Last week, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and the NYC Health Business Leaders (NYCHBL) hosted a session on the keys to creating successful collaborations. I had the opportunity to join a group of panelists, including Jocelyn Konrad, VP of pharma initiatives and clinical services at Rite Aid, and Tony Coyle, chief scientific officer at Pfizer’s Center for Therapeutic Innovation, to share best-in-class examples of cross-industry collaborations in the healthcare industry.
Moderator Alex Jung of Ernst & Young opened the discussion by asking, “What do you look for in a partner?” My response was, “anyone who’s looking to serve the Hispanic population.” With this statement at heart, I shared with attendees how Univision Farmacia, Novo Nordisk, Montefiore and seven leading healthcare organizations (Inquisit Health, Nestle Health Science, The YMCA, Bayer Healthcare, The American Diabetes Association, CVS Health and Morris Heights Health Center) created a patient program aimed at helping Hispanic diabetics live healthier lives.
As we’ve mentioned, 1 out every 5 adult diabetics in the U.S. is Hispanic, yet studies still show that the community is challenged by a lack of information on how to prevent the disease. So, we launched our program with a local community event at Hostos Community College in the Bronx where over 500 attendees participated in face-to-face counseling, panel discussions with experts, health screenings and more.
In addition, we administered hemoglobin A1C tests to close to 300 attendees. The results led patients to be divided into one of three categories—pre-diabetics, diabetics and uncontrolled diabetics— and matched the right treatment plan in accordance with their diabetes needs. For instance, those with uncontrolled diabetes were provided with free Bayer glucose testing meters, Nestle boost control products and a peer mentor to coach them through their condition.
The three groups were monitored over a six month period. At the six month mark, the individuals were brought back in for testing. Their successful health outcomes will be released this year in a white paper developed by Montefiore and Inquisit health.
As Jung said, “In these collaborations, you either win or learn. There is no lose.” Through this partnership, not only did we win, but we learned how to bring ten different organizations together to collaborate successfully with the common goal of improving the health of Hispanic diabetic patients. That’s really the magical piece.