Biomedical student researchers and their mentors share spotlight at Value Institute luncheon

Biomedical student researchers and their mentors share spotlight at Value Institute luncheon

Ayla Benge and Jason Nomura
Ayla Benge and mentor Jason Nomura, M.D., were among the presenters at Christiana Care’s Value Institute Scholars Research Day and Luncheon. The event recognized the important research being done by biomedical students and their mentors at Christiana Care.

Christiana Care presented the Value Institute’s Scholars Research Day & Luncheon to recognize the impactful research of several biomedical students Aug. 20 in the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center. Nearly 150 people attended the event.

The research of the university students aligned with the goal of the Value Institute: to focus on identifying and implementing strategies to achieve better health outcomes at lower costs.

“What has become an emblem here at Christiana Care is that we serve our neighbors as respectful, expert, caring partners in their health,” said Timothy J. Gardner, M.D., director of the Value Institute and medical director of Christiana Care’s Center for Heart & Vascular Health. “We do this by creating innovative, effective, affordable systems of care that our neighbors value.”

Twenty research project posters were selected to be displayed in the event from 35 applications.

“The goal here is to build a research infrastructure and promote student education,” said emcee Thomas Bauer, M.D., the section chief of Thoracic Surgery and a Value Institute scholar. Bauer praised the mentors who helped the students with the research.

The presentation by Georgetown University student Greg Jasani and University of Delaware student Avkash Patel evaluated the value of initially administering stress echocardiograms to patients with chest pains who present to the emergency department. The study, which involved 112 subjects, concluded that low-risk patients with a negative stress echocardiogram can be safely discharged from the emergency department without an increase in a serious heart problem at one month and six months. Their mentors were Brian Levine, M.D., associate program director of Emergency Medicine Residency, and Erik Marshall, M.D. medical director of the Non-Invasive Lab.

The presentation by University of Delaware student Vasanth Chandrasekhar and George Washington University student Reiss Dhillon assessed the costs for providing remote cardiac monitoring in non-ICU and step-down patient care units at Christiana Care. The study raised questions about the value of remote cardiac monitoring, because more than two-thirds of the calls evaluated were due to technical issues instead of clinical ones. Their mentors were Robert Dressler, M.D., vice chair, Department of Medicine; Andre Doorey, M.D., Roger Kerzner, M.D., director, Electrophysiology Research; Henry L. Weiner, M.D.; Jessica White, M.D., assistant medical director, Quality and Patient Safety; and Marylou Dryer, M.D., administrative fellow for quality and safety.

The event was made possible by collaboration between the Delaware Economic Development Office and Delaware’s National Institute of Health IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program. INBRE is a statewide partnership supporting research and education in cancer, cardiovascular health and neurosciences, of which Christiana Care is a major partner. INBRE supports research by faculty, state-of-the-art research instrumentation and core facilities, and each year supports about 45 undergraduate student researchers throughout the state, including 25 students at Christiana Care.

“It is staggering to think of all the changes that can be made if these projects are applied to people’s practices,” said Dr. Bauer, Christiana Care’s principal investigator for the Delaware INBRE. “I know that the opportunity to work in this environment and provide this experience changes and shapes the lives of our young people.”

Photo gallery: Value Institute Scholars Research Day

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