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Making Contact 13032Making Contact

Newly appointed members of the MX editorial advisory board discuss their strategies for maintaining relationships with medtech's vast array of audiences.

November 1, 2006

13 Min Read
Making Contact


No medical device manufacturer can exist as an island. A company's success relies on a vast network of external connections, and executives are challenged with the task of making contact with and maintaining relationships with a wide array of parties, including investors, regulators, payers, distributors, outside sales representatives, customers, and the general public.

Getting expert advice on how to establish and manage these relationships is as important for MX as it is for the magazine's readers. Throughout 2006, MX has announced members of its new editorial advisory board. In this issue, MX is pleased to present the newly appointed members of the final three advisory councils: corporate communications, sales and logistics, and marketing and advertising.

Corporate Communications



Angela D. Craig is vice president of corporate relations for St. Jude Medical Inc. (St. Paul, MN). She serves as the company's liaison with industry association AdvaMed (Washington, DC), as well as president of the St. Jude Medical Foundation.

"For all communications executives—not just medtech—business reform initiatives such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act are about controls and appropriate communications of those controls," Craig says. "As such, they have raised the visibility and importance of the need for effective corporate communications with all of our stakeholder groups.

"The level of scrutiny of the cardiac device industry is extremely high," she adds. "We have worked actively across industry, and engaged our industry association, AdvaMed, to work with stakeholders to improve the way we report on the performance of our products."

Craig holds a BA in journalism from the University of Memphis.



Julie Tracy is vice president for investor relations and corporate marketing at Kyphon Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA). Tracy joined Kyphon in January 2003 as vice president of marketing.

"Although there is wide agreement that significant advances in healthcare technologies improve the quality of healthcare delivered and the productivity of the healthcare system overall, there is increasing pressure on our healthcare systems to find ways to pay for these advancements," Tracy says. "It will therefore be essential for corporate communications professionals to clearly articulate a well-defined value proposition that includes how their technology will result in savings for the healthcare system, while improving the quality of care."

Tracy received a BS in business administration from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She is a member of AdvaMed's public affairs coordinating council and the corporate advisory board for the National Women's Health Resource Center.

Sales and Logistics



Warren M. Gitt is executive director of biomedical services for Hill-Rom Co. (Batesville, IN), where his responsibilities include the management of two equipment repair depots and a field-based team providing third-party repair services.

Gitt says that medtech companies should embrace customer relationship management and work with outside resources to enhance all touch points with customers. "There is no substitute for a seasoned sales rep or a reliable service technician, but appropriately creating customer-centricity via communications technology greatly enhances sales and service efficiency, as well as overall customer satisfaction," he says.

Gitt graduated with a bachelor's from Hasting College (Hasting, NE), served in the U.S. Army as a translator and cryptographer, and taught high school German for a few years. He then returned to Phoenix, AZ, where he earned a master's degree in international business from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management.



Bruce Johnson is chief operating officer for Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX; Westminster, CO). He joined Global Healthcare Exchange in July 2000, shortly after the company was formed by five of the world's leading manufacturers, including his previous employer, GE Medical Systems.

"The most significant technological change in recent years has been the ability for medtech manufacturers to automate field sales processes and improve efficiencies in order, inventory, and contract management," Johnson says. "By streamlining what have traditionally been highly manual processes, supplier sales representatives can spend more time assisting physicians in the selection and use of medical devices, and can gather critical feedback that their companies can use not only to improve the value and marketability of their respective product offerings, but also to better forecast market demand."

Johnson earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He holds a master's degree in business administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.



Debra Kurtz is founder and president of Kurtz Consulting Inc. (Vernon Hills, IL), a provider of sales and marketing solutions for medical product manufacturers.

"The days of selling features and benefits are over in medtech," Kurtz says. "Successful medtech companies need to develop a value-added approach in sales and marketing that shows how their products help the customer's bottom line."

According to Kurtz, reimbursement can make the difference between a winning approach and a losing effort, and she recommends that manufacturers plan their strategies accordingly.

