Cleveland, OH. As members of the innovation team at GSW, we do a lot of ideation about patient experience. We work with our brands to get in the shoes of the patient and find ways to connect and make their lives easier or better in some way.

On Monday, I had the privilege of attending the Patient Experience Summit in Cleveland. In one of the sessions, a patient and her doctor took the stage. Dana, the twenty-something patient, is an energetic, outspoken young woman who has been living with Crohn’s disease most of her life. Dr. Remzi is a colorectal surgeon who has been with Dana from the very beginning.

Dana and Dr. Remzi interacted more like a loving father and daughter than doctor and patient. They playfully poked at each other’s quirks and laughed about their various ‘boundary infractions’ (i.e. texting a non-urgent message in the middle of the night). And, as they told their story (and it truly was “their” story), you couldn’t help but feel how intertwined and deeply connected they were.

Of course, not many doctor-patient relationships are this close. But, their story was a reminder that patient experience isn’t just about the patient. And, particularly with chronic disease, the patient experience isn’t a point in time – it can span decades. Witnessing Dana and Dr. Remzi’s relationship was inspiring. Much like other relationships in life, it’s a complex web of a million points of decision and interaction. And as simple as the sum of those points equating to “with me”.

To see more of Dana’s story, check out her documentary:

Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.