As told by Within staff writer Abigail Schantz
As I meet with Lynn Cherney, CCRP I am taken for a behind the scenes look at an appointment with a potential participant for a study taking place in the Mercy Health Clinical Trial Unit. Cherney has been with Mercy Health Saint Mary’s since March of 2011 as a Clinical Research Coordinator.
“I am fortunate to be a part of helping advance research behind science and medicine,” Cherney said.
The Clinical Trial Unit is the first in the area. The Office of Research and Innovation recently regionalized research with Mercy Health Muskegon offices. This means that there is more staff sharing for both areas and widening of the recruitment selection for future and current studies. When I asked Cherney what studies are the most compelling she said it is hard to say.
“There is so much variety in the studies conducted here – some lasting a couple days, others lasting a couple weeks or months and a few following a lifetime of a participant,” Cherney said.
When preparing for a new study Cherney has many important tasks that need to be completed before conducting the study, such as attending an investigator meeting and recruiting participants. The investigator meeting trains and informs the Clinical Research Coordinator for the study. After the meeting Cherney recruits individuals that best fit the study, the most common way of recruiting is by referrals from Physicians Principle Investigators (PI’s). The PI is the doctor who oversees and is responsible for conducting a clinical trial.
“Once a participant is interested he or she schedules a time to meet with, the PI and me, when the participant arrives my first responsibility is to inform the participant on the study and discuss the consent form,” Cherney said.
Responsibilities as a Clinical Research Coordinator:
Coordinates and Participates in Clinical Research Studies
Collection, Compilation and Analysis of Clinical Research Data
Oversees the Screening for Recruitment of Research Participants
Maintains 24-hour responsibility for the implementation and Maintenance of Clinical Research Studies
Updates Information Regarding Protocol Changes, Completion of Records, and IRB Applications
“I love the personal interaction I gain while working with participants and their families — it is one of my favorite parts about working in the Clinical Trial Unit,” Cherney said.
Cherney interacts with the participant as if she knew them for a while by asking about family members and plans for the weekend. Cherney strives to make the participant have a sense of comfort throughout the appointment and to build a connection to the participant and their family.