The NAVREF "In Case You Missed It (ICYMIT)" is where you can find updates and announcements from NAVREF and stakeholders alike. Refer to this page if you want more in depth information on topics found in your weekly email briefs.
WASHINGTON, DC - The National Association of Veterans' Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) is thrilled to announce significant developments in its leadership team with the appointment of Rashi Romanoff as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the promotion of two dedicated staff members. These changes are a testament to NAVREF's commitment to innovation, growth, and continued excellence in supporting veterans' research and education.
**Rashi Romanoff - CEO** Rashi Romanoff, an accomplished leader with a proven track record in nonprofit management and veterans' advocacy, has been named the new CEO of NAVREF. With an extensive background in strategic planning and organizational development, Rashi brings a fresh perspective to lead NAVREF into a new era of progress. Her visionary leadership and dedication to the organization's mission make her the ideal candidate to steer NAVREF's strategic initiatives, fostering collaboration and advancing veterans' welfare through research and education. "I am honored to step into the role of CEO at NAVREF and continue the organization's legacy of supporting vital research and education for veterans," said Rashi Romanoff. "I am excited to work alongside the talented team at NAVREF and our partners to create meaningful impact for the veteran community."
**Staff Promotions** In addition to the appointment of Rashi Romanoff, NAVREF is also proud to announce the following staff promotions, effective August 14, 2023:
- Peter Martin, previously serving as Program Support Specialist, has been promoted to Member Relations Administrator. Peter's exceptional customer-centric approach and deep understanding of NAVREF's members will play a pivotal role in strengthening member relationships and engagement.
- Elizabeth Stout, formerly the Project Administrator, has been promoted to Communications and Public Policy Administrator. Elizabeth's strategic communication skills and passion for advocacy will enhance NAVREF's presence and impact in the public policy arena.
"These promotions reflect NAVREF's commitment to recognizing and cultivating talent from within our organization," said Rashi Romanoff, CEO of NAVREF. "Peter and Elizabeth have consistently demonstrated their dedication and expertise, and I am confident they will excel in their new roles."
NAVREF is excited to embark on this new chapter with a strengthened leadership team that is poised to drive NAVREF's mission forward. The organization remains focused on its core values of integrity, collaboration, and innovation, as it continues to champion veterans' research and education.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Elizabeth Stout, Communications and Public Policy Administrator, email@example.com
About NAVREF: The National Association of Veterans' Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing the vital work of research and education conducted by VA-affiliated nonprofits. NAVREF provides resources, expertise, and advocacy to support its members in their mission to improve the lives of veterans through innovative research and educational initiatives.
WASHINGTON, DC - Today we are thrilled to announce that after an extensive search and careful consideration, the NAVREF Board of Directors has selected our new Chief Executive Officer, Rashi Venkataraman Romanoff.
Romanoff brings to NAVREF a wealth of experience and a proven track record of exceptional leadership when it comes to improving healthcare outcomes for our nation's veterans, caregivers, and their families. With a distinguished career spanning over 15 years in the field of health research, Romanoff has demonstrated exceptional leadership across government, industry, and the nonprofit sector.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, we are confident that under Romanoff's leadership, NAVREF is well-positioned for continued innovation. Her vision aligns seamlessly with our core values, and we are excited about the next chapter of NAVREF's growth.
Before joining NAVREF, Romanoff served as the Executive Vice President of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation where she oversaw groundbreaking new research and expanded programs available for the nation’s military and veteran caregiving families. She also worked across VA from 2010-2017, eventually directing strategic partnership work in the Office of the Secretary from 2015-2017 to improve healthcare quality and access for millions of veterans across our country.
Romanoff will be officially starting with NAVREF in mid-August, but we wanted to preview this news with you now as this has been a long-awaited moment for NAVREF. Over the coming weeks, the Board of Directors and I will be working closely with Rashi to facilitate a smooth transition. She will also be in attendance at the NAVREF Annual Conference in September where she looks forward to spending time with you in person.
NAVREF proudly hosted a highly successful Grants Development Training on June 8th and 9th in Portland, Oregon. This event, designed to empower our distinguished members with the most effective techniques and strategies for grant writing, was led by Maggie McCarthy. With her professional background as the former Executive Director of the Central Texas Veterans Research Foundation and currently serving as the Senior University Research Administrator at Baylor University, Ms. McCarthy brought invaluable expertise to the workshop.
NAVREF remains committed to providing our members with opportunities for professional growth. We extend our utmost appreciation to Ms. McCarthy for her invaluable contributions and commend our members for their active participation, further bolstering their expertise in grant writing.
Washington, DC - May 10, 2023 - NAVREF would like to welcome our newest staff member, Elizabeth Stout. Elizabeth will be joining the team as the Project Administrator while she continues to pursue her graduate degree in Mass Communication and specializing in Public Interest Communications. She earned double majors in Political Science and Anthropology, a minor in Innovation, and a certificate in International Relations at the University of Florida during her undergraduate career. Before she moved to Washington D.C., Elizabeth grew up in South Florida and attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. There, on February 14, 2018, Elizabeth survived a deadly mass school shooting in which 17 people were killed and 17 were injured. With adequate care and resources, Elizabeth overcame her PTSD after battling it for over four years and ultimately found her passion for advocacy.
Have you heard of Valde-Falsum? Neither have we. Happy April Fool's Day!!!
But in real news, the 31st NAVREF Annual Conference webpage and registration is live!!! This year our theme will center around Vikings as we will be "Exploring New Horizons"!
Click here to take a look at this year's preliminary program.
VA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) is currently centralizing the HR processes for Research, with a new system called the Human Resource Management and Consulting Services (HRMACS – “HR MAX”).
