What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?

If I didn’t work in healthcare and these were different times (non-COVID-19) I would love to be a Mountain Ambassador at a ski resort out west in the winter and a swim instructor for babies and little kids in the summers.   

Ski ambassadors help visitors who are new to the mountain navigate the trails and find new areas to explore that meet their skiing ability. But since you can’t be a ski ambassador year-round and I also love to swim. I would find it rewarding to teach water safety to parents with their babies and little kids how to swim.  

Can you give a shout-out to someone who helped you at a pivotal time in your career?

I had been working in Diagnostic sales and marketing looking for a way to navigate into the pharmaceutical industry and a friend of mine had just turned down an opportunity to work for BMS in a strategy role. He felt the position wasn’t right for him but recommended me for the opportunity. By leveraging my experience in sales and marketing to hospital Group Purchasing Organizations, BMS hired me. This enabled me to make the leap from the diagnostics industry to pharmaceutical marketing, which is where my career has flourished. So, my shout-out goes to Craig Shore.

Work to live, or live to work?

Actually, both. I love working to make a meaningful difference for our client’s brands in healthcare. That being said, it is not lost on me that my career has provided me the opportunity to “always have tickets.” A former mentor of mine told me this and when I asked what does “having tickets” mean? He said — if you always have tickets then you will make time to enjoy your interests outside of work. For example, he is a Rangers fan and by having season tickets he never missed a Rangers game even though he was a high-level pharmaceutical executive. 

Share a moment when you left your comfort zone; what did you learn?

While I was working at BMS an acquaintance of mine asked me to join her healthcare communications company. I enjoyed my work as Director of Managed Care Marketing at BMS but felt if I didn’t try working for a communications company, I would regret it — so I took a risk and left BMS to join her small women-owned company. While Healthcare Communications was something I had never done before, I learned a lot including that I enjoyed working for pharma instead of in pharma.

What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

Working in our area of expertise — payer marketing — it is sometimes hard to navigate the silos that exist within the pharma companies. We know we need real-world evidence and HEOR data to deliver strong payer access and reimbursement messaging — but it can sometimes be hard to align individual pharma departments. Some of this may be due to regulatory or competing budgetary issues; but when we need data to deliver a compelling value proposition message, it can be hard to navigate these silos. 

To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will …

…continue to mentor, train and develop women in my organization. A few years ago, I participated in the HBA Mentorship program and was so impressed, I leveraged what I learned and developed an integrated mentorship program for McCann Health. This program enables women to learn from others outside their specific agency and/or discipline and provides the opportunity for them to expand their network and gain experience and exposure to other senior leaders within the organization. This program has been ongoing for over seven years and participation has grown every year.  

What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Believe in yourself. Once you have confidence, you can leverage your knowledge and experience to achieve your ambitions. Don’t doubt that you have what it takes to reach your goals. 

Which three people, alive or dead, would you like to host at a dinner party and why?

Greta Thunberg because she is a role model for young women; teaching them anything is possible if you have a passion for change. She is a prime example of someone who has clearly articulated her anxieties about the planet into a worldwide movement calling for global climate change. Learning from the next generation is our future.

Oprah Winfrey is a role model of someone who believed in herself and others. She combined these two beliefs with passion, optimism and enthusiasm to become the person she set out to be, by sticking to her moral compass. Learning from successful people is motivating.

James Corden is one of my favorite personalities. He is funny, talented and seems like a great human. I could watch his Carpool Karaoke segments forever. I find them amazingly entertaining, informative and hilarious. He is so talented and my favorite talk show host.