FHI Clinical Executive Team Members Visit the PREVAIL Network in Liberia

In the fall of 2021, a small team from FHI Clinical, including Rob King, COO; Claudia Christian, Senior Vice President, Clinical Global Operations; and Leslie Heavey, Director of Human Resources, headed to Liberia to meet the FHI Clinical PREVAIL network team.
The PREVAIL network was established in 2014 through a collaboration between local Liberian and international organizations, including the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the World Health Organization (WHO) and FHI Clinical. Since its inception, PREVAIL has developed clinical research infrastructure across four sites in Liberia: John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFKMC), Redemption Hospital, CH. Rennie Hospital and Duport Road Clinic. Resources also include a research lab at Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR) and an imaging suite at JFKMC.
In September of 2020, we expanded our role to full operational management. We provide experienced oversight, oversee and facilitate the execution and contractual requirements of all in-country logistics, and help sustain the ability of the network’s research-ready sites to conduct high-quality studies in collaboration with sponsors and research teams. Today, the PREVAIL network is governed by multiple, global organizations and has active studies for Ebola, HIV, malaria and COVID-19.
While the U.S.-based group had planned to make the trip for quite some time — the majority of the 200+ PREVAIL team started working at FHI Clinical in July 2021 — but COVID-19 made international travel all but impossible. As a result, until this trip, all communication between the groups was through email and global video conferences. Each team member had their own agenda for the trip, but all were eager to meet their new colleagues face-to-face. With safety protocols in place (quarantining, frequent COVID-19 testing, use of face masks, social distancing and meeting outdoors), this long-awaited visit helped solidify relationships between FHI Clinical’s Liberia and U.S. staffs.
Upon their return from visiting Liberia and each of these network sites, we asked the team some questions about the trip and their accomplishments.
Question 1: Why did you visit the FHI Clinical PREVAIL network in Liberia?
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Question 2: What was your main takeaway from the trip? What did you learn?
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Question 3: What types of training, knowledge and skills are important and were evaluated for the site staff?
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Question 4: What are some of the immediate action items that came out of the trip?
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Question 5: How important is it that you have local experts on the ground?
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Question 6: How has COVID impacted the local healthcare system?
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Question 7: What is the next research project? What is the team excited about?
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Question 8: Any final thoughts about the trip?
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Want to learn more about the PREVAIL network?

Our brochure describes the network’s history, its governance, capabilities and past and current studies being conducted by the network’s sites.

And meet some of the PREVAIL team members:
Victor Taryor
Site Manager
John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia
T. Maccarthy Kpaan
Human Resources Manager
Dr. Kumblytee Johnson
Site Physician, Clinical Investigator and Principal Investigator

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Lucas Tina, MD, MPH; VIBRI and KEMRI

Dr. Lucas Tina is affiliated with the Victoria Biomedical Research Institute (VIBRI) and Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Kisumu, Kenya. Dr. Tina serves as a Scientific Advisory Expert for FHI Clinical, and VIBRI and KEMRI are listed in FHI Clinical’s database of research sites.

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