Clinical Trials

Clinical Research Trials Team

Sara Planton

Sara Planton, RN, BSN, CCRC

Director, Clinical Research Trials

Sara has 28 years of nursing experience, including care of the patient at the bedside, during procedures and through clinical trials research. She has accumulated 10 years of management experience in the cardiac catheterization laboratory and in clinical research. She is committed to the advancement of technology and health care through research participation.

Lisa Klement

Lisa Klement

Administrative Assistant Senior

Lisa Klement provides administrative support to the directors of Investigator-Initiated Research/Sponsored Programs Office and Clinical Trials. She has been an administrative professional for 12 years with Aurora Health Care in a variety of roles, including positions in the departments of Human Resources, Quality Management and Nursing Administration.

Wendy Schmidt

Wendy Schmidt, RN, CCRC

Manager, Clinical Research Trials

Wendy has 30 years of nursing experience, specializing in cardiac care, with 17 years of clinical trials experience. She is a certified research coordinator through Association of Clinical Research Professionals and was the recipient of the Aurora Research Service Award in 2010. She has been involved in multiple drug and device trials with specialty areas in carotid stenting, and more recently, the transcatheter aortic-valve implantation program. She currently manages a team that supports cardiovascular, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, peripheral vascular, electrophysiology and gastrointestinal research trials.

Carol Tutino

Carol Tutino, BSN, MS, CCRC

Manager, Clinical Research Trials

Carol has almost 30 years of nursing experience, all at Aurora Health Care, with 21 in clinical trials. Her clinical expertise is in oncology. She received a Diploma in Nursing from Deaconess Hospital-School of Nursing in 1986, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marquette University in 2001 and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian University in 2003. She was one of the first people hired in 2000 for Aurora’s newly developed Department of Clinical Research. Prior to that, she was a research nurse coordinator working both in the oncology and gastrointestinal (GI) areas. She started the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group program at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center, which brought clinical trials to radiation oncology and she developed and coordinated the weekly GI Case Conference. Currently, Carol is developing the neuroscience research program and also manages GI, women’s health, orthopedic, asthma and radiology research staff.

Jan Debartolo

Jan DeBartolo, RN, MSN, OCN, CCRP

Manager, Clinical Research Trials

Jan has 30 years of experience in oncology nursing, from bedside to clinical research. Her Bachelor of Science in Nursing was obtained through the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh and her master’s degree, with a focus in Leadership and Management, is from Walden University. For the past 14 years, she has focused on initiating and growing clinical trials programs for oncology. She remains dedicated to improving the lives of those diagnosed with cancer through the promotion of clinical research trials.

Annette Paul

Annette Paul

Manager, Aurora BayCare Medical Center Clinical Research Trials

Annette’s experiences in type 1 translational research began at the bench with eight years of research and development in molecular biology and new technologies at Abbott Laboratories, University of Illinois Medical School and Northwestern University Dental School. Her skill in clinical trials research was mastered at Stroger Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, where she served as principal clinical research associate in breast cancer studies with underserved women. She enrolled in her first trial as a subject while serving as a volunteer manager at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Annette understands type 2 translational research at the “curbside” via her role as director of health systems for the American Cancer Society and other public health roles in tobacco control. She also taught science and health for 10 years in the Chicago area.

Ruth Moroz

Ruth Moroz, CAP-OM

Administrative Assistant

Ruth has been an administrative professional for more than 20 years with a background in health insurance and the pharmaceutical industry. She obtained certified administrative professional and organizational management certifications through International Association of Administrative Professionals. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver for more than seven years and enjoys supporting clinical trials management and their teams.

Patti Allard

Patti Allard

Research Compliance Specialist

Patti brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her 30+ years in health care, more than 10of those years in clinical research. Specifically, Patti is responsible for collaborating with various institutional review boards to protect the safety and rights of people who participate on oncology research studies. It is the right of every research participant to remain informed of any new information or changes to the study they are participating in, especially if that new information may affect their health or their willingness to continue in the study. Patti’s focus is on providing accurate, current information to patients in an understandable format.

