Program puts Norton Healthcare at center of research education

Researchers come from across the region; program gains national attention

In late February, Rhonda Hoffman, system director of research for Norton Healthcare, stood on stage at the Clinical Trial Billing & Research Compliance Conference, a national clinical trial and research conference, in Orlando, Florida, to speak on a topic close to her heart.

Rhonda had been invited to be a featured speaker about Norton Healthcare’s Gaining Essentials About Research (GEAR) conference programs. Nationally recognized names in health care, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center, were at the event.

GEAR conferences were born out of a partnership between the Norton Healthcare Research Office and Norton University, a personal and professional learning and development department for Norton Healthcare employees.

Six to eight GEAR conferences are hosted every year aimed at providing in-depth educational programs to research staff across the region. The most recent event in April attracted more than 100 researchers, coordinators and staff from around the city and region, including Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

“The investment in research education allows Norton Healthcare to lead the charge and add to the success of this ever-changing industry,” Rhonda said. “As health care continues changing, our programs need to also evolve to serve our groups better.”

GEAR events cover a variety of research topics, including ethics, billing and compliance.

Occasionally, Norton Healthcare opts to educate on the history of research and its effects. Eva Mozes Kor, a Holocaust survivor, spoke at a recent event about being subjected to human experimentation at concentration camps during World War II.

Rhonda added that it’s important for more than Norton Healthcare that we get education right.

“A consistent message and educational programs boost the credibility of research and clinical trials everywhere. We want patients who might never come to Norton Healthcare for treatment to get the same positive experience with a clinical trial as they would get here,” she said. “Increased knowledge in clinical trials and research advances health care across the nation, and Norton Healthcare is committed to be a part of that infrastructure.”

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