Christian is a serial entrepreneur and innovator in clinical research. Currently, Christian leads three organizations that are creating a positive impact on the clinical research industry. ClinEdge, which provides a variety of clinical trial support services. BTC Network, a group of integrated research sites. And, most recently, GuideStar Research, which works with hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers to optimize clinical research programs.
How did you get involved in the clinical research industry?
I stumbled into the industry by participating in a clinical trial. From there, I became fascinated with clinical research and how everything worked together, and that fascination drove me towards a job working at the research site level.
As an entrepreneur-type, I was continually interested in finding ways to transform and improve upon existing processes in this industry, from site operations and management to digital marketing and technology. My interest in these areas sparked a passion to make my mark on this industry, and led to the creation of ClinEdge and BTC Network. Now these organizations continue to expand and offer more solutions in the clinical research space. I am always thinking about what more we can offer and what could increase clinical trial accessibility to patients. My employees will tell you I have a new idea every day!
What is your role in clinical research?
Everything we do at the companies is about patients and sites. We provide a variety of back-end services to support the infrastructure of research facilities trying to perform better clinical trials, or we offer our support in educating patients about clinical trial participation. We cover everything from robust financial services, business development, and marketing services to patient recruitment. We have our own national patient database, an in-house call center, staffing division and more, all designed to help support the many facets of clinical research.
What trends do you see in clinical trials?
We see a growing trend in patient “concierge” services (including travel concierge). Noticing this trend, we are opening up the doors to being that main point-of-contact for the patient during their entire clinical trial experience. It is fun and rewarding work. We pride ourselves on being available to patients with any questions or ongoing concerns, and provide reminders or check-ins throughout their experience. Paying attention to what patients need helps deliver success in other areas of clinical trial execution.
How did you get involved with Greater Gift?
I became involved with Greater Gift through Jennifer and Amanda, who have been long-time mentors and collaborators of ours in their prior lives at PMG. It’s one of those “feel-good” opportunities! Last year for the holidays, we donated vaccines on behalf of each of our clients and received such a heartwarming response. We donated hundreds of vaccines based on the number of clients we have! The feedback from our clients based on the goal was huge – everyone loved the idea!
We love being able to collaborate with organizations like Greater Gift that allow companies and individuals working in clinical research to take a step back and realize we are part of something so much greater.
We should be celebrating these heroes more, so Greater Gift’s mission to do this is amazing. It makes us want to put our own processes in check to ensure we are fulfilling this same obligation for patients. In addition, the mission of Greater Gift portrays a vision on positively transforming the clinical research industry while giving back to the overall view of global health.
Partnering with Greater Gift is important to our company because as we work alongside the sites and patients who participate in clinical research every day, we can help spread awareness and educate sites and patients about clinical trials, and further the Greater Gift mission of providing vaccines and therapies to those in need. The more individuals we can educate, the more people will want to participate. Therefore, new medicines can arise to help counteract the numerous diseases and illnesses around the globe. Our partnership also helps positively recognize all volunteers for donating their time and effort into each trial.
What is your vision for clinical trials?
My vision is that all patients will have access and be informed about clinical trials through medical providers. I wish people knew that the medical industry truly cannot develop new medicines without clinical trials; therefore, the future of health depends on them, the volunteers. It’s important for others to know and recognize the “unsung heroes,” the volunteers who have participated in research for the future development of medicine. This positive recognition can only support and enhance clinical trial participation, overall, and help provide a better chance of a healthier tomorrow.
How could we improve the experience for people in clinical trials?
We can improve the experience for people in clinical trials by educating them about what it is like to participate in a trial. Shedding light on the positive experiences individuals have had may help encourage others to participate.
Describe clinical trials in three words.
Opportunity. Patient Care. Options.