15 Jul CTSI Prepares for Renewal with Collaboration and Continuous Evaluation
“We partner with academic investigators such as those at the Medical College of Wisconsin, other academic organizations, disease foundations, biotech and pharma companies to work on the well known road blocks that prevent this efficiency from happening. And, then we develop new ways to get over these roadblocks…”
– Christopher Austin, MD, Director, National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) on CTSI Discovery Radio
Since early 2014, the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) has followed suit with small group meetings, strategic planning sessions, community-wide forums, and focused work groups – all in earnest of the renewal of our Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The NIH has not released the requirements for the next round of requests for applications, but that doesn’t mean we are not continually reevaluating the effectiveness of our programs, the services we offer investigators, and the way we collaborate across our eight partner institutions,” says CTSI Administrator, Carlos De La Pena, “and we can always do better.”
This year is no different. The CTSI team started inviting key stakeholders, executive board members, and partners to the table since January, holding increasingly larger meetings and adding more voices to the conversation as the year progressed. Meetings began in early February to engage the people who know CTSI the best, its leadership. Throughout the next two months, more people were invited to the table. Investigators told us what they needed to strengthen their research. Partners told us what would make collaborations more effective. At April’s Regional Strategic Planning session, community leaders from industry, academics, government and patient advocacy groups all joined in to tell CTSI what would make for a better, healthier southeastern Wisconsin.
Once CTSI captured all of the comments, questions and suggestions following the five strategic planning discussions, an executive summary was compiled and disseminated broadly to the hundreds of people involved in the process and posted to the CTSI website, paired with a comment collection system, to continue to collect feedback and new ideas.
In May, the staff and executive board of CTSI established a timeline to designate where we have been in this yearlong process and where CTSI will be going as it prepares for the grant renewal in January 2015. Concept Development Teams (CDTs) were formed to develop the main, overarching themes into actionable, measurable steps to further the work of CTSI and its partners, while bringing the community along with it. The CDTs addressed areas including education and training, regional community engagement, regulatory knowledge and ethics, biostatistics, the clinical research infrastructure, and more. Their work will be completed by September, and the work of writing the CTSA grant submission will be at hand.
Thanks to the support of all CTSI partner originations, local government, community groups, advocates, and concerned citizens, the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin is poised to submit an innovative proposal to serve the needs of our community and our research scientists for years to come.