Spring Newsletter 

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Message from CEO Mike Hindery

Dear Colleagues,
Thank you for taking time to read this newsletter and learn about what is happening at PAVIR. I hope this newsletter finds your family and you are safe and healthy.
We continue to persevere through a difficult time, yet with spring – and vaccinations -- comes renewed hopefulness. Pay attention to people, times, places and be flexible and courageous in your work and life. Our extraordinary times are calling forth daily acts of courage and flexibility, large and small, as we continuously adapt to unforeseeable changes. We will all get through this together. 

FY21 Performance
With continued uncertainty in the world, our year-to-date revenue is less than budgeted and less than in FY20; I assume that this is related to PIs being cautious as they shepherd their awards. While understandable, we need direct program spending to generate the indirect revenue that funds PAVIR administration, the quarterly distributions to PI ADM accounts, and support for core facilities like the VMU and FACS facility. To align our revenue and expenses, we are postponing the March 1, 2021 merit increases for the administrative staff in our office and we are requiring they use their FY21 earned vacation and not bank it for future use. As I wrote in a February 18, 2021 email to PIs and others, I urge PIs to spend more of your budgeted and awarded funds so that PAVIR can continue to serve you in an optimal way.

FY20 Financial Audit
We have extremely successfully completed our FY20 financial audit conducted by our external auditors BPM; we received a clean, unmodified audit report, with no findings or recommendations, no fraud or violations, and no internal control deficiencies. The excellent outcome is a result of thorough and compliant work throughout the year, not just at audit time, by all staff – a shout-out to our high performing administrative staff.

Retirement Plan Audit
PAVIR offers a generous retirement plan benefit to our employees, and it is an important element of each employee’s total compensation package. Each year we have an external compliance testing of our Retirement Plan, and we have recently successfully completed our CY20 compliance testing with no findings or recommendations. You can be confident that we are managing our $31 million retirement plan appropriately and effectively.   

In this newsletter, we are excited to share news about new employees and recent sponsored research awards as well as programs to improve our work environment.  With your engagement and strong work, we will continue to be a voice for learning and research and a site where our basic and health services research as well as clinical trials make a difference -- for Veterans, in our country and around the world.

I hope you enjoy reading about PAVIR’s news and some of the remarkable activities that make PAVIR a vibrant community. As always, I want to thank you for your ongoing partnership and support of PAVIR.

Please let me know if have any questions or comments. Please remember in these times that optimism, generosity, and understanding are highly contagious. We just need to share these values through social distancing. 

Please remember to have patience with yourself and with others.

Remember: Wash your hands, social distance (6 feet), stay positive and wear a mask!  We are in this together, and together we will get through this. 

"Our extraordinary times are calling forth daily acts of courage and flexibility, large and small, as we continuously adapt to unforeseeable changes."
VAPAHCS Medical Director Named
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently named Lisa Howard as Medical Center Director for VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in Palo Alto, California. In her new role, Ms. Howard will oversee a $1.1 billion annual operating budget and lead over 7,000 staff and volunteers. In addition to her appointment to the medical center, her statutory responsibilities include service on the PAVIR board of directors.

  Recognizing New Leaders in Service to PAVIR  
The PAVIR Board of Directors consists of 13 of your colleagues who volunteer their time to serve as PAVIR’s financial stewards and to ensure that PAVIR meets the needs of the research community. By Congressional regulations, the Board consists of the VAPAHCS Director, Chief of Staff, Associate Chief of Staff – Research, and Associate Chief of Staff – Education. In addition, the Board must have two community members (Statutory Non-Federal Directors). Earlier this month, the Board welcomed three new members: Lisa Howard as VAPAHCS Director; Michael Kozal as Chief of Staff; and Meghan Kemnec as a Statutory Non-Federal Director. Meghan is a Navy Veteran, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a Naturopathic Doctor with a medical practice in Portola Valley and Palo Alto who was recommended for the Board by Julie Weitlauf. We are delighted to welcome Lisa, Mike and Meghan to the PAVIR Board and are excited to work with them.

