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WRNMMC Recognizes Medical Researchers

Military personnel stand in front of window holding their awards Winners in the Research and Innovation Month medical research competition receive their awards. (Photo by John Fadoju)

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Research and Innovation

Face masks were the common uniform as 15 winners of Research & Innovation Month honors met in the atrium of Building 17 on June 4 to receive recognitions and awards from Army Col. Andrew Barr, director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

First to receive their awards were winners of the first virtual Poster Week. Conducted via electronic posters this year, the event featured competitions for case reports, quality improvement, evidence-based practice, and patient- and family-centered care.

The second set of victors had emerged from an online Research Symposium held May 12 at Walter Reed Bethesda and from the Navy-wide Academic Research Competition, hosted virtually two days later by Naval Medical Center Portsmouth.

“What you’re doing is building the future best practices and future solutions for the operational space, the things that have an effect on our warriors,” Barr told the competition winners.

Barr presented each winner with an award certificate and a commemorative coin, enclosed in a plastic sheath open at one end, so the recipient could accept without human contact.

A pair of lucky honorees took home two certificates. Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Eric Pasman, a pediatric gastroenterology fellow, earned the Bailey K. Ashford Award and the Robert A. Phillips Award, both for clinical research.

Pasman later went on to clinch the Navy-wide award for clinical research by staff. All three of his wins honored a project that aimed to measure the “tug sign,” a physical resistance to endoscopy in cases of eosinophilic esophagitis.

Army Maj. (Dr.) Lauren Vasta, a pediatric oncology fellow, also collected two awards. She shared the Paul Florentino Patient- and Family-Centered Care Award with coauthor Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Rich Zanetti. Their project documented an effort to better inform cancer survivors about their future medical needs. Vasta also earned second place for a case report by staff or fellows for her account of hypoglycemia linked to carnitine deficiency in a child who received chemotherapy for cancer.

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This Defense Health Agency-Procedural Instruction (DHA-PI), based on the authority of References (a) and (b), and in accordance with the guidance of References (c) through (p): a. Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) procedures for the Deputy Assistant Director (DAD), R&D to manage and execute, on behalf of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)), the portion of the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation assigned to it (referred to as the “DHP Science and Technology (S&T) Program)”. The DHP S&T Program includes Budget Activities (BAs) 6.1-6.3 and 6.6. The ASD(HA) provides policy, direction, and guidance to inform planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of the DHP RDT&E appropriation in accordance with statute, regulation, and policy in Reference (a). The DAD-R&D, and Component Acquisition Executive (CAE) manage and execute DHP RDT&E Program funds aligned to them on behalf of the ASD(HA). The CAE is responsible for managing BAs 6.4, 6.5, and 6.7 funding, as well as Procurement and Operations and Maintenance funding required to support DHP-funded Acquisition Programs, regardless of acquisition activity. b. Supports the Director, DHA, in developing appropriate DHA management models to maximize efficiencies in the management and execution of DHP RDT&E-funded activities carried out by the Combatant Commands (CCMDs), Services, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Defense Agencies, and other DoD Components, as applicable. c. Codifies processes to confirm DHP RDT&E funds are applied towards medical priorities and aligned to ASD(HA) policy, direction, and guidance to develop and deliver innovative medical products and solutions that increase the readiness of the DoD medical mission in accordance with Reference (a). d. Supports the following objectives of the R&D EA: (1) Increasing the quantity, quality, and pace of medical research through improved programmatic organization, processes, and oversight. (2) Ensuring DHP RDT&E funded efforts align to ASD(HA) published program guidance that provides resourcing guidance and translates national, departmental, and Service priorities into specific program objectives. (3) Verifying alignment of DHP RDT&E funds to medical priorities and to ASD(HA) policy, direction, and guidance to ensure the development and delivery of medical materiel and knowledge solutions. (4) Facilitating coordination with the CCMDs, Services, USU, Defense Agencies, and other DoD Components, as applicable, to ensure DHP RDT&E funded activities address joint medical capability gaps, and avoid unnecessary duplication.

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This memorandum requests the Services resource a Human Cell, Tissue, and Cellular and Tissue Based Products (HCT/Ps) Program that complies with regulatory standards for management and oversight of HCT/Ps, according to the best fit for their Service.

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