Clinical Investigators: Unsung Heroes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Clinical Investigators: Unsung Heroes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Medpharmics, a New Orleans area clinical investigational site, recently trained local medics on how to properly administer COVID-19 tests. Medical Director Robert Jeanfreau, MD, believes that the thousands of smaller research sites across the country could form an army of high-impact COVID-19 support resources—directly training medics and other emergency personnel while establishing standard operating procedures and other guidance for how to properly train and guide testing, not to mention support what can now be consider top priority scientific research. After all, there is no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Jeanfreau and his wife, Andrea Jeanfreau, also collaborate with the local hospital, East Jefferson General Hospital, to collect blood samples to support a clinical trial addressing more extreme COVID-19 cases involving severe high-risk cases. Dr. Jeanfreau notes that there is something about an individuals’ immune system that is somehow possibly connected to why some people get better and others fare worse. In New Orleans, the Jeanfreau’s are on a mission to employ scientific research to make a difference against COVID-19.

During this pandemic, TrialSite News calls out to our readers attention the importance and criticality of clinical investigators around the world—whether employed in major academic medical centers, specialized non-profit institutions, industry sponsors, or private practices such as Dr. Jeanfreau. Who are the heroes in this age of pandemic? The research scientists are working tirelessly around the clock in search of a vaccine or a cure. Research is more than just incredibly important at this point. 

Who is MedPharmics?

Established in 2012 in Metairie, Louisiana, MedPharmics was initially a standalone clinical investigational site. The founders, a husband and wife team of Robert Jeanfreau and Andrea Jeanfreau, RN, have been able to expand the firm to Gulfport, MS, Phoenix, AZ and Albuquerque, NM. Their Metairie headquarters house not only research, but quality assurance, marketing and recruitment, regulatory specialists, information technology experts, and business development and finance.

Clinical Study

The research site is involved in a number of clinical trials and reports that it will commence a COVID-19 study soon. In addition to the one study involving blood samples, Dr. Jeanfreau reports that another study was interested in including their site in a clinical trial, but there appeared to be a shortage of the specific trial drug. Dr. Jeanfreau hopes to get his clinical investigational site involved in more COVID-19 research.

Training COVID-19 Testing

As reported on Fox 8Dr. Jeanfreau and his research site team trained dozens of local medics involved with the scale up of COVID-19 testing. The New Orleans-based physician and clinical investigator spoke with TrialSite News and mentioned clinical research will be fundamentally important to discover and develop a vaccine and possible treatments. Moreover, the clinical investigator noted there are thousands of investigational sites around the country with investigators and staff with deep expertise and knowledge that could be mobilized to support local emergency response efforts, involving COVID-19.

About East Jefferson General Hospital

East Jefferson General Hospital was inaugurated in 1971. The hospital’s primary support comes from EJGH Foundation and the provider includes 420 beds and over 3,000 employees (along with 650 physicians) making it one of the largest employers in the Parish region. The provider was recently acquired by LCHC Health. They are a New Orleans-based non-profit health system that serves New Orleans, the Gulf Coast, and beyond.

COVID-19 Headed to New Orleans

It would appear that the virus is gaining steam into Louisiana and New Orleans. According to recent reports, Louisiana now has 2,746 cases and 119 deaths while New Orleans reports over 1000 cases.

Lead Contact

Interested in connecting with Robert Jeanfreau and Andrea Jeanfreau? See the link.

Call to Action: Are you interested in utilizing clinical investigational sites to help train local medics on how to conduct a COVID-19 test? Dr. Jeanfreau would be happy to talk about how local research sites can help with this class of activity. He just accomplished a thorough and comprehensive COVID-19 test training service. See their contact information here.