“My job is to provide a stress-free recruiting experience for our clients,” says Harper Global’s Director of Field Services, Kelly Willett. And for recruiting challenging pharma projects, that is no mean feat! Kelly’s job covers everything from assisting with recruiting screener development to ensuring the right respondents are screened and scheduled for Harper Global’s projects.
Kelly enjoys recruiting pharma projects because of the challenge of recruiting patients and physicians. “The majority of our projects are difficult to recruit (rare patients, physician respondents, lengthy screening, etc.), so all of them are challenging and rewarding to recruit. I’m satisfied and excited when a project gets fully recruited.”
Kelly’s favorite project was one of these ultra-challenging recruits. “We had a patient project years ago where we were recruiting an in-person project with patients with Gaucher disease. Gaucher disease is rare, with only approximately 6,000 individuals in the US. It is also more common in persons of Jewish ancestry. For this particular project, we had to get very creative to find these individuals, so we enlisted the help of advocacy groups for rare diseases and multiple support groups. We also connected with local Jewish community centers in various cities, and many other tailored recruiting methods. We recruited all of the respondents for this project, which was particularly rewarding because of the tough recruit.”
Kelly has been with Harper Global for 21 years, which is not a surprise given that she says the best thing about her job is the people she works with. “We have talented individuals that are not only smart and creative, but also really fun to be around outside of work!” Kelly’s hometown is Robinson, Illinois, (home of the Heath Candy bar), and her personal mantra is “It’s a good day for a good day!” Kelly is most proud of her children, saying, “They have grown up to be very polite, confident, hardworking, well-behaved (for the most part) teenagers.” A perfect day with Kelly is a day spent with her family, outside, camping or at the lake, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature and letting the sun hit her face.
Kelly lives by her calendar/planner and claims she cannot live without it. “I took it on vacation to Mexico once, and I forgot it in the room when we checked out of the hotel. I called when we got home to have them send it to me, and they had already thrown it away. I think a piece of me died that day.” Nonetheless, we are sure that Kelly quickly and efficiently recreated her planner because that is what she does.
Kelly finds pharmaceutical research very rewarding because Harper Global is contributing to the process of marketing products that will improve the quality of life for people. Kelly says, “You get to watch products come to market that you know will make a positive impact on someone’s life.”