These Philosophies Have Propelled The Emmes Corporation to Become a Leading International Clinical Research Organization
Emmes Shows That Doing Good is Good for Science, Medicine and Business
The Emmes Corporation has been a pillar in the BioHealth Capital Region for many years and has multiple locations in Maryland, including Rockville and Frederick. First established in 1977, Emmes is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) that provides numerous public health-related services to a wide range of clients, including academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and pharmaceutical/biotech companies. Emmes has also worked closely with numerous governmental organizations, such as the NIH, DoD, and FDA, to improve public health worldwide.
In 2016, Emmes was ranked as the eighth largest woman-owned business in the Washington metropolitan area for the first time. In 2017 Emmes surpassed this ranking to become the seventh largest woman-owned business. For three consecutive years, Emmes has also been selected as one of the best places to work in the greater Washington area, and for good reason! BioBuzz likes to celebrate the companies in the region who are both doing good and doing good things, so we interviewed the current president of Emmes, Dr. Anne Lindblad, to find out more about what makes Emmes stand out as such a great organization.
Strengthening the Local Community
Not only does Emmes do excellent work in the public health realm, but they go above and beyond to create a positive impact in the BioHealth Capital Region. Emmes employees are encouraged to volunteer within the local community, and the company works hard to make volunteer opportunities easy to find and accessible.
“People generally love to volunteer and help those in need, but when you’re juggling personal commitments, such as work and family, it’s sometimes hard to find these opportunities. Knowing this, we try to make it as easy as possible for our staff to get out there and get involved,” comments Dr. Lindblad.
In years past, Emmes employees have volunteered to build bikes for area children in homeless centers in lieu of the company’s usual holiday party. They have also volunteered to pack care packages of utensils for people who have experienced homelessness and who are transitioning into permanent housing. In June of this year, Emmes was recognized by the Rockville Mayor and City Council with the Rockville Recreation and Park Foundation Community Achievement Award. The company also works very closely with the NIH Children’s Inn in Bethesda to help children and their families who are participating in clinical research studies.
This past fall, Emmes elevated their commitment to public service to a new level by announcing a new corporate sponsorship with Leadership Montgomery’s Corporate Volunteer Council, which aims to foster community engagement opportunities within Montgomery County. Some of the activities the Corporate Volunteer Council hosts include packing food for weekend backpack programs and teaching Junior Achievement classes.
“We love volunteering at the local level for many reasons. It’s a great way for us to meet our neighbors and give back to our community, and it also builds strength and camaraderie within our organization,” says Dr. Lindblad. “As Emmes continues to grow, I find that volunteering is a great way for employees working in completely different departments to get to know one another and build connections. You can’t get that from sitting in the office all day!”
Dr. Nilay Shah has been with Emmes since 2005 and is currently a Medical Officer. We also asked him to weigh in on why this ‘community engagement’ culture is an important part of what he values with the company. “There’s something gratifying about volunteering. Volunteering takes me away from the day-to-day worries and builds a greater sense of purpose.” Dr. Shah shared, “I have seen that people almost always want to make some sort of impact, in their work and in their local communities, and Emmes does a great job at making it possible for us all to do so.” Dr. Shah also pointed out that these programs really help to build stronger relationships at work. “When we work together to support a cause, employees feel empowered and inspired to do their part, to not let the team down, and that’s a great thing to be a part of that people don’t forget when they return to work.”
“No matter how much we do to help the community, we will always get back more,” said Dr. Shah. “This may not be in a monetary sense, but it’s the sense of satisfaction knowing that we just made a difference in the lives of people in need.” Listening to Dr. Shah it becomes clear why Emmes has been recognized so often as a top workplace by their employees. They clearly figured out that community matters; both outside of work and in.
Serving the Greater Good Worldwide
Emmes’ commitment to public service doesn’t stop at the Montgomery County borders, either! The company takes its community outreach a step beyond (and across the big pond!) to engage with hospitals and organizations internationally.
For many years, Emmes employees have traveled overseas to China, India, and other countries to visit hospitals and train physicians and staff on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and how to design effective clinical trials to test potential new drugs.
“As public health professionals, we feel that it’s our global responsibility to create relationships and build infrastructure with physicians and patients around the world. Our staff are very passionate about bridging clinical knowledge gaps so that in the event of another disease outbreak, such as Ebola or Zika, we are all better prepared,” comments Dr. Lindblad.
Emmes recently extended their international outreach efforts by establishing a new partnership with the Cairo Children’s Cancer Hospital to build an international internship program. This program offers a yearly internship to an Egyptian fellow to travel to Rockville and work with Emmes’ clinical experts to learn from the leaders in clinical research. This partnership stemmed from a recent trip to Egypt where Drs. Ashraf El Fiky and Robert Lindblad of Emmes gave keynote speeches at the 53rd Alexandria Conference on Allergy and Immunology, followed by a trip to Cairo, Egypt, where they gave a seminar on GCP and shared Emmes’ experience in oncology-related studies.
Dr. Anne Lindblad commented, “This was our fourth year of attending this meeting, but this past year was particularly special. Being up on the podium helped us to foster relationships with the other meeting attendees, and we really started to understand the needs of our international neighbors. We realized how fortunate we are to be so close to important global health agencies such as the NIH and FDA, and we wanted to find a way to share these resources with others.”
While the logistics and paperwork are still being finalized, the program is already gaining a lot of attention across Egypt! Drs. El Fiky and Robert Lindblad were recently featured in local media in Egypt that shed light on their visit and support to the hospital’s ambitious training agenda. In their remarks, Dr. Robert Lindblad stated that he is glad to share Emmes’ expertise, and Dr. El Fiky expressed that this visit is a volunteer initiative and that he is glad to extend a helping hand to his homeland’s physician and patient community.
“We are so excited for our interns to be able to take advantage of these opportunities and take these skills back with them to help patients in Cairo,” says Dr. Anne Lindblad.
Why Go the Extra Mile?
It takes a tremendous amount of time, work, and dedication to be involved in outreach efforts—why do it?
Dr. Lindblad comments, “At Emmes we pride ourselves in having a holistic mindset when it comes to medicine and public health. It takes a lot of work, but we feel that establishing global collaborations is better for science as a whole. When we’re communicating and learning from one another, everybody benefits!”
“We’re also really fortunate to have so many wonderful employees who are naturally engaged and work hard! But let’s be honest—being in the healthcare field is very intense, and it can be easy to burn out. I think it’s extremely important that our employees have a break from this intensity through volunteering and giving back. I’m a big advocate of the idea that if you work toward enhancing one’s well-being, you enhance their performance.”
You can learn more about the Emmes Corporation here: https://secure.emmes.com/emmesweb
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Sarah Ellinwood is BioBuzz’s Managing Editor. A scientist by training and a science communicator at heart, Sarah specializes in making complex concepts understandable, engaging, and exciting. She received her Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology with a focus in infectious disease immunology from the University of Maryland and is passionate about all things related to scicomm, peer mentorship, and women in STEM.