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96th Medical Group Holds Research Symposium


The 96th Medical Group Research Department held its Second Annual Research Symposium on June 9, 2023, at the University of Florida Research Engineering & Education Facility (REEF). The theme “Power of Inquiry” was reflected throughout the poster presentations and interactive sessions. The symposium aligned with military readiness goals and the REEF education and research mission.

Speakers including Maj Gen (ret.) Joseph Caravalho, M.D., Maj Stephanie Fulleborn, Lt Col Katie Burtson, and Maj Enesha Hicks engaged participants on topics such as Military Medical Research and Quality Improvement (QI) Projects to Optimizing a Presentation and How to Start an Evidence-Based Practice Project.


The Military Medical Research presentation covered the history of medical operations in the Armed Services. It also connected the National Defense Authorization Act to the evolution of healthcare delivery in the Department of Defense. Dr. Caravalho emphasized the importance of remaining “clinically interchangeable” and prioritizing the role of being an officer.


Maj Fulleborn facilitated a presentation on developing tactics for effective patient safety reporting, continuous process, and performance improvement during her interactive session on Quality Improvement (QI) Projects. Lt Col Burtson invigorated attendees by providing strategies to effectively structure and present stellar presentations during her sessions, including Optimizing a Presentation.


Maj Hicks’ Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) presentation delineated the steps to executing an EBP project or initiative beginning with clinical inquiry. Attendees were familiarized with the problem-solving approach integrating best evidence, clinician expertise, and patient preferences/values. Participants enhanced their knowledge of the significance of EBP and versatile environments (e.g., academic to austere locations) in which it should be implemented. The audience was able to align EBP with the principles and policies of high-reliability organizations to minimize variation in clinical practice and patient risk. Maj Hicks was identified to speak by the TriService Nursing Research Program.

Presenters showcased interdisciplinary research and EBP innovation in nursing, dentistry, and medicine followed by an award presentation for top posters. Presentations were categorized as:

  • Clinical Investigation: Academic healthcare delivery, clinical trials, or process improvement projects

  • Educational Research: Scholarly interventions

  • Case Report(s): Presentation of rare disease(s) or novel diagnosis/treatment

Posters were judged before the event and the 10 highest scoring posters were accepted for five-minute presentations followed by two minutes for questions during the symposium based on:

  • Relevance to improving patient-centered outcomes

  • Originality or innovation of a project, research, or case

  • Project description/goals

  • Evidence-based content

  • Validity of conclusions

  • Impact on future work

Presentation criteria were focused on each presenter’s delivery, familiarity, results, and response to questions.


Attendees gained tools to make sound clinical decisions and improve healthcare delivery as well as improve patient outcomes and staff satisfaction. Attendees were challenged to cultivate critical thinking skills and prepared to translate research into practice from a readiness perspective.

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