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On June 25th, 2024, Flourish Research, a portfolio company of NMS Capital, announced its partnership with ENCORE™ Research Group. Dr. Michael Koren, founder and CEO of ENCORE™, has scaled the organization significantly since its inception in 1997.  ENCORE™ is comprised of an extensive physician network in Northern and Western Florida that provides an effective and differentiated approach to clinical research. ENCORE™ has conducted 3,200+ clinical trials across 50+ therapeutic areas. 

Excerpt from NMS/Flourish press release:

Dr. Koren said, “We have been very impressed during our interactions with the Flourish team and feel confident that we’ve found the right partner for our next phase of growth. Our staff and extensive network of physician investigators have expressed enthusiasm about our future with Flourish, working together to provide the best clinical trial services as part of a national company.”

CEO of Flourish Research, Reinhold Schulz, added, “We are excited to welcome ENCORE™ to the Flourish family. I’ve gotten to know Dr. Koren and his key lieutenants very well and the cultural fit was evident from our initial meetings. ENCORE™ brings expertise that will be additive to Flourish and has a robust backlog and pipeline of studies that will bring immediate value to the combined organization.”

Senior Partner at NMS Capital, Luis Gonzalez, stated “The partnership with ENCORE™ further enhances Flourish’s geographic footprint and capabilities in its core therapeutic areas while bringing a deep bench of scientific thought leaders. The transformative partnership will provide ENCORE™ the opportunity to leverage the significant infrastructure investment Flourish has made in its differentiated patient recruitment, commercial, and diversity strategy. This approach will result in a win-win for our patients, employees, and biopharma customers”

NMS Capital, formed in 2010, is a private equity firm with $1.5+ billion in assets under management. NMS Capital focuses on driving sustainable growth for healthcare and business service companies.


Please visit the company websites for more details:


June 16, 2023 BlogUncategorized

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It’s hurricane season, which means time to break out the big wave surfboard, your best surf leash, and maybe your evacuation kit. Hurricanes are unusual as natural disasters go because, thanks to modern technology, you can actually prepare for them. The advanced notice and frequent shifts in hurricane paths can lead to some strange behaviors, where we tire of preparing and ignore the warnings. For your safety, we recommend you adhere to all warnings and directives from federal and state agencies regarding a hurricane. We also recommend you plan for what may happen before, during, and after a storm passes. Knowing what to expect may not save all of your things, but it should help keep the important things (including your health!) safe.

Before a storm hits, there is a lot of work to do. Knowing where you will go in the event of an evacuation is very important. It becomes essential if you have pets or special circumstances, as you may be limited in available options. Florida Emergency Management reminds us that the best place to shelter is with friends or family in a safe building outside of the evacuation area. Know where all of your medical information and medicines are located. Plan on what you need to take (don’t forget legal documents!) and what might get left behind (your tote bag collection). Get ready to make preparations for your home, including getting boards for windows if you need them. On the health front, make sure you’re up to date on vaccines, especially flu and tetanus!  A mobile health unit reported that 44% of all visits were requests for vaccines after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

While a hurricane hits, you should shelter and stay safe. The middle of the storm is when you hope your preparations have paid off, not a time to check on them. Remember that wind is deadly, floods are deadly, and bridges can be deadly too. If you are planning to surf, don’t. Make sure you stay current with weather updates; a storm radio is very helpful here.

You aren’t out of the water just because a storm has passed, literally! Floods can be ongoing, including fresh-water floods from rainfall. Your residence may be damaged, unsafe, or destroyed. Food and healthcare can be difficult to access. Researchers have found that after major hurricanes, healthy foods tend to disappear quickly, while unhealthy alternatives are easily found. They discovered that fruits and vegetables were only found in 50-60% of stores, but sugary sodas were available 90-100% of the time. In addition, healthy options tend to become more expensive. Beyond food, healthcare can become stressful. Many clinics and pharmacies may be closed or restricted. After Hurricane Harvey in Texas, a major hospital had almost 3⁄4 of its beds destroyed, leading to people sleeping on cots. In addition, hospital staff may be exhausted, stressed, and get poor sleep. Remember that they also see their homes destroyed! To top everything off, mental health can be a huge concern. The lead-up to a natural disaster is stressful and anxiety-inducing. The reality of one can be traumatic. Be aware of changes to your mood and attitude; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression may increase due to trauma or stress. Whatever happens this hurricane season, good preparation and knowledge can help make the unpredictability of storms more manageable.

Staff Writer / Editor Benton Lowey-Ball, BS, BFA

Listen to the article here:


Chambers, K. A., Husain, I., Chathampally, Y., Vierling, A., Cardenas-Turanzas, M., Cardenas, F., … & Rogg, J. (2020). Impact of Hurricane Harvey on healthcare utilization and emergency department operations. Western journal of emergency medicine, 21(3), 586.