Gregory Anderson

Gregory S. Anderson, BA, MHA, CCRC

Research Compliance Specialist

Gregory received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ripon College and began his career in research at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) in a lab focused on photodynamic therapy hematologic diseases. He transitioned to human subjects research as a clinical research coordinator for Froedtert Hospital's “Hem/Onc - BMT” program. He was then recruited to pediatrics and advanced into clinical research management at MCW. In 2007, he obtained a master’s degree from the University of Phoenix and joined Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (CHW) as manager of research integrity with oversight of the CHW Institutional Review Board office, where he stayed until the summer of 2012. He now supports oncology research at Aurora Health Care.

Michelle Bennett

Michelle Bennett, RN

Clinical Research Coordinator

Michelle joined the Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in March of 2013as a research coordinator. She has 20 years of nursing experience, specializing in cardiac care, with 6 years of clinical trials experience. She has been involved in device trials with specialty areas of carotid stenting, patent foramen ovale closure and more recently the transcatheter aortic-valve implantation program.

Lori Bode

Lori Bode

Research Regulatory Specialist

Lori has more than 15 years of research experience and joined Clinical Trials as an Aurora Health Care caregiver in 2002. Lori is working as a regulatory specialist for oncology studies as part of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group network. Lori’s main focus is to complete all regulatory work for more than 40 studies.

Nancy Briggs

Nancy Briggs, RN, MSN, OCN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Nancy Briggs received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and her master’s degree in Nursing, with a focus on nursing education, from Marquette University. Nancy has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 1996 when she joined the staff of Aurora Sinai Medical Center’s Oncology Clinic as a research coordinator/clinic nurse. Nancy has worked primarily on oncology-related research in various clinics within Aurora and is currently located at Aurora Medical Center in Summit. Nancy brings more than 40 years of experience in nursing, including 25 years in inpatient/outpatient oncology, to her work as a research nurse coordinator. She is certified in both oncology nursing and as a clinical research coordinator. With a background that includes seven years of teaching nursing, Nancy has also been involved with staff education and training for several years and served as the research department educator for two years.

Mary Briggs-Sedlachek, RN

Mary Briggs-Sedlachek, RN

Research Program Coordinator

Mary has 34 years of nursing experience including inpatient medical/surgical care, telephone triage and in a family practice residency clinic. New to research, Mary joined the Aurora Research Institute in May 2014. Her current area of work is with the AsthmaNet asthma studies.

Dena Burke, RN, BSN, CCRC

Dena Burke, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Dena joined Aurora Health Care in 2011 as a cardiovascular research coordinator. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Pennsylvania State University and has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of critical care, cardiology and adult medicine. Since 2006, she has served as a research coordinator for various drug and medical device studies in the fields of cardiology, women’s health, allergy and internal medicine.

Anthony Chambers

Anthony Chambers, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Anthony has 28 years’ experience in cardiology, electrophysiology and general nursing, from bedside to clinical research. His Bachelor of Science in Nursing was obtained at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. For the past 14 years, he has focused on initiating and growing clinical trials programs for cardiology with emphasis on electrophysiology and peripheral vascular disease. His dedication to nursing stems from the need to improve the lives of others no matter what their economic or cultural background. This can currently be seen in his work with subjects involved with clinical trials as well as those that he deals with in a variety of community health projects.

Jennifer Cooper

Jennifer Cooper, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Jennifer has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 1976. She started her nursing career working in pediatrics for one year and then transferred to the operating room for 30 years. She has worked in a variety of roles, both in staffing and management, with a primary emphasis on cardiovascular surgery. Most recently, she has been working in clinical research since late 2006 with focus on surgery, cardiovascular and cardiology.

Kerri Cwiklinski, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Kerri received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Univeristy of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 1998. She has been an Aurora caregiver for more than 15 years. She is a certified clinical research coordinator and has been working in clinical research since 2004. Kerri previously served as a staff nurse on a medical surgical floor for six years.

Rebecca Dahme

Rebecca Dahme, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Rebecca is a registered nurse and has been involved in research for more than 11 years. She received her clinical research coordinator certification through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Her main areas of research are cardiovascular and electrophysiology.

Elise Damico, RN, BSN

Elise Damico, RN, BSN

Research Nurse Coordinator

Elise is a registered nurse and earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has experience as a nurse on a medical/surgical telemetry oncology floor, for an operating room at Aurora West Allis Medical Center and as part of the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association. She started in research in December 2013.

