Bioethics Blogs

Every Day is a New Challenge: An Interview with Sandy Whittaker

By Megan Frame, membership manager

Welcome to another installment of our featured member interviews where we will continue to introduce you to more of our members—individuals who work to advance ethical research on a daily basis. May is Member Appreciation Month at PRIM&R, and we will be featuring a new member interview every week! Please read on to learn more about Sandy Whittaker, IRB coordinator at Mercy Health Springfield in Springfield, MO. 

Megan Frame (MF): When and why did you join the field?
Sandy Whittaker (SW): I was asked to fill in for a co-worker who was a research coordinator while she was on maternity leave and was instantly hooked. In total, I have been involved in medical research for 11 years; 1.5 years as a research coordinator and 9.5 years as an IRB coordinator. I love all the different aspects of research and the thought of helping find new treatments. Plus, every day is a new challenge; you never get bored.

MF: What is one tool you use every day that you could not do your job without?
SW: Without a doubt, I could not do my job without the OHRP Human Subject Regulations Decision Charts. My health system is working to increase our physician initiated research program, so I use it a lot in helping them determine what documents they need to submit and the level of review that is necessary.

MF: What is one thing you wish the general public knew about human subjects research?
SW: Regardless of the disease being studied, each clinical research protocol represents a group of people who are trying to understand and improve the outcomes for people with a particular health condition, and it is our duty to make sure the subjects enrolled in a study receive the respect and protection they deserve.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.