Tony Arevalo, co-founder of Carsurance.net and PolicyAdvice.net, reports in a column on PolicyAdvice that as of 2018, the health industry was worth $8.5T globally, with projections suggesting that, by 2022, healthcare spending could hit more than $10T. According to Arevalo, nearly 800K companies comprise the U.S. healthcare industry, and healthcare employees in the U.S., on average, make roughly $60K. Unsurprisingly, Ryan Nunn, Jana Parsons and Jay Shambaugh of the Brookings Institution describe the healthcare industry as “the most consequential part of the United States economy,” noting that 11 percent of U.S. workers are employed in healthcare and that 24 percent of government spending goes to the sector.
Being a player in this high-value field would therefore require a high awareness of what the competition is doing. The following profiles are those of competitive intelligence experts working for some of the biggest names in the U.S. healthcare industry.
Dan Kocchi, Competitive Intelligence Adviser at CVS Caremark
Dan Kocchi serves as a competitive intelligence adviser at CVS Caremark, the prescription benefit management business of U.S.-based health care company CVS Health.
Kocchi is responsible for influencing market and product strategy and positioning, integrating customer and market feedback into briefings presented to company leaders and helping build sales training documents.
He also maintains an internal web portal to facilitate the delivery of competitive and market intelligence content using Salesforce and OrchestraCMS.
Prior to taking on his current role in 2013, Kocchi served as senior analyst of competitive and market intelligence for almost five years, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In this role, Kocchi delivered in-person and online sales training to individuals and large groups, built in-depth profiles of competitors’ product details and pricing information, and worked with corporate communications and sales operations to deliver competitive intelligence alerts.
Kocchi joined CVS Health in 2007 as a competitive and market intelligence analyst.
He previously worked at The GEO Group, a real estate investment trust company, as a librarian.
Kocchi earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in library and information studies from McGill University.
He also took up a Master of Business Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Melissa Casa, Senior Strategy, CI Consultant at Kaiser Permanente
Melissa Casa has been serving as the senior strategy and competitive intelligence consultant for strategic market planning at Kaiser Permanente since February 2017.
For three-and-a-half years, Casa has been designing and executing market strategies and tactics to drive business growth while also leading the planning and decision-making relative to the company’s competitive positioning, market strategy and policy. Casa has also been responsible for performing analysis on market and competitor data and leading efforts to identify competitive issues and opportunities, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Most recently, she served for five years as Kaiser Permanente’s forecast modeling / location intelligence consultant. In this role, she provided strategic and analytic leadership to improve the company’s market awareness, membership growth and business processes. Some of her career highlights in the role include increasing membership penetration in Medicare Sales in targeted Census Blocks, profiling the company’s Colorado membership and creating multiple annual rate setting, strategic plan and budget presentation slides for executive leadership.
As a 20-year employee at Kaiser Permanente, Casa also held the role of market and CI consultant, in which she ran the “Market Watch” newsletter that kept senior leaders in Colorado up to date with current market and CI trends.
In addition, she served as the company’s membership and forecast analyst and the project manager for the membership and benefit administration.
Casa graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in psychology before earning her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Regis University.
Ruth Krestin, Director of Competitive Intelligence at AstraZeneca
Ruth Krestin is a 10-year pharmaceutical professional who serves as a full-time director of competitive intelligence focused on late-stage and commercial operations within the global cardiovascular, renal and metabolism unit at AstraZeneca, a research-based biopharmaceutical based in Cambridge, U.K.
Krestin is an expert in the areas of market research, digital health, precision medicine, diagnostics, forecast modeling, commercial operations and strategy.
She started at AstraZeneca in 2015 as an associate director of personalized health care policy and portfolio and was promoted to director after 11 months to manage AstraZeneca’s PHC portfolio including resource allocation, project prioritization, milestone and budget tracking, according to her LinkedIn profile.
In September 2017, Krestin was appointed as director of precision medicine policy and business insights, responsible for establishing the precision medicine insights capability, assessing diagnostic investment opportunities, developing operating models and methodologies.
Krestin started her career as a strategy consultant at professional services company PwC in 2012 as a senior associate of pharma and life science strategy consulting, a role she held for more than two years before being appointed as a manager.
While completing her master’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Krestin interned at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, where she worked on biomedicine and health innovation strategy and knowledge markets in the life sciences.
Svetlana Titkova, Global CI and Commercial Operations Manager at Johnson & Johnson
Svetlana Titkova is a 15-year marketing professional currently serving as the global competitive intelligence and commercial operations manager for Johnson & Johnson.
Since taking on the role in 2019, Titkova has been responsible for implementing and improving the company’s global CI processes in support of enterprise strategy building and efforts to respond to new product launches. She has also been focused on performing data analysis and tracking and project support activities, including project case, project charter, cross-functional resource alignment and project timeline, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Some of her other responsibilities include coordinating internal activities to efficiently develop Johnson & Johnson’s global business plan document and establishing a new competitive reporting system.
As a nine-year employee at Johnson & Johnson, Titkova has held marketing manager roles for the company, in which she led product launches across markets in the U.S., Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Previously, Titkova served as the brand manager for global eye health organization Bausch + Lomb. During her one-year tenure, she promoted the sale of the company’s eye health products, vitamins and dry eyes relief portfolio in Russia.
She began her career at GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical company based in Brentford, England. She worked for the company as a regional coordinator and brand manager, executing multiple product launches, including Aquafresh, Solpadeine, Breathe Right, Alli, Lactacyd, Zovirax, in Russia and the Czech Republic.
Neha Suri, Director of Global Marketing, CI at Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Neha Suri joined biotechnology company Vertex Pharmaceuticals in April as the director of global marketing and competitive intelligence.
Most recently, she served as the CI lead / associate director of Sanofi Genzyme’s rheumatology product portfolio for two-and-a-half years. Back in May 2014, she worked for management consulting company Fuld + Company, where she held the roles of life sciences research director and senior director for CI and strategy, according to her LinkedIn profile.
While at Fuld + Company, Suri took on business and competitive intelligence-related tasks, including developing research methodologies, managing project budgets, delivering final reports and presentations, as well as guiding a team of research analysts in collecting data.
Earlier in her career, she worked as a project manager for Global Prior Art, a legal services firm specializing in intellectual property management, patent analytics and e-commerce. In the span of five years, she executed patent due diligence and conducted technological trend analysis in support of patent litigation and licensing negotiations.
She began her career in her alma mater, University of Pennsylvania. Some of her projects as a research assistant for the university include developing a novel Luciferase-based cellular high throughput screening assay for identifying upregulators of utrophin expression in muscle.
Suri holds a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology University and a master’s degree in the same discipline from UPenn.
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