Risa Arin of XpertPatient.com on Empowering Cancer Patients and Their Families

Plus, Black Health Matters, leveraging patient support money, and more

Early in her career, Risa Arin worked to build break-out experiences for American Express, Nike, Poland Springs and founded two startups. Tapping into the energy and insights from great consumer brands, Risa then set out to partner with leading oncology brands, patients and healthcare innovators to improve the customer experience that pharma delivers to HCPs and consumers.  

Determined to bring more support to deserving cancer patients and becoming a breast cancer caregiver herself, a clear life mission was formed and Risa launched XpertPatient.com, a next-gen site experience intricately designed to empower newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families.

We spoke with Risa for our series Checkup, where we chat with leaders in the healthcare marketing space.

Risa, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Chestnut Ridge, New York, and currently live in Chatham, New Jersey.

How you first got into healthcare marketing/communications, and what attracted you to it.

When I first started working in marketing, I helped build multi-channel experiences for incredible brands including American Express, Nike, Delta and Poland Springs. What drove me to healthcare marketing was wanting to feel more emotionally connected and invested in the brands I championed. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved my big brands. But the idea that the work I did could improve someone's everyday life was just incredible. And that's when I made the switch. I became determined to use all my audience engagement, CX design, data and innovation expertise to engage HCPs, patients and caregivers in a way that ultimately helps patients achieve better treatment results.  

Something people might not know about the healthcare industry.

I was shocked to recently learn that while the cost of treatment leads many patients to not starting or staying on their medications, almost 60-80 percent of available patient support money from pharma isn't used. 80 percent! That was a real eye-opener for me, and absolutely something we can all work to change. Activating smart campaigns that expand reach and educate patients on available financial support could be a game-changer.

With that said, PLEASE tell everyone you know on a cancer journey, to stand-up and ASK what money is available to help ensure they achieve the best treatment results possible.

A recent project you're proud of. 

I'm thrilled to share that I just launched www.xpertpatient.com, a next-gen website purposely designed to empower newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. What started out as a passion project for me about a year ago now delivers an unprecedented level of education to 90 percent of the cancer community. 100 percent patient centric, the platform delivers A.I.-powered education, the ability to compare FDA-approved treatment options and personalized discussion guides. Plus, easy access to financial support resources from every pharma company with published support information. It's been an amazing journey and I strongly encourage anyone with a smart idea, no matter how unachievable it seems, to go for it. With platforms like Upwork, our amazing peer network, and incredible digital tools that allow for scalability, anything is possible. And if I can help in any way, just let me know.

Someone else's project in healthcare that you were impressed by recently. 

I am a really big fan of Black Health Matters. It is horrific that as we sit here today that African Americans in the U.S. have such poor health outcomes on nearly every disease index. I applaud Roslyn and her team for not just bringing this pressing issue to the forefront but for working to close the gap by taking real action. I hope in the very near future to leverage xpertpatient.com to help close some of the health disparities we are all seeing every day.

A major challenge facing healthcare advertisers/marketers today.

As healthcare marketers, data enabling right time, right message used to be our biggest challenge by far, but in today's world, our major challenge is that hospitals and insurance companies are often dictating a patient's medications/sequence of medications. That just doesn't sit right with me.

One thing about how healthcare is evolving that you're excited about.

I am absolutely thrilled that we now have the strategic thinking, content, data, A.I. and MarTech platforms that can deliver personalized brand experiences to each customer. Only true omnichannel experiences that learn and evolve can offer care teams, patients and caregivers the relevant support they need to navigate each health crisis.

How healthcare can attract more creative talent.

To attract creative talent, we need to help candidates realize the real impact they can make. It's about purpose. I like to ask, "Would you prefer to wake up every day and create amazing campaigns or would you prefer to wake up every day with a good chance you'll change someone's life?" Maybe it's not that simple, but I really think it is.

What would you be doing if you weren't in healthcare marketing/communications?

Coaching kids' sports and a lot of traveling. ☺

Checkup is our new weekly Muse series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with leaders in healthcare marketing. To learn more about Checkup or our Clio Health program, please get in touch.

Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a contributor for Muse by Clio. She's also a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication, and Information.

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