Gary L. Dennison, CIP

Gary L. Dennison, CIP

Research Regulatory Specialist

Gary provides regulatory support for Aurora Health Care’s growing neurosciences research program. He rejoined the Clinical Trials Team in the summer of 2014 following a three-year stint as a quality improvement specialist in the Human Research Protection Program at Medical College of Wisconsin. Previously, Gary served as a research compliance specialist/educator for Aurora’s Research Subject Protection Program and as a regulatory compliance specialist with Aurora Research Institute, supporting the Cooperative Group oncology research program. Prior to joining Aurora in August of 2002, he managed the Institutional Review Board at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Rebecca Derks

Rebecca Derks

Research Compliance Specialist

Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Concordia University Wisconsin. She has been with Aurora Health Care since 2007. She joined the research department in 2008. Rebecca works with the Aurora cardiovascular research team as its regulatory specialist where she assists in many aspects of clinical trials.

Christian Donahoe, RN, BSN, CNOR

Christian Donahoe, RN, BSN, CNOR

Clinical Research Coordinator

Christian has been an Aurora caregiver for over 20 years and a registered nurse for 18 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1996. He worked in emergency medicine for seven years and then in surgery for 11 years. While in surgery he served as the neurosurgical and urology coordinator and also worked in management for three years. He joined the research team in 2014 and specializes in surgical oncology trials.

Brad Dumville

Brad Dumville, MS, CIP

Research Regulartory Specialist

Brad received his Master of Science degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Pennsylvania State University in 2000 and has worked in the field of regulatory oversight since 2001. He has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 2007, working primarily with the cardiovascular research team .

Barb Esselman

Barb Esselman, BSN, RN, CCRP

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Barb has worked in health care since 1974. She was a registered X-ray technologist for 20 years with experience in general, emergency and operative radiography. She also has 10 combined years of nuclear medicine and computed tomography scanning experience. She returned to college and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1992 and began working in nursing in 1993. Barb became a clinical research nurse coordinator at Aurora Health Care in June of 2007 at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Oshkosh. Barb is an avid sport fan and loves to attend UW - Madison football and men’s hockey games each season.

Carol Feldhausen, RN, BSN, LMT

Clinical Research Coordinator

Carol has been a registered nurse for 27 years since obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Loyola University, Chicago. She started her career in neurology and orthopedics at a hospital, and then worked in home health care throughout the Chicagoland area and southern Wisconsin. She worked as a staff nurse and director of operations for 11 years, implementing new programs such as home infusion therapy, head injury, pediatric asthma and maternal-child programs. She also spent a year working in a clinic with a pediatrician who practiced functional medicine and used innovative therapies to treat children with autism. Carol is a licensed massage therapist with 16 years of experience. She currently works in cardiology research in Burlington, Wis. Her goal is to perform research focusing on holistic ways to prevent/recover from cardiac disease and other conditions.

Carla Fuentes

Carla G. Fuentes BA, CCRC

Manager Clinical Research Trials

Carla earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Alverno College in 1999. During her last two years in college, she assisted in research studies that focused on functional genomics and respiratory physiology. As a result of this initial work, Carla received co-author credits for three articles published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. In May 2006, Carla began working in oncology research as a research assistant and later transitioned into the clinical research coordinator role. Overall, she has more than 10 years of research experience and in March 2012 became a certified clinical research coordinator through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. In September 2011, Carla was one of the recipients of the Aurora Health Care Research Service Award.

Tracy Graham

Tracy Graham, RN, BSN, CCRC

Research Educator

Tracy received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Carroll College. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 1988, a research coordinator since 2004 and now she serves as the research educator for clinical trials. She has more than 25 years of experience in cardiac care, including heart and lung transplantation, heart failure, cardiac surgery and pulmonary hypertension. Her research experience includes multiple sclerosis, pulmonary hypertension and Heart Failure. She loves to teach and enjoys working in the research field with all of the opportunities and hope it provides to our patients and the community.

Lauren Gumieny RN, BSN

Research Nurse Coordinator

Lauren received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Edgewood College in 2010. After receiving her degree she joined Aurora and worked in a medical/surgical unit for more than three years. She joined the clinical trial team in 2014. Her emphasis is oncology clinical trials. Her previous experience includes working for University of Wisconsin-Madison on e-health and cancer communication clinical trials as a research specialist. Her focus was primarily breast, lung and colorectal cancer patients.

