Florence Healthcare has awarded its 2020 Florence Effect honor – created to honor inspirational, hard-working clinical trial professionals – to Melinda Rodriguez. She currently serves as director of regulatory services for Elligo Health Research.
Announced in May 2020, the Florence Effect initiative called for nominations of professionals demonstrating dedication to accelerating cures through clinical research. The newly launched award is named in honor of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale.
According to awards organizers, Rodriguez was nominated because of her work leading her team, which recently partnered with Verily Life Sciences (a clinical research and data analytics firm) to organize drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in California throughout the months of March and April. The initiative reports that Rodriguez “courageously stepped out of her day-to-day role” as Elligo’s director of regulatory services to shift over to a temporary role of project manager.
At the drive-thru testing site, Rodriguez’s contributions included overseeing volunteers and personal protective equipment needs, leading a team working to verify patients, administer swabs and support the general triage process. Awards program organizers report that Rodriguez “worked tirelessly alongside her team, serving patients in need.”
Ryan Jones, Florence CEO, said considering their regular contributions to the industry, research workers going above and beyond deserve to be hailed.
“It is important for us to recognize the hard work of clinical researcher professionals, especially amid COVID-19 because they are on the front lines of discovering both coronavirus vaccines and advancing cures in other chronic disease areas,” Jones said. “Ryan Jones, CEO of Florence. “[Rodriguez] exhibits all the qualities of an inspiring clinical researcher professional; it’s important to celebrate individuals like her and honor the sacrifices they make so we can all have a better quality of life.”
Elligo COO Eli Alford called Rodriguez’s recognition “well-deserved.”
“One mark of good leader is remaining positive under stress. I saw firsthand Melinda’s positivity in a stressful situation in the early, uncertain days of COVID-19 testing,” Alford said.
“Attitude — good or bad — is also contagious. Melinda’s encouraging and caring leadership with Elligo’s testing team and her can-do collaboration with our Verily and Google partners was inspiring to me personally and to everyone she worked with,” Alford added.
In addition to the recognition, the Florence Effect presented Rodriguez with a $500 American Express gift card.