Kurtz has bachelor's degrees in liberal arts and systems engineering, and a master's in business administration from Washington University, with continuing education at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.



Matt Margolies is senior vice president for pulmonary diagnostics sales and marketing at Viasys Healthcare (Conshohocken, PA), a medical device company focused on respiratory, neurology, and surgical technologies.

Margolies says the most significant technological change affecting medtech manufacturers over the past five years has been the evolution of interconnectivity between medical equipment and hospital information systems. "Over the last several years, we have seen a shift in the hospital departments that we serve," he says. "Sleep diagnostics and pulmonary- function testing departments need to exchange diagnostic studies with information systems outside of their department's. No longer are they self-contained, and equipment has needed to adapt to be able to interface with multiple hospital information systems."

Prior to joining Viasys, Margolies spent 10 years at Tyco Healthcare/Mallinckrodt Imaging.



Peter J. Masloski is a principal in the medical products and services practice at ZS Associates (Evanston, IL), a global management consulting firm specializing in marketing and sales.

Masloski says that changes to the group purchasing organization (GPO) landscape are opening up unprecedented opportunities and providing a license to hunt in areas that many medtech companies felt locked out of in the past. "The basis of competition is shifting from the national GPO level to regional GPO offices, integrated delivery networks, and individual accounts," he says. "Companies need to have the appropriate resources and strategies for capitalizing on these new opportunities, as well as for protecting what may have been considered secure business in the recent past."

Masloski has an MBA with distinction from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. He also holds a BSE in chemical engineering from Princeton University.



Trent Reutiman is vice president of sales for OmniSonics (Wilmington, MA). He joined OmniSonics in January 2006 from RITA Medical Systems Inc. (Fremont, CA), where he was vice president of sales and marketing.

"Understanding customers' needs continues to be a priority that drives companies to outstanding performance," Reutiman says. "Logistically, data collection and organization can be very helpful in assessing what you have and don't have. The current sales modules to enterprise resource planning systems can be invaluable in helping companies to organize their data along multiple functions to ensure that the best decisions for the entire company are being made."

While at RITA, Reutiman assisted in transitioning the company through its initial public offering and provided key leadership as the sales team grew—via a merger with Horizon Medical Products—to more than 45 reps.

Reutiman holds a BS in business administration from Colorado State University and an MBA from the University of California, Irvine.



John Rooney is vice president of marketing for Terumo Interventional Systems, a division of Terumo Medical Corp. (Somerset, NJ). He oversees the marketing programs for the company's interventional products, including Bead Block, the Glide family of interventional wires and catheters, and the Pinnacle line of introducer sheaths. Rooney is also driving the marketing programs around Terumo's vascular products, as the company regained its distribution from Boston Scientific beginning April 1, 2006.

Previously, Rooney was director of marketing at Roche Diagnostics Corp. (Indianapolis). In addition, he has held sales and marketing management positions at Johnson & Johnson Inc. (New Brunswick, NJ) and Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals, a division of Procter & Gamble Co. (Cincinnati).



Linda Tucci is director of technical and field service for Diagnostic Products Corp. (DPC), a Siemens company, and is based out of Flanders, NJ. She joined DPC six years ago, sharing her 20 years of clinical laboratory experience with her teams in technical and field service, global support, and quality management services.

Tucci says the emergence of intelligent device management is one of the most significant changes affecting medtech manufacturers in the past five years. "The ability to monitor instruments without the intervention of the customer, while ensuring rapid response to error conditions, is leading the field in service to the customer," she says. "Since we launched our suite of applications called RealTime Solutions, we have seen benefits to both the customer and our organization. Through the data we receive from our instruments, we are able to serve the customer and prevent issues from ever affecting the field. And in the in vitro diagnostics industry, this is key. A company may make a sale, but it is the reagent stream that generates the revenue. To build that business, companies have to ensure that the service they provide exceeds customer expectations."

Marketing and Advertising



Aimee Corso has more than 12 years' experience in healthcare communications. She recently founded the MedAlign Group (Redondo Beach, CA), a healthcare marketing and communications consultancy.

