How a Network Came Together to Manage a Large Research Program During the Pandemic

*Corresponding author: Tamara Friedman*, Elli G. Paleoudis, Avery Freed, Susan Adler, Cheryl Fittizzi and Ihor Sawczuk

Abstract

Hackensack Meridian Health, a large New Jersey network comprised of 17 hospitals, a medical school, and 200 ambulatory care centers, executes a large research program with approximately 1000 active human subjects studies. With the arrival of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Office of Research Administration was confronted with a series of challenges. These included minimizing face-to-face contact among research participants and staff, allocating limited resources to handle the influx of COVID-19 related proposals, providing human subjects protection training to the physicians and staff who were needed to run the clinical trials, adjusting bio-repository activities to meet the increased demand for samples, and disseminating all of the new regulatory and operational information to the thousands of researchers in the network. The network’s success in modifying its research program quickly and effectively to adapt to the changing landscape can be attributed, in large part, to the centralized nature of the research administration.
Keywords
Research administration; COVID-19; Network.