Clinical Research Project Manager, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Nominator, Dr. Elena Stoffel: "Through her dedication and compassion, Erika has improved the lives of hundreds of patients and families who live under the cloud of genetic susceptibility to cancer."
Erika has worked in support of the clinical and research missions of the UM Cancer Genetics Clinic since 2012, when she joined our team immediately after completing her Master’s Degree in Environmental Health at the UM School of Public Health. Through her dedication and compassion, she has improved the lives of hundreds of patients and families who live under the cloud of genetic susceptibility to cancer.
Her title of Program Manager for Research does not do justice to her diverse scope of responsibilities which include not only coordination and data management of three multicenter randomized clinical trials in cancer prevention, but also her role as our liaison to the Cancer Genomics Branch of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Through her own initiative, on behalf of our patients and families, she established Michigan's first Support Group for Patients and Families with Hereditary Colorectal Cancer and has directed these monthly meetings for over three years.
Erika has presented our team's work at national academic meetings and earned recognition from MD Anderson and Mayo Clinic for her excellence in clinical trial coordination. Most importantly, however, our Michigan Medicine patients recognize her as the coordinator of the UM Cancer Genetics Registry, which follows more than 6,000 subjects. Erika's academic excellence and dedication to our patients are shining examples of the Michigan Difference and we are fortunate to have her as part of our team.
There are many examples of Erika's leadership, as she has developed a novel (and complex) role for herself with an impressive array of responsibilities that span research management, patient care coordination, data analysis, and support of our diverse academic team. A few examples of her leadership include:
- Founder and Coordinator of the monthly Michigan Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Support Group for Patients and Families.
- Project Manager for Research in Clinical Cancer Genetics where she coordinates clinical research projects and scientific abstract submissions for the UM Cancer Genetics Clinical program.
- Liaison to the Cancer Genomics Branch of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
- Point of contact for undergraduate and graduate trainees from diverse programs including Genetic Counseling, Gastroenterology, Hematology/Oncology, and Endocrinology.
Erika is often the first point of contact that patients have with the UM Cancer Genetics Clinic. As project manager for research for several clinical trials, she is listed on ClinicalTrials.gov and receives calls from patients throughout the U.S. Furthermore, she is the point of contact for Michigan Medicine for Cancer Genomics of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. As the coordinator of our UM Cancer Genetics Registry of more than 6,000 subjects, patients often reach out to her for help as they try to navigate the often complex Michigan Medicine system of phone trees. Erika has made herself accessible 24/7 to patients in our clinical trials and continues to go above and beyond to ensure our patients and families get the care they need.
Erika coordinates the quality improvement initiatives of the UM Cancer Genetics Clinic which includes maintaining databases that track genetic testing results and running queries to ensure that all genetic test results have been disclosed to patients. As our clinical team has expanded from three to eight genetic counselors, she has worked with various Department of Internal Medicine quality improvement initiatives (scheduling, informatics, MiChart support) to develop better ways to identify patients who would benefit from clinical genetics evaluations.