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These forward-thinking individuals are disrupting the status quo and setting the strategic direction for their companies to capitalize on the opportunities that will shape the future of the healthcare ecosystem.
Title: VP, Strategy
Company: Targetbase, an Omnicom Company
Awards: Sales Leadership, President’s Club Award
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association,
American Marketing Association,
Direct Marketing Association, Women Business Leaders (WBL), and
Women in Bio
Amy Bybee is an accomplished senior healthcare communications leader who dedicates her time and talents to her work, her friends, and her family.
She has more than two decades of experience across sales, account management, executive leadership, and marketing strategy spanning diverse organizations that includes customer engagement, digital AOR, and experiential communications. As VP, strategy, at Targetbase, an Omnicom company, she is instrumental in transforming marketing into solutions for her clients by helping them shape the brand experience for their customers: patients.
Amy approaches any role or business initiative she undertakes as patient service and counts among her many accomplishments the impact she and her teams’ award-winning marketing solutions have had on patients’ lives. “I am continually motivated knowing that every day is going to be different and will present a new set of opportunities to bring my ‘A’ game,” she says. “A new day is a chance to drive a better outcome and improve on yesterday. I try to make the moments count every day.”
Colleagues say Amy is a transformational leader and she motivates others to do more than they originally intended and often even more than they thought possible. “I like to challenge my cross-functional teams to think differently regardless of role, company tenure, etc.,” she says. “I encourage our teams to look at ways to solve our clients’ problems and to approach the ‘ask’ from the business perspective not just their competency point of view. I do believe leadership is situational and different teams and challenges require a more adaptive approach. I’m a big believer that effective leadership starts with respect, trust, and transparency. My style is very collaborative, and I love to recognize individual and team success. It is important to have the right balance of focus and fun.”
Colleagues say Amy’s many strengths as a strategic leader, relator, achiever, learner, and activator are based on her love of data.
“I start with the insights,” she says. “On the DISC Assessment tool, I’m a blue. So everything we do is driven from the data. I gather the most important data to develop a game plan or to course correct. It is important to listen and get the perspective from all members of the team. I try to minimize the noise, encourage, and get the team aligned on the two or three things we can focus on right now. I believe quick wins can reengage the team and start building on small successes.”
Amy is a true relationship builder and she takes every opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of past and current clients and colleagues who have advanced in their careers and who are making a difference in the healthcare industry. “It’s gratifying to see the success of the women who I have mentored over my career and how they have developed their professional and personal lives,” she says. “I am amazed by these women.”
In turn, Amy credits a cadre of powerful women mentors who have impacted her career choices, and important life decisions. “The impact of relationships with great mentors isn’t something you can learn from a book, a seminar, or podcast; you have to experience it,” she says. “It is important for me to give back and mentor the next generation of dynamic leaders. It is a bonus, as I learn from my mentees. They make me a better leader. As leaders of today, we need to be accountable for the success of our future healthcare leaders.”
Colleagues and peers tout Amy’s loyalty and ability to build long-term and meaningful relationships as hallmarks of her successful career. Those who know her well also say she has one of the best outlooks on life, is generous beyond compare, and wields a wicked sense of humor.
Amy is also a dedicated volunteer with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, having served on the global board of directors for a number of years as well as leading the Chicago chapter as president. (PV)
Leading with Authenticity
Title: Strategic Account Executive
Company: LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Health Care
Awards: LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Health Care Sales Executive of the Year Life Sciences; 2017 Healthcare Top Performer; 2015 MarketView Sales Executive of the Year; 2015 Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Lead Award; 2016 Boston Chapter President Chapter Excellence Award; 2018 Chair Award, and 2019 Luminary
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association
Liz Paulson makes it happen — for her company, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, as a strategic account executive and for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association as a long-standing volunteer and board member. She brings her whole self to every role, project, or initiative she leads and she doesn’t shy away from the challenge of disrupting the status quo, in the pursuit of excellence. “I find that being authentic and sharing my career challenges, as well as showing and telling people what they are capable of even when they don’t see it, is inspiring for others,” she says.
Liz has an extensive background in U.S. healthcare market analytics, possessing a thorough understanding of how healthcare data, particularly claims data, can be used to drive successful commercial strategies within pharmaceutical and life-sciences organizations.
Currently, Liz is responsible for helping LexisNexis life-sciences customers adopt and integrate data solutions that deliver insights around diagnoses and procedures associated with a wide variety of health conditions to guide product development and sales strategies for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. In this role, Liz is able to live out her passion to innovate and create the right solutions to enable these industry leading organizations to continue their journey to lead in the area of healthcare data analytics.
Colleagues note that Liz is a constant overachiever and for her outstanding performance she was awarded two prestigious company awards: the Life Sciences and the Health Care Strategic Account Executive of the Year.
“I received two pieces of great advice from my first mentor in the industry — always know your worth and always show the financial impact to decisions either positive or negative as this is the best way to get agreement and to move forward quickly.”
In addition to her passion for data in healthcare, Liz is passionate about developing women and creating an environment of inclusion in the workforce. To support these initiatives Liz uses the leadership skills she has gained from multiple roles in the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) to lead a Women’s Connected Employee Resource Group in the Pennsylvania offices. She continues to champion this program and supports other employee resource groups as LexisNexis’ diversity and inclusion contact for the company’s global RELX organization. Part of RELX’s mission is to ensure that employees feel valued, have equal opportunities, and benefit from pay equality, regardless of their gender, gender identity, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, or disability status.
LexisNexis’ senior management has recognized Liz’s outstanding work and leadership, and selected her for the Emerging Sales Leadership Program. In 2019, Liz was also recognized as an HBA Luminary based on her positive attributes of being a role model, actively mentoring others, having a track record of helping advance other women’s careers, exhibiting a dedication to healthcare, and being an example of transformational leadership.
“I have formally and informally mentored many women and men over the years, and I find it is important to me,” she says. “Mentoring has allowed me to, learn about different areas of my organization, develop the competencies necessary for specific roles, improve my ability to have difficult conversations, and, overall, expanded my professional network both inside and outside of my company.”
And once again, her achievements did not go unnoticed, as Liz was selected as the 2015 LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Dedication) award winner for the HBA Boston chapter. This award is the highest annual chapter honor awarded to an individual volunteer by the chapter’s board of directors. Liz was recognized for stepping up to play whatever role was most needed, and for finding opportunities to make the chapter more effective, more engaging, more rewarding, and more fulfilling. In the words of one board member, “Liz makes the chapter hum. She did all this without ever seeking a spotlight and with a contagious energy and enthusiasm that made people want to join her in her pursuit of chapter excellence.”
In 2016, she was elected as HBA Boston chapter president, after leading general programs, membership and corporate relations committees. Under her leadership as immediate past president, the Boston chapter was recognized with the Chapter of Excellence Award, one of the most prestigious distinctions bestowed by the HBA. Currently, Liz serves on the HBA’s global board of directors as chair, council of chapter presidents. (PV)
Integrity. Life-long Learner.
Committed to Success
Title: Executive VP, Business Development and Marketing
Company: Advanced Clinical
Company Awards: Two-time recipient of Advanced Clinical’s President’s Club award for Management Excellence
Associations: President’s Advisory Council at DeSales University, which is an executive-level group of by-invitation-only business and civic leaders who are committed to advancing the mission of the university
Jason Casarella, executive VP, business development and marketing, at Advanced Clinical, was hired in 2014 to take the CRO to the next level, and in five years he has done just that. Sales increased 235% his first full year, and the numbers continue to increase year over year, with 2018 sales up 129% compared with 2017.
Described as a razor-focused visionary who manages both up and down the levels of the organization, Jason has led Advanced Clinical to become a “CRO to watch” following the top 10.
“Being from the Philadelphia area, the 76ers slogan of ‘trust the process’ appropriately describes the last several years, when we committed to our plans and strategy and had confidence in our future,” Jason says.
Jason is obviously someone who can drive the numbers, and colleagues say he is just as committed to the success of each employee. They say Jason is the first person to jump in and work side by side with each and every employee to ensure their success. He identifies employees’ true potential and helps them to discover their own strengths so they can succeed. He seeks to understand what the employee truly needs and does everything possible to provide it. His team responds well to this approach, and colleagues note his leadership approach to maintain that level of employee commitment when driving sales in a competitive marketplace is unique.
Jason also finds time to ensure each vendor, partner, and customer he interacts with has a good experience and a positive result from the organization. “Being part of a fast-growing company requires leaders to perform ‘player coach’ roles as well as balancing the needs of individual team members with the broader goals of the company — this balancing act can be a challenge but is also very rewarding,” Jason says. “Balancing being a leader and a doer also can be a challenge, so it’s key to know when to step back and trust your team.”
Jason possesses the enviable ability to balance culture and creativity with a rigorous focus on raising standards and enforcing quantifiable change. He employs his creativity and strong technical skills to build impressive business intelligence dashboards that he uses to monitor business performance.
While leading business development growth, Jason is also responsible for marketing performance. To get a sense of the volume of work that he oversees, Jason has led all aspects of Advanced’s brand growth initiatives and involvement in more than 100 industry conferences and events. With his leadership over brand growth, Advanced’s digital brand reach has multiplied by a factor of almost three in the time period since his entrance on the team.
Whether he is developing a high-level business strategy or working on the details of a complicated marketing plan, Jason always strives to do things better, faster, and with greater precision. Because he openly seeks feedback from his team and peers in leadership, he fosters a transparent working environment that encourages others to identify opportunities for improvement. After every team meeting that he leads, he solicits feedback on what could be better, and then applies new ideas to optimize meetings in the future. When someone asked for training in a specific area, he called up an expert to attend as a guest speaker the next week. When a request came in for more sharing across cross-functional teams, he changed the format of the meeting to one that fosters open dialogue. Colleagues say these may sound like small examples, but they demonstrate his high-standard thinking and approach.
Jason’s constant reflection on performance and application of lessons-learned is now echoed throughout the organization, and has upgraded the way Advanced Clinical operates and collaborates. (PV)
Global Visionary. Inspirational.
Building Bridges Globally
Title: Senior VP, Patient Recruitment
Company: Continuum Clinical
Industry Awards: Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association LEAD Award Winner
Associations: Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association, Chicago Chapter Board
Pamela Landau’s fluency in Japanese and expertise in Japan’s healthcare system has been an asset in her role as senior VP, patient recruitment, at Continuum Clinical. She leads strategy and content development to engage and retain patients for global pharmaceutical clinical trials.
In fact, on three occasions, clients have asked her to join them on trips to Japan to help ensure their dialogue with local partners — CROs and licensing partners — went smoothly and all parties were aligned. Pamela was also instrumental in creating a partnership with a Japanese-based patient recruitment company that contributed greatly to one of Continuum’s global patient recruitment programs.
“I love international business because it gives me an opportunity to build bridges among people of different cultures through a common goal,” she says.
Pamela began her career in Japan in the automotive industry. “I was usually the only non-Japanese person in the room,” she says. “Many people tried to explain to me why women could not have successful business careers in Japan, but I respectfully disagreed. I saw a future where people with integrity and good intentions — and language skills — could leverage their respective strengths to build something stronger through diversity. I achieved many ‘business firsts’ for my company and my industry by trusting that we could build something better together, and I am proud of what we accomplished.”
Patient recruitment is a complex mix of drug development and direct-to-consumer marketing. “My role is to innovate in ways that help us as marketers to more efficiently reach and motivate the target patient who the sponsor needs to engage,” she says. “We do this by innovating in our use of social media, patient insights research, and community engagement that promotes diversity and inclusion.”
Pamela has extensive patient insight experience, having spent many years working for and with some of the largest pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the world. She has personally guided and implemented hundreds of qualitative market research initiatives, gathering valuable and actionable patient insights that enabled her colleagues to produce powerful communications that generated meaningful and measurable results.
“I am at my best as a leader when I can help individuals and teams to see a vision of the future in themselves that is so much greater than where they began,” she says. “I want to help them achieve that larger vision. My goal is to continue to bring my passion for building bridges and human achievement to bring something positive into the world.”
She is always conscious of each person’s career goals and advocates for professional development. “I like to help people see the possibilities in the situations they face,” she says. “The Chinese character for crisis is made up of the characters for chaos and opportunity. When we focus on the opportunity, we can find inspiration in setting our sights on new goals and challenging ourselves and our teams to go beyond and deliver more.”
Colleagues admire her ability to listen and lead with a strong but gentle hand. Her door is always open if colleagues have a personal or professional need, and she is always interested in not only the work, but how the organization functions as a team.
“I believe in situational leadership,” she says. “I try to adjust my style to meet the needs of the individual or team, helping them to build upon what they already know, and help them acquire new perspectives to solve their problems. I try to lead with kindness because all people deserve a learning environment where they feel safe and supported.” (PV)
Translating Big Ideas Into Action
Title: VP, Life Sciences Group
Company: Healthagen, CVS Health
Industry Awards: PM 360 Elite Award, Data Miner
Community Awards: Downtown Little League (NYC) softball coach (head); Downtown Little League (NYC) soccer coach (head); St. Peter’s fundraising
Associations: Advisory Board Member for NYC Health Business Leaders and Zensights
Throughout his career, Lou Sanquini has strived to be a visionary leader, taking big ideas and translating them into action and results.
