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About

The RxBalance Story

RxBalance is a 501-3(c) non-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate the uptake of research into mainstream medical practice in order to reduce medication costs, improve outcomes, and promote safer prescribing. Using ad-style formats, we take science in clinical studies, medical guidelines and health economics outcomes research and distill it into single-focused messages that increase rapid uptake, retention and application of key evidence. While life sciences promote research and education that favors newer, expensive products,  we bring together medical experts, advertising professionals, and medical writers to communicate critical evidence that is less well publicized. People say our work resembles drug company marketing in so far as it is attention getting and memorable. The difference: Our objective is helping patients, not increasing profits.

Our Beginnings

Lydia worked on hundreds of pharmaceutical brands over the course of her career. During that time, she noticed how quickly her clients promotional messages – disseminated through advertising, sales, PR, dinner programs, continuing medical education and conferences – diffused into mainstream medicine. Her pharmaceutical clients became increasingly involved in educating physicians and consumers about performance measures, desired endpoints and clinical guidelines, either directly through unbranded educational websites or indirectly, by funding professional medical associations and patient advocacy groups. Lydia realized that the the pharmaceutical industry dominated medical information pipeline. Our information system was skewed because the information we hear is skewed toward a certain set of scientific facts and data points.

In 2006, while on hiatus from Epocrates, Lydia wrote a series of white papers for the American Medical Association on how pharmaceutical marketing influences physician behaviors. Reading On the Take by Jerome Kassirer and Powerful Medicines by Jerry Avorn set into motion the idea of developing a healthcare communications nonprofit that would promote appropriate drug utilization. Lydia was further influenced by the writings of Arthur Feldman of Temple University School of Medicine whose book Pursuing Excellence in Healthcare explores the important societal role of academic medical centers.

Lydia left Epocrates in 2016 to devote herself full time to RxBalance. One of Lydia’s favorite quotes, from Paul Farmer, MD, is: “I critique market-based medicine not because I haven’t seen its heights but because I’ve seen its depths.”

Board of Directors

Lydia Green, RPh,President

Lydia Green

Lydia is a pharmacist, clinical strategist, and medical writer with 30 years experience in pharmaceutical marketing and advertising and mobile healthcare. Her core strengths are understanding how to utilize clinical evidence and message framing to communicate evidence so as to accelerate adoption of healthcare practices and promote behavior change in prescribers and consumers.

She has worked at medical advertising agencies in New York and California.  Lydia was an early employee of Epocrates, serving as Director of Corporate Communications and subsequently as Director of Sponsored Content. Prior to Epocrates, Lydia was Senior Vice President, Group Copy Chief, at a global ad agency in Manhattan.

Lydia has a B.S. in Pharmacy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and is a registered pharmacist in Montana. She resides in Silicon Valley and loves camping, learning, and stargazing.

Joe Garamella, Secretary

Joe Garamella

Joe has more than 30 years of healthcare communications experience as a writer, ad agency creative director and creative consultant for the pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology industries. He believes that the most effective medical communications move healthcare providers and patients into action by touching emotions.

From 2002-2007, Joe was Executive Creative Director at Sudler & Hennessey, one of the world’s leading healthcare agencies. At Sudler & Hennessey, Joe managed a creative department of more than 70 people in generating memorable creative concepts.While there, he led positioning and branding work and reviewed all new creative campaigns to maintain the highest standards of quality. Prior to Sudler & Hennessey, Joe was Creative Director at Sperling Sampson West in San Francisco, a start-up boutique agency specializing in biotechnology clients.

Joe has a BS in Biology from Trinity College-Hartford. He also completed two years of preclinical medical studies at the University of Modena School of Medicine. He  lives in New York City with his partner Kevin.


Evelyn Leigh, Treasurer

 

Evelyn is a medical writer and editor with more than 25 years of experience writing educational and promotional materials for healthcare professionals and the public. With a diverse background in pharmaceutical advertising and natural products consulting, she understands the clinical and regulatory issues surrounding drug marketing and prescribing, managed care, pharmaceuticals, medical and functional foods, and dietary supplements.

Evelyn holds a BA from William Smith College, Geneva, NY, and certification from the California School of Herbal Studies, Forestville, CA. An avid gardener and birder, Evelyn resides in New York.

Advisors

Randall S. Stafford, MD, PhD

Randall Stafford is Professor of Medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a fellow at the Stanford Center on Health Policy/Center on Primary Care and Outcomes Research. He is an epidemiologist, health services researcher, and primary care internist. Many of his published studies have documented and raised concerns about the so-called “quality gap”—the healthcare system’s failure to consistently implement clinically proven therapies — and have helped shape policy initiatives aimed at improving medical care. His research has also focused on drug costs and patterns of medication prescribing.

Veronica Yank, MD

Veronica Yank is a primary care physician and researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine and the Center of Innovation to Implementation at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Her research focuses on how to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors among patients, healthcare systems, and communities as well as how to optimize clinical care and patient self-management of chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and obesity.

Jennifer Harris, MD

Jennifer Harris is a child and adolescent psychiatrist in private practice in Arlington, MA. She is also a clinical instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and clinical supervisor and faculty at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Program at Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Harris has written about the importance of relationships in child psychiatry, the reasons behind increased diagnosis of juvenile bipolar disorder, use of restraints in inpatient settings and the challenges and rewards of long-term psychotherapy. She has written review articles for the Carlat Child Psychiatry Report on disruptive behavior disorders, non-verbal learning disabilities and the links between callous-unemotional traits and disruptive behavior disorders. Her clinical interests are in long-term psychotherapy and medication use with adults, children and families, with a particular interest in working with parents.

Evgenii Mironichev, BS, MS

Evgenii (Eugene) Mironichev is a software expert who serves as our technical advisor, guiding RxBalance and our academic partners on business strategy, technical workflow, and functional specifications for new digital platforms. Eugene’s current priority at RxBalance is acting as a product management adviser on TalkRx, a new channel of digital medication information. He has a B.S. in Financial Management and an MS in Computer Software Engineering from Penza State University in Russia. Evgenii is a serial entrepreneur with successful businesses whose different B2C and B2B software apps and services are used by Fortune 500 companies.