PRADA was established in 2010 by Rob Kitts, M.D. after he realized that research assistants and coordinators (RA/Cs) could benefit from a professional development program similar to those already available to medical students, residents, and fellows. It started as a seminar series where RA/Cs invited guest speakers to talk on topics ranging from interviewing high-risk study participants to career pathways to healthcare reform.
As interest in PRADA increased, more RA/Cs became involved and soon began developing initiatives of their own; starting with a tutoring program for inpatients, and their siblings, who don't meet the criteria for public school tutoring. Created with the help of Volunteer Services and Child Life Services, the RA/Cs that run the School Work Assistance Team (SWAT) have provided patients with over 1,000 hours of tutoring, free of charge.
Today, PRADA reaches approximately 300 RA/Cs at Boston Children's Hospital, 50 RA/Cs at neighboring institutions, and 60 alumni at various graduate, medical, and public service institutions around the country. The program is run by an executive board of 15 RA/Cs (See "Our Team" section) that oversee seven subcommittees (See "Our Initiatives" section).
More information is available on this site or through contacting us at PRADA@childrens.harvard.edu
Dr. Kitts and students
Dr. Kitts (left center) speaks to new RA/Cs about his career and PRADA