The Institute for Translational Medicine’s (ITM) leadership took the stage at the McCormick Place Convention Center alongside its Chicagoland collaborators to showcase the impacts of partnering on several initiatives at this year’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program event and the Translational Science 2022 national conference.
The NIH’s CTSA Program from its National Center for Translating Science (NCATS) brings together more than 55 academic medical centers across the country, and the Translational Science annual conference from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) focuses on the latest topics and issues in the field, from health equity to community engagement and government partnerships.
“The level of partnership among our Chicagoland academic medical centers is something very unique, and it allows us to exponentially increase the positive impacts we can make for physicians, researchers, and the public at large,” said Julian Solway, MD, ITM Director and Dean for Translational Medicine at The University of Chicago.
Solway moderated the “Four Collaborations among the Three Chicagoland CTSA Hubs” session at the Translational Science conference on April 21, which kicked off with a presentation from the Sara Serritella, ITM’s Director of Communications, on the award-winning The New NormalTM (TNN) and Save Da HoomansTM campaigns. This multi-year collaboration between the ITM, Northwestern University’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS), and the University of Illinois Chicago’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (UIC CCTS) has led to more than 1,000 people connecting with health research studies. The campaign is a champion of health literacy and health equity, matching the public with opportunities in the health topics they care about the most – all at an approachable, 7th-grade reading level
“This epic collaboration is making health research opportunities easily accessible to the public in a dynamic, engaging way for the first time,” Serritella said.
ITM’s Eric Beyer, MD, PhD, Northwestern’s Leena Sharma, MD, and UIC’s Shane Phillips, PhD, highlighted the city-wide K Day Science Communications programming bringing together K Scholars from each institution. The collaboration brought together Serritella and Dennis Smithenry, PhD, to lead a training event and follow-up programming to help the scholars create strategic 90-second videos that capture the public’s attention and communicate their science to a lay audience. Hear from the K Scholars themselves in this video!
Solway guided attendees through presentations by Northwestern’s Nicole Mason, who showcased The Enhancing Quality in Translational Research Workforce Conference (EQuaTR), and Marc Atkins, PhD, who highlighted the Chicago Consortium for Community Engagement (C3).
The national CTSA Program from NIH’s NCATS kicked off April 23, with Doriane Miller, MD, ITM’s Director of Health Equity Integration, presenting on community health.
“You cannot have health equity without working with and being part of the local community,” Miller said. “The work we’re doing in Chicago is paving the way for a healthier future for everyone.”
Miller’s presentation fed into a discussion section on community health engagement that she led with Solway and Northwestern’s Jen Brown, MPH.
Addressing Misinformation and Disinformation served as keynote topic at the national meeting as well, with Serritella serving on a panel of experts alongside UIC’s Molly Martin, MD, and Katrine Wallace, PhD.
All of this work was made possible thanks to the continued support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) through Grant Number UL1TR002389 that supports the Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM).