The TECHNOLOGISTS

Contributed by:

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Not many people have created two health-related companies, nor have had them both successfully acquired before their 30th birthday. But Hugo Stephenson, M.D., has an ability to see what others cannot and the energy to make things happens. As he says, he’s never yet met a challenge that could not be solved by hard work and lateral thinking. Even as a child growing up in Australia, Dr. Stephenson recognized that more than medicine was necessary to promote wellness, and he set about ensuring that the sick children at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne had the toys they needed for stimulation to encourage recovery. For this, he was made an Honorary Life Governor. While in university, he combined a degree in physics, with particular interest in computers, with medical studies. He had the insight to realize that technology could help automate decision-making in the intensive-care setting by aggregating, or linking, information around a patient. He created Medseed, his first company, around this concept. Early on, this technology helped ensure appropriate antibiotic use to reduce the risk of resistant infection. Dr. Stephenson was also one of the first clinicians to realize that there was a need for better ways to generate later-phase clinical data and monitor patient safety. He found that many of the systems and processes appropriate in the Phase III setting were not appropriate in the postlaunch phase and did not provide the real-life context needed by patients and doctors. In response, Dr. Stephenson founded Health Research Solutions (HRS) in 1997; in 2002, HRS was acquired by Quintiles. At Quintiles, Dr. Stephenson has continued as an authoritative voice in late-phase studies, and he wrote the highly respected text book, Strategic Research: A Practical Handbook for Phase IIIB and Phase IV Studies. But he never stands still. Next, he had a vision for creating an online, linked community of patients, where not only could they find information, but information would be linked for them and provided directly to them. As Dr. Stephenson saw it, if people can get a recall notice in the mail if there is a safety issue with the car they bought, why isn’t there any way to notify consumers when there is a safety issue with one of their medications? The result is iGuard, a personalized medication monitoring service designed to help patients get rapid, personalized safety alerts for their medicines. To date, iGuard has passed the 2-million-subscriber milestone. Put into context, the popular social media tool Twitter took two years to reach 1.3 million subscribers, according to estimates published by TechCrunch. With iGuard, Dr. Stephenson has transformed recruitment for observational studies using an engaged pool of patients, an achievement he rates as the highlight of his stellar career. Dr. Stephenson, who has lived and worked on three continents, is now looking at launching iGuard in other geographies, including India. Dr. Stephenson also looks to encourage others to be brave and inventive. Through his investment company LatHoldings, he is helping others develop novel approaches to disease management and drug development for a range of important illnesses with the ambition of incubating simple solutions for important healthcare problems. F Techno-vators The TECHNOLOGISTS Cutting-edge thinking is leading this erudite group of individuals to use technology to re-engineer solutions for improved ­efficiencies and results. Dr. Hugo Stephenson, President of iGuard.org, a Quintiles company, has never yet met a challenge that could not be solved by hard work and lateral thinking. Name: Hugo Stephenson, M.D. Current Position: President, iGuard.org, a Quintiles ­company Education: Clinical Residency, Internal Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (M.D. equivalent), University of Melbourne; B.S., Mathematics, Physics, University of Melbourne Date and Place of Birth: March 22, 1974; Bristol, U.K. First Job: Founder, Dial-a-Tutor First Industry-related Job: Founder of Health Research Solutions Dream Job: High school teacher professional mentors: John McNeil, Monash University; Dr. Dennis Gillings, Quintiles Biggest Industry Challenge: Discovery of novel, life-changing medications Connected Via: LinkedIn, iGuard.org, Facebook, and Twitter Words To Live By: Never waste an opportunity Driven. Creative. Dr. Hugo Stephenson never works at a desk. Before most companies were even ­thinking about alternative global delivery models for information ­technology, Richard Branton was ­helping to lead the charge at Merck, enabling the company to become one of the ­pioneers of change ­management within the life-sciences industry. Today, Mr. Branton is overseeing one of the largest SAP global rollouts in the business. His vision for IT within the pharmaceutical industry and his dedication and focus in leading these efforts at Merck inspire those who work with him. Mr. Branton provides enterprisewide shared application development services, including business intelligence, collaboration/content management, information management, quality assurance/testing, risk management, and enterprise systems. In addition, Mr. Branton has responsibility for Merck’s companywide initiative to standardize finance, supply chain, order management, and procurement processes through the implementation of a common information and technology. It’s not so much the achievements that stick out for Mr. Branton as the opportunity to work with a host of very talented people. Thoughtful and considered in his approach, Mr. Branton tends to spend a great deal of time thinking through issues and challenges, which often results in him being lost in thought and quiet in nature. Mr. Branton continues to set his sights on inspiring those around him with his