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Essential Skills Training

On March 23, 2019 at UNC-Wilmington (UNCW) Fuse CR site, a 6 hour workshop on Essential Skills was held. I’d gotten involved with this initiative through my desire to use my network to help others.

FuseCR (Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development) is a collaborative designed to ignite a new synergy between UNCW and the field of clinical research. By fusing resources and knowledge from academia and industry, FuseCR is energizing the local clinical research talent with powerful career and industry enhancing services.

Working with Tiffany Erichsen and Susan Sinclair, we put on a program for the students in the Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Clinical Research.

The first topic was Effective Leadership Styles presented by Michael Williams. Michael is the Chief Executive Director of the Executive Service Corps of the Triangle. I’ve known Michael for over 30 years. We were room-mates while in training for our first jobs out of college with Burroughs Wellcome Co. He is an excellent presenter. Students learned the DISC profile and its role in leadership and communications.

The second topic was Collaborative Negotiating presented by Jim Sheegog. Jim is a founder of Rowhill Consulting Group. Jim and I have known each other around 20 years. Jim also worked at Burroughs Wellcome Co which is where we met and then by chance I ran into him at a local restaurant about 7 years ago. Jim is well known in the corporate training and leadership development industry with significant work at global organizations.

A representative from the UNCW Career center spoke over lunch regarding professionalism, conference attendance, image and how to navigate a buffet lunch.

The final speaker was Danielle Baxter and she spoke on Branding. Danielle is Director of Business Development for Paragon Global CRS. I’ve known Danielle for 2 years and she is a very impressive speaker.

I was able to help because I keep in touch with people I’ve met from across the spectrum of my career and I put in effort to maintain the relationship – networking.

Leadership Styles
Leadership Workshop
Collaborative Negotiation
Branding

New FOCM Member

While attending SCOPE in mid-February in Orlando, I had the good fortune of welcoming Marie Perrone into FOCM. I had met Marie several years before via an introduction by long-time FOCM member, friend and former co-worker, Deb Nichols. It took so long for Marie to get her card due to some strange, but ultimately explainable issues in the background check that is run on all FOCM member candidates. The joy of receiving her card and the overwhelming relief to have resolved the items of her past is quite evident in the photo of this memorable event.

Marie Perrone receives her FOCM Membership card
Photo taken by Deb Nichols

Trends: Good and Bad

I saw a few statistics recently and think that in this current environment wherein politicians make exaggerated statements of the state of the world, they deserve to be noted.

These are from TIME Magazine earlier this year.

The share of the world living in extreme pottery has declined drastically:

  • in 1990, 36% of the world lived in extreme poverty
  • in 2015, it had fallen to 10%
  • in 2030, it is expected to be 6%.

According to Forbes magazine, there are twice as many people in the world who are obese as to those who are undernourished. And now back to TIME magazine reports:

  • in 2016 in the US, 40% of adults are obese
  • in 2030, is expected to be 50%.

In 2030, 25% of total travel on US roads will be done in self-driving vehicles.

Interesting items to think about.

Political Parody

My Mom purchased a subscription to Weekly Standard for me several years ago.  Yes, it leans conservative but the editors are definitely not pro-Trump.

One of the things I enjoy about it is the last page is usually a parody of a real story or headline and they take off with it and have fun.  This one made me chuckle.  They start with the true story of Elizabeth Warren and her DNA test revealing that she does have some Native American ancestory.

Eliz Warren

Levi 501 Jeans

I recently read an article by Joseph Epstein (https://www.weeklystandard.com/joseph-epstein/this-will-see-me-out) about a new pair of slippers he bought.  Mr. Epstein being 81 years old realized that these slippers would be the last ones he would ever need to buy.  The phrase he used was, “these should see me out.”

I had the same realization recently in regards to a pair of Levi Original Shrink to Fit 501 jeans.  I bought a pair last year and realizing that I still wear a pair of black pre-shrunk 501’s which I first got in around 1993 (when the company I worked for had just started casual attire Fridays), this pair of jeans could be the last pair I need to buy.  These pants may see me out.

It might seem a bit morbid to think about that.  The more I think about it in my stream of consciousness blogging – Levi 501’s tell a part of my life story.  When I find something that works for me, I stick with it.  It makes decision making easier.  My youngest daughter when in elementary school put together a book entitled: “My Dad”.  One one page was a drawing of a man in blue pants with the sentence, “my dad’s favorite pants are jeans.”

Rachel, my hair cutting professional (her business is on the “recommended” tab at this web site), said that it’s a rather amazing thing that I can still fit into jeans that I have had for 25 years.  A few years ago I did have to go up an inch in the waist.  Growing up when there wasn’t pre-shrunk jeans, you came to know that Levi 501’s shrink 3 inches in the length and 1 inch in the waist.  So for a long time I bought 32 waist, 33 length.  So when pre-shrunk jeans came out, I knew I needed 31 waist, 30 length.  I just counted, I have 10 pair of jeans, three of them are probably 25-30 years old, two of them have ripped at the knee due to natural causes, not artificially done  to be stylistic.  I had to go up to 33 waist and then 34 waist, 33 length and have 3 pair at that size.  The last pair I bought were back down to 33 waist, 32 length (aging bones are reducing my height).  So as I type this, a few pair are bound to become unwearable and will be taken out of circulation (yes, I rotate my jeans, so they each get their turn) and discarded.  I don’t know if a pair can make it 40 years.  So I bet I will need to buy one more pair in 2020 and that pair will be the ones to see me out.

