HSR&D/QUERI Says Farewell to Its Biggest Cheerleader
This is the last QUERI newsletter that will have been prepared under the leadership of Gerry McGlynn as Director of her team at the Center for Information Dissemination and Education Resources (CIDER). Gerry, preternaturally youthful and energetic, seems much too young to be stepping down from a job she clearly loves. But she is wise enough to want to enjoy other aspects of her life that sometimes get crowded out while working non-stop to tell the story of QUERI and HSR&D research to an audience of thousands of VA and non-VA investigators, VA managers, clinicians, and leadership in Washington and 22 VISN offices. I feel as if I have gone through the Kubler-Ross model's five stages of grief since hearing Gerry's plans to step-down. While it is impossible to get angry at Gerry, there was definitely denial, bargaining, and finally acceptance.
For many people, Gerry was the face of HSR&D, tirelessly promoting VA research and VA researchers at scientific research meetings, such as AcademyHealth and the Society for General Internal Medicine (SGIM) and through HSR&D's State of the Art Conferences and our own National Meetings. Gerry was always on the go – thinking, doing and encouraging. Whenever the battles of politics or VA bureaucracy made the mood less than ideal in Central Office, we could count on Gerry to pick up our spirits with a handful of new ideas to promote and celebrate the great work our researchers were doing.
Gerry's legacy will endure through the innovative products she has built over 10 years at CIDER, including the state-of-the-art website she and her team built for HSR&D and QUERI. It is the envy of other services, as is our Cyberseminar Program which last year alone held 139 sessions that reached more than 5,000 viewers. But her best, and I suspect proudest legacy is the team of outstanding and committed staff she has nurtured at CIDER and who will carry on her work.
QUERI particularly benefitted from Gerry's help because she intuitively knew the importance of research partnerships and was such a good connector herself. While Amy and I, and all of us at HSR&D/QUERI will greatly miss her, we are happy Gerry will now be able to spend more time with her most important partners, her family.
David Atkins, M.D., M.P.H.