vision, dedication, and focus on doing the very best for Merck. His goal going forward is to work with his colleagues to complete the integration of Merck and Schering-Plough. F IT Protagonist Name: Richard G. Branton Current position: VP, Application Services, Merck Education: MBA, Widener University; B.S., West Chester University Date and Place of Birth: January 1963, Philadelphia First Job: Working in an Italian bakery First Industry-related Job: IT programmer Dream Job: Physician Professional Mentors: Work colleagues from his teenage and college years, and family ­members Professional Associations: Research Board; Application Executive Board Words to Live By: Family, family, family Quiet. Focused. What stands out most for Richard ­Branton, VP, Application Services, Merck, is the ­opportunity to work with very talented people. Richard Branton loves to cook. Partnership is synonymous with Bob Piwko. As senior VP and general manager of CRM services at C3i, Mr. Piwko has established global best practices for the support of thousands of pharmaceutical sales reps, all with the goal of improving their working environment. The driving force behind C3i’s global pharmaceutical success, Mr. Piwko joined the C3i team in 2000 when the company decided to focus its strategy on providing CRM services exclusively for the pharmaceutical industry. Thanks to his leadership, C3i today provides CRM services to more than 50% of the top 25 pharmaceutical firms, and the company has offices in the United States, India, and Bulgaria. Mr. Piwko, the brains behind C3i’s CRM solutions, has been instrumental in implementing the supporting systems and processes at many large pharma companies. Today, these companies continuously reach out to Mr. Piwko for advice on existing and new service offerings. For Mr. Piwko, a breakthrough opportunity came when he led the sale and delivery of CRM implementation, training, and related support services for a major pharmaceutical client. This project resulted in a large revenue stream for C3i and, above all, an ongoing relationship with the client that led to multiple follow-on projects over the years. Clients say Mr. Piwko’s strength is in his steady, well-thought-out, strategically aligned guidance and in the true sense of partnership that he brings to the table when helping clients reach their business goals. He remains focused on one crucial principle: serving the customer is the clearest path to success. His real talent is his ability to determine how best to serve this purpose. Adaptable and intuitive, Mr. Piwko embraces a dynamic, changing environment, always looking for ways to improve and address the evolving marketplace. One of those changes comes in the form of realigning selling models, technologies, and processes to more cost-effectively deliver value to healthcare providers while salesforce sizes are on the decline. A natural leader, Mr. Piwko possesses a rare blend of industry knowledge, talent, humility, and the drive to be successful. He encourages his team to think creatively when faced with an issue and is open to hearing ideas from others. And he works equally well with the executive level as well as entry-level employees. All the while, he balances an ability to address big issues while still providing individual attention to his colleagues and customers. He creates an environment of integrity, honesty, customer service, and professionalism. A quintessential professional, caring mentor, trusted advisor, and faithful friend, Mr. Piwko treats his team with great respect, which they return. F In the areas of strategy, implementation, end-user training, and ongoing support of pharmaceutical CRM applications, there are few people as well-respected as Bob Piwko, Senior VP and General Manager of CRM Services, C3i. Pharma’s Go-To Man on CRM After “storming the field,” Bob Piwko was caught on national TV with his arm around the head coach after a Notre Dame football victory on a last-second field goal. Name: Robert Piwko Current position: Senior VP and General ­Manager of CRM Services, C3i Education: B.S., Mechanical Engineering, ­University of Notre Dame Date and Place of Birth: May 1962, Bethesda, Md. First Job: United States Navy Officer — ­Submarine Force First Industry-related Job: KPMG Consulting, Pharmaceutical Practice Dream Job: College basketball coach Professional Mentors: Joel Morse, CEO of C3i; Lynne Murphy, formerly of Bayer ­Pharmaceuticals Connected Via: LinkedIn Energetic. Results-Oriented. The most defining moments for Richard Branton, VP of application services at Merck, always come in the form of reminders of what the pharma industry in general, and his company in particular, does, which is focusing on advancing human health. Those reminders come in the form of the patients who have benefited from the company’s pharmaceutical and vaccine products across multiple therapeutic classes, including cardiovascular, diabetes, and infectious disease. It is a powerful reminder in an era of complexity and change, including early attempts at U.S. healthcare reform, the rise of big payers, the maturation of the generic industry, an increasingly challenging regulatory environment, and the growing significance of emerging markets. These are the drivers that solidify Mr. Branton’s commitment to Merck and focus his efforts on developing innovative solutions to tackle business challenges. To Mr. Branton, the biggest challenge for the industry continues to be discovering new products, which has always been very difficult, but is now even more difficult given increased complexity with today’s regulatory environment, among other issues. Mr. Branton says over the years he has worked with many talented people who have helped to shape him professionally; however, most of his mentors come in the form of family members and work colleagues from jobs held during teenage and college