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HHS Research Scholar SOPs

HHS Research Scholar Program Standard Operating Procedures

Program Goals

  • Departments: Climate survey of the academic and clinical departments to assess their readiness for successfully implementing the HHS Research Scholars program
  • HHS’s intention to fund scholars based on existing departmental commitments
  • HHS to move forward with an average cadence of two new research scholar appointments per year, with a specific goal of six over the next three years
  • HHS and HHRI to align the scholar selection process with organizational strategic goals
  • HHRI to maintain flexibility in responding to circumstances and opportunities as appropriate outside of the HHS strategic plan

Departmental Eligibility

To enhance the effectiveness of departments in supporting Research Scholars and ensure alignment between scholar selection and the organization’s research mission, a new climate survey/eligibility assessment procedure is being developed.  This process will require departments to submit their Research Scholars recruiting, mentoring, obtaining university academic appointments, and support plan to HHRI Operations committee and seeking approval, prior to posting for a new Research Scholar position.

Scholar Selection

At this time Research Scholar slots are used as a recruitment tool for departmental leaders.  Needs already identified include:

2023:

2 for Addiction (carry-over of prior commitments/Team Hire option)
1 for Neurology
1 for OB/Maternal Health
1 Family Medicine

2024:

1 for Dept of Medicine

2025:

1 TBD

Interview and Selection Process

All Research Scholar requests and CV’s should be reviewed by the HHRI Operations committee. The appointment of the Scholars requires a research job talk to other Scholars, department chairs, and leaders of clinical areas and research. The applicant should interview with various leaders in clinical and research to allow for future collaborations and to collect feedback on potential of success for each candidate. The leaders in research are generally the leads of the focus areas of research. Currently there are four focus areas, namely acute care, infectious disease, addiction medicine and health services research.

Offer/Appointment Standards

75% Research/25% Clinical appointment split
3-5 Year duration of protected research time
$300,000 to $500,000 Start up over the 3-5 years

Providers are employed by HHS, and HHS is responsible for the salaries and benefits.  It is recognized that variations to the above template may be necessary.  For instance, offer packages in procedure-intensive departments may need to provide more clinical time to keep up clinical skills (e.g. ED, ENT, Surgery).  The subsequent reduced research load may indicate a lesser need for start-up funds.  In addition, some mid-career candidates may only need 3 years of support, and if Scholars come in to the organization with existing sponsored research or career development awards they may have a reduced need for start-up support.

Appointment Structure

  • HHS is responsible for the compensation and benefits paid to the Scholars with appropriate corresponding offsets from research grants reimbursing the healthcare system for the provider's research time per HHRI’s customary procedures.
  • HHS is responsible for the startup packages of Research Scholars.
  • HHRI contributes approximately 1% of its organization-wide budget each year to support Scholars through existing HHRI programs (e.g. Career Development Awards, bridge funding, tiered overhead rates) both during the Scholar’s years of HHS Research Scholar support and afterward.
  • Department chairs are responsible for writing the offer letters with input from the HHRI President, and for obtaining the Scholar’s academic appointment at the University of Minnesota

Finances/Funding

At this time the program support from HHS is achieved via an annual transfer to HHRI which is based on the estimated needs of the program for the year.  The program is not a budgeted line item for HHS, so there is no specific accrual.  Funding is achieved via an equity transfer (i.e. a nonreciprocal transfer between related non-profit organizations, which is common when one of the non-profits owns the other or the entities are under common control). The equity transfer does not represent a payment for services or what is called an exchange transaction. The transfers simply represent funding to be used by HHRI to support the program.

Mentoring and Support by HHRI

Scholars are expected to participate in regular mentoring.  This includes the following:

  • Development of an individualized career development plan
  • Initial “Welcome” meeting with the mentoring committee within the first 3 months of hire
  • Quarterly meetings with HHRI President (or his designee) in the first year. The meetings can be changed to semi-annually thereafter at the discretion of the HHRI President or his designee
  • An annual presentation of progress to the mentoring committee
  • A final “capstone” presentation to the mentoring committee and other active researchers

Metrics of success

Success is currently defined as obtaining adequate sponsored research support to cover the Scholar’s research activities (self-sufficiency), as well as building their program from within via post-docs, research managers, research assistants, etc.   Pursuit of federal funding is encouraged to support the academic mission.  This generally requires submission of a K-award proposal (NIH career development mechanism) by the start of the second year of Research Scholar support, and an R01 (investigator initiated NIH mechanism) by the start of the fifth year.

