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Support for Physician Researchers

September 01, 2016
Dr. Michael Tirabassi and Winning RPAP Posterat 2016 Research Day

Baystate Health's physicians, nurses, and advanced practitioners provide their patients with high-quality, safe, and efficient health care.

Now, Baystate is encouraging them to investigate ways to improve patient care—with financial support to help them develop successful applications for research funding.
(Photo: Dr. Michael Tirabassi with the poster of his RPAP-awarded proposal)

Research Makes a Difference in Patient Care

"Research is essential to the delivery of high-quality health care," says Peter D. Friedmann, MD, MPH, Associate Dean of Research for the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS)-Baystate.

Medical research is a priority in the U.S., judging by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) $34.1 billion budget this year. And Friedmann believes that UMMS-Baystate's expertise and large patient population put it in "an excellent position to perform clinical, translational and health services research."

Increasing Competitive Research Proposals

Dr. Timothy Mader
Researcher's Persistence Finally Pays Off

Dr. Timothy Mader's
25 years of effort rewarded with
two NIH grants.

Last year, Baystate received more than $13 million in externally funded research awards, including $9.5 million in federal funds.

To increase the number of investigators whose research is supported by NIH  or other external funding, two new internal grant award programs have been established by the Office of Research.

The new programs, the Research Pilot Award Program (RPAP) and the Grant Development Award Program (GDAP), are meant for junior researchers or senior researchers without current external funding. 

Programs Provide Financial and Expert Assistance

In addition to funding, the RPAP and GDAP programs provide mentoring, statistical consulting services, and grant-writing assistance to enable investigators to increase the number of competitive research proposals they submit to external sponsors.

Seven research proposals were awarded grants in the programs' inaugural year.

Research Pilot Award Program

RPAP provides up to $50,000 per year for two years to investigators to gather and publish preliminary data
in order to eventually develop viable applications for external grant funding.

2016 RPAP Awardees

  • Karin Johnson, MD, Assistant Professsor, Neurology
    “Novel scoring to increase sensitivity of polysomnography (PSG) for clinical significant obstructive sleep disordered breathing”
  • Mark Tidswell, MD, Associate Professor, Medicine
    “A pilot randomized controlled study of non-invasive ventilator support for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure: High flow nasal oxygen vs. helmet-noninvasive vs. mask-non-invasive ventilation”
  • Ksenia N. Tonyushkina, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics
    “Engaging school nurses in diabetes care team to improve diabetes self-management skills, adherence, and glycemic control in children with T1DM.”
  • Michael V. Tirabassi, MD, Assistant Professor, Surgery and Pediatrics, and Erica D. Kane, MD, MPH, Surgery Resident
    “Evaluation of AntiGD2-PolyMPC-Dox prodrugs in a neuroblastoma tumor model”
  • Bruce Waslick, MD, Associate Professor, Psychiatry
    “Improving patient-centered outcomes for adolescents with depressive illness through the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP)” 

Grant Development Award Program

GDAP provides investigators who already have a research plan, data, and publications with protected time from their clinical work (up to 20%) so they can have the time necessary to develop applications for external funding.

2016 GDAP Awardees

  • Timothy J. Mader, MD, Clinical Professor, Emergency Medicine
    “Inpatient costs, hospital outcomes, and enhancing healthcare value for elderly out-of-hospital cardiac arrest event survivors”
  • Elizabeth M. Schoenfeld, MD, Assistant Professor, Emergency Medicine
    “Shared decision-making to improve care in emergency department patients with acute renal colic: The Kidney Stone Choice Trial”