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Effective marketing in today’s highly complex healthcare arena needs to address myriad stakeholders, and these marketing vanguards understand not only the channels but the patient populations to be successful.
A Patient Connector
Title: Senior Marketing Manager
Company Awards: Pfizer, Sales Excellence; Genentech, Sales, Two-Time Region of the Year; Passion Award, voted on by leadership; Essence Award, voted on by peers
Associations: Guardsmen, a community group serving Bay Area youth with educational scholarships
A sign in Ian Ross’ office says: “What have you done for a patient today?” As senior marketing manager for Genentech, he lives this ideal, doing whatever it takes to ensure that patients are well taken care of.
Colleagues say Ian has revolutionized the patient marketing landscape by collaborating across functional departments to find creative solutions to compliantly provide patients with the information and resources they need.
He has been instrumental in growing Genentech’s Ocrevus Patient Ambassador Program to 38 ambassadors. Ocrevus is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for both relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS).
He was the driving force in developing a compelling multimedia campaign, including video content that focused on what would be most beneficial along every step of the way for patients. Ocrevus was the first brand at Genentech to have a Facebook page and Ian played a big role in guiding content for that platform, using real patient stories that are shared widely on social media. Within a year, the program garnered more than 1 million views and made a dramatic difference in patient awareness numbers.
“As part of the program, I am proud to help patients write their stories and share both their triumphs and struggles of MS with other patients and caregivers,” he says. “Ocrevus is the No. 1 launch in Genentech history and one of the best launches in the history of pharmaceuticals. I am very grateful to have helped play a role in bringing this life-changing medicine to patients and making a difference in their lives.”
Ian is most proud of Genentech’s mission to put patients at the center of everything it does as a company.
“It’s important to me to make a difference in my organization and to be a positive influence in my colleagues’ lives,” he says. “I love when people are successful, and I want to do everything I can to help other’s dreams and career goals become a reality.”
Before his current role at Genentech, Ian led the development of program content, training materials, speaker training, and the national rollout strategy for the first-ever unbranded surgeon program. This Genentech initiative attracted more than 50 healthcare professionals within the first two episodes.
His ambition remains steadfast: to be part of leading teams to achieve great things, work internationally, and continue to challenge himself by never getting comfortable.
Challenges are inevitable, but Ian maintains it’s always about doing what is best for the patient and choosing to have a positive attitude and never give up.
Genentech’s patient ambassadors describe him as someone who has truly impacted their lives and who is always committed to supporting, encouraging, and lifting them up. Colleagues say Ian’s passion for the mission and patients is compelling.
He has a very outgoing approach, an infectious personality, and trusts the expertise of the people he works with. Ian seeks to be a servant leader who cares more about others than himself and to lead by example rather than talk.
He takes his inspiration from his parents who poured their whole lives into loving and training their children to love others, to be diligent, and to give everything maximum focus and effort.
Outside of work, Ian spends a lot of time volunteering for an organization called the Guardsmen, which is dedicated to raising money for local children’s scholarships. (PV)
Be a Stiletto in a Room Full of Flats
Title: Director of Marketing and Digital Customer Engagement
Company: Johnson & Johnson
Industry Awards: James E. Burke Regional Award, 2019; PM360 Trailblazer Marketer of the Year Award, 2018; PM360 Elite Marketer of the Year Award, 2017; Pie-in-the-Sky Social Media Ideas to Get Patients Talking Contest, June 2016, PM360 Magazine; Gold Hermes International Creative Award (mobile app category), 2015, Hermes Creative Awards; PM360 Elite Marketer of the Year Award, 2015; Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association (HBA) Rising Star, 2009
Company Awards: J&J Shark Tank Competition, 2015 and 2014; James E. Burke Global Award, 2014; J&J Standards of Leadership Award, 2014; Leadership Immersion Program Award, 2011; J&J Standards of Leadership Award, 2011; J&J Standards of Leadership Award, 2010
Associations: HBA; PM360 Editorial Advisory Board; J&J Women’s Leadership Initiative
Kendra Fanara is a doer; if anyone is going to make something happen, colleagues say she is the one to get it done. She is a noted innovator who develops boundary-pushing solutions to solve industry problems. Kendra has spent more than 18 years working on improving the way the pharmaceutical business benefits patients.
As director of marketing and digital customer engagement, for Johnson & Johnson, Kendra approaches her work from a creative perspective and seeks solutions that others might not see. Embracing value-based healthcare has been a focus of her efforts from the very beginning. She believes the industry needs to stop thinking in terms of products, devices, and procedures and to start thinking in terms of episodes of care, care continuums, and patient journeys that result in better outcomes. “I follow the ‘dream, believe, achieve’ mentality,” Kendra says.
“That’s the way we have always done it” is a phrase that bears no meaning for her. She urges others to exhibit the same kind of boldness and persistence she has used to see her visions come to fruition.
Her persistence of vision has fueled a consistent stream of successful projects throughout her career. For example, Kendra began efforts to ease patients’ access to and understanding of their own electronic health records (EHRs), which led to the creation of the first app to provide access to an EHR system. In addition, Kendra helped introduce educational programs on Medicaid expansion and bundled payments for hepatitis C and HIV.
