Feb. 16, 2016 | The UAMS Translational Research Institute’s (TRI) Shawna Owens, C.R.A., C.C.R.P.,

Sandy Annis (left) presented the Bonny Hope Wallace Award to TRI's Shawna Owens.

Sandy Annis (left) presented the Bonny Hope Wallace Award to TRI’s Shawna Owens.

C.R.S., has received the 2015 Bonny Hope Wallace Award for her outstanding work with research participants.

Owens is TRI’s research coordinator unit manager and has been at UAMS for 20 years, starting in pediatrics, then the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute prior to joining TRI.

The Bonny Hope Wallace Award goes to a UAMS certified research specialist selected by their peers. Wallace worked in research at UAMS for more than 30 years before her death in 2004. The award in her name was presented at the conclusion of the Feb. 12 Certified Research Specialist (CRS) Awards Ceremony, sponsored by the UAMS Office of Research Compliance.

Owens’ nomination letter states that “Shawna is one of the most dedicated research coordinators at UAMS. She works tirelessly to provide the best possible experience for her participants and upholds the highest standards for research integrity in her interactions with both subjects and investigators. Her colleagues find her knowledgeable and helpful in all things related to human subjects research and rely on her wisdom and experience for guidance on a regular basis. Shawna is an expert in campus research policies and processes and is eager to help others navigate the system.”

Wallace was an instructor in surgery and laboratory director for surgical research at the Department of Surgery at UAMS as well as clinical coordinator of research at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) Burn Unit. She was instrumental in pioneering ACH’s Burn Unit. Her efforts were focused on cutting-edge research to promote women’s health. She is remembered for her respectful treatment of research participants and her commitment to research integrity.

Owens said she was among those lucky enough to know “Miss Bonny” personally. “She was one of those amazing people that truly loved people and was completely dedicated to her work. It’s an honor to win an award named for her.”

When presenting the award to Owens, Sandy Annis, director of the Clinical Trials Office at the Cancer Institute, acknowledged the work of UAMS’ 104 certified research specialists. “Over this past year, research became personal for me as my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and was treated on a research protocol,” she said. “I saw everything we all do in a completely different way. I want to thank all of you for what you are a part of and for the dedication and sacrifice that all of you make so that everyone will gain advancements in medical care and so that all our families and friends will get the care they deserve.”

Annis noted that constantly changing regulations and increasing complexity of clinical research challenge those in the field. Of Owens, she said, “She is highly respected among her peers and has continued to grow and show dedication to the reason we are all a part of this complex chaos.”