By Ralph Nieder-Westermann, VP Sales and Business Development at The Henne Group
This first 2021 newsletter from The Henne Group reaching you in spring, seems apropos of the moment as the U.S. moves through a robust rollout of nationwide vaccination programs. After a difficult fall and winter full of days of widespread COVID-19, there is light ahead.
Last year, in March 2020, The Henne Group quickly dispersed its teams to work from home, closing office operations in San Francisco and Waller Hall Research in Greybull, Wyoming. We quickly learned to adapt to working “remotely” from one another, while keeping connected and productive with new tools we now use every day.
The Henne Group also adapted by shifting our in-person focus group capability to virtual sessions as a COVID-19 protection protocol. Our project work with focus groups and in-depth individual interviewing has moved productively to virtual modalities and our staff has seamlessly adapted to conduct and support these sessions securely and confidentially online.
We leveraged resources to their full potential by emphasizing online approaches to engage people when we would typically pound-the-pavement to recruit in person.
Our work continues in the health-related fields with public health, pharmaceutical, and health provider clients. Over the last 12 months, our projects also included work directly related to COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and vaccination scheduling support. We were able to support significant public health projects with our operations. Hiring additional multi-lingual call center staff was one way our phone survey work met the needs of multi-cultural populations.
Some of that work has brought us deeper experiences in more rural areas of the country, particularly in Wyoming and in southern states, where health care experiences for rural populations can have unique challenges.
The Henne Group brings broad experience in designing and conducting studies for populations at risk or affected by HIV. Several of our projects last year and in 2021 are related to HIV patient health or prevention research.
One way we kept our company culture intact, was our weekly all-team virtual “watercooler” sessions. It helped instill the feeling that we are still connected to the whole. COVID-19 just dispersed us. Without the ability to gather around our conference tables, convening all-team, Friday afternoon Zoom meetings allowed the staff to have casual conversations.
Finally, we remain committed to working with community-based non-profit organizations, and to projects that allow for more insight and support for the LGBTQ+ communities. We have recently completed the first phase of a Natrona County-based project in Wyoming and are looking forward to continuing our work there.
We are grateful to have been able to serve our clients and support our workforce over the past year. Like many of you, we adapted quickly to demanding circumstance. As the challenges of the pandemic era lessen, we have found some of those adaptations to have lasting positive value - bringing new flexibility to our operations and an energized sense of resilience. Please keep us in mind for how we can bring this value to your next project or study.