Lauren DeLand's career at JAHVH began in 1999 as a nurse in cardiology. In 2003 Lauren sought a career as a clinical research coordinator (CRC); initially with a focus on cardiology research but that focus has expounded to multi-functional research over many services. Over the years, Lauren has sought knowledge that excels her capacity as a nurse specializing in caring for Veteran patients who participate in research. Lauren is a role model for the nursing profession and to her colleagues. Lauren's role as Vice Chair of VA R&DC and longtime member of the USF Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research exemplifies leadership and her engagement in her chosen career path. Her willingness to extend herself above and beyond the call-of-duty plays a vital role in facilitating and translating research results into better healthcare for our patients.
Lauren is often called upon by investigators and other CRC to assist with the coordination and execution of study protocols. Her guidance has, directly and indirectly, helped many Veterans receive uninterrupted care and treatment as research participants. Lauren is a passionate advocate for our Veteran research participants. Lauren has been an involved member of the Cancer Committee for the past 9 years. She has been instrumental in them reaching required elements specific to research that helps VA Oncology reach their goals to attain certification by the American College of Surgeons/Commission on Cancer (COC) as a Cancer Center.
Recently, Lauren was called upon to assist an investigator correct unfulfilled regulatory requirements. Lauren not only provided guidance, but she also formulated a corrective action plan that allowed the study to continue. Without this plan, there was a real probability the study was going to be closed by the regulatory authorities. Without solicitation, Lauren volunteered to become an integral part of a study team (above her routine duties) conducting clinical cancer research. Her participation has provided indispensable support of this healthcare/research team and the two participants currently enrolled. There are times when the standard of care treatment just isn't effective. Human subject research offers alternative medicine which offers hope to patients when medical options have been exhausted. Research involving humans is subject to strict regulations and oversight by several oversight authorities. The process to obtain approval for a study and to maintain approval for clinical research requires training and education.
Lauren DeLand received and maintains her certification from the Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). Without Lauren's knowledge, willingness to share her skills as a case manager/research coordinator, willingness to educate members of the research team and community, willingness to dedicate herself to fixing a potentially serious situation that had potential to suspend/terminate the study; the two Veterans who had failed standard of care treatment options would not have been able to receive alternative experimental chemotherapy treatment.
Lauren has been a part of the team for approximately 6 months. She has become a mentor for others on the team and she has become the nurse these Veterans turn to for support during their treatment. The most exciting thing is, one of the Veteran's follow up diagnostic test reveal the absence of cancer. This study and the alternative treatment offered through this research, which otherwise would not be available is made possible because of Lauren DeLand's actions. Lauren is a role model, not only to the nursing profession but to the clinical research profession. Taking steps that assured this research study remained active by correcting errors and remained available to these patients most certainly improved the quality of life for one of these research participants. In time, it may prove to be as beneficial to others that enroll in this important alternative treatment option. Thank you Ms. Lauren DeLand for your dedication and service to our Veterans.