Advancing Health at the 2017 MedStar Health Research Symposium

Darrell Kirch, MD, speaking on stage in front of the an audience, with MedStar Health Research Symposium logo on screen in background

Approximately 800 people were in attendance on Monday, May 1 to see how research is advancing health at the 6th Annual MedStar Health Research Symposium. More than 300 abstract posters and case reports were presented by MedStar investigators on topics ranging from health services to critical care to orthopedics. This year also marked the first year that the Symposium brought together residents and fellows from across the system for the first system-wide MedStar Resident Research Day.

The afternoon began with pre-conference educational workshops. Each workshop provided a ‘bootcamp’ on a select topic such as “Which biostatistical test should I run?” to “Research 101: How to Star Your Research Career at MedStar” to academic appointments at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Following the pre-symposium workshops, the resident research day started with oral presentations from the top six residents/fellow research projects.  The state-of-the-art auditorium was packed with more viewers watching the live-stream in the main ballroom. For residents (PGY 1-3), Travis Thompson, MD was awarded first place for his presentation of “Increasing Ultrasound Evaluation in Renal Colic”. Maame Sampah, MD awarded 2nd place and Jasneet Riar, MD and Max Romano, MD tied for the third place award. For fellows (PGY-4 and above), Yasar Torres-Yaghi, MD, placed first with “Tyrosine kinase inhibition clears Tau and reserves neuropathology and motor symptoms in a novel model of progressive supranuclear palsy”. For research fellows, Jason Chen, MD placed first with “Racial Disparities in Mortality and Complications After Burn Injury”.

Then the poster presentations began in the grand ballroom. Each poster presented was peer-reviewed before being selected for presentation at the Symposium. Advancing health through research at MedStar Health was truly on display, with a top score award presented to nurses Kathryn Curtin, RN, BSN, and Shannon Walters, RN, BSN, from MedStar Washington Hospital Center for their abstract “Follow the Blue Feet: Nurse Implemented Post-Operative MOBILITY Program”.

Main stage remarks were shared by Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs Chief Medical Officer, MedStar Health, William Oetgen, Jr., MD, MBA, vice chairman, MedStar Health Board of Directors, Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine, Georgetown University and Neil J. Weissman, MD, President, MedStar Health Research Institute and Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University. Jamie Padmore, DM, MSc, vice president of Academic Affairs at MedStar Health, introduced the keynote speaker, Darrell Kirch, MD, president and chief executive officer, Association of American Medical Colleges.

Dr. Evans spoke of the event and highlighted that it shows “the future of healthcare,” and “This is what innovation, education, and research can do together.” Dr. Healton highlighted the level of collaboration of the research presented, saying that it offered a glimpse of "what the future holds for us as [MedStar and Georgetown] continue to work together." Mrs. Padmore addressed the residents and fellows in attendance: “You are the future of advancing health, not just for MedStar, but the entire community.”

Dr. Kirch highlighted the benefits of being an integrated, academic health system. “I believe that the only active agents who exist in America, who can transform the healthcare system for better outcomes, better satisfaction for patients and clinicians, the people who can do that are highly innovative academic health systems,” he said. He highlighted that the Symposium brings together the next generation of clinicians, a group who understand the benefit of collaboration and interdisciplinary work in advancing the health the community. He reminded attendees of the power of education and power of research in caring for people.

In addition to the speakers, the Symposium also included exhibits from MHRI and MedStar. The MedStar Institute for Innovation presented “Think Differently”, showcasing different innovative approaches that they have been working on and how they connect with research. The MedStar Philanthropy group highlighted gratitude as part of our research. From MHRI, the Office of Research Development, Office of Research Integrity, the Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics were among those exhibiting.

The Symposium would not have been possible without the support of MHRI and Academic Affairs associates, who both planned, prepared and staffed the event. In addition, the event was supported by the 2017 Symposium Scientific Committee, chaired by Waddah Al-Refaei, MD and supported by Ana Barac, MD, PhD, vice chair and Dawn Fishbein, MD, past chair. Conference planning staff was Michele Lee Clements and Eva Hochberger of the Office of Research Development at MHRI.

If you have any questions about research or would like to be connected to an investigator or other resources, please contact [email protected].