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Research and Education Foundations mark 50th anniversary

Special speakers, celebrations at Marshfield, Wausau and Eau Claire

In September 2009, celebrations in Marshfield, Wausau and Eau Claire commemorated the 50th anniversary of Marshfield Clinic’s research and education programs.

As colleagues from the past and present came together September 10 in Marshfield to celebrate the Research and Education Foundations’ 50th anniversary, one message rang clear: The past few years have been among the best in the Clinic’s history in terms of accomplishing its research mission and advancing the Clinic’s national reputation.

Standing on a long history of "bench to bedside" research, the Clinic now is in the midst of some of its most significant research, said Humberto Vidaillet, M.D., director of medical research.

“Research and education are an important part of Marshfield Clinic and are only getting stronger as we move forward, said Erik Stratman, M.D., Division of Education director. “Looking toward the future, we will play a major role in health care’s success . . . and we will see a greater emphasis on patient education data in making good decisions,” said Dr. Stratman, who along with Dr. Vidaillet co-hosted the evening dinner and program in Marshfield.

“One of the calls in the future will be not only how you interpret data, but also how you use formal education to interpret the data,” Dr. Stratman told the 300 guests, who ranged from past and present Clinic researchers, educators, clinicians and donors to community and state leaders, Research Foundation Trustees, National Advisory Council members and local media.

The evening program included tributes and praise from several of the foundation’s iconic leaders, including former physicians Russell Lewis, M.D., Thomas Nikolai, M.D., George Magnin, M.D., and Dean Emanuel, M.D.

“I was fortunate to be a member of this world-class medical organization for nearly 40 years,” said Dr. Magnin. But while lauding the past successes, he said the foundation “cannot rest on our laurels.”

In presenting a declaration from the governor in honor of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin Department of Health Services secretary, said, “There are times in your life and your career when you are living a piece of history. I have that sense tonight. Millions of lives have been touched (by the people) in this room.”

A resounding message of the program was that big things can happen in a small town like Marshfield. “Wisconsin can be No. 1 in the world in use of the electronic medical record, or medical genetics or maybe even in health care overall,” predicted James Weber, Ph.D., PreventionGenetics president/founder and Research Foundation adjunct senior research scientist.

In his keynote address, Dr. Weber outlined a genetic “to do” list for researchers to consider:

  1. Embrace genetic testing. “It’s fascinating and fun,” he said.
  2. Expand the EMR so that it is enabled for genetics. “The techniques for DNA testing are improving a lot, but if you don’t have the EMR to go with it, it won’t work.”
  3. Develop a central repository of EMRs for all Wisconsin residents.

As the Research Foundation begins its next half-century, more discoveries are on the horizon. “In reality, our species is just in its infancy. We still have much to learn and understand,” noted Dr. Weber.

At programs in Eau Claire and Wausau September 17-18, Howard Jacob, Ph.D., director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, delivered key note addresses on “Wisconsin Genomics Initiative, Today and Tomorrow.”

In September 2009, celebrations in Marshfield, Wausau and Eau Claire commemorated the 50th anniversary of Marshfield Clinic’s research and education programs.

As colleagues from the past and present came together September 10 in Marshfield to celebrate the Research and Education Foundations’ 50th anniversary, one message rang clear: The past few years have been among the best in the Clinic’s history in terms of accomplishing its research mission and advancing the Clinic’s national reputation.

Standing on a long history of "bench to bedside" research, the Clinic now is in the midst of some of its most significant research, said Humberto Vidaillet, M.D., director of medical research.

“Research and education are an important part of Marshfield Clinic and are only getting stronger as we move forward, said Erik Stratman, M.D., Division of Education director. “Looking toward the future, we will play a major role in health care’s success . . . and we will see a greater emphasis on patient education data in making good decisions,” said Dr. Stratman, who along with Dr. Vidaillet co-hosted the evening dinner and program in Marshfield.

“One of the calls in the future will be not only how you interpret data, but also how you use formal education to interpret the data,” Dr. Stratman told the 300 guests, who ranged from past and present Clinic researchers, educators, clinicians and donors to community and state leaders, Research Foundation Trustees, National Advisory Council members and local media.

The evening program included tributes and praise from several of the foundation’s iconic leaders, including former physicians Russell Lewis, M.D., Thomas Nikolai, M.D., George Magnin, M.D., and Dean Emanuel, M.D.

“I was fortunate to be a member of this world-class medical organization for nearly 40 years,” said Dr. Magnin. But while lauding the past successes, he said the foundation “cannot rest on our laurels.”

In presenting a declaration from the governor in honor of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin Department of Health Services secretary, said, “There are times in your life and your career when you are living a piece of history. I have that sense tonight. Millions of lives have been touched (by the people) in this room.”

A resounding message of the program was that big things can happen in a small town like Marshfield. “Wisconsin can be No. 1 in the world in use of the electronic medical record, or medical genetics or maybe even in health care overall,” predicted James Weber, Ph.D., PreventionGenetics president/founder and Research Foundation adjunct senior research scientist.

