Liv Gagne

Liv Gagne
Associate Director, Women’s Health, Patient Partnerships
Focus areas: Women’s Health

 

 

A little about me at work
I’ve been at Astellas for 13 years now and worked in various departments across the company. Over the past six years I’ve done a lot of work focusing on the patient experience and healthcare journey to bring their insights back into the organization.

A little about me at home
Definitely a big family person! Whether it's time with close friends or being with my sisters.  I am one of three girls and have six nieces and nephews who I absolutely love and adore. You will most likely find one of them at my house on any given day raiding my fridge and telling me to plan our next adventure together! We like to travel either locally or abroad.

What I love about my job
Healthcare is complicated! If we can bring the voice of patients, families and caregivers back into our organization, it's a win-win for everyone. It's also the right thing to do to support people with unmet needs on their healthcare journey because, ultimately, the patient voice has to be front and center.
There are so many amazing programs at Astellas, and we have great leadership. I don’t know many pharma companies that are operating at this level – the top-down commitment to patients is apparent throughout.

What gets me up every day
It’s exciting to find ways for people to express their voice and share back their insights and perspectives to different stakeholders. By elevating these conversations around the patient journey, we have a more holistic approach to understanding people’s needs in everyday life. 

 


Nicole Genova

Nicole Genova
Associate Director, Rare Diseases, Patient Partnerships
Focus areas: Rare Diseases

 

 

A little about me at work
I’ve more than 20 years of pharmaceutical and medical device experience, with the last 5 and a half years spent working closely with pediatric and adult patients with chronic diseases. I’ve also worked as a senior clinical trials study coordinator. Astellas has an amazing reputation for patient centricity so joining the company was the next step for me in terms of being able to focus on what’s important in healthcare – the patients.

A little about me at home
I’ve been pretty boring since the pandemic started! I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with my significant other of 20 years and our two dogs and cat. We like travelling (when permissible!) and spending time with family and friends.

What I love about my job
I love working with patients and seeing the difference I can make in people’s lives, particularly as they are going through their journey with difficult diseases. Being part of a support system, not only for patients but also their loved ones, so that they know that they’re not alone is what motivates me to do my job.

What gets me up every day
My passion for making a difference in someone’s life and knowing that I was there for them during tough times. Also, my dogs!

 


Stephen Head

Stephen Head
Senior Director, Patient Partnerships

 

 


A little about me at work
I spent many years as a pediatric nurse, first in oncology and bone marrow transplant, then latterly in HIV. After moving into the pharmaceutical industry in 2003 to work in HIV patient advocacy, I joined Astellas in 2020 to help kickstart the company’s patient centricity function in Europe.

A little about me at home
I was brought up in Glasgow, Scotland, where I moved back to in December 2020 with my partner and two cats. I’m lucky enough to live near my family so I get to see them most days now that I am back in Bonnie Scotland. My family are important to me.

What I love about my job
For me, it’s the opportunity to make connections with patients, families and care partners in the real world; that's what keeps our feet on the ground and will help us make a real difference. After all, you wouldn't develop a smart phone without speaking with consumers first! The pharmaceutical industry now realizes it, too, must understand what matters to people and what matters to patients.

What gets me up every day
Success, for me, is that every single function in the organization automatically thinks about engaging from the start – listening to patients, families and care partners to change the way we develop medicines.

 


Hiroyuki ‘Rocky’ Higashiyama

Hiroyuki ‘Rocky’ Higashiyama
Director, Patient Partnerships – Japan and Greater China

 

 


A little about me at work
I joined Astellas in June 2020 as part of the patient partnerships and patient centricity team, with responsibility for patient engagement activities in Japan and Greater China. Before Astellas, I worked for many years in research and clinical trial programs, during which time I realized that taking the time to hear the patient voice and understand their needs is vital to the future of medicines development.

A little about me at home
I live in Kamakura with my wife and 4-year-old son. Kamakura is a seaside town not far from Tokyo and was the capital of medieval Japan. It’s a very attractive, historical town with more than 100 temples and shrines, as well as a 13-meter-high Great Buddha that survived a tsunami in the 15th Century.

What I love about my job
I love having the opportunity to bring various internal teams together with patients and caregivers through advocacy organizations, working together to listen and gather their insights. At the heart of this is trust – that we will listen and act on the patient and caregiver voice in a responsible way. Being a part of this is what I enjoy the most!

What gets me up every day
It’s an exciting experience for me to see how passionate other Astellas employees are – whether they’re in commercial, medical, R&D, regulatory or government affairs – about integrating the patient and caregiver voice into the work they’re doing. For me, it’s also about understanding and sharing our common objectives, so that we may become a true partner in new medicines development.

 


D’Anna Holmes

D’Anna Holmes 
Associate Director, Patient Partnerships
Focus areas: Bladder and Prostate Cancer

 

 

A little about me at work
My first roles were for academic medical centers and large healthcare systems, running their patient experience initiatives. I joined Astellas in 2018 because I could see they were focused on changing things for patients and their families. 

