Vince Staggs, PhD, has been named as the first Director of the Children’s Mercy Research Institute Biostatistics and Epidemiology Core (BEC). Work on establishing the BEC as a unit within the Division of Health Services and Outcomes Research began in 2015. It has grown to include four faculty and two staff biostatisticians.
"The BEC has a crucial role to play in achieving the Research Institute's goals of fostering high-quality research, promoting team science, and supporting mentorship of researchers. I think we've been something of a hidden treasure at Children’s Mercy, and people might be surprised at the impressive array of expertise represented in our group. We look forward to increasing the BEC's visibility inside and outside CMKC, supporting the institution's academic mission by expanding our education and mentoring activities, and continuing our success in helping investigators secure extramural funding,” said Dr. Staggs.
Dr. Staggs completed a BS (Evangel University) and MS (Missouri State University) in Mathematics and a MA in Social Psychology (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) before completing a PhD in Quantitative Psychology (a field of statistics) in 2009 at the University of Kansas. During his training he was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation VIGRE Fellowship in Statistics at Iowa State University. After completing his PhD, Dr. Staggs joined the faculty of the highly regarded Department of Biostatistics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. In January of 2015, we were fortunate to recruit Dr. Staggs to join us at Children’s Mercy. Dr. Staggs was promoted to Associate Professor by the UMKC School of Medicine in 2016.
An accomplished researcher, Dr. Staggs has published over 75 peer-reviewed scientific papers (25 as first or senior author) and nearly two dozen technical reports, editorials, and other publications. Of particular note, he led an effort by 25 academic statisticians to write a collaborative statement on reforming significance testing in nursing research, which was published in International Journal of Nursing Studies and reprinted in four other journals. During his career he has supported 39 funded grants and contracts totaling over $45 million in extramural support, reviewed over 250 manuscripts for scientific journals as an ad hoc reviewer and associate editor, and accumulated over 150 semester hours of university teaching experience. Dr. Staggs’ published work and expertise have led to opportunities to provide expert commentary on the popular Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 model for USA Today, serve as an expert consultant on a legal case involving a Washington state psychiatric hospital, be the U.S. expert on an international study of psychiatric unit restraint rates, and collaborate with researchers from Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Moffitt Cancer Center, Ohio State, RAND, University of Florida, and Yale.
“Dr. Staggs’ exceptional intellect, expertise, drive and commitment to our core mission make him the ideal leader for the BEC,” said Kathy Goggin, PhD, Deputy Director of CMRI and Director of the Division of Health Services and Outcomes Research for CM.