Innovators

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PharmaVOICE Staff

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These visionary thinkers are driving forward-thinking around new processes, new technologies, and new business models.

Omni-channel Innovator

Raising the bar… by challenging the status quo

Jose Ferreira
Title: SVP, Product and Innovation
Company: CMI Media
Industry Awards: Keynote speaker at eMetrics Conferences, 2015; Digital Pharma East Panelist, 2017
Company Awards: Best Use of Relationship Marketing Gold Award, MM&M, 2019; Best Use of Data Analytics Silver Award, MM&M, 2019

Jose Ferreira, an omni-channel visionary who excels at creating unique experiences for healthcare providers and patients, is at the forefront of innovation for CMI Media.

By overseeing CMI’s proprietary database of healthcare professionals and consumers and developing the company’s trigger-based marketing platform, he has envisioned what’s possible and helped push CMI forward. Colleagues say he truly thinks differently and approaches problems with an innovator’s vision.

As senior VP of product development and innovation at CMI, Jose approaches every challenge with a solutions-focused mindset, figuring out a way to accomplish something instead of saying it can’t be done. Colleagues describe him as the go-to guy when it comes to data, technology, innovation, and media, not just in terms of identifying opportunities but also how to pull these ideas through to innovative solutions for clients.

The development of CMI’s trigger-based marketing model, PROACT, moves users through marketing messaging and channels by engaging them in narrative form. PROACT combines email, display, and custom digital programs to allow users to consume messaging attuned to their needs. This has had a hugely significant impact on pharmaceutical campaigns. PROACT has been successful launched for several pharma brands, allowing pharma marketing teams to respond quickly, with the best messaging, to physicians’ responses.

Jose not only measures success by his clients’ ability to move audiences but by evaluating if CMI is pushing the industry forward on a consistent basis. “Is what we are doing today better and more effective than what we did before?” he asks.

Having the encouragement and space to present and develop innovative solutions for clients has been Jose’s greatest career highlight.

“A lot of people and companies talk about innovation, but I feel as if I have had the opportunity to be innovative over the course of my career,” he says.

Jose approaches a problem by listening, gaining a deep understanding of the marketplace, including what solutions already exist, and coming up with incredible ideas for making things better.

Jose is a leader within CMI/Compas in every sense of the word. He is always willing to take the time to share his expertise and he is never too busy to support creative thinking and brainstorming — from process through to execution.

He sets the long-term vision for what his team members can achieve and ensures everyone is aligned to that vision. “The vision can change over time, but everyone should agree where things are going, so they can fully understand how their contributions are helping to get us to the ultimate outcome,” Jose says.

Colleagues say Jose creates a culture of trial, error, and success, by giving team members the confidence and space to try new things and develop. Importantly, Jose understands that leaders can’t be experts in everything, and he works with his team to develop ideas and creates a culture of collaboration. Working with colleagues to collectively solve problems is what most motivates Jose.

When challenges arise, Jose ensures that everyone understands that challenges and mistakes are learning opportunities. “We get through challenges and get better by trying new things,” he says. “There is no point dwelling on things we can’t directly control.”

Personal development is important to Jose, who invests a lot of time in learning, not only within the workplace, but by observing what is happening in the larger scheme of things.

He is committed to investing in the professional and personal development of team members. Part of that collaboration involves taking a step back to recognize people’s personal lives need to be prioritized.

“It’s hard to be completely focused on professional responsibilities all the time, so I’m always working to be cognizant of the balance that people need,” he says. (PV)


Mission: The Success of Others

Raising the bar… by redefining what is possible

Amy Turnquist
Title: Executive VP, Digital Solutions
Company: eHealthcare Solutions
Industry Awards: PM360 ELITE Mentor Award, 2020; MM&M Hall of Femme Inductee, 2019
Community Awards: LEAD Award, Mid-Atlantic Region, 2018, HBA; HBA Advocate Award, 2018
Associations: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association; Association of Medical Media; Pharma Marketing Network; Temple University Fox School of Business Masters of Science, Digital Innovation in Marketing
Twitter: @amyturnquist

Amy Turnquist’s career is defined by her ability to identify a need for something that doesn’t yet exist, then creating the vision and strategy for filling that need, and aligning people and processes to achieve on that vision. “I’m not a status quo leader,” she says. “I’m challenged by opportunities to create new solutions and getting people to embrace change and think differently about what is possible.”

In 2005, she launched a new magazine for dermatologists and aesthetic practitioners, called Healthy Aging. Amy took the project from concept to competitive analysis to identify what these physicians needed and weren’t getting. She developed the launch plan and mission for the publication all the way through selecting the team members who would develop and commercialize the publication. And eventually, the publication won several awards for the launch. “This initiative involved working with our physicians directly, building our editorial advisory board, building the internal team, and taking the product to market,” she says. “The magazine was recognized by the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors with their Best New Publication Award in 2006.”

