October 19, 2018

UAMS Staff Recognized by International Group for Research Education Efforts

For a record seventh year in a row, the Arkansas chapter of the international Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) has been recognized for ensuring the highest quality research by providing the most continuing education hours of any chapter. The annual Chapter Chairperson Recognition Award was presented to Carrie Chiaro, M.P.H., C.C.R.P., from the UAMS Office of Research Compliance, who co-chairs the SOCRA chapter with Melisa Clark, M.S., C.C.R.P., from the UAMS Office of Research Regulatory Affairs.

The Arkansas chapter is the only one of 50+ volunteer chapters to win the award seven consecutive years.

SOCRA chapters offer no-cost clinical research continuing education to enhance research quality, to protect research participants, and to improve the health of the global community.

Also during the annual meeting in New Orleans, Amy Jo Jenkins, M.S., C.C.R.P., C.C.R.A., C.C.R.C., executive director of the UAMS Translational Research Institute, was named president-elect of the SOCRA Board of Directors. Jenkins, a past chapter chairperson, said the chapter’s continued success is due to the participation, collaboration, and common goals of the state’s research professionals.

“UAMS support, particularly from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Translational Research Institute, Office of Research Regulatory Affairs, and the Office of Research Compliance, has allowed the chapter to flourish over the last seven years,” Jenkins said. “While the award is technically given to one person, we know that it is our whole membership and those that support us that contribute to our success.”

The Arkansas chapter provided 15.5 continuing education credit hours from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018.

“The continuing education we provide ultimately improves the quality of research in our state and enhances the experience and protection of our valued participants,” Jenkins said.

The chapter also provides an avenue for career growth and development, including training and resources for new research staff and the opportunity to earn an accredited professional certification (certified clinical research professional – CCRP) that is recognized internationally by the clinical research industry as evidence of advanced competency in the profession.

The continuing education hours offered by the Arkansas SOCRA chapter also help research staff at UAMS and other sites earn or maintain their Certified Research Specialist (CRS) certification. The CRS certification program, administered by the UAMS Office of Research Compliance, ensures an understanding of, and respect for, the principles of research integrity and the protection of those who participate in research. Although the certification is not required by all departments, UAMS research employees routinely complete the 28 hours of coursework and the comprehensive CRS proficiency exam.