Executive Director's Blog

July 13, 2017

Today I am pleased to publicly announce the inaugural members of NESTcc’s Governing Committee (see press release here). We received a host of outstanding applications to serve on the inaugural Governing Committee, and the narrowing down to a final list of members proved to be a difficult task given the quality of the applications.

In line with NESTcc’s commitment to stakeholder transparency, I would like to use this post to describe the selection process. I also want to take the opportunity to thank both the applicants and the reviewers for their interest in NEST, and their willingness to serve in these first activities. There will be many other opportunities to get involved with NESTcc this year, and we hope you will remain interested in participating in other capacities as these opportunities arise.

The inaugural Governing Committee was envisioned as bringing together representatives from a diverse set of stakeholder groups including patient representatives, clinicians, health systems, medical device experts, federal representation, and payers. Members were selected through an open call for nominations published in January 2017, followed by a rigorous review process in which a diverse set of reviewers from the medical device industry, academia, and regulatory agencies reviewed a total of 55 applicants. Formal processes ensured that these reviewers disclosed any conflicts of interest and recused themselves in instances of personal or financial associations with candidates.

Below is a comprehensive outline of the NESTcc Governing Committee selection process:

 

 Solicitation

  • Application available online on MDIC website:
    • Candidates could apply or be nominated by another individual
    • Nominations were accepted by email or through the MDIC website
    • All nominees had to submit an application for consideration
    • No preference was given to nominees versus applicants
  • To comply with the Medical Device User Fee Amendments (MDUFA) IV negotiations, MDIC leadership reached out to the presidents of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), and the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) to request a nominee on behalf of their respective trade association
    • Nominees were required to complete an application
  • Individuals nominated by February 6, 2017 were given two additional weeks to complete an application to be considered

 

Targeted Outreach

  • After review of the applicant pool, a targeted outreach for additional candidates was initiated by MDIC leadership to ensure that all categories of stakeholders and relevant expertise were represented

 

Review

  • Reviewers evaluated between four and ten applicants
  • Reviewer conflicts were managed through a required Conflict of Interest Statement
  • Reviewers were offered the option to speak to applicants or their references

 

Consensus

  • MDIC leadership aggregated reviewer scores and reviewed total applicant pool
  • MDIC leadership conducted ad hoc interviews to gather additional information
  • MDIC leadership put together a slate of individuals that as a whole represented the experience, expertise and leadership required for the Governing Committee, for the MDIC Board of Directors to approve

 

Approval

  • The MDIC Board of Directors approved the candidates on June 14, 2017

 

Rachael Fleurence
Executive Director
NESTcc

May 20, 2017

My first 30 days as the inaugural Executive Director of the National Evaluation System for health Technology Coordinating Center (NESTcc) have been a whirlwind of activity and an exciting first glimpse into NESTcc’s planned contributions to the medical device world. I joined NESTcc because I believe there is a unique opportunity in the medical device ecosystem to catalyze activities around evidence generation in support of the shared goal to improve patients’ health and quality of life.
 

A health economist by training, I come to the NESTcc from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) where I spent 5 years overseeing the launch of large clinical research network, PCORnet. There too we started from an ambitious vision that needed to be operationalized over a short period of time. From PCORnet, I bring the experience of working in multi-stakeholder environments, experience with data infrastructure and research methods, and a focus on sustainability. A key lesson from my experience in PCORNet is that when leaders step up to find common ground, it’s possible to make progress towards transformational change.
 

The time is right for NESTcc to catalyze change in the medical device space. The Coordinating Center has been conceive by leaders at the FDA and the medical device industry, with input from patients, clinicians and other experts,  as the body who will lead and support this change. Under the umbrella of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), it is being launched with support from the FDA to build its initial organization and activities.
 

As I join the NESTcc, I have set milestones in 3 key areas for our first year of operation:

First, the inaugural multi-stakeholder NESTcc Governing Committee will be announced in early summer. It will have representation from patients, clinicians, the medical device industry, the FDA, MDIC, health plans and more. The Governing Committee will help steer NEST’s strategic direction and will announce deliverables early summer.

Second, the NESTcc will be identifying key demonstration projects whose purpose is to provide proof of concept for scalable approaches to evidence generation across device types and across the total product life cycle.

Third, by the end of 2017, a sustainability model for NEST will have been developed in order to keep the initiative going beyond the initial seed funding from the FDA and the MDUFA IV commitment.

 

It’s truly a privilege to serve in this new role and I look forward to meeting with many of you in the future as NESTcc activities get underway and getting your input and recommendations.
 

Please check back periodically as I report back on progress and developments for the NESTcc. You also listen to my first interview with MedTech Insight:

 

 

Rachael Fleurence
Executive Director
NESTcc