At 20/20 Onsite, we are dedicated to exploring new and innovative ways to improve patient care, streamline processes, and enhance the overall clinical trial experience for both patients and providers. Our commitment to providing the highest quality of care has helped us establish ourselves as a true leader in the mobile healthcare industry.
Team members, like Clinic Manager Avanti Wolcott, are a driving force behind our success. His unwavering dedication to patient care has helped set a new standard for excellence on our team and in the clinical trial space. Read his interview to learn more about his innovative strategies for delivering exceptional patient care.
1. What are your primary roles and responsibilities as clinic manager at 20/20 Onsite?
As a clinic manager, I’m one of the friendly faces greeting and assessing trial participants as they come through our trials. I’m always on the go onboard the Mobile Vision Clinics, usually accompanied by an ophthalmologist or optometrist depending on the study requirements. They rely on me to ensure everything runs smoothly and answer any questions that may come up.
As their go-to person onboard, I have to be on top of everything. This includes troubleshooting any issues that arise – which can be a fun change of pace from my daily office duties. For example, when the Mobile Vision Clinic needs to fill up on gas, I have to secure the equipment before I get rolling or, on the off chance the battery dies, I’d be the one managing that. More or less, I do everything and beyond. Therefore, I’m always in constant communication with our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. David Gibson, and Clinical Trial Manager, Pamela Tomic.
One of the most important things I do is make sure all assessments are completed, protocols are followed, and all data is documented and sent to its final secure destination. Of course, I also do a lot of driving.
The Mobile Vision Clinic amidst the vast desert.
I’ve visited 21 states with 20/20 Onsite and I thoroughly enjoy the drive. There’s always beautiful scenery along the way. Outside of work, I've driven through most of the states in my free time. Right now, I'm in Tennessee and it's been amazing driving through the Smoky Mountains. So there you have it - that's pretty much what I do as a clinic manager!
2. What led you to a career in vision care and clinical research?
I've been wearing glasses since I was five years old, and my prescription was always pretty bad. So, I decided to learn more about optics and the things that affected my daily life. I started as an apprentice optician back in 2006 and became fascinated by how they make eyewear, prescriptions, and lenses.
Interestingly, I was actually planning to go into pharmacy at first. My mom is a pharmacist, and I have several nurses in my family, so I had a lot of exposure to the medical industry growing up. But as fate would have it, I ended up working in optics for several years. I even became an ophthalmic technician for a while before stepping away to pursue photography.
After a brief time, I was approached by 20/20 Onsite, and I had worked with some of the leadership before, so they knew my work and my capacity. They thought I would be a good fit for the team. Driving large vehicles wasn't new to me either because I also used to work as a mover. Plus, I love learning new things, and every day on this job is a new opportunity to expand my knowledge.
3. Where did you travel to most recently and for what type of work?
I’m currently working on a trial in Tennessee. Our work involves conducting OCT scans of the subjects' eyes, dilating their pupils, and working closely with an optometrist.
While some assessments may be extremely advanced for our field and others may be less complex, the significance of our work cannot be overstated, as we are responsible for monitoring potential adverse reactions to medications. It's amazing how much you can learn about a patient's health just by examining their eyes, making our work crucial.
4. Where has been your favorite place to travel to so far and why?
Out of all the places I’ve been to so far, my favorite is the Petrified Forest National Park located in Arizona, just outside of Buckeye. There, we saw 200 million-year-old trees that were washed away by a flood, buried underground, and then unearthed by another flood.
Preservation of an ancient tree in the Petrified Forest.
The buried trees went through some sort of chemical change that allowed the wood to change into crystals. It not only changed their chemical composition and their appearance, but the weight of each piece is astonishing. Crystal pieces that were the size of your hand were three times heavier than expected.
To my surprise, there were also some dinosaur fossils found there. You can see giant crystallized logs scattered about. It's definitely worth visiting.
Desert landscape of the Petrified Forest.
5. How would trial participants and their families describe your personal work style?
Well, I do crack the occasional joke. I'm very easygoing with trial participants. I continuously try to comfort and reassure them during testing. This current trial involves labor-intensive scans that require patients to sit still for an extended period of time. Depending on the assessment, subjects may be exposed to flashing lights or may be required to focus on a target which can be pretty intense. Therefore, I'm always trying to encourage them by saying “You’re doing great” and “You're almost there.” I give them progress updates, for example, “You’ve only got 20% left," or "You've hit the high mark. You're doing fantastic."
My approach and my goal is to keep them focused, comfortable, and confident. I’m constantly trying to encourage trial participants to do their best in a given situation.
6. How does 20/20 Onsite ensure that each delivery model is providing top-notch care and unrivaled service to trial participants?
We're always taking the time to assess the specific needs of the sites and trial participants. Even after the start-up period, we still make adjustments to improve our processes, operations and overall flow onboard our clinic. We carefully examine every step along the way, and use that to make improvements at our other sites.
If we find a way to improve or streamline a process, sites are always open to our recommendations. They already think our model is amazing, and then, we make it even better! It's great to bolster that confidence. However, we're never satisfied with the status quo. We always look inward and strive to improve.
7. Tell me about a patient story that sticks out to you and proves If we find the value of our care. What makes it so memorable?
There is one patient that sticks out to me. He has a condition called Achromatopsia that affects his vision, particularly at night in his case. He was a baker and he would share his love for making sweets as we conducted his exam. Over the years, his vision had deteriorated, making it increasingly difficult for him to see what he was doing. However, he relied on his other senses and memory to continue with his passion for baking.
Baking requires precision, unlike cooking where one can often improvise. This patient's bakery was quite popular, and he did an exceptional job despite his condition. It was inspiring to witness how he overcame his limitations and did not let his condition slow him down.
8. Why should sponsors, CROs, and clinical trial sites consider working with 20/20 Onsite?
At 20/20 Onsite, our reputation speaks for itself – we're awesome. But we don't rest on our laurels. We refuse to let the status quo govern us and are constantly seeking ways to improve our methods. Our team is committed to streamlining the procedures of each site we partner with, ensuring that subjects are safe and well-cared for.
We understand that sites are often stretched thin and may not have the time or resources to devote to tasks like finding the right optical equipment. That's where our expertise comes in.
With years of experience in the industry, we hire only the best people to bring new insights and help us grow our knowledge. We show each new partner that we're dedicated professionals, committed to providing unrivaled services.
9. How do you think 20/20 Onsite will continue expanding in the years ahead?
We are continuously expanding our relationships with both new and existing sites. We’re even adding two new Mobile Vision Clinics to our fleet, and those are under construction as we speak.
Our flexibility and ability to provide safe and convenient care have made us an important asset to the research industry. This not only saves subjects the time and expense of traveling to a site, but it also helps sites save money by not having to fly subjects out for preliminary exams.