Francine W. Schranck, President

Francine Schranck brings over 30 years of clinical research experience to her current role as President of SPIRITT, a patient centric evidence development and specialty research organization dedicated to excellence in all aspects of clinical outcomes and study management. Most recently, Francine served as Director of Research for Dr. Matthew Gornet's Spine Research Center at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis. Under her leadership since 2001, the SRC successfully participated in over 30 FDA Investigational Studies and physician-driven studies, developing a reputation as one of the most reliable research organizations in spine medicine in such important areas as technical and administrative accuracy, enrollment, patient monitoring and compliance, industry relations, database management, and review board approval.

Francine created and deployed, in a community-based practice, a state-of-the-art research and quality outcomes management infrastructure commonly seen only in an academic clinical research setting. Prior to joining Dr. Gornet, Francine worked as the Director of Research at Shriner's Hospital in St. Louis. Under Dr. Michael Whyte, Francine opened the Center for Metabolic and Molecular Bone Disease, hiring and training the entire staff and leading the clinical research and publications process. Francine began her research career in 1980 at the Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis, where she functioned as Clinical Oncology Nurse Specialist under the Chief of Surgery, Dr. Gordon Philpott.

Anne G. Copay, PhD, Director of Clinical Research

Dr. Anne Copay joined SPIRITT after many successful years at the Spinal Research Foundation, where she established the research function at the foundation, shaped the content and form of its research program, and led the development and administration of a database of 7,000 spine surgeries and patient outcomes data. Her important work on patient-reported outcomes and in particular on the measurement of the “minimum clinically important difference” established the standard for that measure in spine medicine. Anne’s publication on this topic received the Editor’s Choice Award from The Spine Journal.

Anne has authored several research articles, cases studies, and book chapters (including a chapter in the prestigious Youman’s Neurological Surgery textbook). Anne also launched the Journal of the Spinal Research Foundation, where she was managing editor and a significant content contributor. While at the SRF, Anne personally managed many clinical research trials, ranging from medical devices to biologics, ensuring the overall quality of the trials and their regulatory compliance.


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