Carol J. Halliday, RN, BA, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

A graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago, Carol has been a registered nurse for more than 36 years, always in specialized areas of nursing. Since 2005, she has served as a research nurse coordinator for Aurora Health Care in both industry- and physician-sponsored research studies from Kenosha to Green Bay. She previously worked as a clinical research associate. Certified as a clinical research coordinator since 2007, her current focus is in the areas of epilepsy and neurological sciences.

Ashley Heesacker, BS

Senior Intern, Clinical Research Trials

Ashley joined Aurora BayCare Medical Center in June 2014. She received her Bachelor of Science in biology degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Ashley assists in the production of the Clinical Trials Communication Committee newsletter, blood processing, literature reviews and other tasks.

Katie Hibbs, RN, BSN, CMSRN

Research Nurse Coordinator

Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Maranatha University in 2011 and medical-surgical nursing certification in 2013. After graduation, she worked as a bedside nurse on a critical care step-down unit in southern Wisconsin. In 2012, she worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, where she was the registered nurse supervisor for the Inpatient Clinical Research Unit. She joined Aurora Health Care in May 2014 as a research nurse coordinator focused on medical oncology. She has served as a member of various committees including Quality and Compliance, Leadership and Employee Engagement. She also has served as a preceptor and staff educator. She loves being a part of developing new therapies and advances in technology with the hope to improve patient outcomes through clinical research.

Tonya Hollrith

Tonya Hollrith, RTR (MR)

Radiology Research Technologist

Tonya has been a caregiver at Aurora Health Care since 1986 and has been involved in research since 1994. Her imaging experience has played an integral role within the research department. Tonya is involved in a number of drug and device studies that require imaging as part of their protocol, and she continues to be a liaison between radiology and caregivers throughout Aurora.

Jennifer Homa

Jennifer Homa

Clinical Research Coordinator

Jennifer joined the Aurora BayCare Medical Center team in July 2013. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Master of Science in Psychology, with an emphasis in Psychological Research, from the Univeristy of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. She has extensive research experience in the areas of psychology, education, nursing and interpersonal relationships. She currently focuses on clinical trials in neurology.

Sandra Hubatch, RN, MSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Sandra has 14 years of clinical research experience, most recently in gastroenterology, with an emphasis on the pancreas, as well as addiction. She has also worked in a variety of roles in the past: staffing, staff development, clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner.

Elyssa Johnson

Elyssa Johnson, RN, OCN

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Elyssa earned her bachelor’s degree in History at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. She earned her associate’s degree in Nursing at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill. Elyssa is a certified oncology nurse and is also certified in research. She worked in oncology as an infusion nurse, a radiation nurse and a research nurse prior to joining the oncology research team at Aurora Health Care in 2012.

Marilyn Kelly

Marilyn Kelley, CPhT

Clinical Research Assistant

Marilyn joined the research team as a clinical research assistant in 2012. Her background in pharmacy (10 years of experience as a pharmacy/chemotherapy technician) and her education in psychology, lends themself to her current role in research. Working in pharmacy has given her a working knowledge in cancer therapies. In addition, her soon-to-be-completed bachelor’s in Psychology provides a clearer understanding to not only the way in which trials are run, but the added importance of ethics in research.

Laura Kleber

Laura Kleber, BS, CCRC

Research Compliance Specialist

Laura received a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration and Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She began her career at the Medical College of Wisconsin as a research assistant in the department of obstetrics and gynecology. She then moved into the clinical research coordinator role, for which she did both patient and regulatory work for oncology studies. Laura joined Aurora Health Care in 2013 as a regulatory specialist for oncology research.

Christopher Koblosky

Christopher Koblosky, RN, BSN

Clinical Research Coordinator

Christopher received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He has six years of cardiology experience, with two years on a chest pain floor and four years in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. He has been awarded two “Excellence in Nursing Awards” - one for each area he worked. He joined the research team in May 2013 and now coordinates the transcatheter aortic valve implantation program.

