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Institutional Review Board-(Medical Research Evaluation Committee - MREC)

Welcome to the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Institutional Review Board (MREC) website.

The Medical Research Evaluation Committee (MREC) serves investigators, employees, residents, and students conducting research at St. Anthony Hospital, St. Clare Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Hospital, Highline Medical Center, Harrison Medical Center Bremerton and Silverdale, Franciscan Hospice Program, Franciscan Medical Group Clinics and Harrison Health Partners clinics. All research carried out at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is required to be reviewed by the MREC. The majority of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health research is done in conjunction with the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Research Center. Device studies and drug studies are the most common types of research conducted at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) oversight is also managed by the MREC.

The purpose of the MREC is to provide oversight for all research, insuring that research conducted at any of the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health facilities will not expose participants to unreasonable risks to their health, well-being, or privacy.

It is Virginia Mason Franciscan Health MREC policy that all research involving participation of human subjects is carried out such that:

  • The rights and welfare of human subjects are safeguarded
  • Participation of human subjects is voluntary and based upon full provision of information to subjects through effective informed consent
  • The benefits outweigh the risks to human subjects to such an extent that the importance of the knowledge gained warrants the risks to the participants

The Virginia Mason Franciscan Health MREC operates in accordance with all regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CFR 45 and 46, all applicable Washington State statutes and regulations, the principles of “The Belmont Report” and all applicable FDA regulations regarding human subject research.

All research involving human participants at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health requires MREC review and approval unless deferred to the CHI IRB or an outside IRB due to being a multi-center trial within CHI. Use of a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) requires MREC review and approval prior to use. If the proposed research involves human subjects, data from human subjects (medical records, hospital bills, databases, or registries, etc), tissue or specimens from human subjects (either living or deceased), then you will need MREC review and approval prior to beginning the research.”

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