As VP of the life sciences group at Healthagen, he leads the design of real-world evidence studies for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and device companies.
Healthagen offers analytical and advisory services, in collaboration with the wide resources of CVS Health, to understand what is happening and what will happen within genuine clinical settings.
Lou’s persistence to strive for a better healthcare industry is centered on his passion for optimizing patient treatments and outcomes.
He was instrumental in developing Healthagen’s life-sciences team and creating a pathway for collaboration with pharmaceutical companies. Lou and the Healthagen team use advanced technology, analytical modeling, and clinical expertise to illuminate therapeutic and economic value, which contributes to value-based healthcare.
Lou is often ahead of trends, developing new approaches to reach patients and healthcare professionals, such as performance-based programs designed to facilitate the doctor-patient relationship or leveraging data and insights to provide focused education and communications for patients.
He says that one of his toughest assignments in his career was as VP of marketing innovation at QualityHealth (now Sharecare), where and led the development of industry offerings, such as QualityConversations, in which data was used to identify and engage patients before their doctors’ visits and led to significant company growth.
Lou held a number of roles at GlaxoSmithKline in both sales and marketing. He also was key in helping Meda Pharmaceuticals, now Mylan, achieve significant sales for a follow-on allergy product. Insights from patient and physician data suggested issues with patient administration of nasal sprays and no time for physicians to demonstrate utilization. Lou and team helped develop the first voice chip instruction element for more than 1 million product samples to support the launch of the antihistamine nasal spray, which more than exceeded sales expectations.
Those who have worked for Lou, with him, or just know him, consistently describe him as someone of great integrity, enthusiasm, and selflessness. A doer, Lou will roll up his sleeves to help the team meet deadlines and work through projects and is known to bend over backward to support colleagues.
“I believe it’s important to let folks know their work is appreciated,” he says. “I do not dwell on failure and avoid drilling into the problems when positive thinking and solutions are needed.”
Known as a trustworthy ally by those who work with him, Lou listens to understand all sides of an issue, thereby creating an empowering environment for those around him.
He says inspiring others requires clear communication of the group’s vision and mission, helping others understand how to leverage their own individual strengths, and having contagious enthusiasm for “what can be accomplished” in a positive environment in nonhierarchical manner even when a hierarchy exists.
“I believe in setting crystal clear expectations while permitting tasks to be completed as the individual stakeholders see fit,” he says.
He regards mentoring as an opportunity to help those coming up in the industry learn from the mistakes and failures he and others have made.
“It is critical to be a sounding board to those team members wishing counsel,” he says. “Mentorship requires listening and questioning to help mentees make good decisions on their own.”
Beyond Healthagen, Lou is an advisory board member for NYC Health Business Leaders, a network of senior-level professionals, executives, entrepreneurs and leaders engaged in New York’s healthcare ecosystem, and Zensights, which connects pharma decision makers to “best in class” vendor organizations so project are staffed with the highest quality teams. To both organization, he generously provides insights, thoughtful approaches to problem solving, and adaptable strategic guidance. (PV)
Solving the Hard Problems
Susan Garfield, Dr.Ph.
Title: Principal, Life Sciences Commercial Lead
Community Awards: GFK Global Innovation; EY Women Who Matter
Associations: ISPOR; Boston University School of Public Health Dean’s Advisory Board; Temple Shir Tikva Leadership Team
In the office of Susan Garfield, Dr.Ph., principal, life sciences commercial lead, at EY, sits a blue Ovation guitar. It reminds her of all the good things outside of work that she loves- like music and family, and where possible bringing fun into work. And she is having fun by helping to create a whole generation of great thinkers and inspiring them to do impactful work in healthcare to make patients’ lives better.
As a leaders’ leader, Dr. Garfield empowers her teams to take on different intellectual and leadership challenges to ensure they continue to learn and improve. “The learning culture is important, as is understanding each person’s goals,” she says. “Motivation isn’t universal; it has to be tailored to the individual.”
Dr. Garfield is a leader in the innovation platform at EY covering the health and life-sciences sectors. She works with clients to develop strategies and commercial transformation programs that leverage knowledge, build on insights, and use agility to be disruptive or quickly influence a new trend.
Helping companies break their own molds is necessary, but also difficult to get done,” she says. “We are trying to improve the healthcare experience for patients, leveraging technology, and finding how to fund innovation — but executing keeps me up at night.”
With more than 20 years of proven leadership experience in the life-sciences industry, Dr. Garfield offers a clear and focused voice on where the industry stands, and more importantly, a knowing and outcomes-oriented vision of where the roads ahead will diverge.
Colleague say her quest for knowledge is surpassed only by her willingness to process information and share gleaned insights. She is committed to helping clients evolve their business models to be more patient-centric and value-focused.
Dr. Garfield leans forward knowing that now more than ever, innovation is needed to build trust and collaboration between the pharmaceutical industry, payer, and provider stakeholder groups. She understands that an increased focus on the drug pricing debate in the United States is upon us, and frank dialogue among industry, payers, providers, patients, and the government will be needed to develop an approach that rewards products that deliver value and innovation, while also addressing the challenges associated with rising healthcare costs.
The evolving healthcare landscape is shifting, and Dr. Garfield wants increased transparency of pricing protocols, which will enable greater pricing predictability and allow for more concerted efforts and partnerships across stakeholder groups.
Dr. Garfield is currently researching and developing a new industry standard to advance outcomes-based contracting to help payers, providers, and pharmaceutical companies collaborate more effectively, open lines of communication to enhance team interactions, and align resource allocation with the interventions to have the greatest impact for patients.
If Dr. Garfield had unlimited resources, she would create a mega-unifying platform that would enable a seamless patient experience, with integrated data, research, care models, health system access, and healthcare communities.
While her goal is universal and holistic, it is also personal. “My sister has three rare genetic disorders that make her life very difficult,” Dr. Garfield says. “She powers through it all with style, grace, and incredible strength. If I could do something to help patients like her suffer less, it would all be worth it.”
With an innate understanding of the importance of empathy, she engages with her team to develop procedures, approaches, and strategies that facilitate actionable patient-centric outcomes.
Dr. Garfield serves as a role model and adviser for EY team members. She is a committed advocate and ally for women in biopharma; and she mentors and participates in many women’s organizations, such as Boston Club and the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association. She serves as a tireless champion and fighter for women’s causes by speaking and advocating for others at various organizations and conferences such as ISPOR, the BIO International Convention, and AdvaMed.
Those who know her say she is an invaluable resource. “I try to inspire through ideas and innovation, as well as helping people to see the future they can create,” she says.
Success, she says, is measured by sleeping well at night, smiling when you wake up in the morning, being with your family, and having a long and happy retirement with no regrets. (PV)
Making a Transformational Impact
Company Awards: Most Inspiring Employee, five years in a row; Leadership in Teamwork and Collaboration, three years in a row; Top Client Satisfaction, five years in a row; Top Sales Person, five years in a row
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Community Hope Board of Directors; NJ State Theatre Advisory Board; Edison, NJ JCC, board member; Girl Scouts of America, active member
A quote in Jennifer Zimmer’s office reads: “This is your world. Shape it or someone else will.” This is how she sees her role as a partner at Insigniam. She has expertise taking leaders to the next level of performance, empowering them to be accountable while delivering breakthrough results. Jen consistently receives exceptional client satisfaction results from her clients in the hospital system, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries.
She embodies what it means to lead others to think differently, act differently, and produce extraordinary results. At Insigniam, she is committed to making what was impossible now possible. In fact, making a transformational impact in the world is what motivates Jen in everything she does.
Under Jen’s guidance, cross-functional teams have rallied to meet or exceed their timelines when predictably they would have submitted late, lost revenue, or lost a first-to-market advantage. Her work includes consulting for major corporations on large-scale business and cultural transformations and initiatives, such as ERP implementations, regulatory compliance issues, and revenue cycles. In these engagements, Jen has helped teams produce significant measurable results, including increased employee engagement, patient satisfaction scores, and cash flows, and decreased rework and order-to-cash cycle times.
For Jen, the healthcare industry is more than a job. As a former registered nurse, she has a passion for the industry and understands the impact that she can make for patients. She is committed to supporting the healthcare industry to make breakthrough lifesaving drugs that help patients around the world.
She says a career highlight was helping a health and diagnostics company achieve more than $3.6 million in revenue and savings for an 862% ROI, with more than $20 million anticipated in projected revenue and savings in the future.
Jen says her most challenging assignment to date was working within a pharmaceutical company where 90% of the company described the company culture as toxic. “The executives were not aligned and it was challenging to drive forward,” she says. “Personal agendas were at play. Executives were jockeying for position and I had to be very objective and remain as a neutral party. In the end the executives had a breakthrough by taking personal responsibility and ownership of the toxicity. They then created a plan for transforming the company’s culture.”
She knows it can be challenging at times to motivate others especially when people are cynical or resigned. “I usually have to meet with these people one-on-one and engage them separately. I have to find something that inspires them.” And inspires them she does. She is noted for her purposeful ability to motivate colleagues and clients alike.
In the fast pace of life and the workplace, it is easy to lose sight of purpose. When Jen is there, however, that purpose is alive and present. She authentically cares about Insigniam’s clients, she holds herself accountable for the results of a client organization, and people around her get to know themselves as results-producers and difference-makers.
“I work hard to stand in the other person’s shoes and look for the possibility they might see we are talking about,” she says. “Inspiration means to breathe life into an organization.”
Jen’s impact is sustainable and goes beyond just her physical reach. She has a commitment to the success of all of her clients, even long after working with them. (PV)
A True Ally for Independent Pharmacists
Title: Group VP, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Programs & Services
Associations: NCPA, APHA
As group VP of Good Neighbor Pharmacy’s Field Programs and Services, Jenni Zilka is a driving force to help strengthen independent community pharmacies as a vital channel for ensuring both patient outcomes and product success.
Jenni introduced and oversees the company’s Business Coaching Program. “Since launching the program in 2008, we have grown to support more than 1,600 pharmacy owners nationwide,” she says. “Every day, we help them navigate owning and managing multi-million-dollar businesses. Today, our team of 30-plus members travel to independent pharmacies all throughout the United States to help pharmacists gain a better understanding of what they need to evolve their businesses in the ever-changing healthcare industry.”
The rapid growth that the program experienced was a wonderful problem to have but it came with challenges to stay fully staffed and fine-tune recruiting efforts, as well as train, onboard, and transition customers, she says.
Jenni also is responsible for implementing and testing new solutions while also strategizing against future industry trends. She and her team collect pharmacists’ feedback to better support their business needs as the industry and patient care continue to evolve.
The team showcases each pharmacy’s individuality and draws on data-driven insights to increase efficiency and improve profitability.
With a shortage of primary care providers in communities across the country, independent community pharmacists have expanded their role in providing significant value in today’s healthcare ecosystem. “Independent business owners are the pillar of our communities and the fact that I get to help them be as successful as possible every single day is an honor,” she says.
Jenni leads and manages a team of 130 field-based associates mationwide who equip 1,700 GNP premier pharmacies with the solutions they need to improve patient outcomes, and, ultimately connect thousands of patients with the treatments and services they need.
Team members says integrity is the cornerstone of everything Jenni does. Before anything is delivered to customers, she ensures the information is vetted, analyzed, sourced, and tested.
A firm believer in the power of collaboration, Jenni recognizes that nothing can be accomplished without a support system — personally and professionally.
She approaches her work with pharmacies as a supportive partner by actively listening to their business challenges, identifying opportunities for growth and then developing tailored solutions to meet their needs so they can continue bringing patients access to high-quality, affordable care.
She credits her leadership team who values innovative thinking, which allows her to be involved in a number of new initiatives. The latest effort involves social and digital marketing for independent pharmacies.
Jenni loves hearing customers’ stories, and she puts a genuine effort behind learning who they are as people, their perspectives in business, and what motivates them.
Associate engagement is, she believes, indicative of success. “AmerisourceBergen measures associate engagement on a regular basis and I always look forward to the report as it tells me where we need to improve so our associates want to get out of bed each morning and bring value back to customers,” she says.
She encourages her associates to identify their support squad and build their own networks inside and outside of the office. Jenni leads by example and is always eager to hear the perspectives of others.
“I think the best way to inspire others is to be passionate about and believe in the path forward,” she says. “And to also explain the ‘why.’ When we share the ‘why,’ others have a better understanding and will follow.”
One of the best pieces of advice she received was to always keep learning. “The moment that you think you are the smartest person in the room is the moment that you miss out on learning opportunities,” she says.
She enjoys mentoring, saying: “I believe that we are better together than we are individually.” She is also a huge advocate for women and has strived to bring more awareness to women in pharmacy.