Clay, L. A., Slotter, R., Heath, B., Lange, V., & Colón-Ramos, U. (2023). Capturing disruptions to food availability after disasters: assessing the food environment following Hurricanes Florence and María. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 17, e17.

Florida Division of Emergency Management (n.d.) Important shelter information

Lien, C., Raimo, J., Abramowitz, J., Khanijo, S., Kritharis, A., Mason, C., … & Carney, M. T. (2014). Community healthcare delivery post-Hurricane Sandy: lessons from a mobile health unit. Journal of community health, 39, 599-605.


December 12, 2022 BlogUncategorized

Listen to the article here:

With the onset of frosty weather and short days, we can all use a boost. Luckily, giving gifts can produce a “warm glow” to help out. This isn’t just decorative talk, giving gifts has been shown to increase well-being in people across the globe. In study after study, psychologists have found that acts of kindness, such as giving gifts, have positive results on both the receiver and the giver.

In one study, scientists gave children treats while measuring happiness. The children were then asked to give treats to a puppet. These could be their own treats or ones from a researcher’s supply. The data showed the children were happier to give a treat to the puppet than to receive one for themselves and were happiest when they gave their own treat to the puppet. Overall, the cheer of giving seemed maximized when giving away more important gifts.

Why could this be, though? Why would gift giving be beneficial for the person losing something? Could it be that giving a gift clears your already extremely crowded gingerbread house and increases your Feng shui? The real answer is that gift giving is a prosocial behavior. This means that it promotes social acceptance and friendship. This is a positive behavior in social contexts. Prosocial behaviors are seen in several social animals, including apes and dogs.

Scientists have shown that giving gifts can increase synchronization between friends. In two studies, scientists hooked pairs of friends up to brain scanning devices. The friends performed cognitive tasks, then one would give the other a gift (at a random time), and they would perform the task again. The scientists found that accuracy on the tasks increased. In addition, activity increased in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). This is part of the brain located beneath the hairline (assuming you have hair). It is associated with decision making and memory, and is also implicated in suppressing selfishness and building relationships. This helps with cognitive tasks, but also with forming and maintaining friendships. Even more interesting, they found that the brain waves of friends were synchronizing! The brainwaves measured in the DLPFC would “sync up” and produce similar patterns after gift giving! Giving a gift doesn’t just increase friendship, it helps you think like your friends too!

The DLPFC isn’t the only section of the brain that’s active when giving. When giving to charity, people’s mesolimbic reward system and subgenual areas activate. The mesolimbic reward system is a general reinforcement pathway in the brain, and also rewards for things like food, sex, and drugs.  The subgenual area releases important hormones such as oxytocin (the love hormone) and vasopressin. These make us feel good and increase our social happiness.

So this winter, give gifts to keep yourself warm inside and out. By giving gifts you can increase your own happiness, strengthen bonds with friends, and release dessert-like chemicals in the brain. Also, consider giving the gift of health to others by volunteering for a clinical trial at one of our ENCORE Research Group locations. 

By Benton Lowey-Ball, BS Behavioral Neuroscience


Aknin, L. B., Barrington-Leigh, C. P., Dunn, E. W., Helliwell, J. F., Burns, J., Biswas-Diener, R., … & Norton, M. I. Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal.

Aknin, L. B., Hamlin, J. K., & Dunn, E. W. (2012). Giving leads to happiness in young children. PLoS one, 7(6), e39211.

Balconi, M., Fronda, G., & Vanutelli, M. E. (2019). A gift for gratitude and cooperative behavior: brain and cognitive effects. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 14(12), 1317-1327.

Balconi, M., Fronda, G., & Vanutelli, M. E. (2020). When gratitude and cooperation between friends affect inter-brain connectivity for EEG. BMC neuroscience, 21(1), 1-12.

Curry, O. S., Rowland, L. A., Van Lissa, C. J., Zlotowitz, S., McAlaney, J., & Whitehouse, H. (2018). Happy to help? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of performing acts of kindness on the well-being of the actor. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 76, 320-329.

Moll, J., Krueger, F., Zahn, R., Pardini, M., de Oliveira-Souza, R., & Grafman, J. (2006). Human fronto–mesolimbic networks guide decisions about charitable donation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(42), 15623-15628.

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As a proven clinical research organization, we take every precaution to ensure the safety of and maximize the value for our research volunteers. Qualified doctors, nurses and study coordinators on staff provide support and care throughout the research trial. Participation is always voluntary. We appreciate the time and effort that research volunteers bring to this important process.

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