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Medical Marketing Association Presents Industry Awards, Announces Merger

Bronstein

At the beginning of June, the Medical Marketing Association (MMA) named Bridget Johnson, director of marketing and clinical communications in the renal division of Baxter Healthcare Corp. (Deerfield, IL), as the winner of its annual Delta award. The award, designed to honor leading professionals in the field of medical marketing, was announced during the presentation ceremony of MMA's International Awards of Excellence (In-Awe), held in conjunction with the association's annual conference in San Francisco.

The Delta award--formerly known as the medical marketer of the year award and first bestowed in 1998--recognizes professionals whose work has resulted in positive changes in medical marketing, client services, patient care, and their company's success. The award also honors campaigns that have spurred advances in diagnosis and treatment, standards of care, and industry success.

Johnson was recognized for her work in promoting Baxter's peritoneal dialysis technology within the end-stage renal disease market. Baxter currently has a more than 80% market share in the peritoneal dialysis space. Nevertheless, Baxter recognized that awareness of the therapy was relatively low, resulting in an underpenetrated marketplace. Thus, Johnson was charged with the following goals.

  • Redefine the importance and utility of peritoneal dialysis within end-stage renal disease space.
  • Enhance the Baxter renal division's leadership position within the peritoneal dialysis space.
  • Define the optimum positioning for Baxter's renal portfolio of solutions and systems.
  • Develop and launch a marketing plan to achieve Baxter's renal business objectives.
Bronstein
Bronstein:
A standout campaign.

In response, Johnson created a multiyear endeavor that rolled out internally and externally in the second quarter of 2006. The campaign is expected to achieve its maximum impact in three to five years. Yet the results to date are already impressive: In 2006, the company saw 103% achievement of Baxter's renal sales goals and a nearly 7% increase in total patients on peritoneal dialysis therapy.

"Bridget's program stood out from the crowd based on her excellent leadership within the organization, the global scope of the project, the creative multifaceted marketing strategies, and the positive impact this campaign had and continues to have on people suffering from end-stage renal disease," said Debra Bronstein, president of the Medical Marketing Association.

For an in-depth look at Johnson's award-winning campaign, as well as others that picked up awards in this year's In-Awe competition, look for MX's coverage of the competition in its September/October issue later this year.

Associations Unite

In addition to announcing its annual medical marketing award winners, MMA had big news of its own to announce at this year's conference. Effective January 1, 2008, MMA plans to join forces with two other healthcare marketing organizations--the Healthcare Marketing and Communications Council and the Midwest Healthcare Marketing Association--to form a single national entity serving a membership of more than 2000 medical marketers. Membership of the Healthcare Marketing and Communications Council is based primarily on the East Coast, and MMA members have traditionally been based on the West Coast.

In combining forces, the new organization--christened the Healthcare Communication and Marketing Association (HCMA)--hopes to provide its membership with more-comprehensive educational resources, standardized training and accredited programs, better networking and mentoring opportunities, and national recognition of excellence in marketing, communications, and education.

"This nonprofit, national association is an entirely new entity by design," said Marty Cearnal, president of the Healthcare Marketing and Communications Council. "As the healthcare industry continues to consolidate, jobs change, and careers diversify, we must adapt to become more fluid and responsive to our members' evolving needs."

"Technology also has changed the way we communicate among ourselves and our customers," added Bronstein. "HCMA is our response to these new demands."

In recognizing that healthcare communication and marketing professionals need a central resource for career development and enhancement, HCMA plans to build a comprehensive association model that starts with programs aimed at students entering the healthcare marketing field and continues with opportunities for professional development from early-career to post-career phases.

Such programs will include an extensive list of executive education, offered through partnerships with business schools including the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles, the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth University (Hanover, NH), and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

York
York:
A work in progress.

Additionally, an accredited certification program is in development to ensure consistent, credible education for product managers, account executives, and other critical communication and marketing professionals, the associations report.

"It will take some time and effort to put all of these programs and plans in place," said Karen York, chairperson of the transition team spearheading the association consolidation. "Three members from each association have formed a transition team that, for the next six months, will focus on fine-tuning the organizational structure and offerings. A new board will be seated on January 1, 2008, and HCMA will officially be launched to provide healthcare marketing, communication, and education professionals with the ultimate resource to enhance their learning and, of course, their careers."

The new organization's temporary Web site can be viewed at www.thehcma.org.

© 2007 Canon Communications LLC

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