Dedicated to sharing, evaluating, and advancing strategies that promote the research enterprise of academic health centers, the Vice Presidents for Research ELG continues to focus on innovative solutions to a variety of difficult problems:
Sustained Research Funding in Challenging Times
In light of declining endowments, tightening philanthropic contributions, reduced state budgets, and the 2012 expiration of federal stimulus funding, the group is addressing future funding for biomedical research. To that end, the group held a one-day workshop focused on a forward-looking strategy and developing the research policy agenda for 2012. They are looking to evaluate and promote methods to increase efficiency within the research enterprise, improve integration between the clinical research missions and health care delivery system, and develop collaboration between institutions. The group is also targeting new methods to leverage existing resources to increase current funding streams and foster new funding mechanisms.
Conflicts of Interest Policy
Sharing responses and strategies, the group is reviewing means to develop a constructive policy to address conflicts of interest concerns. The group also assisted the AAHC with comments and recommendations on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed rule on Objectivity in Research.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule
In follow-up to its discussions with the director and staff of the HHS Office for Civil Rights on the HIPAA Privacy Rule and its impact on research, the AAHC conducted institutional profiles — surveying IRBs, IRB staff, privacy officers, and compliance staff — for an in-depth assessment and to determine similar issues of interest that need to be addressed. Based on these profiles, the AAHC worked with the Vice Presidents for Research and the Workgroup on HIPAA to revise its HIPAA Privacy Rule strategy. The AAHC will continue to work with the OCR, HHS, and Congress to ensure that the privacy of research participants is protected without sacrificing the quality, efficiency, or effectiveness of research.