About 10 years later, Amy launched an ecommerce store for another healthcare publisher with a focus on selling nutritional supplements and healthcare products direct to consumers. “This project was exciting because I built the concept — and the offering — from the ground up,” she says. “I was responsible for creating the strategy for the rollout and working cross functionally to bring it together. This involved working with the editorial teams to create a content-commerce strategy, working with physicians to create an advisory board to ensure that all products met scientifically validated criteria, selecting the product catalog, working with the IT team to select the ecommerce platform and develop drop-ship integrations for fulfillment, working with the marketing team on promotional strategy, and educating the company on where we were going and why it was a direction that everyone needed to support.”

As executive VP, digital solutions, at eHealthcare Solutions (EHS), Amy is responsible for the U.S. pharma rollout of the company’s HCP and DTC native offerings, representing a strategic shift for the business and moving the company from traditional digital display tactics to more action- and data-driven tactics. “Introducing new ideas in pharmaceutical media can be a difficult process,” she says. “In 2019, we grew our HCP native media revenue almost two times.

After putting our HCP growth strategy in place in late 2019, I assumed responsibility for our U.S. pharma go-to-market strategy for the Tap Native network, our DTC native network partner. Again, this represented taking a new idea, a new channel, a new tactic to a new audience of pharmaceutical clients. It required working internally on our strategy for positioning the offering and working with our agency partners and pharma prospects to create interest. We now have several pharma brands that are active in the network.”

Through all of the positions Amy has held or currently holds she has always strived to move the industry forward. Colleagues say Amy positively impacts her peers, her colleagues, her company, her communities, as well as the industry at large through her actions. Her peers note that she is a strategist and relationship-builder. “I believe we are all stronger as a team when each member of the team is empowered to do their best work, in the most authentic way,” she says.

Amy wants to be on the front lines of digital disruption, optimization, and opportunity in healthcare. “I am constantly looking for the next thing that will help us think differently about how we engage with physicians, consumers, and caregivers to positively impact outcomes,” she says.

Amy is a noted maximizer, whether she is driving outcomes at EHS or in her volunteer role as president of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s (HBA) Philadelphia chapter. “I consistently seek the optimal outcome for any endeavor,” she says. “Whether I’m making decisions to empower people on my team or growth for my business, I seek the solutions that deliver value and results beyond what is expected — ideally beyond what the team or business initially thought was possible.”

By making others’ success her mission, she ensures that her teams have the support and resources they need to do their best work. “I serve them, not the other way around,” Amy says.

Through her work with the HBA, Amy is dedicated to developing women leaders. “Many women struggle with imposter syndrome, and many women think that this is a women’s issue,” she says. “I’ve learned that this isn’t a gender issue; we all experience this, we just handle it differently. The best advice that I’ve had is to recognize that it’s normal to question ourselves and focus less on the doubt and more on the vision.” (PV)


The Way to Excellence

Raising the bar… by leveraging efficiency

Vanessa Phillips
Title: VP, Operations
Company: WAYS Pharmaceutical Services
Associations: DIA; IRISS

Working in the regulatory space is very much a team effort and Vanessa Phillips is truly a team-focused leader who is intent on helping clients meet their goals.

“Working in the regulatory space is hard to do without the support of a team,” Vanessa says. “We’re constantly crunched at the end of the submission process and I can honestly say there isn’t a single instance where I could have been successful without the help of a team. Asking team members for help tells them you trust them; showing appreciation instills a sense of pride.”

As VP of operations at WAYS Pharmaceutical Services, she is adept at innovating informal support systems that span different roles and functions within the organization. By fostering all types of knowledge sharing, informal mentoring, and on-the-job training efforts Vanessa is investing in teams across the organization.

Trust is key, Vanessa says, and that means not micro-managing. “It’s important to check in often so that your team knows you’re there if they need your help; it’s equally important to give them the space to troubleshoot and plan on their own,” she says. “If someone needs my help, I’ll roll up my sleeves and help. I’ve found this to be important in building lasting and trusting relationships as well as maintaining my own skill set.”

A respected subject matter expert in global regulatory submissions, Vanessa is often sought out by clients for her knowledge of eCTD submissions and the corresponding data requirements.

Colleagues say Vanessa is known for her quiet authority. She listens before she speaks and when she speaks, people listen. If you were to ask Vanessa, she will most likely say she is just doing her job. But those who have worked with her appreciate her professional guidance and have come to rely on her as a trusted advisor.

Vanessa has been integral in building WAYS Pharmaceutical Services, which focuses on redefining submission management by applying the skills she acquired over the years. Vanessa is committed to combining operational and regulatory expertise to deliver continuing value for her clients. She is not one to seek the limelight.

Her body of work speaks for itself. She has worked on more than 100 different development products throughout her career and co-led the development of a comprehensive eCTD course and a follow-up CDISC technical data requirements program.

“This experience has been both the most rewarding and challenging of my career,” she says.