Appendices

I. Departmental Eligibility “Pre-work” Outline
II. Offer Letter Template
III. Standard Research Scholar Award Terms and Conditions
IV. Research Scholar Presentation Template
V. Research Scholar Progress Report Template

Appendix I

Proposed Departmental Readiness Procedures for HHS Research Scholar Eligibility Assessment

To be eligible to recruit for new HHS Research Scholars, departments must complete the following steps and submit the results to the Research Operations and Management Committee for approval prior to posting a new position:

  1. A 5 year list of priority research areas and the reasons for their priority
  2. A SWOT analysis for Research Scholar positions
  3. Documentation of department's recruitment methodology for Research Scholar positions
  4. Documentation of department's mentoring plan for Research Scholar positions
  5. Development of metrics for success of research scholars
  6. Diversity statement explaining how DEI and Justice will serve/support the department's and the organization's research mission
  7. Department Chairs must demonstrate a working relationship with the associated department at the University of MN in order to obtain faculty appointments for new Research Scholars
  8. Department Chair accountability for Research Scholar productivity and effectiveness will be assessed annually during performance evaluations

Department Chair's pre-work (items 1-7 above) should be submitted for review by the Research Operations and Management Committee which will assess and support the readiness of the requesting department, and reports results to HHS CMO.

Appendix II

Date

Name and Address

Dear Dr. ________:

We are pleased to offer you a position at Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc. (HHS) within the Department of Medicine, Division of ______________ as a clinician/investigator.    We anticipate a start date on or about __________, a date dependent upon our receipt of your completed credentialing and enrollment paperwork.  You will be eligible for an academic appointment through the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. 

Your benefits become effective the first of the month following this start date.

Job Assignments

You are being offered a 1.0 position. This position is funded as a clinician/investigator with 75% time devoted to research activities and 25% to clinical care.  

The description of job duties within the Division of ____________________ practice is as follows:

Clinical Expectations –

You will be assigned clinical duties in the _______________ Division prorated according to your clinical FTE (0.25 FTE).  This will entail ________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Additional activities may include serving on committees or supporting an administrative function. You will perform other duties as assigned by the Division Director and/or Department Chair.

Productivity Expectations

  • We measure and assess productivity quarterly as a group. Your division director will discuss the productivity expectations upon your starting the position here. While individual productivity can vary considerably from quarter to quarter depending on duty allocation, time away from practice, and overall practice structure, our goal is to optimize group productivity over time while maintaining high standards of care. We work closely with our clinic team to use our physician time well to provide care for as many patients as possible and to provide a positive experience for patients. Although individual numbers may vary somewhat based on a provider’s patient profile, we expect that each provider will achieve productivity levels over the year to meet individual expectations.
  • Always completing medical record documentation on the day of the patient visit. The requirement is always complete documentation in EPIC within 5 calendar days.
  • Always responding to EPIC In Basket patient related messages within 48 hours.
  • Serving as a resource for the advanced practice providers whenever necessary.
  • Providing safe and effective care to all patients.
  • Maintaining high quality patient care in all services provided.
  • Demonstrating professionalism in all interactions with staff and peers.

We understand that as a new provider, you will need time to build your practice and we will provide the support, mentoring, and coaching for practice management.  

Research – You will have 75% protected time for research activities related to health equity.  Your position/FTE is funded as a clinician/investigator for 5 years and this term will start on the first day of your employment. You will receive start-up funding support from Hennepin Healthcare for your research activities in the amount of $100,000 per year over five years, for a total of $500,000.  This funding will begin on your start date at Hennepin Healthcare.  The start-up funds may be used, among other things, to purchase software, hardware, and analytics time, and to support hiring a research assistant and/or research coordinator.  You should discuss planned expenses each year with HHRI (Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute). If there is money remaining after the initial five-year start period, you will be able to continue to use the remainder of those funds for research related purposes.  You are being offered this research support with the goal of facilitating your success in becoming an independent researcher. One of the measures of progress will be the number of successful proposals submitted and funded, with the goal of having the research FTE of your salary supported by external research sponsors at the NIH pay scale by the end of the five-year period. You will have your own shared office space, space for your research assistants, and access to conference rooms for team meetings.  Given your focus on health equity, you will be working closely with the team members in the office of the Chief Health Equity Officer at Hennepin Healthcare.