As you may already be aware, ORD plans to implement WOC, IPA and Affiliate centralization towards the March/April timeframe. During this transition, many concerns from our members were brought to our attention. NAVREF has taken these considerations and formed a workgroup to actively collaborate with ORD to alleviate these issues.
NAVREF’s workgroup, comprised of Ron Hakes, Cary Zink, and Katrina Washburn, began by meeting with Tony Laracuente, Director of Field Operations in ORD, to discuss policy concerns regarding WOC/IPA/Affiliate HR centralization. Mr. Laracuente, a former NPC Executive Director himself, expressed his understanding of the needs of NPC operations and was open to addressing the issues raised by the NAVREF membership.
While in this meeting, some clarity regarding badging and the new HRMACS came to fruition. HRMACS clearly distinguishes three (3) categories of appointments: affiliate, contractor, and employee. Employee is defined as those who have VA-paid, WOC or an IPA appointment. The intent of HRMACS is to increase the efficiency in obtaining these appointments and to allow for a smoother, less burdensome transition between them. IPA appointments still require that a person work for the non-federal facility for 90 days prior to issuing the agreement - the 90-day rule is still in effect!
NPC’s, ED’s, and their administrative staff - who do not conduct VA work - will be issued Affiliate appointments. These appointments are issued badges that allow them access to the VA facility and computer systems. An OGC opinion on this is available from NAVREF for those needing additional information.
At this time, no changes to your current HR processes are require unless initiated by your site’s HR Service.
Ultimately, NAVREF will actively continue to communicate with ORD as the transition to a Centralized HR continues to unfold.
We encourage members to please contact us with any questions you have regarding the HR webinar and the transition to centralizing HR appointments.
As we head into the new year, we have an exciting piece of news for you to end the year on. The VIPER Act has passed Congress and was signed into law on December 23!
The VIPER Act addressed the issue of “209” which by a Department of Justice interpretation, impacted research studies conducted by VA employees who had compensated appointments and who also conducted VA Research outside their VA tour of duty at the VA Facility on Without Compensation (WOC) appointments. While there was no compensation from the VA, these VA employees received compensation from the University or the VA Nonprofit Corporation (VA NPC) for this work. This practice was considered a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 209 by the DOJ. Thus, VA compensated employees who conducted VA Research outside their VA tour of duty could not be compensated by a non-Federal entity to work on VA research unless the State Treasury exception applies, even if they held a separate WOC appointment.
With the passage of the VIPER Act, the restriction on dually appointed personnel (DAPs) receiving compensation from NPCs and universities has been removed in law. This will once again allow DAPs (appointments at VA and the university) to be paid for approved research at VA. At this point, the VA Office of Research and Development is preparing specific guidance on how the VIPER Act will impact VA Research as a whole since additional provisions were included in the original legislation, however NPCs can begin planning on paying their DAPs and removing any barriers on their end for a smooth reimplementation of the original practice of paying DAPs.
Written by: Priscilla West, MPH
The NAVREF Industry Partner Consortium (IPC) held three meetings during the past year. An Executive Committee for the IPC was developed to help focus and prioritize the broad interests of the group. The charter members of the Executive Committee include: Peggy Bradley (Executive Director, Biomedical Research and Education Foundation of Southern Arizona), Angie Smith (Executive Director, North Florida Foundation for Research and Education), Caroline Zink (Executive Director, Baltimore Research and Education Foundation), Sean Cunningham (Janssen), Theresa Devens (Eisai), and Allyson Gage (Cohen Veterans Bioscience).
At the most recent IPC meeting in Miami on December 6-7, conversations continued about decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), and how they might best work for VA sites. Decentralized clinical trials are characterized by less dependence on traditional clinical research infrastructure, and more on virtual communication tools like telemedicine, patient-driven communication devices, home health visits (or visits at ancillary facilities closer to the patient’s home), and direct mailing of study medications and other study materials to the patient’s home. The Covid pandemic led to strong interest in developing DCT methods, and the IPC is discussing how some of these methods might improve veteran access to clinical trials and their satisfaction with the research experience.
The IPC Miami meeting also included a discussion about consistent access to VA data to provide support to NAVREF members, VA researchers and clinical trial sponsors in the following areas:
We will move forward with contracting with the VINCI program to provide these services for NAVREF members. During the first year, it will be important to establish the level and scope of demand so that we can best tailor services for future years.
Our IPC industry colleagues identified the need for a VA clinical trial ‘Playbook,’ describing the VA processes for reviewing and approving clinical research in lay terms (including a dictionary of VA research-related acronyms). A big thank you to Katrina Washburn (Executive Director of the South Florida Veterans Affairs Foundation for Research and Education), who volunteered to take the lead on drafting this document.
The Miami IPC meeting wrapped up with a discussion about how we can best support diversity and equity in VA clinical trials, including gender, race, and geographic distribution/rurality of study subjects. Industry partners noted that the US Food and Drug Administration also has strong interests in promoting equal access to clinical studies. There was unanimous support for this effort, and we will be reaching out to other government and nonprofit agencies to assist us in developing effective strategies to strengthen equity in clinical trials access and participation.
Written by: Peter Martin, Program Support Specialist
In tandem with scouting for the 2023 NAVREF Conference venue, this trip also served to be the introductory site visit for the new NAVREF staff members in their first years of service: Marlon Ferguson, CEO; Peter Martin, program support specialist. Warmly greeted by Nadine Rogers, Executive Director of the Center for Veterans Research and Education, and her staff, we were able to discuss how we could be of assistance to their work, before getting a tour of their facilities and some insight into their projects. To integrate a bit of wow factor, we were shown motion capture demonstration by Dr. John Looft. We would like to thank CVRE for their hospitality and their excellent showcase of the innovation and commitment to our mission.
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