Previously, Corso served as vice president of strategic planning and marketing at St. Vincent Medical Center (Los Angeles). Prior to that she spent more than 10 years at FischerHealth (Los Angeles).

"Medical technology companies need to examine how they can get further downstream from their specialist physician customer," Corso says. "Many significant medtech innovations are facing market share challenges as the referring physicians at the front line of care fail to send the patient on to specialty referrals."

Corso received a BA in English literature from the University of California at Los Angeles.



Susan K. Hempstead is principal, account services, at Stratagem Healthcare Communications (San Francisco).

"The most important change in medtech marketing over the past five years has been the recognition of the emotional component of a buying decision," Hempstead says. "There has been a move away from focusing solely on technical bells and whistles in marketing communications to incorporating an approach that capitalizes on the emotions that drive a purchase decision."

Hempstead has led launches and overseen mature product lines in medical areas that include diagnostics, devices, instrumentation, and pharmaceuticals. She was the first woman president of the Medical Marketing Association and continues to serve on its board of directors.



Holley P. Malia is a medical marketing consultant based in Santa Barbara, CA, with special focus on branding and direct-to-consumer marketing in the medical device arena.

Previously, Malia served as the director of global brand management and director of marketing for Allergan Health. In 2006, Malia was named medical marketer of the year by the Medical Marketing Association.

According to Malia, the greatest untapped marketing resource for medical device manufacturers is the Internet. "You simply have to be in this space if you want to be a player today," she says. "Companies need to have a strong strategy online in addition to the more traditional tactics. It's a natural evolution given society's habits and growth trends—things like blogs, podcasts, online research, online applications—it's a natural to extend to healthcare. In general, it's about quicker and easier access to valuable and pertinent information."

Malia is a graduate of Washington and Lee University (Lexington, VA) and holds a bachelor of science degree in political science and a bachelor of arts degree in studio art.



Mark S. Perlotto is executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Adair-Greene Healthcare Communications (Atlanta).

Perlotto says one of the most significant changes in medtech marketing over the past five years has been the emergence of multiple influencers in the new product adoption decision process. "The successful medical device marketer of today often has to be prepared to address not only the technological attributes of a product, but also demonstrate positive outcomes—both medical and financial—for their product, and be able to deliver those messages in different languages so that they resonate with the multiple constituents, including end-users, payers, patients, and others," he says.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Perlotto holds degrees in biology and chemistry.



Jo Seidler is principal, creative services, at Seidler Bernstein Inc. (Cambridge, MA). Prior to founding Seidler Bernstein with Kathleen Bernstein in 1993, Seidler served as creative director of design at LehmanMillet Inc. (Boston).

According to Seidler, the most important change in medtech marketing over the past five years is the realization that manufacturers need to build brands at the company level. "As medtech companies compete with each other, products are just one element of the total value proposition," she says. "In an environment of product feature leapfrogging, multiple decision makers, and a business-to-business sales approach, medtech companies need to create brand value beyond individual products."

Seidler is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and holds a BFA with a concentration in design.



Catherine M. Wolfe is director of marketing services for Toshiba America Medical Systems (Tustin, CA).

According to Wolfe, Toshiba has not embraced the recent move toward direct-to-consumer advertising. "We feel strongly that while it is important for patients to be educated about their healthcare, it is not our place to do that," she says. "So we have doubled our efforts to develop programs that help educate and support our customers--physicians, technologists, and healthcare providers--in their efforts to provide the best possible care to their patients. We have extensive and some of the best education programs in the industry, including a $6 million expansion of our training academy in Southern California. We have also implemented marketing programs that utilize word-of-mouth marketing--such as a speakers bureau, continuing medical education conferences, and physician users presenting at conferences--and advertising that focuses on the Toshiba-physician user partnership."

Wolfe's educational background includes a bachelor's degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, and a master's degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University (Orange, CA).

MX looks forward to the contributions of these editorial advisers, as well as those who have been announced in previous issues throughout 2006.

Copyright ©2006 MX

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