Education and Scholarship –

  • You will be expected to participate in Medical Student and Resident education activities including core curriculum lectures and Medicine Grand Rounds. Connecting with Family Medicine residents would be valuable.
  • All MD providers share in participating in core curriculum lectures for the Internal Medicine Residency Program according to the rotating lecture schedule assigned to our division as well as giving Medicine Grand Rounds when needed according to the rotating schedule. This is shared equally within all members of our division. Speaking about research would be wonderful!  Likewise, mentoring Department of Medicine residents in research would be outstanding.

The FTE distribution may be subject to change in the future based on the divisional, departmental, and organizational needs and performance, but only with your approval for the first five years.

General Administrative Expectations

 Divisional and department responsibilities that are above and beyond the required hours of direct patient care include, but are not limited to:

  • Regular attendance at the Department of Medicine Staff Meetings held monthly
  • Regular attendance at __________________ Division meetings
  • Regular attendance at Medicine Grand Rounds held weekly, as clinical duties permit
  • Participation in HHS committees as approved by the Department Chair
  • Timely and professional communication with all staff and faculty members
  • All leave of absence requests for PTO and Academic time must follow Department of Medicine’s standard operating policy and procedure including electronic submission of request forms
  • Other division or department responsibilities as assigned
  • Quarterly meetings with HHRI President to review the progress on your research and annual evaluation with your mentoring committee.

Support for Faculty Development

At HHS, we want all of our providers to succeed. We will work with you to determine a mentor and mentor committee for your professional development and advancement. Your mentor will meet with you before and after you begin to discuss your transition to HHS as a valuable provider and as an affiliate faculty member of the University of Minnesota and to assist you in identifying your mentoring needs.  Your mentor will be expected to provide support and guidance to help you define and achieve your clinical and academic career goals.  Your role as a mentee is to take full advantage of your mentor’s expertise, and you should plan to meet with your mentor monthly for your first year.

Resource for Provider Wellness

HHS is nationally recognized for work on Physician Wellness and burn out prevention. We will encourage you to participate in periodic surveys that evaluate for signs of burn out; these surveys are anonymous, and the honest and open feedback provided in them helps to ensure that we can continue to work to keep our faculty satisfied, happy, and fulfilled with their work. Confidential resources for individual assistance and maintenance of provider wellbeing will be provided to you at orientation. We encourage you to engage with your peers, your departmental leadership, and with these resources if at any time you feel that you would like help.

Performance Reviews

Provider Performance Reviews are conducted on an annual basis by the organization as well as an Academic Plan by the Department.  Both provide an opportunity for regular discussion and feedback.  Mutually agreed upon yearly goal setting is required for each provider within the first 6 months of employment.

Compensation

We are offering you an initial salary of $____________ for 1.0 FTE for the first 12 months of your employment. After the completion of your first 12 months, your compensation will be based on annual performance reviews and the salary dollars available to the department.  Starting January 1, ________, the clinical portion of your time will move to the HHS Physician Compensation Plan in place at that time.

Hennepin Healthcare’s pay period is two weeks Sunday through Saturday, and pay day is the Friday following the pay period end date.  Your electronic paycheck will be available to view in Employee Self Service.  You will receive more information about Employee Self Service and how to access this system during orientation.

Pending your benefit elections and eligibility, and other mandatory deductions, the following deductions may be withheld from your paycheck:

Voluntary

  • Health (medical, dental, life insurance, critical illness, accident, disability, flex spending, fitness center)
  • 403b/457b deferred compensation plans and loan payments
  • Transportation (parking and bus cards)
  • Union dues (if applicable)
  • Charitable contributions
  • Legal services
  • Home and auto insurance

Required (Mandatory)

  • PERA retirement (if applicable)
  • Tax withholding (federal, state, Social Security, Medicare)
  • Garnishments and family support
  • Repayment of overpaid wages and reimbursement programs

Benefit-earning physicians who are regularly scheduled to work at least 40 hours per pay period (0.5 FTE), every two weeks, are eligible for Hennepin Healthcare's Paid Time Off (PTO) leave plan.  The PTO rates are based on years since licensure and are prorated for part-time physicians.  PTO balances are front-loaded per calendar year.  Please note that balances are pro-rated based on start date.  Additional details can be found in the benefits summary included with your Employment Agreement.