“One of my current goals is to find ways to help more women become community pharmacy owners,” Jenni says. “I would love to see the percentage of female owners increase and give them the resources to do so successfully and with support.” (PV)
An Architect for Change
Title: Senior VP, GM — Provider Solutions
Company: Cardinal Health
Industry Awards: PM360 Trailblazer Marketing Award; Aster Healthcare Advertising Award
Company Awards: Two-time President’s Cup Winner, J&J; three-time Infinity Cup Winner, J&J; Oncology Franchise Leadership Award – J&J; Standards of Leadership Product Launch Award – J&J
Associations: Cardinal Health Women’s Initiative Network
Ameteorite sits on Dan Duran’s desk to remind him that life is a long journey and the impact we can have on the world can either be large or small. “I am continually trying to understand how we can be a positive part of the solution to ensure patients have access to the most effective treatments at the most fiscally responsible cost while receiving the best outcomes,” he says.
During his nearly 20-year career in the specialty healthcare industry, Dan has consistently led teams and businesses to achieve success in the face of adversity. Now as senior VP, GM, provider solutions, at Cardinal Health, he plays a central role in driving growth and expanding customer relationships in the specialty pharmaceutical distribution (SPD) business within Cardinal Specialty Solutions.
When Dan joined the company in 2017, the physician office segment of the SPD business was growing, but not meeting all of its performance targets. He put a new organizational design into place and redefined sales roles and sales territories to better address the market opportunity.
At the same time, Dan led a transformation in the sales team’s approach, shifting it from a purely distribution focus to a broader emphasis on services and tools that help community-based specialty physicians drive efficiencies in their practices allowing them to spend more time on patient care.
Not only has this shift only driven more customer-centric thinking by the sales team, it has led to increased collaboration across the company among teams that support the business.
“Driving innovation within most companies is relatively difficult even in the best of times,” Dan says. “I believe serving as an architect for change requires deep insights gathered through personal interactions with customers and strong market research. Our organization allows for ideation to occur at any level and, while I can be involved at either early or late stages, our most novel ideas ultimately need to be championed and promoted across cross-functional teams.”
Before Cardinal Health, he worked at Dendreon, where he led commercial operations for the company’s immunotherapy treatment in advanced prostate cancer. As a member of the commercial leadership team, he was instrumental in driving appropriate product use and exceeding revenue targets. Before Dendreon, Dan spent 13 years in sales and marketing roles at Johnson & Johnson in its Ortho Biotech and Janssen Biotech divisions.
“Across all of the roles I have had, the opportunities to build cohesive and collaborative teams, which together achieved results beyond conventional expectations, have been some of my greatest accomplishments,” he says.
“Throughout my career, changing established market perceptions has been among the most challenging and rewarding experiences. Being part of a turnaround team for a first-in-class, novel delivery immunotherapy treatment was certainly my greatest developmental opportunity. While it tested my ability to rethink new go-to-market strategies for a uniquely delivered therapy, I was able to come away from that experience with a new outlook on perseverance, leadership alignment, and motivating teams in the most challenging environments.”
Dan’s collaborative leadership style has fostered strong alignment between sales and marketing. “In my opinion, the ability to infuse passion, commitment, and connection within our organization is one of the most important qualities any leader can exhibit,” he says. “Over the years, having an adaptable mindset in an ever-changing and uncertain environment has allowed me to improve as a manager and as a leader.”
Those who work with Dan say his leadership style has contributed greatly to his success. Dan balances his commitment to people development, team accountability, and delivering growth in highly competitive markets. He has built a reputation as a leader who inspires his team to reach higher than they thought possible and as a valued partner who both internal colleagues and customers want to work with.
“Over the years, my style has absolutely evolved,” Dan says. “First and foremost, I have recognized the importance of creating a compelling vision of the future for the organization, team, and individuals. I have always enjoyed taking a hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves type approach, but as I’ve matured in my career, I’ve learned the importance of guiding colleagues to have different experiences that allow them to reach their own conclusions. I ask a lot of questions, seek to understand, help others to look at challenges through a different lens, and most importantly invest in the development of others. I believe that I am truly serving in the best interest of our team when we are delivering results, team members are growing as professionals, and the team is having fun.” (PV)
Applying the Principles of Behavior Change
Amy Bucher, Ph.D.
Title: Behavior Change Design Director
Industry Awards: Winning solver, Innocentive Challenge for increasing global diagnosis and treatment of unipolar depression and anxiety, with Richard Bedrosian, Ph.D.
Company Awards: Johnson & Johnson Silver Encore Awards, 2013 and 2015; Johnson & Johnson Leadership Award, 2009; Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of Michigan, 2006
Community Awards: Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge
Associations: American Psychological Association; Academy of Management; User Experience Professionals Association; Society for Behavioral Medicine; Junior League of Boston
Amy Bucher, behavior change design director at Mad*Pow, is trained in the academic discipline of behavior change, and she brings that knowledge into the human-centered design work the agency does for clients. Merging the academic discipline of psychology with design is not a common approach, but it has distinct advantages when it comes to pharma-related projects.
Amy combines her Ph.D. with experience design, to create innovative solutions to advance the work of pharma clients. She has written a book, expected to be published in early 2020, called “Engaged: Psychology for Digital Product Design.”
“I’m excited to have written my first book, a guide to using behavior change science to design digital interventions,” she says. “The book is aimed at non-psychologists. I noticed a high level of interest among product managers, researchers, and other design professionals to learn how to apply behavior change to their work. It’s a joy to get other people excited about the work that I do every day and equip them to bring it back to their own projects.”
One of Amy’s proudest professional accomplishments was her work as a part of a team at Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions Group that created a behavior change program in India for Lifescan, another Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes glucose monitoring systems. Her team traveled to India and spent time in diabetes clinics and hospitals, where they talked to patients and doctors and observed the standard of care.
They built a personalized digital behavior change program to be used by nurses to interface with diabetes patients. In India, many patients carried hard copies of their medical history around in paper bags, so the team also built an EMR system from the ground up. The system included access via SMS because cell service was often more reliable than desktop Internet access. The entire program was carefully researched to take in cultural and economic considerations that were unique to the Indian healthcare system. The resulting solution was truly a triumph of behavior change theory and human-centered design, and Amy’s unique skill-set played a central role in its development.
“This project was among the most interesting ones I’ve ever worked on,” Amy says. “As trite as it might sound, spending time there as a researcher helped me see both the enormous cultural differences between the United States and India and the even greater commonalities.”
