IC Directors' Meeting Highlights
June 19, 2006
I. Transformation of the Commissioned Corps (Corps)
Dr. Zerhouni introduced ADM John O. Agwunobi, the Assistant Secretary for Health, in which role he serves as the Secretary’s primary public health advisor and oversees the USPHS and the Corps. ADM Agwunobi explained that he has been tasked with overseeing the current transformation of the Corps, intended to —
RADM Robert Knouss then summarized the findings of the report of the five workgroups (Readiness, Sizing, Recruitment and Training, Assignments, and Classification and Billets) representing all agencies.
Dr. Zerhouni opened the floor. Questions and discussion addressed concerns and suggestions such as —
Invoking the metaphor of cell apoptosis, Dr. Zerhouni urged that the transformation consider the whole cycle of a Corps career, from recruitment through retirement. He also mentioned other potential flexibilities that would encourage recruitment and result in a win for the individual, a win for the Corps, a win for the institution, and a win for the public health.
II. Clinical Network Efficiencies Subcommittee (CNES)
Dr. Duane Alexander, Chair of the CNES, reported on its activities over the past year. The Subcommittee, whose members represented key NIH stakeholder communities, had been asked to —
Dr. Alexander described information-gathering and discussion stages. He next reported that the group has concluded that NIH could make better use of existing mechanisms to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of CRNs and that the NIH needs to be proactive on tracking emerging activities and, when appropriate, integrating these activities.
The final recommendations are as follows:
Recommendation 1: Support the continued development and maintenance of the electronic data base for the Roadmap inventory of CRNs.
Recommendation 2: Encourage IC Program Officials to use the CRN inventory to search for candidate networks for their new trials before developing plans to create a new CRN, and evaluate the utility of such use with a view toward documenting this search if creation of a new network is proposed.
Recommendation 3: Develop and implement a plan to train contracting officers and program officers in the IDIQ mechanism, including how to apply it to support clinical trials, especially multisite trials.
Recommendation 4: Present to the IC Directors the case for the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of the IDIQ mechanism for funding clinical research infrastructure, encouraging them to make a similar case to their Program Officials.
After discussion, Dr. Zerhouni thanked Dr. Alexander and the Subcommittee members and took the recommendations under advisement.
This page was last reviewed on September 21, 2006 .
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