eClinical Viewpoint Blog

SCDM Preview: Sneak Peek of our Panel Discussions

For data managers in the clinical trial industry, nothing compares to the Society for Clinical Data Management's annual conference (SCDM 2018) — hosted Sept. 23-26 in Seattle, Washington. As "the world's largest international educational event for clinical data managers and other related professionals," it boasts more than 70 functions, 700 participants, 70 speakers, and 300 organizations over the 3-day conference.

As an e-clinical solutions provider, our team looks forward this conference each year. This year, we’re particularly excited. Not only will we be sponsoring and exhibiting (Booth #200), but Kelly Ritch, vice president of strategic partnerships at MedNet Solutions, will present in three panel discussions.

Here's a sneak peek into her topics of discussion.

Session 13 – "Don't You (Forget About Me)," The Breakfast Club... of Data Management

This is an interactive session featuring professionals with different backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. Each panelist brings their own perspective of data management and will encourage audience engagement as they discuss how we can work toward enhancing data management roles.

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25

Location: Not published yet. Find the Program Overview here!

Session Chair: Kate Solomon, CCDM, lead data manager for PRA Health Sciences


  • Cecilia Calcagno, PRA Health Sciences, will discuss data from both sides of the screen and her path from study coordinator to data manager.
  • Kelly Ritch, MS, MBA, MedNet Solutions, will talk about maximizing data management careers through sharing and discussion.
  • Kimberly Rivera, BA, Pfizer, will discuss how data management is changing.

Session 17 – Training the Past, Present and Next Generation of Clinical Data Managers

Data management is ever-changing, so how do you stay up-to-date on the evolving role of data managers? Unfortunately, training, opportunities, and resources are growing more limited each year, and research budgets are smaller and smaller. This results in data managers who lack the skill set to complete a study from start to database, leaving companies to outsource certain data management tasks.

In this session, panelists will explore ways to create proactive data management and achieve the SCDM core competencies. They will review different tools and resources traditionally used in the industry and discuss how those are changing to meet wider research environments.

Time: 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 25

Location: Regency Ballroom A-D, second floor

Session Chair: Maxine Pestronk, MS, RD, LDN, CCDM, founder of P4CDM


  • Suzi Saroukhanians, MS, Gilead Sciences
  • Kelly Ritch, MS, MBA, MedNet Solutions
  • Lizabeth Armas, PRA Health Sciences
  • Alessandra Marick, BA, MS, Verily Life Sciences
  • Greer McBeth, BS, Verily Life Sciences

Session 22 – Single Source of Truth, Integrations or IOT (Internet of Things)

As you can imagine, the fast-paced growth of technology and increasing complexity of clinical research means the innovation of data management is changing quickly. Systems like eSource, mHealth, RBM, IRT, CTMS, and Data Warehouse are capturing most of the data that is traditionally captured by EDC systems, and the disparate systems and processes are making studies more complex rather than making them simpler. Unfortunately, attempts to solve this issue are not working.

The panel will discuss these challenges and what's being done about them. Some of the questions raised include:

  • Is a "single source of truth" for clinical data the way forward? Is it really possible?
  • What are the current challenges with integrations between clinical research products and systems?
  • What are the best practices to make integrations work better?

Time: 3:30 p.m to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25

Location: Regency Ballroom E-G, second floor

Session Chair: Joby John, BA, senior director of eHealth Operations for Bioclinica


  • Mayank Anan, MS, Syneos Health
  • Kelly Ritch, MS, MBA, MedNet Solutions
  • Nick Neri, BS, ERT
  • Jennifer Price, Paidion Research

We always look forward to SCDM, but this year, we’re particularly excited to be part of these important discussions.  Enhancing the profession of data management and supporting innovation in clinical trials are topics critical to the industry and particularly aligned with our goals and roadmap.  

Please stop by one or all of our sessions - we’d love to have you join the discussion.  And don't forget to visit us at Booth #200. We hope to see you there!

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