BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies (WHCCS) at Northwestern Health Sciences University recently created two positions in a strategic move to increase the capacity to take on different types of research studies. Barry Taylor, DC, was named research clinic director, and Sara Zwagerman, BS, was named research clinic administrator.
According to Roni Evans, DC, MS, dean of research, the research department is working toward offering treatments on a fee-for-service basis in the Biofreeze Thera-band Rehabilitation Center. This will be in addition to continuing to conduct a variety of research studies. The new positions were created in part to support this endeavor.
As research clinic director, Dr. Taylor supervises the research clinic providers, oversees the training of WHCCS clinic providers, and helps establish implementation protocols for new information technology systems within the research clinic setting. He also works with others within the University to coordinate institutional resources needed for research clinic activities.
Zwagerman oversees the daily operations of the WHCCS clinic including staff schedules, patient flow and patient scheduling. She supervises non-faculty research clinic staff, and works with the research clinic director to make sure there are appropriate and sufficient clinic resources to successfully implement research studies and programs. On top of all this she still maintains practice hours each week as an exercise therapist at the clinic.
Very few Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) institutions have developed the type of research infrastructure that Northwestern has, and very few have clinics that are dedicated to conducting research. This makes Northwestern very attractive to funding agencies. "We have the facilities and organizational structures that enhance the probability of us successfully completing proposed studies," notes Dr. Evans. "This, along with our proven track record, has resulted in more than $10 million in federal funding."
The addition of these new roles will help the department efficiently address resource needs and spot potential barriers, and enhance responsiveness to the needs of patients, funding agencies, and the institution. "Having Barry and Sarah overseeing the clinic," says Dr. Evans, "also allows me to focus on seeking research funding, and implementing some of our institution's important strategic priorities." This includes integrating research into Northwestern's academic programs through the CAM Research Education Project, and working with the vice president of clinical services on integrated health care initiatives like the Volunteers of America Project.
"An efficiently run clinic ensures we are able to provide the best possible care and conduct high quality research," concludes Dr. Evans.
Northwestern Health Sciences University offers a wide array of choices in natural health care education including chiropractic, Oriental medicine, acupuncture, therapeutic massage and human biology. The University has nearly 900 students on a 25-acre campus in Bloomington, Minnesota.