Brittany Last

Brittany Last

Clinical Research Coordinator

Brittany worked as a pharmacy technician throughout college, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Valparaiso University in 2008. She began her career with Aurora Health Care in 2010 working in breast cancer research. In 2013, she continued her focus on breast cancer by becoming a research coordinator for Clinical Trials, and recently earning her research certificate. Her area of enrollment is tissue collection, biomarker staining, registry, and surgical studies.

Mary Jo Lindemann

Mary Jo Lindemann, CCRC

Clinical Research Coordinator

Mary Jo began inclinical research in 1985 at UW - Madison Hospital through the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), completing several courses through UW - Madison and the ECOG in Boston, Mass. In 1995 the clinic became an Aurora institution and, since that time, her group has been associated with the Cancer Trials Support Unit and is currently part of the Aurora ECOG network.

Don Lobacz

Don Lobacz, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

After graduating from the Milwaukee County Medical Complex School of Nursing in 1992, Don stepped into the cardiovascular arena, working as a staff nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Aurora St Luke’s Medical Center.While there, he received the “Excellence in Nursing Award” for a new practitioner, and went on to chair the CVICU Practice and Standards Committee for three years.In 2000, he joined what is now the Aurora Cardiovascular Services physician group as a clinical trials research coordinator.Since then he has participated in an extensive list of cardiovascular clinical trials and has been involved in several publications for his work in pulmonary hypertension clinical trials.

Jennifer Mathieu, BS, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Jennifer has been with Aurora Research Institute since 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Carroll University and continued with graduate work in reproductive endocrinology. In 2010, she started at Aurora as a bench scientist and has since continued to advance her skills. Jennifer is currently in neurology.

Lori McElrone

Lori McElrone, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Lori is a certified clinical research coordinator and has been involved in clinical research for more than 25 years. She is one of the department’s research mentors and is involved in training new research coordinators. Her main focus is oncology, radiation oncology and hematology research.

Taylor McGinnis

Taylor McGinnis

Clinical Research Coordinator

Taylor earned her Bachelor of Science in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2012. Prior to joining Aurora Health Care in July 2013, her experience in research began at the bench with 3 years of research in biomolecular chemistry and genetics at UW-Madison. Taylor also has extensive knowledge and research experience in microbiology, genetics, pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical development. She currently focuses on clinical trials in orthopedics, sleep medicine, women’s health and investigator-initiated research.

Maggie Miller

Maggie Miller, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Maggie began her career at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in 1980 in the cardiovascular intensive care unit working with patients after coronary artery bypass, heart valve, cardiac transplant, ventricular assist device (VAD) and total artificial heart surgeries. In 2001, she joined the cardiovascular research team where she has been involved in many studies involving new drugs for heart transplant recipients and devices for end-stage heart failure (ESHF). Currently, she is involved in trials using VADs devices and drugs to advance the treatment of ESHF.

Marilyn L. Miller

Marilyn L. Miller, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Marilyn has spent 37 years in nursing working at Aurora Health Care. She worked in research in the alcohol and other drug abuse and psychiatry areas from 1999 to 2007, pain management from 2007 to 2013 and, more recently, in gastroenterology and neurology. She has been certified with Association of Clnical Research Professionals since 2005.

Kate Newbanks

Kate Newbanks, RN, OCN, CCRP

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Kate has been in nursing for 22 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in Belfast, Northern Ireland and has called Green Bay home for 17 years. She has been working in oncology clinical research for the past four years.

Lori Otzelberger, RN, BSN

Lori Otzelberger, RN, BSN

Research Nurse Coordinator

Lori earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In her 34 years of nursing, she has worked at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical, St. Francis Hospital and Froedtert Hospital. She has worked in critical care, emergency department, radiology and surgical services both in the operating room and in the pre and postoperative areas. She worked in Froedtert’s Cancer Center as a procedural and treatment nurse and was a clinical instructor for Marquette University in the medical-surgical area. In October 2014, she joined the Clinical Trials team.

Susan Oxborough

Susan Oxborough, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Susan started her nursing career at a small hospital in Moberly, Mo., working in a surgical unit. She joined Aurora Health Care in 1984 at Deaconess Hospital and went through all of the mergers that eventually led her to Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center as a member of the float pool. She worked primarily in cardiac units prior to taking a position in the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory for 13 years. She joined the research department in 2006 and her focus is cardiology and cardiac devices.

Sarah Peterson

Sarah Peterson, RN, OCN

Clinical Research Coordinator

Sarah has been a caregiver at Aurora Health Care for 10 years and has experience in gastroenterology, internal medicine and oncology. She earned her Nursing degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in 2008 and then joined the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center as an infusion nurse. She is an oncology-certified nurse and has always had a goal to join cancer research. Sarah is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay, and she is excited to be part of the evolving world of cancer research.

Phyllis Runningen

Phyllis Runningen, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Phyllis received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Carroll University, Waukesha, Wis. in 1996. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 1992. Phyllis began her career with Aurora in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, where she worked for eight years taking care of patients who underwent post-operative open heart and ventricular assist device implant surgeries. She then spent five years working in hyperbaric medicine and wound care. Phyllis has been in the research department since 2005 on studies in a variety of therapeutic areas. Since 2010, Phyllis has focused on research in the areas of electrophysiology and heart failure.

Pam Rynes

Pamela Rynes, BA, BSN, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Pam earned her Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communications in 1991 and Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1995 at Alverno College in Milwaukee. She worked in public relations and advertising prior to obtaining her nursing degree and always stresses the importance of effective communication in quality patient care. Pam joined Aurora Health Care in 1994 and has worked in various positions: nursing assistant/nurse intern, staff nurse, data support specialist in quality management and, currently, as a research nurse coordinator. She is a certified clinical research coordinator and has been working in oncology research since 2005.

Paulette Schauer, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Paulette started as a caregiver with Aurora Health Care in March 1980 and has 42 years of nursing experience. She worked as a nurse in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and later as a heart/lung transplant coordinator. She joined the research department in May 2005 and currently works as a coordinator for pulmonary hypertension studies.

Kathy Schmidlkofer

Kathy Schmidlkofer, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Kathy started in clinical research as a billing specialist in August 2002 for an electrophysiology group at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. After one year, Kathy was introduced to the upkeep of the regulatory binders for many studies and later assisted in processing the institutional review board submissions for new studies. In 2008, Kathy was assigned to coordinate and enroll in electrophysiology data collection studies. In September 2013, she earned her certified clinical research coordinator certification.

Christina Schreiter

Christina Schreiter, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Christina received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee in 2002. She started her employment with Aurora Health Care in 1999. In 2004, she left for a travel nursing opportunity on the East Coast but found her way back to Wisconsin and Aurora in 2007. She joined the cardiovascular research team in 2011. She applies her past experience working as a staff nurse in an intensive care unit, emergency room and cardiac catheterization laboratory to her role as a research coordinator for vascular and coronary disease-related clinical trials.

Elizabeth Sieber

Elizabeth Sieber, RN, BS, OCN, CCRP

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Liz earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Western State Colorado University in Gunnison. She earned her associate’s degree in Nursing at Cardinal Stritch University in Glendale, Wis. Liz is a certified oncology nurse, and worked as an oncology infusion nurse in the outpatient setting prior to joining the oncology research team at Aurora Health Care in 2011. Liz takes pride in her dedication to cancer patient care by enabling patients to expand their treatment options through participation in clinical trials.

Stacie Snap

Stacie Snap, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Stacie received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1995 from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since October 2001, working in Clinical Trials. Stacie was certified through the Association of Clinical Research Professionals in 2002. She has more than 14 years of experience as a clinical research coordinator, working in multiple treatment areas with various physicians and their staff.

Debby Spaeth

Debra Spaeth, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Debra is a graduate of Lakeshore Technical College. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 1995. Her previous positions were in pediatrics in a clinical setting, and most recently as a floor nurse for a cardiac/pulmonary unit at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center. She was a preceptor for new nurses on her floor and a member of the Education and Pain Management committees. She joined the research team at Aurora in April 2011 and worked as a coordinator at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Sheboygan before relocating to the Grafton Cancer Center, where she continues to work as a research nurse coordinator, also covering the Aurora Good Hope Cancer Clinic.

Whitney Spaude

Whitney Spaude, RN, BSN

Research Program Coordinator

Whitney received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since 2008 and worked as an oncology infusion nurse in the outpatient setting prior to joining the oncology research team in 2013. She also was a preceptor for new nurses and member of the staff education committee.

Mary Theodoroff

Mary Theodoroff, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Mary received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh in 1988. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver for 24 years. Her first position within Aurora was a staff nurse at Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center for the intensive care unit and cardiac/pulmonary floor for 10 years. She continued with Aurora as a registered nurse and case manager for the Aurora at Home. After a few years, she returned to Aurora Sheboygan as the infection control coordinator. She accepted the position as the clinical research coordinator in 2005 at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic in Sheboygan. She has helped expand the program by enrolling patients and overseeing the management of clinical trials and became certified as a clinical research coordinator.

Sue Truchan

Sue Truchan, BSN, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Sue earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Michigan, and went on to attend graduate school at the University of California. Sue joined Aurora Health Care in 1991, and the clinical research trials department in 2001. She has worked on pharmaceutical, device, physician-initiated and humanitarian use device studies in a variety of clinical areas. Currently, she is working at Aurora Medical Center, Grafton, Wis. and Aurora Sinai Medical Center, with a focus on orthopedic studies. She serves on the Research Recognition and Standard Operating Procedures committees, and has an interest in writing, research billing processes, and speaking about nursing and clinical research.

Sara Walczak

Sara Walczak, BS

Research Regulatory Specialist

Sara received her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She began her career in 2009 at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working on the National Children’s Study in Waukesha County. She was a research assistant and then a research coordinator at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she managed all regulatory work associated with oncology studies within the obstetrics/gynocology department. Sara joined Aurora Health Care as a research regulatory specialist in January 2014 and will be working with the cardiology fellowship program to ensure its research requirements are met.

Dawn Walek

Dawn Walek, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Dawn graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Marian University. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver since February 1992. She has experience in emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine.For the last 11 years, she has focused on in hyperbaric/wound care and cardiac research.

Deb Waller

Deb Waller, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Deb has worked as a clinical research coordinator for cardiology since 1993. She has certified as a clinical research coordinator since 1998. She has her bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh and has pursued graduate work at Boston University, UW - Oshkosh and Concordia University Wisconsin. Prior to working in cardiology, she worked as a registered nurse in many areas of specialty, finishing in critical care. Deb has worked with the structural heart program since its inception in 2002 which includes percutaneous treatment of patent foramen ovale, atrial septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus and ventricular septal defect.

Jody Wesolowski, CCRP

Jody Wesolowski, CCRP

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Jody graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College with a Health Unit Coordinating degree. After working at Aurora Health Care in the hospital and clinic settings, she began working in oncology research in 2003 as a clinical research data manager. Jody has since moved into the research coordinator role for surgical oncology. She earned her research certification in 2008.

Valerie Williams

Valerie Williams, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Valerie joined the cardiovascular research team in 2010, following her experience in cardiovascular research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She has been a part of the Aurora Health Care Nursing team since 2006, after she completed her Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault training to be a nurse examiner for the Aurora Health Care southern region S.A.N.E. (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) program.

Lynda Yanny

Lynda L. Yanny, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Lynda received her nursing degree from the Milwaukee County School of Nursing in 1982 and her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Carroll College in 1987. She has been an Aurora Health Care caregiver for 30 years. Her experience has ranged from a staff nurse in orthopedics to the surgical neuro intensive care unit to interventional radiology. She joined the research staff in 1999 focusing on drug and device studies, both investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored within the radiology section. She is currently coordinating studies for Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute. She received her clinical research coordinator certification in 2005.

JoAnne Ziebart

JoAnn Ziebart, RN, BSN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

JoAnn earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. She worked for Aurora Advanced Healthcare and joined the research team in 2003 in the area of multi-specialty research. In 2010, she joined the Aurora oncology research group.

Cheryl Zywicki

Cheryl Zywicki, RN, CCRC

Certified Clinical Research Coordinator

Cheryl graduated from Columbia Hospital School of Nursing in 1984. Already an employee of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center as a surgical monitoring technician, she made a natural transition into the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). After 10 years in the CVICU, she pursued a new opportunity to be a travelling nurse. She worked in Florida, Colorado and Maryland, where she helped start a new heart program, assisting the hospital with opening a new CVICU. She returned to Wisconsin in 1999, and in 2001 joined the cardiovascular research team. She is a mentor and assists with new coordinators especially those associated in cardiovascular field. Currently, she coordinates trials involved with end stage heart failure and cardiovascular surgery.