RTP Chapter in the Community
ACRP RTP and the Durham Technical Community College (DTCC) Clinical Trials Research Associates (CTRA) Program
In October 2012, the Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Research Triangle Park Chapter awarded Susanne Scarth, a student in Durham Technical Community College’s Clinical Trials Research Associates (CTRA) Program, with a $500.00 scholarship towards books and tuition, at an awards breakfast, which was attended by the 2012 chapter Vice President. The 2011 scholarship recipient was Rose Bowman. The scholarships are only for CTRA students and there is one award given per scholarship cycle. The CTRA program prepares individuals to assist investigators and clinical researchers in all facets of clinical research trial involvement. Students apply this knowledge is a variety of venues including hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, or contract research organizations.
Laurin Mancour, Durham Tech’s director and instructor for CTRA, is a chapter member and serves as Lead Chair of the global ACRP organization. Mancour cites the commitment of ACRP members as a vital resource for the college’s students for many reasons, including providing $500 scholarships.
Mancour was recognized by the organization in 2011, receiving the “Advancing Awareness in Clinical Research Award” in appreciation for her contributions to public understanding and advancement of the profession
[2012 CTRA Program Scholarship Winner Susanne Scarth (left) with 2013 Chapter President April Mayberry (right)]
Along with the student scholarship, the RTP Chapter provided a $500 grant to the DTCC CTRA Program.
In addition to monetary contributions, ACRP RTP has supported the CTRA program in other ways, such as establishing an Internship program with the DTCC CTRA Program, with 3 interns in 2012 to help with the chapter’s various activities, giving them the chance to network with clinical research leaders in our area and learn about the broad aspects of the profession. This program will continue this year and the chapter currently has 2 interns.
ACRP RTP also sponsored a table at the DTCC CTRA Career Fair in November 2012 to answer questions from students about working in the clinical research industry, inform them about ACRP and provide information about certification
ACRP Membership Awareness Campaign
Denise Wotovich lead the 2012 ACRP Awareness campaign. With the assistance of Compton Gift, Linda Karolak and Jill Molek, this campaign went out to several local Clinical Research Companies to conduct “Lunch and Learn” sessions in early May 2012. These sessions occurred at PRA International, GSK, and Quintiles, where chapter members discussed the benefits of ACRP membership, the local chapter, certification and our annual Fall Conference. There was a lot of interest generated for the chapter and the RTP Chapter looks forward to continuing these events as the annual conference approaches. This was a new, effective and creative way to increase our chapter awareness and provide the clinical community with insight into ACRP. It also allowed several chapter members to be seen as leaders in their community and the chapter. The 2013 Lunch and Learn sessions are marked to begin this spring.
To further expand awareness about ACRP and the RTP Chapter, members also brought the ACRP RTP booth, and provided volunteers and sponsorship at South Atlantic National Research Conference: “Engaging the Community for Research Success: What Scientist and IRBs Need to Know” – Hosted by US DHHS, NIEHS, and OHRP. At this meeting Chapter representatives shared educational materials and information about membership and certification.
CROP (Careers in Research Outreach Program)
CROP is an initiative of the Research Triangle Park Chapter geared towards Triangle area middle and high-school students who are exploring their career options. The goal of this program is to raise awareness about the clinical research field and career options within it, with the hope that this will encourage more young people to enter this profession; and for students who are interested in pursuing a clinical research career, to put into place resources to help them develop into well-qualified, value-added professionals with a competitive edge when they enter the clinical research industry. Secondarily the hope is that CROP will contribute to the overall quality of the North Carolina clinical research work force.
Many inspiring CROP activities are being planned and ACRP RTP is excited to launch this new outreach project by participation in a series of school sponsored career events. The Chapter will bring its exhibit to career fairs and do in-school presentations about clinical research careers. This series starts with a Friday, February 15th Career Fair at Wakefield High School, in Raleigh. Other CROP offerings will include educational opportunities and an essay contest.
Aware for All in the Triangle: Clinical Research Education Day
On October 27th, ACRP RTP sponsored an exhibit at the “Aware for All in the Triangle -Clinical Research Education Day.” where chapter volunteers interacted with community members and answered questions about clinical research. It was hosted by CISCRP (Center for Information & Study on Clinical Research Participation) to raise awareness among the public about participation in clinical research. Attendees were educated about:
- What clinical trials are and how they work
- Why society needs clinical research
- The safety, benefits and risks of clinical research;
- Questions to ask healthcare providers before participating in clinical research
[ACRP RTP Chapter Volunteers at the 2012 Aware for All Clinical Research Education Day]
“AWARE for All in the Triangle” was free and open to the public for the purpose of providing education to help people make informed decisions about clinical research participation. It was advertised throughout the community and over 1500 pamphlets were distributed, 100 organizations contacted; and ACTP RTP volunteers met with over 25 local organizations personally to educate the community on the benefits and risks of trial participation.
As “AWARE for All” volunteers, several Chapter members completed the “Clinical Trials Ambassador Certification”, to assure that they understand the basic principles of research and ICH GCP Guidelines. They are then qualified by CISCRP to work with potential subjects and explain the process of trial participation.
ACRP RTP outreach activities are not limited to the clinical research community, and include providing toiletries and other support for the Durham Rescue Mission, food drives, bringing a group of volunteers to the UNC Public Radio telethons and offering free ads for non-profit organizations in the Annual Fall Conference Program.
This spring the RTP Chapter also adopted the Little Lick Creek, near RTP in Durham County, under the NC StreamWatch Program and on Saturday, March 16th the Chapter will kick-off by hosting a clean-up day in conjunction with NC Creek Week. During this event chapter members will meet to clean the waterway and trails and monitor stream health.
Fostering Volunteerism among the Triangle Area Clinical Research Community
The RTP Chapter offers volunteer opportunities for members of the RTP clinical research community, as well as students of the DTCC CTRA Program and Clinical Trials Professional Certificates Programs.
ACRP RTP has a growing force of dedicated core volunteers, who are instrumental in achieving organizational goals. The Chapter truly appreciates this invaluable support and wants to express its deep gratitude to this fantastic group of people who enthusiastically work behind the scenes to make this one of the most dynamic chapters in the country.