“The Power of Community”: How Sites, CROs and Sponsors Can Best Partner for Success

Ashley Toy
April 9th, 2019

Twice each year, Forte’s Onsemble Conference brings together clinical research professionals from leading organizations across the country. At Onsemble, individuals share their experiences, best practices, challenges and successes with one another, and learn and grow together as a community.

At this year’s Spring Onsemble Conference, Forte CEO, Founder and Chief Customer Officer Shree Kalluri laid out the vision for transforming clinical research with a site-centric approach. By inverting the focus from one trial at a time to a site-centric, portfolio-based approach, Forte hopes to improve the clinical research industry as a whole and bridge the gaps between sites and sponsors.

In his keynote address, Kalluri introduced a number of pilot projects Forte is working on, including the Trial Data Exchange and Comparative Analytics. To discuss these innovations and their vision for a more connected clinical research industry, the keynote was followed by a panel discussion, “How Sites, CROs, and Sponsors can Best Partner for Success”. Established at the Fall 2018 Onsemble Conference, members of the Trial Data Exchange Consortium reconvened to share their thoughts with those in attendance.


The panel included Tesheia Johnson, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of YCCI and the Associate Director for Clinical Research at the Yale School of Medicine, Denise Snyder, Associate Dean for Clinical Research at Duke University School of Medicine, Teri Grieb, Senior Director for Research at the University of Michigan Medical School, and Nick Fisher, Executive Director of Research & Business Administration at the Siteman Cancer Center.

The group began the discussion by sharing their initial thoughts on the Trial Data Exchange and Comparative Analytics initiatives, and the value they see for increasing the connectedness of the industry. Fisher shared his excitement for the updates and new interfaces for Forte solutions, emphasizing the importance of saving time, reducing mistakes and improving accuracy in data entry, and the tremendous potential he saw for making an impact at an organization. “It’s an exciting time to be involved in clinical research, and a really exciting time to be working with Forte,” said Fisher.

NFischerSpring Onsemble

Johnson urged that research sites have to lead the way in this industry transformation. While sponsors may feel like competitors that aren’t able to cross a line to work together, research sites have a responsibility to work together. “We come together every day, all day long, focused on how we can help each other get better, and I think bringing that kind of collaboration and partnership to these activities, we’re going to show sponsors how we can work together and the power of community,” Johnson said.

Adoption of technology and change management were also key themes of the Onsemble conference discussed in the panel. On facilitating successful change management to ensure organizations maximize the benefit they see from systems, Grieb emphasized the importance of the human component of lasting cultural change. “People are at the crux of all of this,” she said. “Don’t underestimate the energy you need to put in the people piece if you want it to be successful.”

Snyder echoed the importance of engaging with people at an organization, identifying champions and developing effective training programs to help ensure success. “I cannot tell you how important it is to have training,” she said. “It can really help with your adoption.”

The discussion wrapped up by reflecting on how far the Onsemble community has come and looking ahead to the future of what we hope to accomplish together in the future. Kalluri thanked panelists for their leadership and trust and asked them to share their feelings on reaching the place the community has come to today.


“I never could have envisioned that we’d be where we are today with the data capabilities that we have,” Johnson said. “The passion that Forte brings to the table is what’s enabled us to get here.”

Snyder concluded the panel with her thoughts on why the community does what it does each day. “It’s not what can we do, it’s what should we do. We really all have to work together and not just do our job for the sake of doing our job,” she said. “We have to do it for a bigger vision, a greater cause, for changing care. Because that’s what clinical research does every single day.”

The Onsemble community is strong, and by collaborating with one another and other stakeholders, the community can truly make a difference in the clinical research industry. “Together, we are stronger,” Kalluri concluded. “Together, we are changing the world.”