In close proximity: New recruitment firm emphasizes grassroots efforts on a nationwide scale

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/STILLFX)
(Image: Getty/STILLFX)

Related tags: Clinical trial, Patient recruitment

Proximity Health Solutions aims to tackle clinical trial recruitment by meeting patients where they live – using its access to local thought leaders and community venues to educate and enroll potential participants in close proximity to investigator sites.

Proximity Health Solutions (PHS) is a newly formed division of TSN Media Group, a health and wellness marketing and media services company founded in 1993.

Most all of TSN’s client assignments have required the company to recruit local patients to participate in a client sponsored event. The company has access to 20,000 local venues and community thought leaders to lead the educational seminars.

Backed by these capabilities to identify and target patients, TNS clients subsequently asked for assistance in recruiting potential clinical trial participants, said Jeff Schwarz, vice president, marketing, PHS.

Specifically, a government agency last year expressed interested in the company’s community and grassroots recruitment experience and asked if the education programming could be incorporated in its trial recruitment efforts. Thus, PHS was born.

The company works with sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs), providing community-based capabilities that are nationwide in scope, explained Schwarz.

As its name suggests, PHS recruits patients within proximity of a client’s investigator site.

Schwarz said, “PHS formulates individualized, grassroots recruitment plans which utilize local influencers, thought leaders, community venues and local media to recruit and educate patients within proximity of client designated clinical trial investigator sites.”

Additionally, local community access enables PHS “to target and recruit diverse audiences often not well represented in many clinical studies,”​ he added.

Live educational events, also available online, are conducted to educate potential trial participants about medical conditions and specific study details. Schwarz said local investigator site personnel are encouraged to participate in the events to establish patient relationships – and a sense of “familiarity”​ – early in the process.

“By recruiting patients exclusively within proximity of each investigator site, outreach campaign dollars are 100% targeted and efficient,”​ he added.

Speaking to the company’s expected growth, Schwarz said, “We anticipate that CRO’s and pharma companies will begin to incorporate PHS programming into their recruitment plans once they are able to observe and analyze the effect the PHS approach has on their enrollment study retention.”

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