A Letter from PSI CRO AG to Teams Globally

Dear all,

For several days now, full-scale military aggression against Ukraine has been unfolding. There is no rhyme or reason for it, no excuse, no justification, no exoneration.

Our friends, colleagues and teammates are in bad trouble, and we are worried sick about their wellbeing. The country is under martial law.  Business operations are disrupted.

Let us now make a few specific points:

  • As of this writing, all our employees in Ukraine are accounted for and physically safe.  Emotionally, people are understandably distressed, but many have shown remarkable resilience and bravery in the face of hostilities playing out on their doorsteps.
  • Our office in Kyiv is now being used as a living quarters for those employees whose apartments are too close to the frontlines. Also, we’re lucky to have an underground garage that can be used as a shelter.
  • The leadership team in Ukraine are showing incredible resilience. Several times a night, they are awoken by the sound of air-raid sirens and they still make themselves available since the early hours of the morning, supporting their teams, alleviating other peoples’ anxiety and making sound tactical decisions. 
  • An task force consisting of the Country Managers of some of the neighboring countries (Hungary, Romania, Poland) have been working on several scenarios for resettling our employees and their families, if they need to leave the country. It looks like Poland will have to do most of the heavy lifting, for which we should be immensely grateful.
  • So far, the Internet and cellular services haven’t been disrupted, so communication hasn’t been compromised. We’re exploring various backup scenarios in case the situation deteriorates.
  • PSI drug supplies warehoused in the region are intact.
  • For obvious reasons, our ability to maintain normal operations in Ukraine is severely reduced, but, importantly, not paralyzed. Onsite monitoring is currently not possible, but our people still attend calls, file documents, write reports, stay in touch with sites and, amazingly, follow up on the status of patients whenever possible.   
  • Needless to say, the company is providing and will continue to provide support to our staff – financial, logistical, psychological. We only wish we could do more.

Many of our team members have been asking themselves, “What can I do to help?” People have offered to donate their salaries, collect warm clothes for their Ukrainian colleagues, and many other noble initiatives. This is very sweet but unnecessary. Whatever money can buy, the company will take care of that. You can do so much more. Since our operations in Ukraine have been impeded, we need to pick up the slack elsewhere. We know that work is already being redistributed within and among project teams, but we want to drive this message home:  if we all do a little more, we can reduce or even cancel out the damage. Every patient we cannot enroll in Ukraine now will have to be enrolled someplace else; every draft visit report that your teammate in Ukraine cannot review will have to be reviewed by someone else; every document that cannot be timely filed by someone in Ukraine will have to be filed by a teammate elsewhere. Every extra mile, meter, foot, inch, centimeter – counts. No extra effort is too small.

Lastly, for the sake of our collective sanity, let me offer a word of caution:  whatever you hear or read on the news or social media, do take it with a grain of salt. Every kernel of accurate information is heavily intermixed with hearsay, unsupported opinions of pseudo-experts, propaganda and deliberate fabrications.  Information can be and is weaponized – it’s the reality of contemporary warfare. Apply critical thinking – you’re good at this.

Thank you all,