To me, an innovator is someone who inspires, someone who has accomplished different things that positively impact others. I had the privilege of interviewing a personal role model in healthcare, Mrs. Kathleen Raney, MSN, CNM. Mrs. Raney, or Dede as many call her, is a Nurse Practioner and Sub-PI at the Clinical Research Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She took a few moments to share with us her thoughts regarding innovation in public health and research.
- Can you briefly describe your role and experience?
“My role at EVMS/CRC is as an OB/GYN Nurse Practitioner, seeing patients as the sub-investigator in many different studies. Although I have been an RN for 35 years and an NP for 25 years I have only been in this role as a Sub-I for 2 years.”
- As a Sub-I for the Clinical Research Center, what are the most interesting study(s) you have worked on and why?
“I really enjoy new birth control studies in general. There are certainly more options out on the market than there were when I was growing up but I think new ideas are fascinating and will help women in the future to find the birth control method that fits them the best.”
- Where do you think innovation is needed in the health care system? Where would you like to see resources directed?
“I think so much of what we do now is treat medical conditions that are already present. I would like to see more prevention of illness, from nutrition to physical exercise and planned pregnancies.”
- As a Sub-I in OB/GYN clinical trials, what would you say the participants benefit from the most?
“I think some of them are financially motivated but others are really interested in the studies subject matter and enjoy knowing they are making a difference in what may or may not come out on the market in the near future.”
- As a Nurse Practitioner, Midwife, Navy Wife and Mom what advice would you give to someone who was juggling a lot in their life?
“Take it one day at a time. Make a list of short and long-term goals. Pick a vocation that you enjoy doing and make family first as much as you can. Have a to-do list on your busy days and congratulate yourself even if you only manage to get one thing done. Practice yoga or some kind of mind relaxation therapy. Give yourself the time and space to hear the quiet voice in your head.”
- What do you believe is an important public health issue in your field and why?
“Obesity and unplanned, undesired pregnancies.”
- What recommendations do you have for the problem mentioned above?
“Early education both in the family and in schools. It seems we have been dealing with these issues for as many years as I’ve been in the medical field. Some advances have been made, but very little overall. People have to feel comfortable talking about sexuality. If you’re not comfortable talking to family members there has to be a reliable, available, inexpensive option for people to find answers to their questions and the earlier in their young lives the better.”