Each year, MultiCare health system holds Research Day, an event that highlights the studies that have been done by dedicated community investigators in an effort to improve patient care options locally and around the globe. Last week, 18 presenters discussed research — some completed, some still in progress — in front of fellow staff members, patients, donors, clinicians, and community collaborators.

In his opening remarks, MultiCare CEO and president Bill Robertson commented on the importance of research in the local community and the way it fits into the values of MultiCare, which is a nonprofit health care system.

“Education forces you to explain why you do things, and research forces you to look at how you might do things differently,” said Robertson. “These are two key elements we are proud to support at MultiCare. They both help us improve quality for the people we serve.”

Topics were wide-ranging and diverse. Researchers examined ways to offer more effective care for patients with Opioid Use Disorder, studied the way in which the legalization of recreational marijuana impacts newborn birthweight, and looked into the empowering of patients with chronic disease through self-management, to name a few.

A panel of three visiting scholars served as judges. After all presentations concluded, an awards ceremony took place to highlight excellence in MultiCare’s research. Five awards recognized community members who are making an impact in their respective categories. Winners are as follows.

Best Research Study in Progress Winner was Bethann Pfluegeisen for her research titled “Data Wrangling: Understanding our Electronic Health Records Beyond a Single Patient Chart.”

Best Completed Study Winner was Jeanette J. Harris for her research, “26,000 Flagged for +MRSA. Are They Still Positive? Are Three Screens Needed?,” which developed a simplified strategy to reduce unnecessary isolations for patients who have had +MRSA. Harris also recently won a President’s Award for the research.

Best Community Presentation went to Beth Schubert’s “I am a Survivor” in which she detailed her 27 critical care hospitalizations for severe persistent asthma shortly after she obtained her RN.

The Outstanding Research Investigator of the Year award, which recognizes characteristics of the best investigators in the workplace, went to Dr. Nehal Masood, a board certified medical oncologist with over 25 years of experience.

Lastly, the Diane Cecchettini Excellence in Research Award went to the Mary Bridge Pediatric Oncology Research Team, a multidisciplinary team committed to advancing treatments and outcomes for child cancer patients.