Joey_verticalJoey is a Senior Account Manager and cross-functional player on our corporate/investor relations and product communications teams. But she’s more than that… Joey is also our Person-in-Portland (Oregon). She started working for W2O Group in San Francisco more than five years ago and moved up north for a change of scenery in 2010.

Luckily for us, she squeezes in regular visits to SF, in-between leading social media consumer campaigns and her other high-profile communications responsibilities—announcing pivotal trial results, new product approvals, quarterly financial results and strategic partnerships.


What is your role at BrewLife?

I cover investor relations, strategic writing, collateral development, media event planning, and much, much more. But my specialty is bridging corporate and product communications for healthcare and biotechnology companies. I enjoy spreading the word about clients’ value to investors, advocates, media and physicians. I have firsthand experience across the spectrum of clinical trial situations from binary data readouts (both the good and the bad) to FDA approval and even recall, and I have the battle wounds, and learnings, to prove it.


What keeps you returning to the office every day?

I was drawn to healthcare because of the human element. I find it rewarding to interview patients, hear about the awesome ways clients are helping them and tell their stories. Social media is providing exciting opportunities to reach patients where they live and offer valuable information. At the end of the day, it is all about the patients.   


What is your mantra?

“The devil is in the details.” It’s a given that big picture thinking is important but often forgotten that someone needs to plan for every detail to implement successfully. At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference each year, I’m the central hub for all of our clients and employees—managing the details of everything from organizing a cocktail reception to making sure everyone has what they need.


What experiences contribute to your success?

I double-majored in Finance and Public Relations at Syracuse so a business perspective comes naturally to me. I’ve leaned on this background to help immerse myself in the numbers behind my client’s business.


What would you be doing if not this?

Living in beautiful Australia with my dog Cooper. And maybe going to culinary school. 


What’s fueling you today?

A juicy peach I picked up at a California farm stand.


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When I reflect on my best work experiences over the last 15-plus years, a common thread runs through them all: direct interaction with people who are living with serious illness or disease. These experiences offer insight into how patients’ diseases have impacted their lives, and the lives of those who love them. I remember a woman from Atlanta with such severe chronic pain that she was unable to leave her house. A retired accountant with a debilitating eye disease that threatened his ability to see the faces of his grandchildren. A physician with a rare cancer that forced him to stop practicing medicine.


For biotech and pharmaceutical companies working on new treatments, understanding the needs of patients like these is an important part of the drug development process. While physicians can shed light on the types of new treatments needed for any given disease, hearing from the patients themselves is critical. Yes, doctors have valuable information based on their daily interactions with patients but there is no substitute for patients’ voices en masse. Patient advocacy groups give patients a voice and, equally as important, they provide information and support for patients and their care network of family, friends and caregivers. Engaging with these groups early and often allows for productive dialogue across the lifecycle of a drug and may help shape communications, encourage innovative patient programs and guide philanthropic efforts.


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Market research has its place, but a proactive engagement strategy with patient groups is mutually beneficial. For example, groups learn more about promising drugs in the pipeline, which they can in turn share with their communities. And companies gather insights from those living with a disease. The list of potential positive outcomes is long. Topping that list? How about discovering innovative new treatment options that make a real and significant difference in the lives of patients and their families.


It matters to me that what I do every day may help patients live better lives. Maybe reading about a new treatment will trigger an important conversation with a doctor. Maybe information on a new clinical trial will prolong a life. Maybe a patient story will inspire other patients. Maybe a program will connect patients to each other. These maybes keep me excited to come to work each and every day. Through true collaboration between patient advocacy groups and pharma, amazing things are possible.

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Today’s Pharmalot article reinforces the importance of managing corporate reputation in a very disciplined way. Numbers are from a new survey by Patient View:

“When comparing 2012 with 2011, the survey found the biggest drops took place in managing bad news about drugs — a 29 percent plunge; having ethical marketing practices — a 23 percent drop, and having a good relationship with the media — a 19 percent dive.”

Read the article here.


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