk. The patients were evaluated at four points in the first-year after the procedure, with plans for annual follow-up over an additional four years.

The study did find that the Lotus had significantly greater freedom from moderate or severe paravalvular leak and smaller valve area and higher gradients than CoreValve. The CoreValve did have a better hemodynamic profile, though the study concluded that both valves were favorable. The study found no statistically significant differences between the two groups in any of the clinical baseline characteristics. The hemodynamic differences between the two valves did not translate into worse clinical outcomes.

Dr. Asch is Director of the Echocardiography Core Lab at MedStar Health Research Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Georgetown University. 

Circulation, 2018. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.034129