As part of your employment, you will be required to follow HHS’s established protocols for vaccination (including an annual influenza vaccination). 

This offer is contingent upon successful completion of a routine background check, licensing and receipt of all completed applications and documents required for provider enrollment and hospital privileges up to 120 days prior to your start date.

This offer is available to you for four weeks from the date of this letter unless extended or rescinded by written notice to you.

Please return the Offer Letter and the Physician Employment Agreements by electronic mail to ______________@hcmed.org on or before ________________.  We will return a fully signed copy to you upon the signature of the Chief Executive Officer. 

We are delighted that you are considering this opportunity with Hennepin Healthcare System, and we are confident that our health system will provide you with a rewarding career. As you start your journey with the Hennepin Healthcare Medicine Department, please know we care about making this an outstanding, fulfilling, and healthy place for you to work, and we look forward to having you join our Department family. 

We look forward to receiving your response.  Please contact the Director of ___________ Division, 612-873-________, if you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,

___________________________________________________________________________

David Hilden, M.D.                                              Date

Chair, Department of Medicine

Scott F. Davies Endowed Chair,

Hennepin Healthcare

Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine

University of Minnesota Medical School

____________________________________________________________________________

Daniel Hoody, M.D.                                                           Date

Chief Medical Officer

Hennepin Healthcare

Assistant Professor of Medicine

University of Minnesota Medical School

I accept the position and employment conditions outlined in this offer letter.

____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________, M.D.                                                  Date

cc:  ______________, M.D., Director, ______________ Division

       Kirsten Johansen, M.D., M.S., President of HHRI

       Belinda Rogers, Administrative Operations Manager

       Jill Kennedy, Practice Manager

       Chad Hood, Interim Director, Provider Practice Services

       _________________, Provider Recruiter

Appendix III

HHRI/HHS Research Scholar Initiative
Award Terms and Conditions
Effective October 1, 2022

  1. Appointments are expected to be 100% between HHS and HHRI and are generally intended to support researchers as they establish careers within the HHRI and move toward leadership roles.
  2. The level of support available is a fixed amount, to be used at the discretion of the awardee in the manner that best supports their developing program.
  3. Awards are generally in 12 month allotments, and must be renewed annually with a limit of five years of support. Continued funding is contingent upon acceptable progress and available funds. Submission of Annual Progress Reports as well as participation in ongoing mentoring activities is required. Carry-forward of unused funds beyond the five-year award period may be permitted, but only with prior authorization.
  4. It is expected that Awardees will seek additional sources of funding for their research activities, and evidence of those efforts must be documented in annual progress reports. One of the measures of progress under this award will be the number of successful proposals submitted and funded, with a goal of having approximately 50% of an awardees salary supported by external research sponsors by the end of the five year award. 
  5. Continued funding is contingent on availability of funds in the HHS and HHRI Board-approved Budgets.
  6. Any funds awarded that are not used for the specified purposes will revert back to the institution.
  7. Funds may not be transferred outside the institution.
  8. Institutional Indirect Costs (overhead) are not applicable to these awards.
  9. The HHRI Operations Management Committee may request more frequent periodic updates in addition to the annual progress report.
  10. All HHRI investigators working on any projects funded by grants or contracts administered by HHRI should acknowledge HHRI and HHS in all publications.
  11. All proposals for research submitted to and funded by external organizations on behalf of HHS Research Scholar appointees will be submitted under the auspices of the HHRI and all research will be administered in accordance with HHRI policies (e.g. COI, IRB, IACUC, Intellectual Property, Business Expenses, etc.).
  12. Evidence of service to HHRI, state, national, or international activities should be included in annual progress reports.
  13. Evidence of relevant program development, mentoring, and publications as commensurate with funding level should be included in annual progress reports.
  14. Evidence of local community engagement and outreach (such as appearances on local minority focused media outlets) should be included in annual progress reports.

Appendices IV & V

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