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News | May 31, 2022

WBAMC Annual Research Day

By Vincent Byrd

The Department of Clinical Investigation (DCI) at William Beaumont Army Medical Center held its annual Research Day in the clinical assembly room at the hospital main campus, May 18, 2022.

Research Day is an occasion when hospital staff and medical residents of WBAMC have the opportunity to present their work and effort in medical research on subjects. For example, medical resident Capt. Nickolas Fedack’s research was titled “The Monitoring for Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit” and Capt. Oriana Ellis, also a medical resident, titled her research “Small Non-functioning Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Trends in Surgical Intervention and The Resulting Impact on survival.”

At this year's event, the keynote speaker was retired U.S. Army Col. Mark G. Kortepeter, vice president for research at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). He addressed the significance of research in times of crisis.

“During a crisis, we are usually confronted with a difficult situation, frequently including many patients or casualties. We may be overwhelmed partly because we are unsure of the most effective approaches to handling the patients,” said Kortepeter.

He went on to elaborate on the reasons why research is so vital in times of crisis.

“This is where research comes in - now is a perfect moment to research since there is a pressing demand and sufficient potential study participants to allow us to draw statistically meaningful findings of optimal management that can be implemented quickly. In a crisis, research can assist in separating the hazardous from the suitable therapies and preventative actions,” said Kortepeter.

Kortepeter also expressed that research is critical in order to understand whether the care we provided to patients is helpful or detrimental, as well as how to improve the quality of that treatment. Without research, there would be no improvement in either the safety or the efficacy of the medical practice that is currently employed.

“Medical research in the military has often been the source of new ideas and abilities that are later adopted by the civilian society," said Kortepeter. “Some examples are the understanding of the pathophysiology and transmission of infectious diseases (yellow fever, malaria), vaccinations (hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis, and meningitis), triage and medical evacuation, trauma care, rehabilitation medicine, and pathogen containment.”

The DCI presented prizes on Research Day for the best podium presentation, the best poster presentation, and the researcher of the year for both staff and residents. The podium presentation this year went to Cpt. Holly Spritzer for comparing a novel hand-held device for chest tube insertion to the traditional open tube thoracotomy for simple pneumothorax in a porcine model. Best poster presentation went to Cpt. Danielle Patrick for the length of intra-abdominal measurements of bowel (LIMB).

Researcher of the year for staff went to Lt. Col. Daniel Nelson, general surgery, and for resident, Cpt. Holly Spritzer, general surgery resident, won the title.

Maj. Nicole Rowley, acting director of the department of clinical investigations, WBAMC, discusses the importance of research.

“Research Day is an opportunity for local researchers to present their findings at a public forum. Residents and interns at WBAMC benefit from Research Day. This is a time for them to demonstrate how they are advancing and understanding medicine in today’s environment. In addition, they may learn how to speak effectively through platform and poster presentations at the conference.

”Pictured  is Col. Brett Venable, director of the El Paso Market, and Command Sgt. Maj. Luis A. Maldonado, senior enlisted advisor of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, as well as Maj. Nicole Rowley, acting director of the department of clinical investigations, posed with researcher of the year winner, Capt. Holly Spritzer, general surgery resident at the annual Research Day in the clinical assembly room at the hospital main campus, May 18, 2022.

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