Executive Director's Note, April 2020

Hello colleagues and friends,

anderson-berry-photo-2.jpgI hope all of you are healthy, and also hope that you and your teams and families have been able to make sense of this new normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you are aware, along with all of the changes we are faced with in clinical care, education and advocacy, there are numerous changes in the conduct of research during the pandemic restrictions. We have sent messaging out regarding clinical trials, bench research, COVID research and essential personnel for UNMC. Please review each of these in detail as you need them.

We continue to have success in developing research resources for our members and are thrilled to announce that Dr. Junghyae Lee will be starting as our CHRI statistician on May 1st. She has a combined appointment with CHRI through the College of Public Health, and will start to make virtual appointments with investigators in the first few weeks of May. Dr. Lee will be working remotely for the first few months of her appointment. When we are back on campuses and Dr. Lee is no longer working remotely, please know that she will be serving both physical locations in addition to doing virtual consultations. Please give her a warm welcome!

Our work flow has changed within CHRI, but in many ways we are busier than ever. We are supporting critical clinical trials and working on important regulatory documents for the hundreds of studies that we support every day. Additionally, new COVID projects and emergency requests have our team working non-stop to support patients and help faculty better understand the science behind the pandemic. If you have an idea for COVID related research or want to join in on an existing College of Medicine project, please let us know.

Don’t forget that our CHRI Research Forum is coming up quickly. Please plan to join us electronically via Zoom on Thursday, May 7 at 4:30 p.m. for Dr. Guru Pendyala’s keynote, followed by our trainee research awards. Beginning on Thursday, May 7, digital posters featuring the work of the CHRI investigators and their trainees will be available to view on the virtual event website. As most spring scientific meetings were cancelled, this may be the only time that this work will be presented, so please be sure to attend. The posters will be open and active through May 8 and attendees can leave comments for the presenters. On Friday, May 8, there will be a Grand Rounds presentation by Dr. Kim White, and the education awards. We are also partnering with the Honors Pediatric group to showcase their work from the academic year. This is going to be a unique event and it will be made even better by having everyone engage and leave comments for the posters. Registration will be available on Wednesday, May 6 on the Pediatric Research Forum page and will be required to access the Zoom information and posters.

Grant writing is still going full force. We know that everyone is in the same boat with getting their preliminary data, but now is the time to fine tune your next Specific Aims page and update your NIH Biosketch.  Don’t forget that we are asking for an internal review/study section for all major grant submissions. This is an extra step and will take time, but it has been shown to increase funding rates drastically!

With most studies stopped, and some clinical work on slowdown, now is the perfect time to get that data that you have been sitting on written up and out for review. It’s also a great time for case reports and review papers. Don’t forget our scientific writer, Matt Sandbulte, is available to help on grants and papers.

In the thick of things, please don’t forget to take time for yourself and your families. The stress of the change, the risk and the unknown nature of this pandemic can be overwhelming. Take time to exercise, enjoy the spring weather and find something to laugh about with family or friends. My daughter Katie has been keeping our spirits up with a family newspaper (3 times weekly “when there is news”) and a daily meme! Also, acknowledge your losses, but also try to count your blessings. We are sad to be missing out on high school senior events, but we are seeing our daughter a lot more than we would have if we were leading our regular, busy lives. It’s not fun making everyone in the house be quiet during your Zoom meetings, but it is nice to have a puppy lying on your feet while you are Zooming!

As I write this, Nebraska is preparing for our surge. Our family, friends and neighbors have lost jobs and some may lose their lives. There has never been a louder call for science and collaboration across the world. Thank you for being a part of this important community of thought, analysis, critique, challenge and discovery.ss of the change, the risk and the unknown nature of this pandemic can be overwhelming. Take time to exercise, enjoy the spring weather and find something to laugh about with family or friends. My daughter Katie has been keeping our spirits up with a family newspaper (3 times weekly “when there is news”) and a daily meme! Also, acknowledge your losses, but also try to count your blessings. We are sad to be missing out on high school senior events, but we are seeing our daughter a lot more than we would have if we were leading our regular, busy lives. It’s not fun making everyone in the house be quiet during your Zoom meetings, but it is nice to have a puppy lying on your feet while you are Zooming!

We are going through an unprecedented event that has changed our world. Together we can help to understand what it will take to create a safe new normal where all children and families can be healthy and thrive.

 

In health,

Ann