Letter From Our Co-Directors

James B. Froehlich, MD, MPH

Dr. Floehlich

Welcome! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the effort to study and improve healthcare. I am very proud of the group of dedicated team members you will meet in these pages. The MCORRP family has grown dramatically, from a single faculty member, our founding director Kim Eagle, to the current 16 staff, 11 U of M faculty, 7 nationwide visiting faculty and 10 international affiliated faculty, as you will see in this, our 23rd Annual Report! Our team is proof that you can have fun and do great work. You should come visit!

Our current portfolio of projects runs a very wide spectrum, from collaborative studies of uncommon diseases (The US Registry for Fibromuscular Dysplasia, and the International Registry of Acute Aortic Dissection), to an extensive public school health and lifestyle intervention (Project Healthy Schools), and international efforts to repurpose used pacemakers and defibrillators (My Heart Your Heart). Our biggest program is one of a unique group of statewide collaborative quality improvement initiatives sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Michigan Anticoagulation Quality Improvement Initiative (MAQI2), is a consortium of anticoagulation management services which explores and implements quality improvement efforts across the state of Michigan and shares them around the country and around the world.

Our team is diverse in interests, but united in passion, effectiveness and productivity. MCORRP projects, team members and faculty produced more than 65 publications and presentations at national and international meetings in 2018. Our MCORRP faculty gave invited lectures in at least 5 different countries, including Ireland, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Belgium. And our team members volunteer to support and oversee the distribution of surplus health supplies locally and worldwide (World Medical Relief).

The MCORRP program that brings the most enrichment to our year, however, is the summer student internship. We have seen this grow from a single student, to a well-organized, eight-week program. This past year, our whole team participated in mentoring 10 returning undergraduate students, and 25 new undergraduate students. Their energy and productivity are not only a major contributor to our research effort but bring enthusiasm that infuses our entire operation. The summer student internship, organized and run by students, provides them with a research, clinical, and health care quality improvement opportunity that is second to none. (Please refer to the summer internship section for more details).

One particular focus here at MCORRP has been learning about rare diseases. Gaining sufficient experience to observe patterns of disease and associations with potential causes has been impossible in the past for some conditions. Our team has focused on three rare diseases: cardiac sarcoidosis, fibromuscular dysplasia, and aortic dissection. By seeking collaborators all over the world, we have succeeded in assembling enough expertise and patient experience to make novel observations, which have and continue to lead to new investigations and approaches to diagnosis and treatment, as you will learn in the following pages. We are motivated by this thought: if I or a loved one had a serious condition, wouldn’t we want to know that someone, somewhere, is looking for solutions?

As you will see in the following pages, you will be hard pressed to find a research team that incorporates more volunteerism, philanthropy, global outreach, education, and fun into their work! Other than my own family, being a part of the MCORRP family gives me the greatest pride and joy. I hope you enjoy reading about our great program, and the talented people who make it happen!

 

Eva Kline-Rogers, RN, MS, NP

Eva Kline-RogersI am both humbled and proud of what we have accomplished at MCORRP over the past several decades. Dr. Eagle had a vision to build a robust outcomes research laboratory that has not only been realized but has become so much more than we had all anticipated when this endeavor began.

Our success continues to be built upon committed, dedicated, hard-working staff and on the passion and commitment of collaborative investigators from around the world. The leadership of Dr. Eagle has been essential; his extraordinary commitment to excellence, inclusiveness and mentorship continues to promote collaboration among a variety of disciplines and professionals. The common goal of improving patient outcomes continues to be part of our collective consciousness.

Our team at MCORRP is a perfect example of incorporating multiple disciplines into our work. Our staff is comprised of physicians, nurses, statisticians, public health educators, pharmacists, programmers, researchers and students. Each contributes something unique yet all are involved with overall discussions of vision, goals, and day to day problem solving. Likewise, our student interns also represent not only diverse backgrounds but they have unique goals with the common theme of pursuing a profession related to improving health care in some aspect.

Our program began with the modest goal of measuring clinical outcomes in a variety of cardiovascular disease states. As our knowledge increased, it became clear that we had the opportunity to do so much more to improve our understanding of patients' perspectives. To that end, and with the help of nursing, social work, and pharmacy colleagues, we have conducted a variety of surveys to determine what matters to patients with regard to quality of life, emotional response to diagnoses, type of support needed, and what we, as health care providers, can do to promote well-being. We are now using social media to reach more patients to provide reliable sources of patient-friendly information.

Mentorship continues to play an important role in my life and career. One of my goals has been to provide the same excellent mentorship and support I received to students pursuing health care professions. Our team puts tremendous energy into providing a comprehensive internship program that teaches team work, creative problem solving, promotes leadership, and contributes to the development of thoughtful, compassionate adults. Our students are expected to do the sometimes tedious work of data collection and analysis. They are also expected to create an independent project and many students are able to present their results as posters at national conferences; some continue on to complete their projects, resulting in a published peer-reviewed manuscript.

Whether it's through participating in volunteer work at World Medical Relief, shadowing physicians and nurses in clinic, or meeting one-on-one with faculty or staff, our students have expressed their appreciation for experiences that are often life changing. For some, it solidifies their intent to pursue a health care profession; for others, it allows them to consider other areas in health care they did not know existed.

Each day I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved with this vibrant group of dedicated professionals. I have learned, and hopefully continue to convey to others, how to conduct thoughtful, needed research while having fun and leaving a lasting impact. I continue to reflect on how our work has made a difference to patients’ lives and my goal is to continue to foster this in our future leaders.