RCR is proud to be a woman-owned business, meet the CEO, Patricia Larrabee.
Patricia Larrabee MSN, NP-S
Patricia founded RCR in 1994 with a vision. To provide the residents of the greater Rochester area access to clinical research studies, and to advance new medical treatments that improve quality of life. Patricia has done exactly that. Now over 25 years later, RCR has conducted over 900 clinical trials and has a network of over 50,000 study volunteers.
We sat down with Patricia to learn more about her journey and how she made RCR the company it is today.
What made you want to go into clinical research?
I was always interested in learning new things and research is very stimulating – to be on the cusp of the latest development in clinical care is exciting!
Why do you think clinical research is important?
It is only through research that we can make advances in treatment and health care. So much has happened in science and these advances are only possible through research – that is how we learn what works! Only a small percentage of new developments make it to the public.
Why did you start Rochester Clinical Research and what was the journey like to be where you are today?
I thought there might be a better way for a small company to conduct clinical trials with the volunteer in mind – making it easier for the patient and possibly better for the staff. We started very small, with just a few of us and a few trials. By doing a good job for those that hired us, we grew steadily. We had a vision at the beginning with quality as the core – quality care, quality data, and a quality place to work. I think as a result of this, we grew from that original small group of 4 into a staff of 50 plus. We now have a large number of trials under our belt – close to 1000 and have been involved in the development of new treatments for diabetes, weight loss, heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines, contraception, and many vaccines including several COVID-19 vaccines.
What are your most memorable experiences with RCR?
Hard to pick just one –
I am so very proud of the team we have. Certainly, the effort put forth by all during this year of the pandemic – each person stepping up and working so hard to help us all get our lives back by working hard to help develop the COVID-19 vaccines.
The first time we were recognized as a “gold star” site by a major sponsor for our excellence in work.
The first time we hit the Rochester top 100 companies list, the support the team has given me personally through the good times and the bad! There was a sleepless night or two along the way when you realize you are responsible for the livelihood of the families and employees.
What do you want the next generation of girls to know?
That you can do anything you set your mind to.
What is a favorite quote/ motto/ saying that inspires your life and what it means to you?
“Reach for the highest star”
My dad would tell us all that we should reach for the highest branch on the highest tree, the furthest star in the sky, that nothing is impossible – I think that is why it never occurred to me that starting a business could fail.
I also have always followed the advice from The Little Prince “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly” – and that always meant to me that you have to follow what’s in your heart too in whatever you undertake in life.