Mary Ann Aubuchon started her career at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) more than 20 years ago as an interviewer – talking with patients who were participating in one of the many clinical and epidemiological research projects. She went on to work in the data arena, doing data management and developing tools to collect data, then moved on to managing projects, eventually managing the group of interviewers. After a time, she returned to project management where she is now responsible for managing all aspects of the clinical studies and registries, keeping track of the multitude of moving pieces and parts. There are 4 hospitals and numerous medical centers within HFHS participating in COMPARE-UF, led by Ganesa Wegienka, PhD.
HFHS is a large medical group in and around Detroit, MI and though they are physically separate sites, they are one big family. The sites share central resources such as an Institutional Review Board (the group that reviews and approves clinical research) and electronic health records. The collaboration among the physicians allows Mary Ann to be in a central location while working with patients at all of the sites. This also provides a way for her to get the message out about new studies to large groups of doctors at one time, such as giving a talk at one of their grand rounds group meetings. It would be difficult to schedule multiple site meetings with all of the HF physician groups across all of metro Detroit!
The collaboration among the physicians allows Mary Ann to be in a central location while working with patients at all of the sites.
As the COMPARE-UF Study Coordinator, Mary Ann wears many hats – answering questions from people interested in COMPARE-UF, to talking with participants, to managing all of the details that are important to making the project a success. “Knowing that you might change the practice of medicine in the future is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Being a change agent and making the world a better place for our children and grandchildren is so important. I feel like I’m accomplishing that in my job.”
Mary Ann and one other interviewer are the primary staff working on the COMPARE-UF registry. Both have a wealth of experience and strive to make sure participants feel cared for and receive excellent customer service at every interaction.
Being able to help women who have been suffering is very important, both at an individual level…and as part of the national effort…
Mary Ann notes that many of the women she’s spoken with talk about how long they’ve lived with symptoms of fibroids, to the point that it’s become a new normal. “It’s like when you’ve been sick for a long time. You don’t realize how bad you felt until you start to feel better.” Being able to help women who have been suffering is very important, both at an individual level – providing resources to individual participants – and as part of the national effort that is giving a voice to the concerns of women with fibroids and will help answer the questions about what is important for treatment options.