Upward Move: Shannyn Smith

Shannyn Smith
Shannyn Smith

Shannyn Smith
EVP, managing director, Centron

The empowered patient is a not a notion lost on healthcare marketers, least of all on those involved in medical education. For Shannyn Smith, newly appointed EVP, managing director of Centron, the advent of the informed consumer has allowed her discipline an even greater influence.

“There's been a shift,” she says, “patients are taking charge of their conditions. They're motivated to inform themselves and prepared for those discussions with their clinicians. The opportunity to impact patients' lives has never been so important.”

While patients remain top-of-mind, Smith says that the complexity of explaining new treatments has also been a crucial motivator in her work. “We're trying to identify that differentiating and compelling scientific value proposition,” she says, “and then find the best ways to educate healthcare providers.”

That inquisitive nature is part of what led her to join Centron, after spending eight years working at Draftfcb. “Centron was exciting and refreshing to me because scientific and medical strategy is always at the core of the business,” she notes. “Whether the discipline is medical education, ­promotion or managed markets, strategy is at the foundation.”

Another formative strategy for Smith has been “realizing the industry beyond the four walls of the agency. It's so important to get involved and connect with people in the industry who can offer their perspectives, advice, insights.” That interactive approach brought her accolades in 2011, when she was named one of the HBA's (Healthcare Businesswomen's Association) ­“Rising Stars.”

That's not to forget the people inside those four walls either, she says. “Having mutual respect for the people who work with you and for you every day—you have to value everyone's contributions, at every level.”

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