Amy spreads her enthusiasm for behavior change principles and human-centered design by speaking at different events, through her blog, as well as sharing her knowledge with colleagues. “My overarching professional goal is to bring psychological science into the applied design world,” she says. “These are two communities that each have specific abilities and contributions that could transform the healthcare experience. Psychologists understand how people work and how their behaviors are influenced by social context, and they are trained to work from validated theories and models and use a scientific method to develop effective interventions. Designers have the skills to bring ideas to life through visuals, interactions, and experiences, and the human-centered design methodology blends beautifully with the deep understanding of people that comes from psychology. Yet it’s only relatively recently that these two groups of people have worked closely together to create interventions that are both scientifically valid and delightful to use. Whether it’s through educating design professionals on how to apply behavior science, bringing my own or colleagues’ expertise into the design process, or encouraging academic colleagues to lend their talents to applied projects, I see my purpose as using psychology to effect meaningful change in the lives of patients, providers, and other people in the healthcare ecosystem.”
While Amy is a busy professional, she makes time for local charities and organizations, including serving on the executive management team of the Junior League of Boston, a volunteer organization focused on positively affecting the wellness of girls. (PV)
Setting a Vision for Innovation
When United Biosource LLC (UBC) divested from Express Scripts in 2017 and reestablished itself in the marketplace as a standalone, premier pharmaceutical services provider, it quickly became clear how important Sallyanne Williams’ role as an innovator was to become. She says she and her team had no choice but to constantly generate new ideas, revise processes, and keep staff motivated and involved.
As senior VP, head of global late stage services at UBC, Sallyanne inspires her team by providing a vision for the future and ensuring she properly communicates this vision.
“I also set the pace for change,” she says. “I’m extremely passionate about the work we do and I believe this helps to inspire my team and encourages them to follow my example.”
Sallyanne’s role involves overseeing about 700 resources globally in the following areas: UBC global late-stage services, specifically, project management, clinical monitoring and site services, data management and biometrics, medical writing, pharmacovigilance, and patient and physician recruitment services.
Relying on almost 25 years of experience in the industry — 14 of which have been at UBC — Sallyanne has a finger on the pulse of the market. She forecasts the industry will continue to see more consolidations, as well as restructuring within big pharma. She believes that the industry, as a whole, will continue to look for opportunities to become more efficient by decreasing time and cost around drug development. In addition, the focus for the future, in her opinion, will remain on innovation with advances in technology, digital health, virtual trials, etc. It is her hope that these trends will result in being able to offer better treatments to patients.
A charismatic and supportive leader, she is honest and open with her teams and is hands on in the day-to-day operations. Colleagues praise her leadership style, and describe Sallyanne as very dedicated, approachable, and passionate about the work she and her teams perform.
“I have a great management team working with me and I have built strong relationships with each one of them,” she says. “I ensure they feel empowered to make decisions so that I am not an obstacle in the delivery of our services to our customers. My team is extremely diverse, all of whom bring their own backgrounds and their own set of strengths and weaknesses to the table. By putting the right people on the right projects/initiatives, I feel we’ve been able to ensure success.”
When challenges arise, she ensures she is inclusive and believes in giving credit where it is due. “Praise isn’t costly and can go a long way to keep a team motivated and feeling appreciated,” she says.
It’s clear that Sallyanne’s leadership style has been effective as demonstrated by the number of awards UBC has received over the years for exemplary work in the area of late-stage clinical services.
In addition to being a great leader, she is also very humble. Her perspective on growth in leadership is about looking inward and that it is an evolutionary process. “The one area where I feel I’ve seen the most growth in myself as a leader has been in my ability to make tough decisions,” she says. “There’s a quote that has stuck with me: a great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
Although she has to make difficult decisions that not all may understand or support, she reminds herself that one must act in the best interest of employees and the business.
She takes time to mentor others, as she is eager to help others achieve success, which includes being willing to accept failures as well as seeing these as learning experiences.
She measures success in a few ways. First, as a service provider, a big measure of success is customer satisfaction — and ensuring proper delivery for customers is a key concern for Sallyanne.
“I also measure success based on the growth within my teams as well as the overall results of the portfolio of the business I am responsible for,” she says.
Motivation comes from the work she and her team does to find treatments for diseases, as well as the example she sets for her children.
She also understands the importance of balance. “In our industry, it often feels that working long hours is necessary,” she says. “I’ve learned recently how important it is to ensure you take time for yourself to recharge and just take a break.”
Having survived a cardiac arrest not long ago, the most important thing in her office now she says is her Survivor decal with a heartbeat on it. (PV)
Title: Senior VP, Media
Company: Health Union
Industry Awards: Marketing excellence award for work on digital measurement, GlaxoSmithKline
Company Awards: MM&M, Best Places to Work; Inc. 5000; Deloitte Fast Tech 500; Ranked No. 1 or in the top five in its category for The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Top Workplaces program; Philadelphia Business Journal’s Top Places to Work program
Associations: DeLaSalle Education Center, working with inner city kids in Kansas City
Partner” is not just a word to David Shronk; it’s a mentality. As senior VP, media, at Health Union, he wholeheartedly believes in the value the company provides to patients as partners. Health Union leverages content marketing and social media to cultivate online communities dedicated to helping people live better with serious health concerns, such as migraine, multiple sclerosis, and lung cancer. In turn, he sees and can convey the mutually beneficial value and impact of these patient communities for biopharma partners. With this perspective, he and his team work closely with all of Health Union’s partners to meet — and exceed — everyone’s goals and expectations.
With more than 20 years of experience specializing in consumer media, pharmaceutical marketing, and market research, David leverages his extensive understanding of data to gather information and discover trends to maximize the impact of Health Union’s unique model, which attracts people to highly relevant and interesting content and continuously cultivates progressive engagement.
David says helping to grow the Health Union media team in four years from just a handful of people to a robust group that includes business development, media account services, and audience development experts has been a huge career highlight for him.
“Our media team demonstrates that Health Union’s online health community model holds significant value for both the people who visit our communities and our biopharma partners,” he says. “The success of my team — and Health Union — is also significant to me because it proves what I’ve long believed about the power of relevant content marketing as a tool to drive audience quality and engage people in the right moment at the right time.”
David is one of those eclectic personalities who can analyze data, interpret what it means, put it into context, and make it actionable. While much of his analytics, measurement, and marketing prowess comes from his extensive pharma background, which includes a decade-long stint at GSK and five years with comScore, it’s also the case that much of his ability comes naturally. As somebody who ably relates to others, David understands what his team needs to be successful and frames solutions for clients in a way that is personally relevant to them.
He says one of his major goals is to help his talented team develop their skills and relationships and evolve their influence within the industry and the company.
