July 23rd, 2020

We hope you’re enjoying meeting some of our OrthoCarolina Research Institute (OCRI) team members! Their work is integral to our mission of moving orthopedic research forward.

The work our staff does on a daily basis ultimately improves patient care.

We are grateful for their hard work and we are excited for you to get to know the people who make this research institute run. Find more OCRI Team Spotlight profiles, here. Now, this week we’d like to introduce you to OCRI’s Senior Clinical Research Coordinator of Special Projects…

Meet Caleb Michalek!

Q: Caleb, what does it mean to be a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator of Special Projects?

A:  I am the lead project coordinator for OCRI’s first multi-subspecialty study, the Carolinas Opioid Reduction Effort (CORE) Project.  The CORE Project is a clinical trial involving hundreds of patients from multiple orthopedic subspecialty clinics within OrthoCarolina. The project focuses on reducing avoidable opioid prescribing and consumption in elective orthopedic surgery.

My job is to work directly with our surgeons, research coordinators, data team, and each hospital system involved in the project to ensure that the project is continuously moving forward. My ultimate job is to guarantee that data is being collected in an efficient and ethical manner while maintaining subject safety.

In addition to providing oversight of the CORE Project, I work on other studies in every subspecialty of OrthoCarolina, primarily in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder & Elbow Centers.

Q: How long have you been at OCRI?

A: Officially, 7 years.  Unofficially, 7.5 years.  I started at OCRI as an intern in 2013 for the entirety of my final semester of undergrad.  Upon graduation, I was offered the opportunity to join OCRI’s team full-time and here we are!

Q: What do you do for fun outside of work? Do you have any hobbies?

A: I love exploring the city of Charlotte.  You can usually find me out and about with a few friends trying local restaurants, breweries, festivals, concerts, events, and anything else this amazing city has to offer.  I’m also very involved with my church and spend plenty of time playing guitar and singing on the worship team there.

Q: What is something you’re currently working on that excites or interests you?

Working on the CORE study is exciting because I get to hear how patients are doing with this novel opioid-free treatment and see how OCRI is on the forefront of fighting the opioid epidemic.

I’ve recently been working behind the scenes to prepare a way of making these opioid-free options more readily-available for additional surgeries both at OrthoCarolina and other local facilities. I can’t wait to see how that positively impacts patients on a much larger scale.