Susan Delano: Honoring a visionary involved in the creation of the CIP® credential

At the 2012 Advancing Ethical Research Conference, PRIM&R was honored to present the 2012 Applied Research Ethics National Association (ARENA) Legacy Award to Susan J. Delano, CIP. The ARENA Legacy Award, which was established in 2006 to recognize a PRIM&R member who has made an exemplary contribution to the organization’s mission and goals, fits the 2012 recipient perfectly.

Since she first became involved in research ethics in 1980, Susan has remained committed to the field through mentoring, teaching, and leadership. As the membership division of PRIM&R from 1986 to 2005, ARENA strove to encourage the professional advancement of individuals working in the field of subject protections. And, from the beginning of her career, Susan has upheld those same objectives. She made it a personal goal to ensure a high level of professionalism and education among those charged with protecting human subjects in the hope that, by placing high demands on institutional review board (IRB) professionals, the research enterprise they oversee would ultimately become more ethical. We here at PRIM&R believe that Susan has done this, and much more, during her tenure in the field of research ethics.

Susan began her career in 1980 when she was hired as the IRB staff person at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She would later join the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc. (RFMH), a not-for-profit organization affiliated with the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene located in Albany, NY. Today, Susan remains the deputy managing director of RFMH, a position she has held since 2001.

In 1999, Susan received an email inviting her to participate in a series of meetings. Those meetings, which she gladly attended, ultimately led to the creation of the Certified IRB Professional (CIP®) credential. After working as a pivotal member of the group that established and cultivated the growth of the CIP program, Susan served as a chair of the CIP Council from 2005 until her term ended in December of 2011. To this day she remains an active member of the PRIM&R family, as she frequently presents at PRIM&R meetings on a wide range of topics including the CIP program, issues relating to vulnerable populations, including those who are decisionally impaired, and informed consent.

Like this award, Susan has honored the living legacy fostered by PRIM&R’s former membership division. With virtually no mention of her own work, she graciously accepted the award with appreciation for others who both share and contributed to her successes. Susan, who has been a PRIM&R member for more than 18 years, also generously thanked ARENA for facilitating her relationships with many others in the field. PRIM&R is very grateful that she accepted the challenge when presented with a 1999 email from fellow CIP-creators whose subject heading was “An offer you cannot refuse.”

Enjoy the presentation of the 2012 ARENA Legacy Award to Susan below: