Patient-Centered Research - Research Business Services
Joining Aurora Research Institute in July 2013, Kurt leverages his entrepreneurial and strategic business experience to lead the Research Business Services and ensure a sustainable, solvent research enterprise. Building upon Aurora’s strong research base that produces quality, compliant and “patient-centered” outcomes, Kurt’s passion for catalyzing innovation will lead to new opportunities to improve patient care and be an economic driver in the community. Kurt has broad experience in technology commercialization and intellectual property having worked with industry, academia and hundreds of high-impact start-ups, licensing dozens of technologies and being part of a New York-based, venture-backed firm making software to manage intellectual property portfolios for pharmaceutical companies.
Administrative Assistant, Sr.
Amy manages contracts prior to signature to ensure deadlines are met. She is dedicated to reducing contract turnaround time and improving communication.
Clayton Wenger, JD, MBA
A 2000 graduate of Marquette University, Clayton received his Juris Doctor in 2003 and his Master of Business Administration in 2009. Clayton joined Aurora Research Institute in 2007 and is currently the lead council for the Research Business Operations Office with a focus on building relationships with sponsor and principal investigators. His focus is ensuring fair reimbursement and protecting Aurora’s interests while always seeking to reduce contract turnaround time.
Innovation and Technology Transfer
Don manages the technology transfer and commercialization processes for innovative solutions that arise from, or work in support of, the advancement of patient-centered medical technologies. Prior to joining the Research Business Services team in July 2014, Don worked in numerous roles within the health care industry, including consultant, health policy advisor, and investment banker. He has worked on numerous transactions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and health care services clients and also served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, completing three deployments to Iraq. By leveraging a unique combination of finance, operations, and policy experience, Don helps to facilitate the realization of innovative ideas from across the research – clinical –commercial spectrum. Don holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Manager Research Clinical Trial Business Services
Katie joined Aurora Research Institute in May 2014 and focuses on managing the Clinical Trial Business Services in an efficient, compliant, and solvent manner. Prior to joining Aurora, Katie managed the contracts, budgets, and billing compliance departments of a clinical trials services firm, where she worked with some of the leading research institutions in the nation. She also has first-hand clinical trial experience working as a clinical research coordinator. Leveraging her knowledge of best and leading industry practices, Katie brings innovative ideas to Aurora to provide quick turn-around times, compliant business practices, and opportunities for growth in clinical research.
Research Business Analyst, Sr.
Julie Basquin joined Aurora Research Institute in May 2014. She is an alumnus of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, where she earned a MS in Finance and BBA in Accounting. Julie began her career in Dallas with a global public accounting firm before moving into the corporate sector as a senior financial analyst. Ultimately, her desire to refocus her career towards community service led her to a grants administrator role at one of Dallas’ largest family violence service providers. Upon relocating to Milwaukee in 2008, she moved on to design and implement a robust internal audit program at a private, non-profit health care organization. Striking an interest in health care compliance, this led her to the role of compliance officer for a clinical laboratory. Using this unique blend of experience, Julie serves in a key liaison role for Aurora Research Institute in support of its financial operations.
Sharon Hirsch, RN
Research Business Operations Specialist
Sharon has more than 20 years of experience as a nursing supervisor and clinical research coordinator. She joined Patient-Centered Research in 2001 and is the primary contract negotiator. She is currently also working on several research projects.
Research Business Service Specialist
Michelle joined Aurora Research Institute in March of 2003. Her current area of work focuses on creating contracts for Aurora Health Care's Clinical Trials Department by ensuring the financial agreement and contract meets the needs of Clinical Research.
Belinda Wiggins, MBA
Research Business Operations Specialist
Belinda is a two time graduate of University of Phoenix, earning her bachelor’s in 2006 and her MBA in 2008. Belinda joined Aurora Research Institute in 2007 and focuses on billing compliance.
Lee Banfi, MBA, CPA, CGMA, FHFMA
Sponsored Programs Specialist Sr.
Supports contracting including sub-awards as well as pre- and post-award budgeting/accounting. Lee has administrative experience in complex academic, clinical and research environments.
Manager, Research Analytics
Andy Marek manages the Research Analytics team. The team works collaboratively with Clinical Trials, Investigator-Initiated Research, physicians and outside organizations to leverage health data in order to answer research questions. It also works with departments and teams from across the organization to integrate data from Aurora’s non-relational databases and medical systems. With a background in programming, Andy has developed a number of data registries including PeriData.Net®, a perinatal database used by 91 hospitals across Wisconsin.
Carl (John) Klehm
Data Warehouse Programmer Analyst
John Klehm earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in software engineering, with an application domain in embedded systems. He joined Aurora in May 2012 to assist with the ORBIT biorepository project’s data and software needs. He is currently working on enhancing the auditing process of ORBIT’s laboratory automation system.
Application Programmer Analyst
Jon earned a Bachelor of Science from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in Biomedical Engineering. He joined Aurora in May 2009 as a Mechanical Circulatory Support Clinical Engineer to assist Thoracic Surgeons, Cardiologists, and clinicians in the operation of LVAD/TAH therapies. In January 2014, he transitioned to the Research Analytics team to assist with application development and data extraction from Aurora’s current and legacy EMR(s).