Grant Submissions - Spring Deadlines
 PAVIR’s Pre-Award team is preparing for the June 5 NIH proposal submission date. To get on our calendars, please notify us by sending a link to or attachment of your program announcement to PreAward@pavir.org as early as possible so that we may plan for adequate resources to assist you.
Your earliest notifications of intention to submit best position your proposal for a smooth submission.  For the June 5th NIH deadline, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you by Friday, 4/16/21.
Please be reminded of PAVIR’s 5-business day before deadline due date to submit your final documents, as we will not guarantee administration of an award for which PAVIR has not been given adequate time to review for regulatory and institutional compliance.  Consider the following in your grant writing plans:
  • PAVIR requires an internal budget for every submission.  A PAVIR C&G Administrator (CGA) will develop this with you to assure your plans can be administered as proposed.  To submit a final budget justification on time, connect with PreAward well in advance of internal deadline. 
  • If your submission involves collaborators at other institutions, e.g. subawards, PAVIR requires additional time to collect and review relevant materials.  Each case will differ and needs to be discussed with a PAVIR CGA to outline how much additional time is needed. 
  • If you will be a collaborator on another PI’s proposal, i.e. subrecipient PI, the 5-business day deadline applies to the due date given to PAVIR by the Prime Awardee’s institution.  
 As your authorized institutional officials, PAVIR does not guarantee the submission of last-minute or late proposals.  This is not only to review for regulatory and institutional compliance and ensure an error-free submission, but also out of respect to other PIs who have been in queue adhering to internal deadlines working with limited PAVIR staff resources.  Thank you for your understanding.  We look forward to submitting your exciting research!
NAVREF Honors Excellence
The National Association of Veterans’ Research and Education Foundations (NAVREF) awarded the coveted Board of Directors Award to Elaine Staats, PAVIR Director of Sponsored Research. 
Ms. Staats manages complex relationships in a steady, calm, engaging and resourceful manner and has deservedly earned the confidence and respect of her colleagues in each of these institutions and offices. -  NAVREF Award Committee
Ms. Staats took home the award for her comprehensive leadership and management of PAVIR's extensive sponsored research program. She has supervised the growth of PAVIR's research program to more than $30 million annually through effective collaboration with her local Chief of Staff and Research offices and with VA Central Office’s R&D Service, General Counsel and CRADA offices; she is also PAVIR's principal liaison with Stanford University, responsible for compliance with the affiliation agreement.   She is widely regarded as an expert in her field and routinely advises other NPC and VA personnel on all things related to sponsored research.

Recent Awards
Marylene Cloitre, Ph.D., M.A. Trauma-Focused Care in LGBTQ+ Communities: Building Capacity for Research PCORI          $250,000
William F. Fearon, M.D. FUSION Validation of OCT-based FUnctional diagnosis of coronary stenosis (FUSION) Abbott Vascular, Inc.             $30,985
Paige Fox, M.D., Ph.D. Bioscaffolds for Enhanced Wound Healing Plastic Surgery Foundation           $300,000
Mark Holodniy, M.D. Validation and Utilization of a Novel Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load Assay SynaVir, Inc.             $40,000
T. Kyle Harrison, M.D. Impact of a Behavioral Tele-health Program (Lucid Lane) on the Quality of Recovery for Patients Undergoing Total Joint Replacement Surgery Lucid Lane, Inc.             $94,546
Ngan Huang, Ph.D. iPSC-Derived Smooth Muscle Progenitors in Elastin Hydrogels for Treating Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm American Heart Association           $200,000
Ngan Huang, Ph.D. Substrate Stiffness Modulates Endothelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition American Heart Association           $200,000
Sirish Kishore, M.D. Comparison of Early Venous Stenting versus Conservative Therapy in the Management of Lower Extremity Lymphedema Secondary to Non-thrombotic Malignant Venous Obstruction Boston Scientific Corporation             $91,689
Timothy Meyer, M.D. Tablo System Study Outset Medical, Inc.             $18,833
Minal Vasanawala, M.D. A Multi-center Randomized, Controlled Phase 2 Study: Efficacy and Safety of I-131-1095 Radiotherapy in Combination with Enzalutamide in Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer (mCRPC) in Patients who are 18F-DCFPyL Prostate Specfic Membrane Antigen (PSMA)-Avid, Chemotherapy-Naive, and Progressed on Abiraterone (ARROW) Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc.           $402,300
Sherry Wren, M.D. Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2 Trial to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of TU-100 as an Adjunct to an Enhanced Recovery after Surgery (ERAS) Protocol in Subjects Undergoing Bowel Resection Tsumura USA           105,693
Spoofed Email    
We are aware that some PAVIR employees have received emails that say they are from Michael Hindery, but they are not.  This is what’s called Email Spoofing.  The ones we’ve seen lately have Mike’s name, but the email address is clearly not his.  Unfortunately, people can put any name they want on their outgoing email and there’s nothing we can do about it. Whenever you receive an email asking you to take some action, give it some scrutiny.  Often spammers will make it look like it is from Office 365 asking you to click on something. Frequently there are misspellings, or bad use of the English language.  If you’re not sure and want a second opinion, do not just hit the Forward button.  That leaves the email as active and could do harm to the system of the person to whom you’re sending it.  You can either take a snippet and paste it in an email, or you can forward the email as an attachment to Support@Lanlogic.com to ask for help.  If it’s clearly spam there is no need to let us know.
HR Update
  • Wellness: A sweet and healthy treat arrived in the mail for PAVIR employees earlier this year - thanks to Anthem for sponsoring the delicious Dandelion dark chocolate!
Employee Referral portal: We launched an Employee Referral Portal and encourage everyone to spread the word about PAVIR’s job openings on social platforms to earn referral bonuses and win prizes!