A little about me at home
I got into healthcare primarily because I had family members who were very ill, my son being one of them. I wanted to make sure other patients and their families had a better experience than my family had. 

What I love about my job
When people spend time working with us, I hope they see we're really passionate about making a difference for patients and their families. We make our decisions at Astellas based on what's the most effective thing for patients and families, even if that means we’re not always in the limelight. We want to move with intention in this space and have a tangible impact on patients and their families because this is what matters to us above everything else. 

What gets me up every day
One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is when we have the opportunity to attend advocacy events and spend time with patients and their families. There are so many insights you get from listening to people share their story and their experience, and this helps us bring the patient voice earlier into the development cycle. To me, there's nothing more rewarding than that.

 


Jenny Kite

Jenny Kite
Associate Director, Patient Partnerships
Focus areas: Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Stomach Cancer 

 

 

A little about me at work
I’m passionate about helping to improve people’s experience of healthcare and thankful that I get to partner with patient advocacy organizations every day to bring the voices of individuals, families and care partners into our work at Astellas. 

A little about me at home
I live in Ogden, Utah, and am lucky enough to wake up to a beautiful mountain view every day (I have two small children so often in time for sunrise!). In my spare time, we spend as much time as possible outside enjoying the local trails and parks. 

What I love about my job
It’s been a privilege getting to know the patient community and understand the incredible resources and support advocacy organizations provide patients across the country and around the world. 
Working together with patients and care partners helps us create better products and services to support their daily lives.

What gets me up every day
My kids! Other than that, my favorite thing is to work with a new department in Astellas that hasn’t traditionally incorporated those patient insights, putting together a patient interview or a small focus group, and watching that lightbulb moment go off!  

 


Chelsea Moran

Chelsea Moran
Associate Director, Patient Partnerships, Astellas Europe
Focus areas: Women’s Health, Chronic Kidney Disease, and Muscle Disease

 

 

A little about me at work
I started working in the pharmaceutical industry in 2013 and, before joining Astellas, worked in patient advocacy across HIV, liver disease and oncology. I love working with patients, patient groups and caregivers, and know that I am really privileged to hear their experiences first-hand and understand what is important to them. 

A little about me at home
I grew up in a village in Oxfordshire and moved to London in 2016. I studied French and Italian at university and was lucky enough to live in both France and Italy while I was studying. I love going for walks, cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends. 

What I love about my job
I feel very lucky because I love my job and I know not many people can say that! Working to understand what patients and their families need, and sharing that with my colleagues, is something that I really enjoy – this helps us to keep patients at the heart of what we do.

What gets me up every day
There are two things. Firstly, knowing that every day we’re working towards making a difference in someone’s life. Secondly, knowing that we’re holding ourselves and our colleagues accountable to putting patients first. I hope that patients and their families think of Astellas as a company that cares about them. 

 


Doug Noland

   Doug Noland
   Executive Director, Patient Partnerships

 

 


A little about me at work
I’ve worked in healthcare for the past 30 years in a variety of leadership roles from manufacturing to sales and marketing, as well as strategy, change and innovation. The past few years at Astellas have enabled me to discover my real passion is for helping to create a meaningful and lasting impact through the creation and delivery of even more VALUE for the patients that we serve.

A little about me at home
I am the husband to an amazing wife and together we have three incredible kids, a wonderful extended family and a great community of friends. Probably, like you, we have had more than our share of health crises that have taught us to take nothing for granted. One notable example, my oldest daughter is graduating high school this year and is about to leave for college at the University of Tennessee. Why is this so special? Because it could have never happened. After a near-fatal accident when she was only one year old, we were told by grief counsellors at the hospital that “if she lives, she will never be the same or be able to live a normal life.” We were in a very dark place with little hope. This and other events have changed us forever. 

What I love about my job
Every day, we all experience or see similar health stories play out in our communities. Whether it be an unexpected diagnosis or accident, people find themselves without hope. I love that we are helping and feel so blessed to work for a company that brings hope to these families through the innovative science that we are developing. I have the honor of leading an amazing team of passionate and capable individuals whose primary purpose is to support and partner with patient and caregiver communities and to support patients and provide authentic platforms to understand and address their needs. I love that we can share those relationships and associated insights with our amazing scientists and other colleagues across the world to inform and enable their work, and to put us on the forefront of change to turn innovative science into optimal VALUE for patients and their families around the world. I love seeing the look on the face of our research and development colleagues after they have had the opportunity to learn first-hand from an individual who is living with the very disease that they are working to address. 

What gets me up every day
For me, I want to live beyond myself and my own selfish wants. Whether in my personal or professional pursuits, I strive to be less about me, and more about making a difference in the lives of others. By no measure am I there yet, and that is what gets me up every day.