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Open Letter from the Past IRB Chairperson

April 11, 2003

Welcome to the North Dakota Department of Human Services' Institutional Review Board (IRB) Web site!

Executive Director Carol K. Olson established the IRB in September 2000 to assure that the rights of DHS clients and staff who are participating in research are protected. Drawing upon the wisdom and experience of other longstanding IRBs, and our own training in federal and state regulations and professional ethics, we have developed policies and procedures to define our role and fulfill our mission. At the same time, we routinely provide active assistance to researchers because we value good research and the promise it holds for enhancing services for DHS clients.

We expect this Web site to provide useful information to a variety of users. Researchers will find complete IRB information including forms and detailed instructions. DHS clients and staff will find information and links related to the rights of research participants. Anyone with an interest in our policies, membership, and contact information will find it here.

Many individuals contributed to the creation of this Web site and its contents. I especially thank Dr. Bonnie Selzler, for her vision and guidance; Karen E. Larson, for her constant encouragement in bringing this IRB into being; Krista Andrews, for sharing the excitement of this new learning and for her invaluable technical assistance at every turn; and Mr. Paul Goetz, former administrative assistant, who turned ideas into realities and who kept all of us on track and moving in the right direction. I also thank John Hougen and Henry Lebak for their special contributions to policy development, and to the other founding IRB members including Dr. Joseph Belanger, Dr. Paul Kolstoe, Dr. Andrew McLean, Dr. Harold Rosenheim, Lauren Sauer, and Rose Stoller for their careful review and improvements of the policies, procedures, and forms. I thank our newer IRB members, Judy DeWitz, Dr. Ken Stone, and Dr. Rosalie Etherington for their very active contributions.

I expect the process of improvement of our IRB policies and procedures to be ongoing. As you use this Web site, I welcome your feedback. We will carefully consider all comments and suggestions of improvement opportunities.

Christine J. Kuchler, Ph.D.
Chair, DHS IRB


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