years. F Richard Branton • A Singular Focus Family: Wife, Diana; Daughters, Nicole and Julia Reading List: Novels by John Grisham; Harvard Business Review; articles about current events Hobbies: Cooking and home ­improvement Bucket List: Visit Alaska; tour Eastern Europe; continue to observe his children grow up Inspiration: His family Screensaver: His children Most Unusual Place Visited: The Taj Mahal in Agra, India Life Lessons: Cool heads always prevail; always stay calm, especially when faced with lots of chaos Under The Cloak of Invisibility: Attend school for a day with his children Getting Personal with Richard Branton For clients with an issue or problem, Bob Piwko is the person to turn to for industry information or innovation. Mr. Piwko provides thought leadership by defining new services and new ways to address old and new problems. Mindful of clients’ needs and challenges, he is always looking for solutions for them. He achieves outcomes by helping companies create a vision around how their strategies should be played out and supported cost-effectively in the long term. Mr. Piwko has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for about 20 years and is adept in all areas of commercial operations, including sales operations, sales, marketing, medical information, customer care, and clinical operations. He has broad expertise as both a consultant and pharmaceutical employee and experience working on many improvement projects. Early in his career, while working as a manager at a consulting firm, he was assigned to oversee multiple projects at a large pharmaceutical company. Ultimately, this experience was his personal springboard into the pharmaceutical industry, and he has never looked back. He maintains that as a consultant for KPMG he gained insights into the industry, but his depth of understanding really came from working at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in sales operations, where he had an opportunity to learn about the many different aspects of supporting a salesforce, such as targeting, sample management, alignments, incentive compensation, and so on. Through his superb leadership skills and ability to motivate others, he has accomplished many successful engagements by getting things done with and through other people. At C3i and at other companies he has worked for, Mr. Piwko has been a mentor to many of his reports, consistently demonstrating strong thought leadership, people, and management skills, including creativity, drive, and positive motivation. His staff have noted his ability to mentor and direct employees to best serve C3i and its clients. Given his understanding of the need to deliver cost-effective solutions to the industry, it’s not surprising that Mr. Piwko would rate the recent global recession as a key concern. It has, he says, clearly illustrated how intertwined the world economy is, and what concerns him are the near-term, economic growth prospects of the U.S. economy when the country’s fundamentals are improving but those of other regions threaten to restrain growth. No doubt, Mr. Piwko’s managerial skills were honed by his connection to sports. A golf and football enthusiast, Mr. Piwko also played a great deal of basketball in the past, and today he coaches his son’s youth basketball team. F Solving Problems Old and New Family: Married, 4 children Hobbies: Golf, coaching youth sports, lawn care Bucket List: Play Pebble Beach golf course,; travel around the world; skydive Top iPod downloads: The Fray, Bon Jovi, U2, R.E.M. Screensaver: Notre Dame Football screen saver Most Unusual Place Visited: Under the ocean in a submarine Life Lessons: Better to keep your mouth shut and let them think you’re stupid, than open it and remove all doubt — Mark Twain Getting Personal with Robert Piwko Invention and innovation seem to come naturally to Hugo Stephenson, M.D., and he never shies away from a challenge. His toughest challenge to date, he says, was as head of drug safety at Quintiles. As he notes, ensuring the highest quality safety processing surveys for more than 70,000 case reports is hard enough, but doing so according to different standard operating procedures for dozens of companies increases the complexity by an order of magnitude. His latest charge as president of iGuard.org, a Quintiles company, is supporting an array of novel health interventions for several conditions, including influenza, Crohn’s disease, and children with developmental delays. He says if through his work he was able make a difference, it would be truly awesome. In keeping with that goal, Dr. Stephenson is involved with Project Child in New Jersey, because of the organization’s great work for families of children with developmental delays. Through all his accomplishments, he says the defining moment in his career was having coffee with Dr. Ray Vagelos, retired CEO of Merck. In contrast, the Australian native says, the most amusing incident was when he arrived the first time in the United States and was complimented on how well he spoke English. F Dr. Hugo Stephenson • Instilling Innovation Family: Wife and four children Reading List: Crime fiction, including ­Sherlock Holmes; The Swarm by Frank Schatzing; and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel Hobbies: Rocketry, magic, special effects ­make-up and sculpture, and travel Giving Back: Project Child in New Jersey Bucket List: Wingsuit base jumping and life seeding Inspiration: Wife and children Top iPod downloads: Jordan, Megaherz; Under Man, Sackcloth Fashion; TNT, AC/DC Screensaver: He and his wife at the French Open Most Unusual Place Visited: The Kimberley, Western Australia Life Lessons: When life is good, enjoy it; when it is bad take solace…everything is a phase Getting Personal with Dr. Hugo Stephenson

Posted in:

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a Comment.

FEEDBACK