2 April 2020
A Letter from President & CEO Elise W. Huszar on COVID-19
To Geneva’s partners and collaborators:
As The Geneva Foundation (Geneva) responds to COVID-19, the health and safety of our employees and partners continues to be our top priority. Geneva’s work in advancing groundbreaking and impactful medical research is vital to the health and safety of millions of people around the world, and we remain committed to our mission during these difficult times. Geneva was created in response to a critical need – and while that need has changed over the past 27 years – we continue to adapt and respond so that the top priorities of the DoD and most pressing public and global health needs are addressed. Geneva’s focus has shifted over the past months in response to COVID-19, yet we are steadfast in our mission of advancing scientific medical research in areas that are essential to our global health.
Our thoughts extend to those who have been directly affected by the virus and to the brave, capable healthcare workers who are managing it from the front lines. While everyone continues to monitor this situation closely, I wanted to update you on the steps Geneva is taking to remain focused on our mission and our employees during this challenging time.
GENEVA’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Geneva has over 15 years of experience in infectious diseases research, and we are proud of our contributions to significant advancements in the development of vaccines and therapeutics for some of the world’s most devastating global health threats, to include Ebola, Malaria, Lassa, SARS, MERS, and Hantavirus. Our world-renowned experts are located at top military medical installations worldwide, at sites including U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), and Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS). Geneva is well- equipped to continue our work in leveraging these experts and partnerships to advance and implement medical solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with academic and industry partners, Geneva is accelerating complex and cutting-edge research proposals in novel therapeutics, rapid diagnostics, appropriate countermeasures, and treatments for co-morbidities of COVID-19. With many of these projects already underway, we commit to sharing our successes and updates as they occur.
IMPACT TO OUR EMPLOYEES
We remain focused on the health and well-being of Geneva employees around the world who are steadfast in their focus to safely drive military medical research forward. Our teams are currently engaged in over 340 programs in research areas including infectious diseases, critical care, pulmonology, nursing research, and gastroenterology. The need for Geneva, and for military medicine, as a valuable source of research, insight, and training, has never been clearer. Geneva’s 450+ world-class employees are located at our Corporate headquarters in Tacoma, WA, an office in the National Capital Region, and over 50 military treatment facilities and federal laboratories around the world. On their behalf, Geneva is continually assessing and following federal, state, and local guidelines and requirements regarding COVID-19, to include temporary site closures at military installations throughout the United States. This includes implementing practices and policies on teleworking, social distancing, travel restrictions, additional sanitary measures, and employee wellness programs.
IMPACT ON OUR ONGOING RESEARCH PROGRAMS
Geneva is placing considerable effort on understanding which research programs are proceeding as usual and which have been impacted with recent site closures and “stay at home” orders. Geneva is working diligently to maintain project activities to the extent possible under the current difficult circumstances, bearing in mind that with many of our sites taking steps to restrict access to DoD mission-essential personnel only, we will undoubtedly encounter delays in progress. At this time, human subject research is at the greatest risk of interruption. However, many sponsors are allowing protocol changes, to include virtual visits in order to maintain patient safety for those already enrolled. Some federal laboratories continue to operate with some restrictions in place but are largely unchanged in terms of research activity. Most of Geneva’s federally funded contracts are also proceeding as usual with little interruption.
Like so many of you, I am focused on the impact of COVID-19, and I am evermore motivated to leverage Geneva’s expertise and resources to address our world’s most pressing medical issues during this unprecedented time. Our team of experts, in partnership with key leaders in the federal, industry, and academic sectors, are already at work in a unique environment where Geneva has demonstrated 27 years of excellence. We are well-positioned to address the current COVID-19 challenge with agility and innovation, and are dedicated to the health of the U.S. military and global communities.
Thank you for all you do in support of our great mission. We look forward to emerging as a stronger team.
Elise W. Huszar, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Geneva Foundation