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

At many pivotal moments in my career, Julie McHugh, currently a Lantheus Board member and also a strategic adviser at HealthCare Royalty Partners, has been there when I needed help. She is my mentor and has been an invaluable source of guidance and both a professional and personal inspiration to me since I first met her when I had the privilege of working with her at Centocor, a J&J subsidiary, in 1990. She has and continues to influence many women and men in life sciences and beyond. She embodies leadership, courage, business savvy, ethics — all with a great compassion for people. 

How has the pandemic reset the rules on your work-life balance?

The pandemic has simultaneously liberated and destroyed work-life balance. It has invaded our family spaces with remote working, while also making us acutely aware of our employees as members of families because we see them working amid their family environment. At Lantheus, we have seen this reset as an opportunity to reinforce our value of “Help People Be Their Best” and we are striving to find ways that we can support this balance moving forward while continuing to excel as a business.

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

The pandemic took us all out of our comfort zone. It has taught us that leadership has little to do with your title or where it sits on the organization chart. It is so much more about how to move forward in the absence of a clearly defined path when standing still is not an option. As I look back, I learned most about leadership from the incredibly brave people around me during the initial months of the pandemic. Leadership is at its best when most inclusive and when what value can be delivered is for the whole.

What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

First let me say that working in healthcare is an extremely rewarding career. It is simply professionally thrilling to do well for having done right and that is possible in life sciences. We launched a product in prostate cancer diagnostics in 2021 that is changing how that disease is diagnosed and managed, and that is worth working hard for every single day. It is challenging that certain aspects of healthcare marketing have become defensive and litigious. I sometimes worry that because messaging has become so shrouded in necessary added language that true communication with the patient has been lost. 

What are you doing to send the career ladder back down?

I’m really proud of a couple of employee-led groups that kicked off last year — our Diversity Connection employee resource group (ERG) and our Women Leaders of Lantheus ERG. I strongly support these efforts and am doing what I can to make sure that they are offering career development resources across the company. Personally, I try to take any mystery out of the path to the executive suite if that is truly where someone wants their career to lead. In addition, I like to provide feedback often about leadership behaviors and allow people to shadow me.

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

A lot has changed since I started my career and I’m really excited about the work that women are doing today in healthcare. I think advice that applies no matter what has changed is to avoid trying to be prescriptive with your career. There are so many opportunities waiting for you. Never before has there been such a need for talent. Never settle working for someone who does not believe it is a privilege to manage people and lead.

Tell us something people may not know about you.

I never stop trying. My husband says everyone has a superpower. I have two. Everyone who knows me knows one of them — it is my energy. The second is my determination. After 23 years, I just returned to English hunter seat horseback riding. At 62 years old, it was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, but I did it. After the first lesson, it hurt like crazy to get up and down from a chair for a week. Three months later, I am riding three times a week, have a fake practice horse in my house and am looking forward to when my horse, Grace, and I are ready for competition. 

Recount an experience with the healthcare system, positive or negative, that inspires you.

It may seem counterintuitive but the response to the pandemic has been inspiring to me. It has emphasized the need for a constant emphasis on scientific research and demonstrated how we can succeed at developing medical solutions at a record pace when we are put to the test. We’ve also seen the ability of the people working in the healthcare system to adapt to extremely stressful and, at times, life threatening situations with compassion and grace. While tragic in countless ways, in some ways the pandemic brought out the best of us.