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What was most appealing to you about the idea of working in MCIRCC’s Clinical Research Unit (CRU)?
The integration of biotechnology in the specific studies I would be working on was one of the most appealing aspects for working in MCIRCC CRU. Applying engineering principles and techniques to target problems in critical care is such a breakthrough and MCIRCC’s studies precisely encompass that. Also, during my first interview with Dr. Hakam Tiba, he mentioned that principal investigators are willing to offer co-authorships for study coordinators, which was another generous perk to join this amazing team. 

Explain what happens during a typical day in the MCIRCC CRU.
I usually start my day in the office around 6AM by completing any research notes, paperwork and data upload from the day before. Then, depending on what study I will be working on, I start screening for that study and approach eligible subjects and their families around 7:30AM.

Every day at 9AM we have our unit stand up short meeting, where we summarize our previous and current day for the team to ensure a smooth workflow of the unit and to fill in any gaps where help might be needed.  Then, due to the variability of studies I am coordinating, I pretty much float over the hospital’s different ICUs as well as the Emergency Department (ED) to approach subjects and their families. After consenting eligible subjects, I perform the study procedures while adhering to the good clinical practice rules precisely and efficiently. I always try to make the clinical research visit as personal and friendly as possible, leaving my contact information to maintain a good rapport and communication with subjects and their families. 

Describe the advances being made in critical care thanks to the work of the MCIRCC CRU.
Unfortunately, critical care research is very underrepresented. The public awareness tends to over-focus on other research areas like cancer clinical trials, chronic illness clinical trials, etc. without shining a spotlight on how crucial and life changing this kind of research is.

The data we have collected in the CRU is still preliminary. However, I keep receiving positive feedback from the data science team relaying that the data looks very promising so far. I am very optimistic that these future medical devices will be providing a noninvasive, continuous and accurate way for monitoring critically ill subjects in the hospital and on the ambulatory level as well. I am very hopeful these devices will change and save lives in the near future and help hospital systems reduce the expenses being spent on critical care.

What about the Emergency Critical Care Center (EC3) interests you the most?
EC3 is state-of-the-art in the Emergency Medicine practice. I was amazed when I first was tutored in the ED about the idea of bringing the ICU to the critically ill patient instead of going the other way around. In a recent study[1] led by Dr. Kyle Gunnerson, it was found that mortality rates decreased from 2.13% pre-EC3 to 1.83% post-EC3, the research team also found a decrease in Intensive Care Unit admissions, from 3.2% pre-EC3, to 2.7% post-EC3. 

Tell us a little about yourself outside of work - hobbies you have, family, end of summer trips you have planned, etc.
I enjoy the simple things in life. I feel as though being happy is a state of mind and you must always find the best in every situation. I've been through more than most people my age but it's what has made me stronger and I consider it an absolute blessing. Whenever life has thrown challenges at me I've come out on top and plan to keep doing so.

As an Arab American, my culture is very important to me and I love to teach people around me about it including the native food and language. My immediate family is roughly 6,000 miles away but we are all very close and we talk almost every day. I have a three week trip planned for the end of 2019 to visit Jordan and catch up with my family members.

Fortunately, my pride as an Arab American will soon be translated into another endeavor thanks to Office for Health Equity & Inclusion at Michigan Medicine. They recently agreed to my launching a Middle Eastern Employee Resource Group. This group will play a role in emphasizing our diverse, equal and inclusive work environment and will give me a great opportunity to sharpen and expand my leadership skills.

Lastly, I enjoy spending time in nature whether it’s kayaking, swimming or jet skiing. I am also a big foodie and enjoy trying out new restaurants and cooking Middle Eastern food at home.  I have always had a passion for cars and love to go on long drives.

[1] https://labblog.uofmhealth.org/industry-dx/emergency-medicine-department-based-intensive-care-unit-improves-patient-survival-rates?fbclid=IwAR3wOxUSvDHUuo-efhts0mv5a8npWrpbqo-DofUsC1bA44osLkSJGTMbL5I