By Teresa Cronin
As we celebrate National Nurses Month, Eisai would like to pay special tribute to the nurses who inspire all of us, and in particular to Florence Nightingale as she was the inspiration to our human health care (hhc) mission. The famed health care pioneer devoted her life to caring for others and never lost sight of the importance of listening to her patients. Her example encourages us to understand and help meet the needs of patients and their families.
In fact, our hhc symbol is derived from Florence Nightingale’s signature. The font is a replica of her actual handwriting. Personally, I draw strength from Florence’s ability to always put the needs of her patients first.
As part of our hhc mission, everyone at Eisai spends at least two to three days each year directly interacting with patients and learning about their experiences. Florence’s dedication ignites a spark in my colleagues to give their first thoughts to patients and their families to increase the benefits health care provides.
As the head of Corporate Advocacy at Eisai Inc., I connect a diverse group of stakeholders - including industry organizations, patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and my own colleagues - to help fulfill Eisai’s corporate hhc mission. That’s why I am so proud to honor some of our own medical heroes and to share some of their most satisfying moments when they were in the nursing profession. Their stories are examples of what Florence Nightingale’s legacy means to them.
Geneviève Tousignant, Medical Science Liaison, Neurology
“For 12 years, I worked with patients suffering from chronic diseases like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Small actions such as active listening, sharing a laugh or accompanying someone to the right location within the hospital can make that difference for them. In addition, having the trust of the patient and their family, learning from their experience and being a witness of their incredible resilience were also part of my best moments.
Florence Nightingale was a lifelong learner who was passionate about her work and had a solution-oriented mindset. Leaving the comfort of her home and facing the impacts of the war was something very courageous and inspiring for me. She was courageous to follow her true values and became a leader in her field: cultivating commitment, taking actions, and being a model of kindness and hope. I am proud to work for a company that recognizes this is central to our work.”
Zahra Ramji, Medical Affairs, Oncology
“While working as a clinical trial nurse, I was able to see the transformation of a young male patient who was 18 years old, completely emaciated and dependent on his family 24/7 into a man who was strong, broad shouldered, independent and had a job and a girlfriend. That was the most beautiful thing I saw and will always remember.
Florence Nightingale was selfless, humble, compassionate, team-oriented, collaborative and put patients first. Everything I do every day at Eisai takes on the same theme. We practice our hhc mission and to me that sums it all up.”
Diane Devincentis, Associate Director, Oncology Training & Development
“I was fortunate to be a nurse during the AIDS crisis. The best moments were to provide care to a population that, at the time, was being ostracized by society. I also treasured the everyday interaction when someone simply asks for your nursing advice or they want to share their health care experiences.
Florence Nightingale’s philosophy and approach is always in my mind as I continually find ways to enhance our sales professionals’ knowledge and skills so they can provide meaningful education to health care providers.”
Kelly Piche, Oncology Sales Specialist
“I spent most of my nursing career in a neurosurgical ICU. One of my best moments was seeing a critically ill patient I had cared for with a difficult diagnosis walk back into the ICU and say “hello.” Nursing can be extremely rewarding in that regard.
Florence Nightingale showed that standards of care can be drastically improved because of one person. A nurse’s No. 1 priority is to be an advocate for their patients, and she is a remarkable example of this. I want to drastically reduce the number of patients dying and suffering from cancer. We need our voice to be heard for the patients’ sake.”
Andrea Smith, District Manager, Southwest, Neurology Business Group
“As a labor and delivery nurse, I have many moments I cherish. It is an amazing experience and such a blessing to be a part of bringing life into the world. Some of the best moments in my career are the mentor/mentee relationships I have had the opportunity to develop.
Florence Nightingale’s work set the foundation for the basis of healthcare improvement. She saw a need and leaned into it. She didn’t back away from it. She could have easily ignored the problems she saw in health care but instead she went where no one had gone before to bring a solution for patients, health-care workers and their families.”
Kate Tranotti, Senior Director; Global Head Neurology Business Group
“I once had a patient who had a serious hole in his heart that required delicate surgery. He was in the hospital for more than three months. He was married and had no children, and he and his wife were inseparable. They had not spent one night without each other. He doted on her and usually took care of everything, so this was hard on both of them. We got permission to have the wife sleep over, but we insisted she go home during the day to take a break and let us take care of her husband. During his hospitalization, we taught the wife to pay the bills, balance the checkbook, create a list of phone numbers to call if something went wrong in the house, etc. The patient lived another 12 years, and we got together once a year on his discharge anniversary date until he passed away.”
Every generation has a champion that fights for a cause. Florence Nightingale was a champion for the injured and sick and had the skills and tenacity to make a difference. While I have only been at Eisai for a short time, I am continually amazed at how mighty this company is in conducting clinical trials and bringing drugs to market. Eisai encourages staff to reach out to patients and caregivers, volunteer their time and think outside of the box, so I am not surprised that Florence Nightingale is Eisai’s inspiration for our hhc mission.
To learn more about the inspiration behind our hhc mission, I invite you take a virtual stroll through the Florence Nightingale Gallery Experience by visiting https://eisai.hhcphilosophy.com/.
Teresa Cronin is Eisai’s Senior Director of Corporate Advocacy. To help fulfill Eisai’s corporate hhc mission, Teresa connects a diverse group of stakeholders, including industry organizations, patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and associates. She is also responsible for managing the professional relationships with key patient advocacy and medical professional organizations to address unmet patient needs.