New 501s & 30 year old pair

FOCM Surprise Event

It was a typical Halloween Eve evening, weather-wise in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It should come as no shock to anyone that it was also October 30.  I’d rather hastily organized the 10/30 FOCM event just the day before as Brian Langin was coming to town.  Brian has the distinction of receiving the first FOCM card ever handed out.  So clearly, he was worthy of me getting people together.

Brian was first to arrive, followed by me and then surprise, surprise, surprise, Paula Brown Stafford joined us.  Paula and I have known each other for 22 years when I first started in the clinical research industry working at Quintiles together.  She has said to keep her on the FOCM event distribution lists as someday she just might surprise me and show up.

Brian, Me, Paula

In what can only be described as one of the happiest moments of her life, Paula received her FOCM card. 

 

 

 

 

It was a fun evening.  Others in attendance: Rob Sucharski, Duncan Shaw, Peter Payne,  Lauren Sherwood, Heather Malinowski*, Steve Young, Peter Weiman*.

*1st time attendees

Funny things I’ve recently seen

From the September 2018 issue of Readers Digest:

I go to a bar and ask “what’s the wi-fi password?”
Bartender replies: You need to buy a drink first.
I reply, “okay, I’ll have a beer”
Bartender: that’ll be $5.
I pay him and say, “ok, so what’s the password?”
Bartender: “You need to buy a drink first, no spaces, all lowercase.”

A poodle and a collie are walking down the street when the poodle suddenly confides to his friend. “My life is a mess,” he says “my owner is mean, my girlfriend is having an affair with a German Shepherd and I’m as nervous as a hamster.”
“Why don’t you go see a psychiatrist?” suggests the collie.
“I can’t,” says the poodle, “I’m not allowed on the couch.”

I hate when I see an old person and then realize I went to high school with them.

I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game of Monopoly.
– Steven Wright

 

FOCM Welcomes New Members

On a warm, pleasant evening in October, the 1st day of the month to be precise, a significant event in FOCM history occurred; 4 new members received their cards.

I was in the RTP area to attend the Arena International Clinical Trial Supply Southeast meeting and hosted a FOCM networking event at the Sheraton Imperial Lobby Bar.

Attending that night were long time* members as well as first timers+.  As best I can recall, the following people were there: Michael Williams*, Kris Gustafson*, Mike Burrows*, Rosina Pavia*, Paul Oldfield*, Tim Sauls*, David Holland, Carolyn Waff+, Lauren Sherwood, Israel Bocanegra+, Shae Wilkins* (traveled the farthest) .

Receiving their membership cards were: Lauren Sherwood, Carolyn Waff, David Holland and Israel Bocanegra.  As you can expect, emotions ran high during the card ceremony, with many people wiping tears from their eyes.  The look of sheer joy on their faces the moment they realized they’d completed the sometimes long, sometimes short, but neverthless arduous and rigorous initiation process.

Carolyn Waff

David Holland

Lauren Sherwood

 

 

 

 

 

Israel Bocanegra

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Inductees – 10/1/2018

Job Opportunity for Oncology Health Care Clinician

Am helping a FOCM member find a candidate for the position described below.  Additional information: basically need a current/recent oncology nurse or NP that is also good at knowing when data regarding patient volumes from EMR queries are likely inaccurate. It’s a key role that is critical to our meeting our deliverables… I think the perfect person has that oncology nursing background, but maybe left 2-3 years ago to join one of the CROs as a CRA or PM.

Job Title: Manager, Nursing Informatics – Oncology
Reports to Vice President, Clinical Operations
Location: Raleigh, NC

Job Purpose
Utilize knowledge of oncology patient care to support proposal development and clinical trials via thorough curation, analysis, and interpretation of EMR data housed in data warehouse.

Duties and Responsibilities
1. Develop clinical trial enrollment projections for bids
2. Assess impact of amendments to ongoing clinical trials, including revised projections
3. Collaborate with IT to build accurate data queries for awarded clinical trial projects and to modify queries as necessary on an ongoing basis
4. Review medical records of patients identified by data queries as likely matches to a clinical research, and determine eligibility.
5. Maintain and manage “watch list” of those patients that are not currently eligible but may be in the future based on disease progression, resolved comorbidities, etc., to ensure timely enrollment when appropriate.
6. Communicate specific patients’ eligibility and logistical information (e.g., date/time of next appointment, exam results, etc.) to onsite clinical research staff
7. Track progress/actions in study applications
8. May supervise other data-oriented positions within the Clinical Operations department
9. Handle other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
• BA/BS degree preferred; equivalent combined education and experience will be considered
• Understanding of clinical research fundamentals
• Basic understanding of SOPs, WIs, FDA, and local regulations as well as ICH GCP guidelines, required

Experience:
• Three (3) years’ experience delivering oncology care delivery as a nurse, nurse practitioner, or other healthcare provider. Clinical research experience strongly preferred, whether as a study coordinator or in an operational role at a CRO or pharma company

Required Competencies/Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Functional knowledge of patient pathways in oncology
• Functional knowledge of clinical research workflow and regulations.
• Ability to organize and analyze data to derive reasonable interpretations and conclusions
• Ability to quickly learn new software applications.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills.
• Strong organizational skills, including ability to manage multiple deliverables across multiple projects.
• Excellent office productivity skills, especially with MS Word and Excel, as well as strong familiarity with clinical trials management software.
• Adaptability and flexibility.
• Ability to complete tasks independently, accurately, and within compressed timelines.

Working conditions
Day shift with standard working hours (8AM – 5 PM); corporate office and/or home office environment with regular computer and phone usage. Minimal travel expected (less than 5%) after initial training/onboarding.

Direct reports
This position may have direct reports depending on company growth and needs.