"Jerre has served an essential role as a community representative on two of the UNMC Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) for six years," said Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Ernest Prentice, Ph.D., who nominated Tritsch for the award. "Recently, Jerre also joined our Rapid Response IRB."
Tritsch was recruited to IRB service by former Community Service to Research Award winner Lois Norris after retiring from his job as an attorney at Kutak Rock, where he worked on tax-exempt financings for low-income housing and public power.
"It sounded interesting," he said. "It seemed to fit in with the kind of work I'd done before, although I hadn't done any work before in medicine, obviously. But most of my work had to do with disclosure to investors, and patients, who serve as research subjects, also are investors in a very direct sense in the research they participate in."
Tritsch said he's always been interested in health and medical issues, and his work with the IRB also stems from a desire to make a contribution to the community.
"This kind of fits in with my skills in reading studies, being able to identify what the study is about and help translate it in a way the subject can understand it," he said. "Coming from a non-medical background, I'm in a unique position to do that -- I approach it more from the standpoint of the patient, who will also be a research subject."
In addition to the three IRBs, Tritsch serves on the UNMC Conflict of Interest Committee and the Scientific Research Oversight Committee and on the community board for the biobank.
"I am confident that if I asked him to serve on other regulatory committees, he would be happy to do so," Dr. Prentice said. "Jerre is respected by his fellow IRB members, who value the quality of his protocol reviews, his sharp intellect and his sage advice."
Tritsch said he enjoys the volunteer work.
"It's an interesting, committed group, not only the board members, but the IRB staff, who are fine people and committed professionals. A big part of it is being able to work with highly motivated, competent people who are really committed to what they're doing."
As is Tritsch, Dr. Prentice said.
"Jerre is an IRB member who not only represents the community in an exemplary fashion, but also brings strength to UNMC's research program from a regulatory, legal, ethical and community values perspective."
Jerre is a most interesting individual, who is doing an outstanding job as a community member of the SROC. Thank you for your service.
Jerre is one of the most dedicated and diligent members of the IRB and the Conflict of Interest Committee. And he does it as a volunteer. Exceptional!