Conducting clinical research studies with
SKILL, KNOWLEDGE and SAFETY.
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Physicians & Researchers

Dr. Robert Spitz, a board certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist serves as Medical Director of Coastal Connecticut Research LLC. He is a life-long resident of southeastern Connecticut, with a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College, an M.D. degree from Boston University, and residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester. With over 20 years of clinical experience, Dr. Spitz now focuses his practice on gynecology and health care research. Since 1993, Dr. Spitz has conducted clinical trials in both the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, and he has been awarded two U.S. Patents for devices for correction of urinary incontinence.

Dr. Edward J. McDermott was board-certified in Internal Medicine in 1985, and Board Re-Certified in 2006. He has been in private practice since 1981. He received his M.D. from the Manila Central University College of Medicine, Philippines. Dr. McDermott was selected by the New London County Medical Association as “Outstanding Physician of the Year”. He has been a Senior Attending Physician at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London since 2000 and is the Medical Director of Fairview Nursing Home in Groton. A former instructor for the Yale School of Nursing, Dr. McDermott joined Coastal Connecticut Research in 2008, his research interest’s centers on Internal Medicine in all phases.

Alyce Huston Hemstreet, CS, APRN is a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in women’s health issues, including sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders and pain management. Ms. Hemstreet has published extensively on various topics within the field of psychiatry, and is co-editor of the book, Variations on a Theme, Diversity and the Psychology of Women. Ms. Hemstreet maintains a private psychiatric practice and works as an advanced practice clinician with the Department of Psychiatry at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London, CT. Ms. Hemstreet has also worked with a major pharmaceutical company in developing and monitoring sexual dysfunction interviews used as screening criteria for clinical trials.

Merrilyn Harden McNatt, APRN, is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner. After graduating from the Medical College of Georgia with a BS in nursing, she certified as a childbirth educator and in 1985 became one of Connecticut’s first three international board certified lactation consultants. As a nursing educator, Ms. McNatt has taught at the baccalaureate and associate degree nursing levels and has served as a nurse consultant to local healthcare agencies. An advanced practice registered nurse, or APRN, Ms. McNatt has a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Connecticut with post-graduate work completed at the University of Rhode Island in the area of family practice. A published author, Ms. McNatt has conducted research at both UCONN and URI with a focus in women’s health behaviors. Her research interests center on the menopausal woman including sexual dysfunction, bladder control issues and osteoporosis.

Diane Palmer, RN, serves as Administrator and Certified Clinical Research Coordinator. She earned her Registered Nurse degree from Saint Francis School of Nursing in Hartford, CT and has completed a Clinical Data Management Certificate Program through the University of Connecticut College of Continuing Studies and Workforce, providing her with an education on the drug development process of clinical trials. She has combined her nursing experience in mental health and clinical research training to be a Nurse/Clinical Research Coordinator. Diane’s responsibilities include recruitment and patient education while coordinating research data essential to the successful management of clinical trials research and patient safety.

Heather Savage, NCPT serves as a Clinical Research Coordinator and received certification in Phlebotomy from Quinebaug Valley Community College. Heather has six years of experience working in mental health, CNS, and Alzheimer’s clinical trials.

Jessie Jellison, LPN  joined Coastal Connecticut Research in November 2011.  She is an experienced nurse that has worked with patients in both the rehabilitation and long term care settings for the past 5 years. Jessie had a desire to become a clinical research nurse coordinator so she can use her nursing skills to assist with the research for developing improved and new treatments for her patients.  Jessie joined the Coastal Connecticut Research team because “I know it will open doors for me to develop the knowledge and skills to help me during my career as a clinical research nurse coordinator.”Jessie’s future plans include becoming certified as a clinical research coordinator with ACRP.  Jessie feels with her skills, and additional training she can help make a difference in health care and she looks forward to being part of “the next big treatment that will help change the quality of life for people.”  Jessie will be working directly with the clinical trial volunteers in patient recruitment and following through the trial monitoring their safety, she will also be assisting in meeting the data management and regulatory needs of the various sponsors.