In his keynote address, Dr. Weber outlined a genetic “to do” list for researchers to consider:

  1. Embrace genetic testing. “It’s fascinating and fun,” he said.
  2. Expand the EMR so that it is enabled for genetics. “The techniques for DNA testing are improving a lot, but if you don’t have the EMR to go with it, it won’t work.”
  3. Develop a central repository of EMRs for all Wisconsin residents.

As the Research Foundation begins its next half-century, more discoveries are on the horizon. “In reality, our species is just in its infancy. We still have much to learn and understand,” noted Dr. Weber.

At programs in Eau Claire and Wausau September 17-18, Howard Jacob, Ph.D., director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, delivered key note addresses on “Wisconsin Genomics Initiative, Today and Tomorrow.”

"These events were not only an opportunity to celebrate, but to educate and spread awareness about the Foundations’ activities," said Jennifer Bufford, who helped organize the 50th anniversary events. "It was a great opportunity for those outside the Clinic system to learn about our research and education programs. Patricia Kleine, Ph.D., the new Provost at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, was very appreciative to learn more about us, and was excited about establishing a strong collaborative relationship in the future," Bufford said.

Proclamation Presentation State Human Services Secretary Karen Timberlake presents a proclamation from Gov. Jim Doyle honoring the 50th anniversary of Marshfield Clinic's Research and Education Foundations. Accepting the award are (from left) Erik Stratman, M.D., and Humberto Vidaillet, M.D., Clinic Medical Research director and Research Foundation director.
Russell Lewis, M.D. Emeritus physician Russell Lewis, M.D., congratulates Marshfield Clinic's Research and Education Foundations on 50 years of service, saying, "It's up to the Foundation to decide if we are to stay successful over the next 50 years." Dr. Lewis played a key role in establishing the early Research Foundation, and in creating Wisconsin’s first health maintenance organization, now known as Security Health Plan.
Vidaillet welcomes Bradley Humberto Vidaillet, M.D., Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation director, welcomes Mark Bradley, an attorney with the law firm of Ruder Ware in Wausau and Eau Claire. Bradley has served as a member of Marshfield Clinic’s National Advisory Committee since 2006. He also presented at the Wausau program
Howard Jacob, Ph.D. and Foundation Guests Howard Jacob, Ph.D., director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, speaks with Foundation guests (from left) Patricia Kleine, Ph.D., the new Provost at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, shown with her mother.
 
Marshfield Clinic Research & Education Foundation Milestones 
1959   The Marshfield Clinic Foundation for Medical Research and Education is established with Stephan Epstein, M.D., as president.
1960   Cardiologist Dean Emanuel, M.D., receives the first research grant from National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study farmer’s lung disease.
1961   Dermatologist Stephan Epstein, M.D., receives a research grant to study drug-induced delayed photoallergic sensitivity.
1963   Leo Miller and Tom Felion are first community members elected to serve on the Foundation Board.
1964   Summer Research Internship Program is established.
1966   Endocrinologist Thomas Nikolai, M.D., receives a major grant to study inherited disorders of thyroid-binding globulin.
1968   The old Doege Clinic building at 510 North St. Joseph’s Avenue is leased by the Research Foundation.
1969   Under the direction of George Magnin, M.D., the University of Wisconsin teaching service is established with the Clinic and Saint Joseph’s Hospital.
1971   Under the direction of obstetrician Russell Lewis, M.D., the Greater Marshfield Community Health Plan is initiated. It later became Security Health Plan in 1987.
1972   Dean Emanuel, M.D., and Fritz Wenzel receive a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue their study of chronic respiratory diseases.

Physician Assistant Training Program is initiated under the leadership of Frank Lohrenz, M.D., and Robert Payne.
1973   The American College for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approves application for the development of a post-graduate, internal medicine residency training program jointly sponsored by Marshfield Clinic and Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Research Foundation is one of twelve organizations selected to participate in a large National Institutes of Health study of coronary artery disease. Bill Myers, M.D., and Richard Sautter, M.D., serve as PIs.
1974   The Family Health Center (FHC) is initiated to improve access to primary care services for the medically underserved and to enhance community health. Today, it serves 60,000 people annually.

Duane Tewksbury, Ph.D., publishes his work on the isolation of human angiotensinogen, a protein and major target for drugs that lower blood pressure.
1975   The first group of Internal Medicine residents begin their education/training at Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

The Development Department is formed at the Research Foundation.
1976   The Foundation receives a major planning grant from the National Cancer Institute which leads to an association with the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
1977   Foundation staff exceeds 50 full-time employees, including seven M.D./ Ph.D. investigators.
1981   National Farm Medicine Center (NFMC) is established.
1982   Under the direction of pediatric cardiologist George Griese, M.D., the Heartwatch program screens 3,700 students from K-12 for cardiovascular risk factors.

The National Advisory Council is formed as an advisory group to oversee Foundation policies and strategic planning. Role expanded to the Clinic after obtaining 501(c)(3) status.

