Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) visited with leaders from Meridian Clinical Research (now part of Velocity Clinical Research) in Savannah, GA. Following a tour of the company’s internal medicine site in Savannah, the group held a roundtable to discuss patient recruitment efforts and the research conducted for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.
- Eric D. Hargan, Deputy Secretary
- Rear Admiral Erica G. Schwartz, MD, JD, MPH, Deputy Surgeon General
- Ken Callahan, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Secretary
- Chris Kotwicki, Special Assistant, Office of the Deputy Secretary
Georgia State Representatives
- Governor Brian Kemp
- John F. King, Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner
- Senator Ben Watson, MD (enrolled in a COVID-19 vaccine study)
- Representative Earl “Buddy” Carter
Meridian Clinical Research
- Nicole Osborn, Founder and CEO
- Laura Falcone, COO
- Paul Bradley, MD, Principal Investigator (first investigator to dose a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine study patient in the US)
- Brandon Essink, MD, CPI, Medical Director, Principal Investigator
- Wes Bonner, Vice President of Strategic Development
- Andrew Kimball, Vice President of Business Development
- Stephanie Ailey, Director of Clinical Operations, Southwest
- Dawn Baker (the first patient enrolled in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine study in the US, enrolled at Meridian)
“We’re honored to work with the agencies and organizations reinforcing safety and progress in vaccine research,” said Osborn. “We’ve enrolled thousands in COVID-19 vaccine trials, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate and share our experience in recruiting patients for these trials.”
Meridian sites were the first in the U.S. to enroll patients into Phase II and III COVID-19 vaccine studies. Operation Warp Speed (OWS) program officials Moncef Slaoui, chief advisor, and General Gustave F. Perna, chief operating officer, also visited Meridian’s internal medicine site in Savannah earlier this year.
Earlier this month, Meridian won the 2020 Vaccine Industry Excellence (ViE) award for Best Clinical Trial Site.