Michala brought her clinical research background to GDIT to help advance the work of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. This work directly impacts Michala’s family too. With a father who served in the U.S. Marine Corp, Michala uses what she’s learned at GDIT to impact her family’s veteran care.
“I came to GDIT thinking I wouldn’t be able to keep up. But once I got into my role, I found that everyone is here to support you. Everyone is here to guide you and answer your questions. They want you to be the best you can and will supply you with all the tools and resources you need.”
Helping improve veteran care. My team owns it.
Hundreds of thousands of military members are affected annually by traumatic brain injury. We are trying to improve the care provided to these service members. We currently work with 22 military and veteran sites around the country to orchestrate their research portfolios.
I’m responsible for moving proposals and new clinical trial studies through the pipeline to get them approved by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. I see the beginning stages and help amend studies to make sure we’re capturing the outcome measures that give us a better understanding of the impact the care is having on service members, their families, and their caregivers.
Improving her family’s care.
My father was a Marine and we’re not sure if he was affected directly, but the effects of traumatic brain injury aren’t always seen until later in life. I feel like the experience and knowledge I’ve gained at GDIT has helped me impact his veteran care in a different way.
Seeing the work in action.
I recently visited a rehabilitation center for service members affected by traumatic brain injury. It was really helpful to meet everyone on the ground, including the coordinators and principal investigators who are working on the studies every day. We spent time reviewing their studies, understanding the challenges they face at their site, and talking through new studies they are considering. The most impactful part of the day was touring the entire facility to see how the doctors are using their specialties in providing therapies for service members.
Caring for the community.
GDIT has a program called GDIT Cares, where we volunteer to help with certain services in our communities. This year, I was the captain of the school supply drive in our location. Our GDIT employees were able to collectively donate almost 3,000 items to students and teachers at Title I schools in our area.
My four year old son came with me to deliver the school supplies. The atmosphere was like a block party. The students were so excited. They got a backpack and could fill it with different items. The appreciation we received from the staff, students, and parents was really rewarding and it was fun to have my son with me to see how excited he was to help.