Karen Hale Honored for Service at AER15

ARENA Legacy Award Winner Karen HaleAt November’s 2015 Advancing Ethical Research Conference (AER15), PRIM&R recognized the substantial achievements and contributions of longtime PRIM&R member, Karen Hale, RPh, MPH, CIP.

Karen is the recipient of the 2015 Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA) Legacy Award (ALA). The ALA was developed to honor not only the chosen individual, but also to honor the living legacy created by ARENA, which was the membership division of PRIM&R from 1986 to 2006. The ALA is intended to honor individuals who both embody and consistently foster professional leadership, education, and mentoring. Ms. Hale has been involved with PRIM&R for many years, having been a go-to faculty member over the years, leading both pre-conference programs and breakout sessions at nine PRIM&R conferences. In addition, she has served in numerous conference planning roles for PRIM&R, including co-chair of the Core Conference Planning Committee for the 2008 AER Conference, and co-chair of the Workshop Didactic Subcommittee in 2007.

Ms. Hale serves as the director of the Office of Responsible Research Practices and clinical assistant professor at The Ohio State University (OSU). In addition to the time she dedicates to PRIM&R, Ms. Hale is a member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (SACHRP) Subcommittee on Harmonization for the US Department of Health and Human Services, and serves as a consultant for the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP).

Elisa Hurley presents Karen Hale with the 2015 ARENA Legacy Award

In presenting the award, PRIM&R’s Executive Director, Elisa A. Hurley, PhD, spoke to Ms. Hale’s many accomplishments and included reflections from those who have the privilege of working with and teaching with Karen.

From Daniel Nelson of the Environmental Protection Agency and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a 2013 recipient of the ALA: “I have been fortunate to work with Karen in many settings over the past 10 to 15 years. Regardless of the setting or task, Karen is goal-oriented, collegial, and collaborative, with a keen eye for both detail and common sense…Simply put, Karen Hale is a good producer and an even better person.”

From Susie Hoffman of the University of Virginia, a 2014 recipient of the ALA: “Karen Hale’s name is synonymous with education in human subjects research protections. She humbly and willingly shares her vast knowledge not only with those who are new to the field, but with those with whom she teaches. Her unassuming demeanor and constant smile and laughter put others at ease, allowing them to soak up the information she shares.”

From Elyse Summers of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs (AAHRPP): “During my many years at OHRP and now AAHRPP, it has always been a pleasure and an honor to work with Karen particularly in teaching and learning environments because, just like a Jim Harbaugh coached football team, she always brings her A-game. A keen intellect, demonstrated integrity, unwavering passion, and gentle humor combine with the rare talent to communicate complicated ideas to listeners of varying experience in a respectful, caring manner, which is after all what PRIM&R is all about.”

In accepting her award, Ms. Hale thanked her staff at OSU and family, as well as the attendees of AER15: “I cannot imagine another professional community so dedicated and caring and willing to share all of its expertise and creativity with others. My first PRIM&R meeting…was at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel where I stood at the back of the conference room absolutely petrified that I would not be able to learn this and I would never know everything there is to know. Now I’m here today at the front of the room, but still learning and receiving this very cherished award…That means two things are true: one is that all of you too can move from the back of the room to the front of the room, and I think I am proof that an old dog can learn new tricks.”

PRIM&R thanks Ms. Hale for her leadership and her commitment to PRIM&R and the human subjects protections community.