“We are continuing to focus on patients and their needs in order to have successful trials, success for our clients and success for the world in continuing to break through with wonderful medicines and vaccines.”
Carrie Stolarski is Proposal Consultant for mdgroup and works with our business development and finance teams out of our US office, putting together budgets for services that meet our clients’ needs. Carrie started with us as a Project Coordinator just over four years ago, then became a Project Manager, then took on more business development work and joined our proposal team.
It’s been an exciting journey in the years Carrie has worked with us, with our services expanding rapidly to include patientprimary and Home Health as we have continually evolved our offering to meet changing client needs.
We spoke to Carrie about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, her personal career journey at mdgroup, what makes working for us different, and the importance of creating remarkable patient experiences now more than ever.
Great to speak to you, Carrie! First of all, tell us a bit more about the evolution of mdgroup over the last 12 months…
Everything shut down when COVID started – but our patients are in essential clinical trials, and their treatment needs to continue.
As a result of the pandemic, decentralized clinical trials exploded rapidly. We had to quickly work behind the scenes to figure out how we could make things work for our clients. How could we get the care patients needed into their homes? How were we going to budget this? How were we going to make this work operationally? And I think we’ve done an amazing job. It’s certainly been a transformation, learning new things every day and making improvements on the way we do things and put budgets together.
What’s been the biggest challenge of this ‘transformation’ since COVID-19?
Never knowing what to expect next. We didn’t know how long the pandemic was going to last, we didn’t know how quickly we would be able to get these vaccines rolled out, we didn’t know how long we were all going to be quarantined or working from home. So, I think the main challenge has been not knowing what the future holds, and figuring out how to meet our employees’ needs, our patient needs, and our clients’ needs. We really have been making changes every day and learning something new every day.
And surprisingly, there have been a lot of positive outcomes from this change in the industry. One of them is around decentralized trials and how the industry has shifted to be really prioritizing the patient – for the first time, I would say.
How does it feel to be part of a company that’s been pushing for this sort of change for a long time?
It’s been really exciting. Our goal has always been to create a remarkable experience for our patients. And now, as a result of this pandemic, our industry is at the forefront of the world. People who knew nothing about clinical trials and how they work are now seeing it all over the news and hearing about it every day.
It’s been a challenging year for the entire world. But it’s also been exciting as a company who understands the importance of the patient journey and how vital the medicines and therapies that we’re bringing to patients and their families are. It’s been exciting to be a part of this growth, while living through this pandemic.
What’s been the most exciting part of mdgroup’s transformation, from your personal perspective?
Although I’m not on the front lines anymore, I really love hearing the stories of the patients and their families, what they’ve been through, and how we’re making a positive impact on their lives and making their clinical trial journey easier. We’re bringing them the services they need and taking away that level of stress and anxiety that goes along with clinical trial visits – and to see that has been exceptional. We really are creating remarkable experiences at every touch point.
What’s your favorite story of working at mdgroup?
When I first started at the company it was around Christmas time, and we were moving from our old office in Norristown to Wayne. That same week, Tarquin and Miriam flew over from the UK to meet me – so I immediately felt like part of the mdfamily, meeting them and other UK team members.
Our first couple of days together were spent moving boxes from the old office to the new office and getting to know each other. Then, we did indoor skydiving for our Christmas party – I literally just jumped right into things! It was a very intense, different first week, meeting all these people from the UK that I had never met before, then going skydiving with them.
Back then we only had two offices, now we’re all over the world. We have a lot of people working remotely right now, and we have offices that will reopen someday, but we still really have that family feel I felt from day one with the company. So, that’s probably one of my favorite stories.
What is the mdgroup ‘family feel’?
It’s just that – a sense of family. Our connection to each other is very strong. Although we’re very busy, and we all have a tonne of work on our plate, we still take time – though remotely now – to have get-togethers or video conferences, and check in with everybody to make sure they’re doing okay.
Tarquin and Miriam have done a great job of leading the company through this year, but it’s been hard on everyone. And I think as a family, we’ve got through it. It’s really special to be a part of it.
So, what’s next for mdgroup?
I think we’ll continue to grow and learn new things every day, and come up with new ways of meeting our clients’ and our patients’ needs. Decentralized clinical trials aren’t going away, and I think we are really leading within the industry. We are continuing to focus on patients and their needs in order to have successful trials, success for our clients and success for the world in continuing to break through with wonderful medicines and vaccines. I think it’s exciting that we really are leading the way in the advancement of clinical trial facilitation and patient care.