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Navy Human Research Protection office focused on Readiness

05 June 2023

From Michael Rhode

The Human Research Protection Program of the Navy (DON HRPP) held its first-ever in-person meeting of stakeholders at the Defense Health Headquarters outside Washington, DC this week.The program, in cooperation with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), is formally responsible for overseeing the protection of any human beings who are part of an
The Human Research Protection Program of the Navy (DON HRPP) held its first-ever in-person meeting of stakeholders at the Defense Health Headquarters outside Washington, DC this week.

The program, in cooperation with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), is formally responsible for overseeing the protection of any human beings who are part of an authorized and approved research project, whether medical or not.

Acting Surgeon General Rear Adm. Darin Via spoke at the conference linking their work to military readiness.

Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, Acting Surgeon General of the Navy, speaks at the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program (DON HRPP) Business Meeting and Knowledge Exchange at the Defense Health Headquarters on May 31, 2023. The DON HRPP is responsible for ensuring human subjects research conducted or supported by DON complies with Federal regulations, Department of Defense (DoD) instructions, and Navy instructions.
Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, Acting Surgeon General of the Navy, speaks at the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program (DON HRPP) Business Meeting and Knowledge Exchange at the Defense Health Headquarters on May 31, 2023. The DON HRPP is responsible for ensuring human subjects research conducted or supported by DON complies with Federal regulations, Department of Defense (DoD) instructions, and Navy instructions.
Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, Acting Surgeon General of the Navy, speaks at the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program (DON HRPP) Business Meeting and Knowledge Exchange at the Defense Health Headquarters on May 31, 2023. The DON HRPP is responsible for ensuring human subjects research conducted or supported by DON complies with Federal regulations, Department of Defense (DoD) instructions, and Navy instructions.
Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program (DON HRPP) Business Meeting and Knowledge Exchange
Rear Adm. Darin K. Via, Acting Surgeon General of the Navy, speaks at the Department of the Navy Human Research Protection Program (DON HRPP) Business Meeting and Knowledge Exchange at the Defense Health Headquarters on May 31, 2023. The DON HRPP is responsible for ensuring human subjects research conducted or supported by DON complies with Federal regulations, Department of Defense (DoD) instructions, and Navy instructions.
Photo By: Petty Officer 1st Class John Grandin
VIRIN: 230531-N-BC134-1048


“As we prepare for future conflict and continue evolving to make sure we are ready to provide a ready medical force and operational medical capabilities in a contested battlespace, we must continue giving the warfighter every advantage possible,” said Via. “Research plays a critical part in that, whether we’re talking about platforms, processes, or our most valuable weapons system, people.”

Topics of the conference included a program overview and updates, training and education programs, best practices, and US Marine Corps human research protection.

Rear Adm. Guido Valdes, special assistant in charge of Human Research Protections and Naval Medical Forces Pacific commander reiterated that research is readiness.

“The importance of research – particularly human subjects research – has remained constant. It’s a force multiplier,” said Valdes. “We are actively rendering assistance to our warfighters. We keep them in the fight and ensure they are operationally ready for the mission. Research is readiness, and Navy Medicine has a significant role in projecting soft power.”

Commander Leedjia Svec leads the DON HRPP office and stressed the importance of the program. “Research is readiness, and unethical research takes away from that readiness,” she said.

She then highlighted the office's five major responsibilities: providing education and training, policies that protect research subjects, assurances that research is being properly conducted and monitored, quality assurance, and oversight of that research via site visits.

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