David’s approaches to leadership and partnership are steeped in compassion and a desire to focus on people, thanks to the early years of his career working as a social counselor and health program coordinator. These characteristics, combined with an excellent sense of humor, are the ideal combination for conveying the value that Health Union delivers to both the people its online health communities serve and its industry partners.
David says his leadership style is directly tied to Health Union’s mission. “I like to lead with transparency and inclusivity, two of the company’s core values,” he says.
David is a creative thinker who consistently goes above and beyond in every role he’s been in. He is a person who brings energy into the room and colleagues say he is a pleasure to partner with at all times.
In fact, David sees himself as the sounding board for innovative ideas. “I keep the perspectives of our online health communities and our biopharma partners top of mind to make sure there’s enough steak beyond the sizzle,” he says. “I like helping people, and I like thinking that the work I’m doing genuinely has a positive impact. It’s not often that you get to say that your company is actually in the business of helping people, and to be able to prove it. I can do that at Health Union, and it honestly makes me look forward to Mondays.” (PV)
Creating a Culture that Breeds Success
Timothy J. Kulbago
Title: VP, Imaging
Company: eResearch Technologies
Company Awards: Finalist, CARE aware, 2019; SCRIPS award, 2018
Associations: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associates; USGA
As head of ERT Imaging Solutions, Timothy Kulbago drives innovation every day to help ERT’s clients improve the quality and process of collecting clinical trial imaging data.
Tim is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience in the medical imaging space, having successfully started and exited two companies.
Tim’s core focus on imaging began when he was part of a team that founded ImageIQ in 2011, which was spun out of Cleveland Clinic Innovations. Since then, his team at ImageIQ — now ERT Imaging — has supported the approval of numerous therapies across a long list of disease states through a combination of advanced software, engineering, and imaging expertise.
Tim’s team provides customized image and data analysis, delivering objective safety and efficacy evidence that speeds time to market entry, reduces internal overhead, and meets regulatory expectations.
In fact, Tim says a highlight of his career has been combining the technology of ImageIQ with the market leading services of the ERT team to bring advanced imaging solutions to the industry.
“I like to think that I can generate creative and innovative ideas wherever I am,” Tim says. “At ERT I am part of a very creative executive team that likes to solve problems, think creatively, and operationalize those visions into reality.”
In fact, the whiteboard is his favorite item in the office; he says this is where solutions happen.
Tim’s passion for the role of imaging in realizing the potential of new drugs and therapies is matched only by his commitment to his team. According to Tim, the most important thing he does as a leader is to foster an environment where his team can be fearless in their approach to solving client problems.
He has helped to create a culture within the organization that allows the business to grow organically as well as through innovation.
Tim says the key to success for any executive is to surround yourself with the smartest, most talented people you can find, then work very hard to give them the resources they need.
“As a leader, if you make it about the team and the mission, you will create an atmosphere of innovation and your people will give you their best,” he says.
“My professional goals are to help young professionals grow their leadership, problem-solving, and creative skills to bring continued innovation to our industry,” he says. Tim takes part in a formal ERT mentorship program and he has informal mentoring relationships.
“Mentoring is important to me because I believe that wisdom is found in learning from other people’s mistakes; and I have made more than my fair share,” he says. “I love sharing my experiences with people so they can move on quickly.”
Colleagues say Tim leads by example, and he is the kind of leader they want to give their best to. He truly cares about the people he works with, and he enables them to be their very best selves. He challenges his team in positive ways. Tim knows that business success and positive outcomes both start with people.
When challenges arise, Tim reminds the team why they are solving the problem and that the bigger mission is to help customers deliver life-altering drugs to patients.
“I take a servant-leadership approach to my teams,” he says. “The phrase I try to use most every day is: ‘how can I help?’ That should not be confused with solving the problem; there are much smarter people around me to do that. But I can help by removing roadblocks, prioritizing resources, communicating to stakeholders — a whole host of things. I love to help other people be successful; it gives me energy.” (PV)
Setting Bold Ideas for the Supply of Medicines
Oladapo (Dapo) Ajayi
Title: VP, Manufacturing and Technical Operations
Company: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson
Awards: 100 Women to Watch, Cranfield Female FTSE 100 report, 2017; World Procurement Leaders Awards, finalist, 2017, 2018; CEO Leadership Award, AstraZeneca, 2006
Associations: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association
To lead her team to transformational improvement, Dapo Ajayi sets bold ambitions and brings together diverse talents to encourage fresh ideas and different perspectives. A pharmacist by degree, Dapo has been a pioneer in pharmaceutical manufacturing for more than 20 years. She inspires operational excellence and has positively shaped every role she has ever had.
As VP of manufacturing and technical operations (MTO) at Janssen, she leads the internal and external global manufacturing network and is responsible for the technical operations that support continuous and transformational improvement while collaborating with R&D to deliver the company’s extensive pipeline. Dapo is leading MTO to become more flexible and to adopt new technologies, modalities, and opportunities to respond to a rapidly changing environment.
“What keeps me up at night is trying to stay abreast of the VUCA — volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity — environment that we operate in, and ensuring that my organization is able to respond in a value-centered manner so that we can continue to ensure we deliver medicines to patients,” she says.
She strives to serve as a collaborative, coaching leader who sets ambitious stretch goals for herself and the teams that she leads.
Colleagues say Dapo inspires her teams through the co-creation of a clear vision that defines how that team is going to contribute to the organization’s shared goals, and then she empowers teams to own and execute. She frames challenges as problems that can be solved by bringing together diverse skills, capabilities, and experience. “I also truly believe that challenges are learning opportunities from which individuals and organizations grow,” she says.
Personal success for Dapo is about feeling energized, excited, and motivated to do what she does, enjoying the company of her colleagues, and feeling stretched and being able to continue to learn.
Dapo is passionate about developing the next generation of supply chain leaders. Previously as chief of procurement at AstraZeneca, she was the sponsor of the Supply Chain Graduate Development program, which invested in the career growth of young professionals from multiple disciplines to become the supply chain leaders of the future. She understands that diversity and inclusion do not simply happen.
Leaders must be intentional about creating an environment that attracts diverse individuals and about creating an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their views, challenging the status quo, and contributing to their fullest potential.
“I would not be the leader I am today without the mentoring from others,” she says. “Therefore, I feel it is both a privilege and a responsibility to pay that back. In doing so, I also personally gain, learn, and grow from the mentoring relationships that I have formed with the diverse individuals who I have had the opportunity to spend time with over the years.” (PV)
A Force for Patients
Patricia A. Fritz
Title: VP, Head of U.S. Corporate Affairs
Company: UCB Inc.