Referral bonuses are $100 and may be higher for difficult to fill positions. There will be referral contests with prizes for “most job views” and “most applies”. Login to the Referral Portal at https://pavir.applicantpro.com/employees/ and share your unique link broadly online or with a specific candidate. The more candidates who view, apply, or are hired because of your link, the better your chances of receiving a bonus or prize!
Several of our busy and high-performing research labs are hiring Life Sciences and Clinical Research Assistants. We are also looking for a Data Analyst, Post-Award Grants Analyst, and Clinical Research Coordinators. Details on our Careers site. Send us your referrals!
  • “Like” and “Follow” PAVIR on LinkedIn and Facebook! We are happy to welcome 50 new followers of our online community on Facebook and 43 new followers on LinkedIn! Your participation helps PAVIR maintain strong and exciting online presence, which helps us attract and hire top talent!
New Staff – New PAVIR Employees for 1st Quarter
Welcome to PAVIR!  We are happy to have you on board! 

Cohee, Nicole Post Award Sr Analyst 2/01/21
Hadieba, Husein LS Research Associate II 2/01/21
Gautam, Pallavi CR Research Coordinator I 2/24/21
Chen, Gui LS Research Assistant II 2/16/21
Kothari, Mitra CR Clinical Research Coordinator I 2/16/21
Sands, Margaret CR Technical Writer I 3/01/21
  • Tax Day is Thursday, April 15th: You should have received your W-2 for calendar year 2020 in the mail. If you would like to view an electronic copy, please log onto ADP and go to Myself > Pay > Annual Statements. Please contact payroll@pavir.org if you have any questions.
  • FSA COVID Flexibility: As part of the COVID-19 relief efforts there is significant flexibility for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plans. Please note this relief is temporary and currently not expected to continue beyond the 2021 Plan Year. For additional information on any of the provisions below, please contact hr@pavir.org.
             - Increased & Expanded Rollover Provisions
              - Mid-Year Election Change
              - Dependent Care FSA Age Limit Changes
Last month we wrapped up the Diversity & Inclusion Training series, built to inspire positive change and promote a respectful culture. Diversity and inclusion are core values we want to actively support within PAVIR. We thank everyone who took the time to watch the three videos and learned practical steps to choose inclusive actions and improve cultural competency.

In the last newsletter we introduced to you that PAVIR will be implementing Streamlyne cloud-based Research Administration software.  We have been working this Winter on system configuration and data migration.  We are now in the home stretch with a target Go-Live date of May 21, 2021. While the changes will largely impact administrative office staff, PIs and/or their delegates will experience some change and will be asked to log into the system to utilize the platform.  Some features will streamline existing processes.  For example, PIs will soon use Streamlyne to record Certifications and Assurances for each proposal submission instead of exchanging PDFs through email.  Also, instead of exchanging PDFs with PAVIR staff on an annual basis per project, PIs will use Streamlyne to complete an initial profile of existing relationships with financial entities.  Afterward, Financial Conflict of Interest disclosures will be collected on an annual basis or whenever there are changes.  PIs and delegates will also have one place where all notices of award are stored.  We look forward to sharing these efficiencies with you.  Detailed information will be forthcoming.

PAVIR Policy Updates

Please visit PAVIR Policies to read any of our policies with special attention to those which have recently been updated:
  • Acquisition of Goods & Services – This policy has had a major overhaul to reflect current regulations.
  • Electronic and Communication Devices & Services – Updated to add services available at PAVIR's pricing (see Data & Technology Resources Available below)
  • Payments to Research Subjects – Now reflects the use of ClinCards
  • Travel – Minor update to local travel
Data & Technology Resources Available
PAVIR is pleased to be able to offer to PIs, at PAVIR's pricing, some of the items the employees in our administrative office use.  The highlights of what we are offering are:
  •  Desktop version of Office 365
  •  Zoom Meeting licenses
  •  Zoom Phone
  •  Hotspots
In the Electronic and Communication Devices & Services policy there is a link to a supplemental document with pricing, considerations and alternatives.  As mentioned in the November newsletter, this policy also now includes the ability for employees to request an allowance for the use of mobile phones, home internet or both.
Going to VAPAHCS?  Here are some tips:
The screeners are very appreciative of those presenting both a badge and the COVID-19 screening tool on your mobile phone upon arrival.  The tool does not require a download or login, nor does it collect any personal information.  Check it out!  It has a series of screening questions which lead to a page showing you are “OK to proceed.”  Note that the tool must be completed within the 30 minutes prior to your arrival, so if you are driving you may need to pull over to complete it. 
Navigate to: COVID-19 screening tool | Veterans Affairs (va.gov).
After screening, just for a change, try taking a right turn.  Why?  Because you can!  Loop Road is once again a loop!  See how much the trees in the healing garden (across from the Defenders Lodge) have grown in the many years that the road has been closed.  You will also get a great view of Building 710, the new research building slated for occupancy beginning in May.
Care to Share? Forward to friends and colleagues! Care to Share? Forward to friends and colleagues!
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Copyright © 2021   PAVIR   All rights reserved.

PAVIR is proud to be a member of the National Association of Veterans Research & Education Foundations (NAVREF).

Our address is:
Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR)
3801 Miranda Ave.
Bldg. 101, Suite A2-210
P.O. Box V-38

Palo Alto, CA 94304-0038

Core Office: 650-239-8200
For more information
contact us at: info@pavir.org or
visit us at www.pavir.org
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box V-38
Palo Alto, CA 94304-0038
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