Kristin Geile, RN, MSN, CCRC, associate director of clinical trials in the Division of General Surgery, was recently named a finalist for St. Louis Magazine’s 2022 Excellence in Nursing Awards. The annual awards, presented by BJC Healthcare and Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, recognizes outstanding nurses across the St. Louis region and applauds their compassion, service and selfless care.
Drawn to medicine by her passion for patient advocacy, Geile became a nurse and worked in the coronary intensive care unit at Saint Louis University. Her interactions with research coordinators on her floor piqued her interest in trials and research and in 1999, she accepted a clinical research coordinator position at Washington University School of Medicine.
Since arriving at Washington University over 23 years ago, Geile became a cherished member of the Department of Surgery. Her mentorship and team-focused attitude led her to rise to the position of Associate Director of Clinical Trials in the Division of General Surgery in 2016. In this position, she oversees the Division’s research coordinators who work directly with patients participating in clinical trials and supports faculty to execute their research projects.
“Surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine are innovators in the future of medicine. Through their extensive work in clinical trials, our teams are at the forefront of bringing tools like medications and devices directly to our patients,” says Geile. “Our faculty are so supportive and appreciative of all the work we do to assist them in their studies. Whether they are working on their own research or working directly with pharmaceutical companies, our surgeons know that they can bring their projects to our team and we can help make it happen.”
Geile’s team of research coordinators are responsible for walking their patients through the intricacies of the clinical trial process, obtaining consent for their participation, completing trial enrollment, and following their care for the trial’s duration, sometimes up to five years or longer.
“Our coordinators are reassuring our patients of the safety measures of our clinical trials. From oversight from institutional review boards, the FDA and all the regulations, there are so many people looking out for their well-being from the very beginning to the end of their participation in the trials.”
In her office, Geile has a decorative sign with the phrase “Happiness is liking what you do,” placed above her desk. This sentiment, she says, is incredibly true to her work in the Department of Surgery. A self-proclaimed master multitasker, she enjoys being her team’s “go-to gal” and works to support them in any way she can.
“It is very rewarding to be acknowledged for the work we are doing,” says Geile. “Our efforts are surrounded by the idea that we are a team, and we work with the same mission in mind. I hope that my peers see me as their teammate and their biggest cheerleader who can walk alongside them and provide mentorship.”
The 2022 Excellence in Nursing Award winners will be revealed during a virtual event slated to be held at 6 p.m. on April 14 with in-person reception tentatively scheduled for this summer.