When she began her work in the medical device field in 2016, Kendra brought her innovative instincts and infused her work in this sector with some of the strategies and tactics that were so successful during her time in pharmaceuticals, recognizing that the trend toward value-based care would soon affect medical devices as well. Anticipating this change, Kendra spearheaded the development of an award-winning program to support HCPs with bundled payments for comprehensive joint replacement (CJR). These programs later became the genesis of a companywide initiative that led to the formation of a group that focuses solely on CJR, episode payment models, and other value-based initiatives.
Although Kendra faced some challenges in ensuring these innovations were adopted in a new sector, she meticulously built on the continued triumphs of her programs to demonstrate the value of her thinking to the medical device field.
These instincts would pay off again in 2017 when Kendra began developing a first-of-its-kind interactive digital program called OA My Way, a patient-relationship program that helps individuals who have osteoarthritis overcome their fears surrounding joint replacement surgery and make decisions to enhance their quality of life. Spanning multiple business segments across J&J, OA My Way was the first program to collaborate with other brands, including Exparel, Xarelto, and Tylenol.
The numbers show how successful this program has already been. More than 6,000 people have enrolled in the first year of OA My Way, and the program continues to average about 100 enrollees every week.
As a leader, Kendra pushes those around her to seek out new ways to address problems and exceed the perceived limitations of their immediate roles.
“I believe wholeheartedly in the work that I do, so I want to ensure that others see and feel it so they can believe in themselves and what they can do,” Kendra says. “I am always challenging people to go bigger and drive harder while ensuring that they recognize what they are capable of.”
It is this drive and innovative thinking that has led Kendra to success with a variety of agencies, partners, and marketing teams, all of whom she collaborates with to produce meaningful progress in the pharmaceutical and medical device fields. (PV)
Leveling the Patient Playing Field
Title: Senior Director, Marketing Lead
Company: Relypsa Inc., a Vifor Pharma Group Company
Industry Awards: Top 25 DTC Marketers and Outstanding Multicultural Marketers, DTC Perspectives, 2015
Company Awards: Pinnacle Club recipient for Outstanding Leadership, 2018; numerous awards and recognition for patients first, collaboration and teamwork
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association — Bay Area
Colleagues say you only have to meet Robert Taylor for a minute to realize he has boundless energy and passion for his job, his teammates, and most importantly, for patients. They describe Robert as a vibrant force who aims to drive change in healthcare outcomes by educating all of the stakeholders. Robert is motivated by having the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of patients by providing support, education, and resources to help ensure that they have the best possible outcome on any therapy or within any disease state.
“Given that patients with chronic conditions have backgrounds that vary so greatly, be it education, culture, resources, etc., if I could I would provide supportive care, financial access, and counseling for each patient, complete with tailored support for understanding and managing their condition throughout their journey to better health,” he says.
Robert was a member of the Gilead HCV consumer launch team that brought three products to market in three years that were heavily focused on “cure” campaigns. He counts this experience as one of his most shining career achievements.
“These medications changed the landscape and provided a valuable option, a cure, for many for patients,” he says.
Colleagues describe working with Robert as an absolute pleasure. He genuinely cares about the well-being of everyone he comes into contact with. They say he is a force that commands the room, however, it is not a force to fear. It is a force to respect and follow. His magnetizing personality not only attracts the best people, it also draws out the best in people. Colleagues say he has a wicked sense of humor, which helps lighten the mood when challenges arise.
His finesse with providing a feedback has changed performance levels, careers, and the company’s culture, and ultimately, lives. It’s a rare person who can provide criticism in a manner that’s both direct enough to steer the work in the right way while still supporting the team’s creative spirit. Robert does this effortlessly, according to colleagues.
Robert’s assessment of campaign work is always steeped in the experiences and challenges of patients. This helps his team create considerate, effective content that benefits both the audience and the brand. “I attempt to reframe challenges as opportunities and by changing the lens or approach it opens up more creative solutions,” Robert says. “I also try to get people out of their comfort zones by creating a space without judgment that promotes open dialogue and exchange of ideas.”
Colleagues say not only has he shaped the trajectory of coworkers’ careers and the success of campaigns, Robert has gently changed the culture of Relypsa. He joined Relypsa to lead the patient marketing efforts for Veltassa, a new hyperkalemia medication in a category that has not witnessed innovation in more than 50 years. Relypsa previously relied on marketing its science to physicians over the years, but in today’s world the company needed to involve patients in its marketing efforts. With focus, grace, and charm, Robert has helped to elevate the role of the patient within the company and establish the importance of the patient mindset in the marketing mix.
Robert also serves as the advocacy relations lead for Relypsa, working directly with patient advocacy groups and professional associations in the kidney disease arena. One of his main charges has been serving as three-time national team captain for the Relypsa partnership with the National Kidney Foundation’s (NKF) Kidney Walk, raising money and awareness for kidney disease. Robert has led the team to record-breaking fundraising goals year-over-year with Relypsa as the top fundraising team locally and nationally, raising more than $200,000 for the NKF and participating in more than 30 kidney walks all across the United States. (PV)