Director’s Update – July 2015

Director’s Update — July 2015

Every month, the CTSI Stories Blog will post excerpts from ongoing conversations with the institute’s co-directors.

Below, Karl Kieburtz circles back to the May 7 CTSI Town Hall Meeting.KarlKieburtz

For the benefit of the people who weren’t able to attend, can you give a quick recap of what was discussed at the CTSI Town Hall Meeting in May?

At the CTSI Town Hall, we asked people “What we do well here?” “What would you like to see more of?” We also asked: “If we went away, what would you miss most about us?”

We hope that by asking that last question, it’ll make people consider the CTSI in a different way. When a good innovation happens, we accommodate to our new circumstances, and the novelty becomes the new normal. You’re recording our conversation on an iPhone. Of course, right? But when that first came out, that was really cool. And when I want to start a manuscript now, I just turn on my app, I dictate to myself, it comes out in text and I email it to myself and edit it. I expect that now. But when I first did that, it was really cool.

So that’s what makes a good innovation. It comes out, gets incorporated into our lives, and then you stop being blown away by the fact that it’s there.

How does this relate to the upcoming renewal?

For the people writing the renewal, part of the effort involves going back over the past 9 years and looking at what’s happened. But because we’re in the midst of it and we take advantage of it, we don’t really stop to think that it wasn’t so long ago that we didn’t have X, Y, or Z. Things that we have now that we’ve grown accustomed to — we want to explicitly call those out and to ask people what they’d miss.

Some of those things people might not realize come from the CTSI. There’s the Junior Faculty Academic Core Curriculum, there’s the Seminar Series, there’s SCORE, pilot funding and incubator funding, the i2b2 to REDCAP tool we developed here, the community advisory council that allows researchers to get input into the community, recruitment capabilities. So to put this question another way, what elements of your day would be different if you didn’t have some of these resources?

And to be clear, we’re not threatening to take anything away, but we just want to know what matters to folks in a way that we might not always see or might not always expect. We develop these programs and resources because we think they are relevant, but those assumptions have to be validated by the people using them. And for the renewal, it’s important that we capture a sense of what things matter to people.

So you tell us. It’s important for us to know what we are doing well and what we need to do better in the future. Please contact and let us know: What would miss most about the CTSI, if it wasn’t here?

[Readers may also provide feedback by visiting the CTSI Suggestion Box to respond to a very brief feedback survey.]

Previous Director’s Updates:
June 2015 – Martin Zand gives an overview of what will likely be different about the next CTSA renewal application.
May 2015 – Nana Bennett discusses the enhanced role of the Strategic Leadership Group.
April 2015 – Karl Kieburtz talks about how the leadership is preparing for the Clinical and Translational Science Award renewals.
March 2015 – Martin Zand introduces himself and discusses his interest in informatics and population-based research.
February 2015 – Nana Bennett discusses the CTSI’s Seminar Series on population health.
January 2015 – Harriet Kitzman reflects on her time as a CTSI co-director.

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