The First Auction of Champions event is held. The annual event continues to this day and has raised more than $1.9 million.
1983   Foundation is selected by National Institutes of Health to participate in the nationwide Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP). Oncologist Tarit Banerjee, M.D., is PI. Today, CCOP is the oldest anchor research program and supports approximately 200 active studies.
1984   The Research Foundation, Marshfield Clinic, and Saint Joseph’s Hospital form an Institutional Review Board (IRB).
1985   Foundation’s long-range strategic plan designates epidemiology and human genetics as priority areas for research which ultimately leads to creation of Marshfield Epidemiology Research Center and Center for Medical Genetics.
1987   D. David Sebold establishes the Gwen D. Sebold Research Fellowship Award in memory of his sister. The program continues today to annually recognize a Marshfield Clinic researcher.
1988   Geneticist James Weber, Ph.D., discovers short tandem repeat polymorphisms which revolutionize the field of genetics research. A patent is filed the following year and subsequently issued in 1991.
1990   The Foundation and Marshfield Clinic merge into a single corporate entity. Lawton Center for Research and Education is dedicated.
1991   Peter Layde, M.D., launches the Marshfield Epidemiologic Study Area (MESA). MESA studies have led to improved medical care and more effective health policies.
1992   Foundation receives a 12-year grant from the National Cancer Institute to determine the effectiveness of screening for prostate, lung, colorectal and ovarian cancers, and the impact on mortality reduction with Doug Reding, M.D., as PI.
1994   The Center for Medical Genetics is founded and the Mammalian Genotyping Service (MGS) is initiated under the leadership of James Weber, Ph.D. Over the course of 12 years, MGS receives nearly $30 million in extramural funding and leads to the completion of 69 million genotypes on 276 projects worldwide.

Marshfield Clinic is selected to participate in the largest hypertension clinical trial ever conducted. Richard Dart, M.D., serves as PI.
1996   Joseph Mazza, M.D., Director of Medical Education, establishes a new and accredited Med-Peds residency training program.
1997   The National Farm Medicine Center is designated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

The Melvin R. Laird Center is dedicated.
1998   The Center for Clinical Research is established to provide centralized research support for clinician-led research throughout the system.

The Center for Community Outreach (CCO) is established.
2001   Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP) is launched. Today, PMRP is the largest population-based DNA biobank in the United States, involving nearly 20,000 central Wisconsin residents.
2003   Pathologist Kurt Reed, M.D., Ph.D., and dermatologists Erik Stratman, M.D., and John Melski, M.D., diagnose the first reported human case of monkeypox in the western hemisphere and provide CDC with index case.

Paper coauthored by geneticist James Weber, Ph.D., receives an award as most significant biomedical research published anywhere in the world that year.

The Marshfield Medical Research and Education Foundation is reorganized into separate research and education foundations.

Edward Belongia, M.D., and his colleagues in the Marshfield Epidemiology Research Center (MERC) receive a 10-year, $4.5 million commitment to study vaccine safety from the CDC and the American Association of Health Plans.
2005   The National Farm Medicine Center assumes editorial responsibility for the Journal of Agromedicine, a peer-reviewed, National Library of Medicine-indexed quarterly journal.
Marshfield Clinic becomes a member of CDC’s National Laboratory Response Network.

The Biomedical Informatics Research Center is created.

MCRF Director Humberto Vidaillet, M.D., Deputy Director Steve Wesbrook, Ph.D., and Clinical Research Director Steve Yale, M.D., organize a summit with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) to begin the process of re-establishing the historically strong research ties between the two institutions. At this summit, MCRF and UWSMPH recognized that their combined research capabilities are greater than the sum of both working alone.
2006   Marshfield Clinic and WiSys Technology Foundation announce a partnership to strengthen collaborations in research and technology transfer.

Clinical Medicine & Research is accepted into the National Library of Medicine’s Index Medicus/MEDLINE.

MCRF, in partnership with Security Health Plan, enters the HMO Research Network.
2007   Andy Keogh, Ed.D, University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/ Wood County Dean, is elected the first community member to chair Research Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The University of Wisconsin and MCRF jointly form the Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) with Humberto Vidaillet, M.D., as PI, and subsequently receive a prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Marshfield Clinic is designated an Academic Campus of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Erik Stratman, M.D., is named Associate Dean for the Marshfield Academic Campus.

Scientist and physician investigators receive new, multiyear, peer-reviewed external grants totaling more than $10 million.
2008   A 112,500 square foot addition to the Laird Center for Medical Research is dedicated. The research and education portions of the new facility, which also houses clinical laboratories, were made possible by a fundraising campaign and federal grant of $11 million.

Governor Jim Doyle announces at Marshfield the Wisconsin Genomics Initiative (WGI).

Scientist and physician investigators receive new, multiyear, peer-reviewed external grants totaling $14 million.

The MCRF Board of Trustees establish the Dr. Jim Weber Chair in Human Genetics and Dr. John Melski Distinguished Physician Endowment in Biomedical Informatics.
2009   The Research Foundation provides the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the index case of H1N1 influenza and is designated one of four sites to monitor the virus.

Rice Lake Center accepts the first medical students as the inaugural site of the Wisconsin Academy for Rural Medicine (WARM).

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