Natalie Kovacevich has worked as our Clinical Trials Coordinator for 15 years, supporting research and bringing cutting edge treatments to our patients in both the cancer program and across the organization.
“I love what I do and I am proud to work at SAH and in this department,” she says. “Our hospital participates in clinical trials, not just in the cancer program but in many areas of the hospital and we are always looking for new trial opportunities.” SAH has a long history of clinical trials research. Her dad, oncologist Dr. David Walde, spearheaded the clinical trials program in the 80’s and was very involved in the program until his retirement in 2009. “It was through him that I became interested in clinical trials and aware of all the great work that was being done in our community.”
Natalie is passionate about research, always looking ahead to what new therapies are in store for the future. “My work is challenging but the rewards are great. It’s very satisfying to look back and see that our hospital and patients played a part in making available, many of today’s standard cancer treatments.”
In her role, Natalie is involved in all facets of the clinical trials process, including finding new trials that will best fit of our patient population, the competitive selection process, preparing consent forms and regulatory documents, applying to the research ethics board and negotiating contracts, all within tight timeframes. She collaborates with staff and physicians, along with pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations and other hospitals. She also works with study physicians to enter patients on to studies and coordinate their care and follow-up during a trial.
“Our hospital has an excellent reputation for research quality and in recognition of our team’s efforts, we were recognized at a global level when we received the INC Research Clinical Research Site Award in 2014.” In addition, the clinical trials department has achieved and maintained a score of “Excellence” with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group since 2011.
Natalie enjoys working in the dynamic environment of research. “A great deal has changed in cancer treatment recently with the development of immuno-oncology drugs and it’s exciting to be involved in these trials,” she says. “It is a great privilege working with our patients and I thank them for allowing me and clinical trials to be a part of their journey.”
In her spare time, Natalie enjoys yoga, cross country skiing, travelling and spending time with family. We acknowledge Natalie and the clinical trials team for their passion and dedication to their work and our patients!