Meet Dr. C. Chibwesha, Principal Investigator at the Women’s Cancer Research Department (WCRD)


Dr. Chibwesha, Principal Investigator at the Women’s Cancer Research Department (WCRD), shares her experience of collaborating with a virtual assistant who has played a vital role in streamlining administrative and procurement processes for the department.

Can you give a brief description of your company?

The Women’s Cancer Research Department operates within the Clinical HIV Research Unit (CHRU), a division of the Wits Health Consortium. We conduct clinical and qualitative research studies and provide cervical cancer prevention clinical services to HIV-infected women. Since 2009, we’ve partnered with UNC-Wits-Right to Care for Women’s Cancer Prevention, offering cervical screening to nearly 100,000 women across South Africa.

What challenges/problems is Outsourcery solving for you?

We faced challenges related to procurement and inventory management. Additionally, the administrative workload was becoming overwhelming, and we needed assistance in managing these tasks effectively.

What were you looking for in a solution?

We needed a solution that could address our administrative and procurement needs. To achieve this, we created a procurement and inventory system and provided our virtual assistant, Lulu, with training on the WHC procurement online platform. This enabled Lulu to manage the entire procurement process for WCRD. Furthermore, we increased Lulu’s working hours to ensure she could assist with all administrative tasks effectively.

What made our solution stand out over others that you researched?

During the COVID-19 lockdown, we urgently needed a virtual assistant to assist with administration and procurement. We chose Outsourcery due to the competitive quote we received for a 25-hour Virtual Assistant package.

How did your new virtual team member implement/introduce our solution?

We initially started with a 25-hour per month package but upgraded it to 100 hours per month. As the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions eased and the need for in-office assistance grew, we increased the package to 140 hours per month, with Lulu working in the office four days a week. We have been very happy with the work Lulu has produced and her ability to integrate with the team.

How has our solution helped since its implementation?

The impact has been significant. I’ve been able to redirect my focus towards essential aspects of my work, including meeting critical deadlines and focusing on grant development.

Has this solution saved your company money and/or increased productivity?

Lulu has played a crucial role in implementing and managing various processes to ensure the clinical trials run smoothly and efficiently.

What do you find valuable in the services we provide?

Outsourcery’s value lies in its attention to detail, timeliness in task completion, flexibility to cater to our specific needs, and the maintenance of a high level of professionalism.

What have you been most impressed with when working with your virtual team member?

Dr. Chibwesha has been impressed with the flexibility and professionalism of Outsourcery’s virtual assistants. The ability to recruit such flexible and professional assistance would have been challenging if they had tried to recruit someone themselves. Dr. Chibwesha often shares this feedback with others.

What surprised you about us?

A pleasant surprise was when Lulu received the “Best Team Player” award for the Women’s Cancer Research Department. Her excellent working relationship with other departments at CHRU is also noteworthy

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