Cancer Communication Research Center

The End of the CECCR: A Personal Reflection from a Senior Research Assistant


High hopes, Welcome to the HMO, and What is D&I Exactly?
When I first moved to Denver almost three years ago, I had a lot of hopes for my career. I didn't have a job yet, but I was determined to find something in the research field. Every day was filled with job applications and finger crossing that I would hear something, anything, from anyone. However, I had my sights set on working for Kaiser Permanente, a company that I had done extensive research on throughout my job searching. Then, one day, the call came for an interview. I knew right away when meeting with the group I would eventually be working for that it was going to be a good fit. Aside from being extremely nervous, I was excited about what everyone was telling me they work on and how I would contribute. This is exactly what I was looking for, and I was thrilled.
Two weeks after that interview in March 2011, I began as a Senior Research Assistant under the CECCR II grant. For my second day on the job, I was in Boston for the 17th Annual HMO Research Network conference. It was at this meeting that I met many colleagues that I would be working with, not just in my own office, but also those we collaborate with across the country in other HMOs. It was also at this meeting I got a better idea of what projects are being done within the CECCR and who was involved with what. I was mixing and mingling; listening and learning; overwhelmed and exhausted; but more importantly, completely enthralled.
Full disclosure: I had no idea what dissemination and implementation (D&I) work was when I started. Fortunately, Jim Dearing was kind enough to give me a copy of Everett Rogers' book Diffusion of Innovations to help clarify. Naturally through the work I was doing, I was quick to learn just what D&I involved, how it can be applied, and how exactly it was being done within the research projects of the CECCR (both internally and externally).
CECCR meetings and a series of firsts
The first CECCR meeting I attended was in St. Louis, hosted by Washington University. Being from Missouri, it was good to be back in my home state and eat at Pi, which happened to be across the street from our hotel. The first here (aside from meeting more people within the CECCR) was taking part in my first poster presentation. I made a poster displaying the restructuring of the CRN-CCRC, which was a test of my creativity and PowerPoint skills. Washington University is a beautiful campus and put on an amazing meeting (we will never forget that Ignite presentation…). The following year, the CECCR meeting was held in Wisconsin, a state I had never been to before (first). This was such a fun meeting: the campus was beautiful, the speeches the first night highlighted just why we do what we do, and the cheese curds. Oh, the cheese curds. This brings us to this year: the final CECCR meeting. I'm excited and sad for this meeting. While it's my first time in Michigan and I'm excited to check out Ann Arbor, I'm sad that we will no longer be getting together in this format. I will be presenting a poster on the Cancer Prognostic Resources website, which is going live soon, and I'm looking forward to showing everyone what Borsika Rabin and the rest of the team have been working on for the past few years, in addition to all the other CECCRs. It will definitely be a great meeting.

People, Places, Projects, Potential
Looking back on the past (almost) three years, it's amazing how many people I have met, all the places I have been, and all the things I have learned as a result of the CECCR. Case in point, this website wouldn't exist if I didn't learn HTML! But I digress... I have heard some amazing speeches, been inspired by great projects being worked on by other CECCRs, and have worked on some challenging and exciting projects myself. Being a part of the CECCR has been a tremendous opportunity for me, and while it will be strange to no longer be involved with it, I'm excited to take what I have learned and apply it to future projects.

Michelle Henton
Senior Research Assistant, CCRC

Written by CCRC at 11:35




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