Kerri Zaine is all ready to zip around town to visit participants enrolled in the Biomarker Program in Advanced Heart Failure at the PROOF Centre

Kerri Zaine joined the PROOF Centre in May 2011 as a research assistant for the Advanced Heart Failure program. Kerri tells us more about herself and her unique role In this quick Q & A session with us.

1) Tell us about your role as the ‘Coordinator on Wheels’ at the PROOF Centre?

I mainly work with study participants who are enrolled in the Biomarker Program in Advanced Heart Failure at the PROOF Centre. The participants have to wear a Holter monitor which is a portable device that continuously records the heart’s rhythms. Participants have to wear the Holter for two weeks to measure their heart activity. Unfortunately, the Holter can only hold recorded data for up to two days. My job is to visit the participants every two days to download the data from their monitors so that they can continue wearing it for the duration of their participation, and to make sure that the data is safely transferred to our labs. I am also responsible for ensuring that the monitor is being put back on correctly after the data transfer. At the same time, I work towards creating an experience that is as comfortable and as convenient as possible for the participants.

2) What were you doing before PROOF?

I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Geography from the University of British Columbia in 2008, after which I worked for a private planning consulting firm for about three years and also did some traveling.

3) What do you like most about your current role?

I love visiting the study participants! They are such nice people who are easy to work with. Most of them are living with advanced heart failure, yet still manage to be incredibly positive and upbeat. After visiting them every two days, you build a relationship and it is sometimes sad for me to be ending my routine visits and for them to have me stop coming by! It is also rewarding to cross milestones with participants who were initially reluctant to get involved in the study, but who eventually complete the two weeks of wearing the Holter monitor. We truly value their support and participation in our research to help improve patient care!

In the bigger scheme of things, I find it meaningful to be part of the PROOF Centre team who are working towards finding solutions for improving patient care. The prospect of identifying biomarkers that will guide management for patients with advanced heart failure is truly gratifying.

4) What is in your ‘Coordinator on Wheels’ kitbag?

• The Patient Information binder which contains the personal details of the patients I am visiting, as well as the notes I take during my visits.

• Data transfer cards and controller. I use the controller to transfer the recorded data from the Holter monitor onto the cards. I then take the cards back to the lab and hand them over to the research technicians.

• Tape, gauze and alcohol. Alcohol is used to clean the participants’ skin that comes into contact with the electrodes. I then use tape and gauze to secure the electrodes onto the participant’s body.

• Cleaning supplies such as wet wipes to disinfect the equipment.

• Writing materials to take notes with, in case the participant reports unusual activities.

• My day planner which I use to schedule my visits.

• An extra Holter monitor and extra belts.