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VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Research Services


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VAAAHS Clinical Research Center (CRC)


The Clinical Research Center (CRC) functions within the Research Service under the leadership of the ACOS for Research and the Executive Director for VERAM to facilitate the conduct of high-quality, mission-relevant clinical research by VAAAHS researchers at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. We support a diverse portfolio of clinical trials from small single-site studies to large multisite trials through various federal, university and private industry sponsors.

 Our mission is:

“To recruit and maintain a highly qualified group of clinical research personnel.”

CRC is comprised of the Research Coordinator Group (RCG), professional research coordinators capable of working with investigators through project initiation, recruitment, data collection, and analysis. CRC works closely with Human Resources, the Research Service, and Veterans Education and Research Association of Michigan (VERAM) to recruit, train and certify project managers and coordinators with the intention to grow the RCG and retain highly qualified personnel.

“To provide service to investigators with interest in conducting clinical trials at the VA Ann Arbor Health System.”

To achieve this mission, the CRC will collaborate with investigators to determine feasibility of a study and provide resources for successful implementation of those trials. Additionally, CRC partners with VERAM to perform economic analyses and management of protocols by other federal agency, university and industry sponsors. The RCG coordinators will guide investigators through every step: from regulatory applications through protocol closure.

“CRC strives toward best practices in clinical research to improve coordination between clinical processes at the Ann Arbor VA Health System and clinical research related activities.”

The main priority of the CRC is to conduct studies that are well-designed, produce high quality data, protect research participants, and comply with applicable standards and requirements while advancing the health and care of our Veterans. CRC is continuously working with clinical, technical, regulatory and administrative leadership within the medical center to create guidance documents for clinical research. The CRC also strives to build lasting bridges between clinical services and research to improve the effectiveness of our collaborations. 

Research Coordinator Group (RCG)

The Research Coordinator Group consists of experienced project managers & study coordinators reporting directly to the local Research Service. We use a mixed model of (for hire) staff assignment under unified management, some directly assigned to PI or service, some available for flexible coverage of new PIs or projects. We share knowledge and resources & work collaboratively to develop protocols and trainings for study staff. We are located in a shared office space with small wet lab in building 28 of the VA Ann Arbor Medical Center. To learn about opportunities to be involved in clinical research studies, contact Lizzy Koester, 734-845-3967. 


(Acting) Program Manager for Clinical Research Center/Lead Coordinator for RCG

Lizzy Koester, 734-845-3967

VERAM Lead Coordinator

Karen Belanger, MS RD, 734-845-5685

Current RCG Project Managers/Clinical Research Coordinators  

Name Research Specialty Phone 
Lauren Herty, MPH RD Cardiology & Nutrition 734-222-7490
Erin McRobert, MSW Currently: Pulmonary & Deployment Exposures 734-222-8635
Kimberly Nofz, BSN Currently: Infectious Disease 734-845-5522
Brittany Pannecouk, BS CCRP Hematology/Oncology 734-845-3966
Shelby Raupp, BS Hematology/Oncology 734-845-3046