“There have been many challenges starting with attracting and retaining talented team members who share our passion, drive, and vision; establishing and maintaining trusted client relationships; as well as ensuring the team has the right resources, processes, and tools for success. With the final step being the submission process for our pharmaceutical clients, it is imperative that we have all of our ducks in a row.”

She says establishing and maintaining a positive reputation anywhere, but particularly within a service organization, is contingent on being a true extension of a sponsor’s team.

“Being a resource that clients can depend on to treat the sensitive information within their applications/submissions as if it were our own, is critical,” she says.

Vanessa is motivated by what she does in helping sponsors finalize and submit their investigational and marketing applications to global health authorities. “In this line of work, every day matters and what we do is crucial to getting much-needed treatments to the patients who need them,” she says. “Secondly, working for a company that understands and provides a work-life balance is extremely motivating. We trust each other to do what is needed to grow and sustain our business. At the same time, we lean on each other if we need to step away to attend to other matters.”

Vanessa says one of the biggest challenges in the regulatory field is the need to adapt quickly.

“It’s important to stay abreast of evolving global regulatory submission requirements, as well as understand the changing needs of our clients as they embark on new challenges and opportunities,” she says. “It’s critical that we truly understand regulatory changes and that we adapt to what is required of each specific situation.” (PV)


Bringing Passion to Clinical Operations

Raising the bar… by driving innovation and leading change

Deb Tatton
Title: Senior VP, Global Clinical Operations
Company: Parexel
Company Awards: Executive Leadership Award, 2016
Associations: Linking in Leaders; Women Unlimited Inc.

I am committed to the people I work for, and with, and believe the work we do in clinical research is necessary for our future and the generations to come. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Bukowski: ‘If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.’

Deb Tatton, senior VP, global clinical operations at Parexel is known throughout the company, as well as the industry, for proven ability to make incredible things happen while offering a never-ending fountain of passion and compassion for patients and teammates.

Colleagues say Deb’s work is core to Parexel’s business, and as a leader she emanates energy and has the skills that drive her teams to deliver success. She is the definition of the power of passion and perseverance. Her tireless energy and focus are what drive her teams to address the challenges of clinical research. She dives in personally with customers and colleagues and leads by example.

Deb, who joined Parexel in September 1996, is now head of global clinical operations, overseeing a 5,000-plus member team that includes study start up, monitoring, site management, and clinical operation leaders across Parexel’s clinical studies. Since taking on the new role a year ago, she has emerged as a transformational and inspirational leader.

Deb says this move to global clinical operations is the highlight of her career so far. “This role provides me the opportunity to work directly with so many diverse cultures, as my group has staff members in more than 50 countries,” she says. “It also allows me to get back to my roots, which is supporting my staff and often working directly with hospitals and sites that work every day with patients.”

While the whole industry is being pushed to innovate to keep delivering for patients due to COVID-19, Deb’s openness to new ideas and technologies, such as virtual or remote working, has been critical in her team’s ability to continue moving forward during these uncertain times.

Deb approaches any challenge, from creating a cross-functional team or finding resources, without fear. She is known for always bringing the right parties to the table to overcome whatever challenges she and her team might face.

“Clinical operations has a unique opportunity to innovate the way in which we conduct clinical trials by leveraging decentralized clinical trials and remote monitoring,” Deb says. “While there are dozens of available platforms and technologies available to those of us in clinical research, we have to carefully balance what we implement to ensure these solutions meet regulatory requirements, ensure patient safety, and enable the sites to work in the most efficient manner.”

Colleagues say Deb has a magnetic personality, high energy, and the ability to communicate effectively at multiple levels. She’s expert at asking targeted, deliberate questions that help teams make informed decisions, which then lead to Parexel’s global clinical operations successes. Deb is leading transformative initiatives, all with the goal of modernizing the way the company serves its customers.

Whether Deb is conversing with junior team members or the executive leadership team, participating in a town hall, or leading small group sessions in various countries across the globe, the resounding feedback from colleagues is how influential, credible, and eloquent she is.

Deb takes mentoring very seriously, and she serves as an exceptional role model for all of her team, inspiring employees to uncover their own career paths and clearing the path to a true trajectory of success.

She is unwavering in support of her teams, and takes great pride in building an impressive bench of leaders within Parexel. She is known for continuously validating and giving weight to her colleagues and supporting their development on a personal and career level.

Deb says she uses her own experience to bring value to those she mentors. “Early in my career, I was very focused on completing tasks and working hard, assuming this was the clear and best way for advancement,” she says. “I later learned the importance of taking time to develop and invest in a strong network. It was not until I was about 10 years into my career that I was assigned a mentor who believed strongly in networking and showed me the value of having a network.”

Deb gives 200% to everything she does. “I am committed to the people I work for, and with, and believe the work we do in clinical research is necessary for our future and the generations to come. One of my favorite quotes is from Charles Bukowski: ‘If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start.’” (PV)

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