Student Research VolunteersAn eager, enthusiastic, and inquisitive group of young adults participated in the research student volunteer program at St. Francis Hospital during the summer of 2018. Students of varying education levels pursued an opportunity to have exposure and experience in exploring medical research and gaining exposure into the biomedical field. Several of the student volunteers have continued their projects throughout the school year often leading to publications and presentations on a national level.
The student volunteers are assigned a mentor and are involved in various levels of research activities under the guidance of a physician leader. These activities involve data collection, image review, image analysis, statistical review and formulating their findings into a report. Students are exposed to the work that is being conducted by the research staff at St Francis Hospital, a national leader in cardiac imaging and cardiac interventions.
Several students have presented their research work at national meetings. This is an extraordinary feat for these students. Recent examples of presentation include those at Society of Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Society of Cardiovascular CT.
The research student volunteers are part of weekly presentations by the talented SFH research staff. This educational opportunity allows the volunteers to learn firsthand from practitioners who have clinical experience and knowledge in a particular field. The topics covered include research methods, research study design, and cardiac imaging techniques via echocardiogram, cardiac MRI, cardiac CT and cardiac catheterization. This forum allows students to learn and staff to share their knowledge and experience.
Sharing knowledge, witnessing growth and provoking thought of engaged student volunteers is gratifying for both students and staff. The benefits of the program are felt by the staff knowing the student volunteers have gained a unique experience in a world class hospital.
Research Volunteer Luncheon
Eighty volunteers, past participants in cardiac imaging research studies were invited to a lecture and luncheon at St Francis Hospital DeMatteis Center in April 2018. Jane Cao, MD, Director of Research and Cardiac Imaging presented the current state of research at St. Francis Hospital and reviewed the current research programs in cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology, structural heart, heart failure and electrophysiology. Patient volunteers were satisfied to know that their participation in a research has contributed to knowledge, science and medicine.
An engaging Q&A period followed Dr. Cao’s presentation. The questions raised by the audience was evidence of a curious group who are conscious of their health and want to also give back to others. As Elizabeth Haag RN, Administrative Director of Research reminded the audience, without you, the patient volunteer, there would be no research.
The sentiments of a mutual appreciation for the research program and its benefits were captured by Mr. Charles Kean, a recent volunteer who underwent cardiac MRI, “The research program can help those who participate and the researchers thanks to St. Francis Hospital. Any undiagnosed issues can be early identified early”.