Let’s Not Stop Here

Clinical Researcher—May 2021 (Volume 35, Issue 4)


Jim Kremidas


It’s with decidedly mixed emotions that I begin this month’s message—my final column as ACRP’s Executive Director—at a time when so many exciting and inspiring things are happening in the world of clinical trials.

I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to support your efforts during my time at ACRP since coming on board in September 2015. As many of you know, I’m retiring at the end of May to spend more time with my family—especially my two grandchildren—but the leaving won’t be easy.

Working with such talented people in this industry has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life. Each day I went to work ready to marvel at what you accomplished, and some of your finest achievements have come since the COVID-19 global pandemic upended our world last year.

As of this writing, COVID-19 has taken more than 600,000 lives in the U.S. alone. However, those numbers would have been devastatingly higher if not for the incredible results the clinical research enterprise delivered in terms of developing safe, reliable vaccines in a matter of months. Even now, this truly historic achievement is being built upon in more labs and study sites so that new and improved treatments for COVID-19’s full range of symptoms, long-term health complications, and emerging variants can come to market as soon as possible.

This is such an important industry, and you embody its spirit. Your work enhances and saves lives. A high calling, indeed.

Together, we’ve built a strong foundation for the clinical trials of today and tomorrow, but we can’t stop reaching and growing now. We have momentum. We must use it to further advance the professionalization of the clinical trial workforce, increase diversity both in the patient population and among practitioners, and keep patients first and foremost in everything we do.

We also need clearly defined career paths and efficient ways to educate and welcome new entrants into this amazing career.

As you know, ACRP has been active in solo and shared efforts to define professional competencies, align those across the entire industry, and validate them through certifications.

Whether it’s through the Find Your Element Campaign, our new Diversity Advisory Council, or the Partners in Workforce Advancement, there are several tangible ways for you to harness your talents for the betterment of our industry by joining our efforts.

I’d like to close my final column by thanking you, the members of ACRP, for all you do. I’d also like to thank the excellent ACRP staff and members of our outstanding Association and Academy Boards of Trustees over the years for their tireless efforts to support our shared mission of promoting clinical trials designed to assuage suffering, improve the quality of life, and help people live longer, healthier lives.

My six years as ACRP’s Executive Director have been a wonderful way to end my career. I cannot adequately express my appreciation to you for this opportunity.

The future for clinical trials looks exciting on so many levels. The trajectory is clear and upward. I will continue to admire all that you do and wish you all the best in the days ahead.

Jim Kremidas (jkremidas@acrpnet.org) is the outgoing Executive Director of ACRP.