16 January, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Optimizing outcomes of patients who have received a mechanical circulatory support device as treatment for advanced heart failure and increasing access to this life saving therapy are shared goals of ISHLT and ICCAC. Professional growth and development of VAD coordinators is paramount to ensuring the MCS community has the capacity to provide this advanced therapy.
Technological developments have ushered in an era of rapid expansion in the number of VAD patients and programs, the length of time patients are on support, and the professional opportunities VAD coordinators have within the MCS community. A result of this rapid growth is a shortage of trained, expert VAD coordinators around the world.
Professional development is a key element of establishing and maintaining a robust VAD coordinator professional base and of developing an attractive career path that will inspire talented professionals to join and contribute to VAD teams for many years.
The purpose of this grant is to further the VAD coordinator’s understanding of (1)
care of VAD patients in both the inpatient and outpatient setting from referral through post VAD outpatient care, (2)
resource utilization (e.g., hospital length of stay, hospital readmission and clinic visits), and (3)
patient/caregiver adjustment to life with a VAD and outcomes with the goal of enhancing patient/caregiver decision making and improving the VAD experience, patient survival, and patient and caregiver quality of life.
One grant will be bestowed annually in an amount of up to $20,000
Funding will be prioritized toward projects focused on quality improvement and/or research. Funding decisions will be based on clinical/scientific merit and clinical/scientific interest relevant to improving VAD patient care and VAD patient/caregiver outcomes. Funded projects are intended to address gaps in knowledge on a local, national, and/or international level. Examples of fundable quality improvement and/or research projects include:
- Improving the care of VAD patients and their caregivers during referral, evaluation, peri-surgical, and post-surgical time periods, including long-term post-VAD
- Characterizing VAD patient decision making when considering the option of VAD implantation versus remaining on medical therapy
- Improving VAD patient and caregiver education and self-care
- Reducing adverse events after VAD implantation
- Characterizing and improving adjustment to life with a VAD
- Characterizing psychosocial issues (e.g., anxiety and depression) of patients and caregivers and developing interventions to address these issues
- Characterizing and enhancing adherence to VAD self-care (e.g., dressing changes, medication taking, lab and clinic attendance, etc.) after hospital discharge
- Reducing hospital length of stay during the index hospitalization and subsequent hospitalizations
- Reducing post discharge rates of hospitalization (e.g., 7-day, 30-day and 6-month)
- Characterizing quality of life (overall and by domain [e.g., physical, mental, and social]) before and after VAD implantation for all patients and caregivers, including by subgroups (e.g., demographics, AEs, etc)
- Characterizing and enhancing end of life VAD care and patient/caregiver outcomes, including use of palliative care services
- Understanding and reducing health care disparities and disparities regarding social determinants as they relate to VAD patient outcomes from referral to long term post- implant
- The Applicant must be a VAD Coordinator with at least 2 years’ experience in that role at an active VAD program, confirmed by a letter from the Program Director.
- The Applicant must be a member in good standing of ISHLT and ICCAC at the time of application and throughout the period of funding.
- The Applicant's research/quality improvement project mentor/supervisor must be a member in good standing of ISHLT at the time of application and throughout the period of funding.
- The research project must be conducted at an accredited medical university, hospital/clinic, or other medical institution.
- No grants will be made for projects that receive overlapping funding from other internal or external sources or that duplicate other projects already funded.
- The Grant Recipient and the recipient’s institution will be required to sign an agreement with ISHLT prior to receiving any portion of the funding.
- Research must begin between June 15 and December 31 of the award year.
- The funds must be used within one (1) year of the first installment disbursement date, unless an extension is approved by the ISHLT Grants and Awards Committee.
- The Grant Recipient must be mentored/supervised by a senior member of the VAD team.
- The Grant Recipient’s institution must agree that the funds will be expended for the purpose(s) described in the application, that there is no duplicate funding for these purposes, and that no portion of the grant will be used for indirect costs or institutional overheard.
- $2000 of the Grant is to be allocated for support to travel to and attend an ISHLT Annual Meeting taking place within 2 years after the grant is received.
- The results of funded research must be submitted in one of the following formats within eighteen (18) months of the first installment disbursement date:
- As a manuscript to The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation;
- As an abstract for the ISHLT Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions; or
- As a report for publication in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
- The results of funded research cannot be published or presented prior to publication in The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation or presentation at the ISHLT Annual Meeting.
- ISHLT and ICCAC must be acknowledged as a funding source in all manuscripts and presentations derived from the funded research via the following statement, "This work was supported by a research grant from the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and the International Consortium of Circulatory Assist Clinicians (ICCAC)". Copies of these presentation publications must be submitted to the ISHLT Headquarters office within one (1) month of presentation/publication.
- Funding will be awarded to the institution in three (3) portions. Fifty percent (50%) of the funding will be provided initially, with the remaining funding provided in two (2) twenty-five percent (25%) installments, with one installment paid at six (6) months after the date of initial funding AND upon receipt of an interim progress report, and with the final installment paid at the conclusion of the 1-year funding period AND after receipt of a Final Report. The additional installments of funding will not be made if the project is no longer being conducted at the original institution.
- The Final Report must include:
- A scientific summary of the project at the time of completion
- A lay (readability grade <12) summary of the project at the time of completion
- A summary of the findings/conclusions, if available
- A reconciled budget showing how the funds were expended
- A commitment to submit the project findings in one of the formats outlined in #8 above within 18 months of the initial date of funding
The ISHLT Grants and Awards Committee will receive, process, peer review (3 reviewers from ISHLT and 3 reviewers from ICCAC), and score all applications. The ISHLT Grants and Awards Committee will provide copies of the grant applications and the collated score sheets to all reviewers. The ISHLT Grants and Awards Committee and Representatives of ICCAC will meet via conference call to select one mutually agreed-upon grant recipient for that year. If projects submitted do not meet the scientific rigor of the peer review process, reviewers may elect to not award a grant during any particular year.
Current Grant Recipient
|Supported by Abbott and Medtronic
Thomas Schlöglhofer, MSc
Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Project: "Cold atmospheric plasma therapy for the treatment of driveline infections in patients with left ventricular assist devices"