Company Awards: UCB’s Presidents Club
Community Awards: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA); Finalist GA Woman in Healthcare Leadership Award, 2016; Cobb in Focus Leader Profile
Associations: Georgia BIO, Board Chair and member of the Executive Committee; Georgia Global Health ATL, member of the Executive Committee; Carter Center Board of Councilors; American Epilepsy Society; The American College of Healthcare Executives/Georgia (ACHE); Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA); Georgia Epilepsy Foundation, past board member
A windmill made of stained glass sits in the home office of Patricia Fritz, VP, head of U.S. corporate affairs, UCB. It was made for her in the 1980s by a patient she cared for in the ICU as a nurse. This memento motivates her to come to work every day to do the best she can for patients and their families who are waiting for life-changing treatments. “The hand-made windmill was given to me as thank you from this critically ill patient,” she says. “It’s fragile and I have moved a number of times, but it always makes it to the next home. It reminds me to be grateful — not just for the big gestures, but for everything.”
After her more than 20-year tenure at UCB, Patty is hard-pressed to select a single highlight, but she counts her role in the approval of several life-changing therapies, notably Keppra for the treatment of epilepsy. This blockbuster product was the first NDA filed by UCB in the United States. “There have been several other approvals, but this one shaped my connection with patients living with epilepsy and their families — work that has forever connected me to this community.”
Since taking on her current role, she has been fundamental in shaping UCB’s presence in the U.S. market, most recently opening new offices in Washington, D.C., and supporting the company’s expansion in Boston and Seattle. She has developed innovative partnerships with academia and other research institutions that bring fresh perspectives to drug discovery, development, and delivery processes.
She built UCB’s corporate affairs practice from the ground up, including fielding robust policy, advocacy, government relations, and communications teams. Patty has brought new thinking to customer service, creating UCBCares, a one-stop place for patients, caregivers, and providers to get the information they need about the company’s products.
Patty says her most challenging assignment was stepping out of her comfort zone — development and regulatory — into corporate operations. “I made the change into a function that did not exist and needed to be built from the ground up in a space that was new to me,” she says. “I leveraged my experience, my leadership, and my deep-rooted commitment to improve the lives of those living with chronic, severe disease to fuel me through this journey. Over the course of nearly a decade now, I have gradually developed a top-performing corporate affairs team, including the establishment of our D.C. presence and office.”
Patty points out that her goals are ambitious. “Frankly, we are at a tipping point in healthcare,” she says. “Our system and patients across the United States need us to step into the center and drive the change necessary to modernize our regulatory and payment systems to keep pace with innovation. My goal is to be part of influencing needed transformation including UCB’s and the industry’s role in making this a reality in my lifetime.”
Because of her leadership and commitment to innovation and collaboration, she is routinely tapped to lead work groups and taskforces around the globe and she is a sought-after contributor across functions.
She is also committed to supporting women in leadership. In addition to creating UCB’s Women in Leadership program, Patty has been a regular speaker with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and has mentored countless colleagues. A long-time board member, she was also recently selected as the first female chair of Georgia BIO; she is an active supporter of the Georgia BioEd Institute; and she sits on the Carter Center’s Board of Counselors.
She says she tries to inspire others by being honest, seeking to establish trust, and recognizing that it is not about the “I” but the “we.”
“I try to be authentically me and allow myself to be open to learning and growing and inspiring others to develop and take opportunities to make a difference,” she says. (PV)
Trusted Advisor. Mentor
Title: Market Access Practice Lead
Company: Ogilvy Health
Industry Awards: PM360 Elite – Strategy Category
Associations: National Board of Directors, The Cancer Support Community; University of South Carolina Honors College Alumni Association
Michael Zilligen is a client-focused market access leader who cares deeply about delivering value. He championed the development of a payer advisory council at Ogilvy Health, and that council brings relevant, real-world insights on contemporary issues impacting client brands, and has been instrumental in winning and retaining key accounts.
As market access practice lead, Michael has spearheaded several programs to raise awareness among colleagues about reimbursement dynamics. He is renowned for his deep knowledge and expertise in a complex and ever-evolving payer space. He lends considerable expertise beyond to the agency’s market access work, and brings strategic acumen to all agency engagements across disciplines.
As an industry leader, Michael is steadfast in his commitment to, and passion for, improving access for millions of patients affected by serious and life-threatening diseases. In fact, if he had unlimited resources, he would make healthcare more affordable and accessible to all patients through alternative payment and reimbursement approaches based on outcomes.
Michael saw there was a vital need for more effective and efficient patient assistance programs (PAPs). He knew these would be paramount to the success of many brands — especially for rare disease and specialty products.
In response to the need, Michael created the roadmap for Ogilvy Health’s development of a unique PAP practice. This roadmap leverages technology to streamline the time from script to fulfillment, including full integration with electronic health record (EHR) systems. He also realized early on the growing importance of IDNs and health systems and worked with his WPP partners at Kantar to develop a unique IDN/health system segmentation offering that leverages multiple data sets to transform how pharma clients engage and partner with this important customer group.
Internally, he goes above and beyond to ensure that all employees understand the foundational elements and the ever-changing access landscape. He leads a team of individuals who offer unique skills to the agency’s communications programs, widening and broadening what it can offer to clients, to health stakeholders, and ultimately to patients.
He is motivated to come to work every day because of his love of learning. “I work with so many smart colleagues and clients who I learn something new from every day,” he says.
Michael is as much a team player as he is a leader. He champions the voices of those around him while using his own to advocate for change and share his wealth of knowledge of the payer space. He’s a fierce supporter of the creative process and is acutely aware of how to leverage ideas to communicate our stories.
“I try to inspire and empower others to own their work and provide input and guidance as appropriate,” he says.
A selfless leader, Michael is generous with his time with direct reports, clients, and colleagues. He exudes southern charm and a warm personality, and he always seems to be focused on what’s important to others, not himself.
Michael is passionate about talent, supporting his own team and investing time to develop and recognize the next generation of leaders. He is an advocate for bringing new talent into the agency and places a premium on developing junior talent. He ensures his team members have opportunities to grow and understand their value to the organization.
“I measure success by the positive impact I have on others around me,” he says. “By empowering those around me to take risks they will learn and grow, and this often results in them being motivated to look at things differently or try alternative approaches to solving complex problems.”
Colleagues admire Michael’s values, character, and work ethic. He always does things the right way, and never the most expedient way. “It’s important to never compromise your standards or integrity — the core values and principles that guide your behavior, and ultimately form your reputation,” he says. (PV)