Conisus at Converge 2015

ATLANTA, Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Jeff Giampalmi, Chief Executive Officer of Conisus, attended Converge 2015, an exclusive, invitation-only technology conference for global tech leaders and investors, CEOs, and entrepreneurs, which took place in Hong Kong,July 29-30. Also attending were top leaders from Apple, Samsung, PayPal, Rethink Robotics, Noom, Google, Lionsgate, KPMG, and others.

Aptly named, Converge was a collaboration of WSJDLive, the Wall Street Journal‘s annual global tech conference (or technology mega-conference), and f.ounders, the elite tech-conference group behind a growing number of gilt-edged events including Web Summit, Europe’s largest annual technology conference often referred to as “Davos for geeks.” Converge 2015 was a fusion of editorial excellence and “engineered serendipity”—a phrase denoting the world-class social networking experience for which f.ounders is famous. Paddy Cosgrave, CEO, f.ounders and Web Summit, and Gerry Baker, Editor in Chief, the Wall Street Journal, and their teams did a remarkable job leading, facilitating, and coordinating this event.

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Conisus Appoints New Chief Information Officer

Atlanta, August 5, 2015 – Conisus today announced the appointment of Steve Fernandez as Chief Information Officer, effective August 17, 2015. Mr. Fernandez will set overall IT strategy for the Conisus network of companies, ensuring that leading-edge technology and digital solutions remain a dynamic component of all operations.

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Lessons From the World of Fashion: Retention

In his book Always in Fashion, Mark Weber discusses another important lesson—retention. He writes, “Smart companies lose their people to themselves.” I have always tried to rotate my direct reports to different assignments every year or two and to stay one step ahead of them regarding compensation. My goal is to prevent powerful performers from proactively seeking other opportunities or to make leaving for other opportunities very difficult for top performers from a career and compensation perspective. Too often, managers are more concerned with keeping a high-level performer under her/his direction rather than allowing that person to explore additional career opportunities in another area. I have seen this repeatedly during my business career. Strong, confident leaders are unselfish. They realize their job is to develop other outstanding leaders and to allow them to move to other areas of an organization to learn new skills while managers continuously fill the pipeline with new talent.

Mark Weber, Always in Fashion: From Clerk to CEO—Lessons for Success in Business and in Life

For more information:

Jeff Giampalmi

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Lessons From the World of Fashion: Intro

I am reading an inspiring book called Always in Fashion by Mark Weber. Mark is the former CEO of Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, USA and former Chairman and CEO of Donna Karan International Inc. I am intrigued by the pragmatic business lessons Mark writes about and am using this book as a teaching tool for some of my company’s employees. Although our businesses focus on the biopharmaceutical sector, many of the insights are transferable outside of the fashion world.

On page 26, Mark states, “I had absolutely no personal agenda when it came to my job. I had only one interest: What’s best for the company?” This point is one of the most important in the entire book. I have often encountered people who are more focused on making themselves look good and on personal career advancement rather than on what is good for the company. Unfortunately, I have observed this type of behavior more often than I would have liked during my business career. Confident leaders are objective and unselfish and always make decisions that are in the best interests of the company rather than for their own or others’ personal gain. This unselfishness is something I look for when reviewing succession plans for our organization.

Mark Weber, Always in Fashion

Jeff Giampalmi

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Conisus was invited to present at the CIT 9th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York City

Conisus was invited to present at the CIT 9th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York City on April 22, 2015. The CIT Healthcare Conference brings together some of the most influential executives and investors in middle-market healthcare in the U.S. to meet and exchange ideas. CIT presenters are innovators, quality leaders, consolidators, and job creators in critically important sectors of the healthcare industry. The conference also included a private equity panel and robust discussion on regulatory issues within the post-acute care market.

Jeff Giampalmi, CEO of Conisus, a leading provider of strategic medical communication services to the biopharmaceutical industry, focused on his company’s expertise in providing outsourced services to the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Conisus continues to expand its client base and is one of the largest privately held strategic medical education providers serving the oncology, hematology, and specialty product pharmaceutical markets.


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Improving Value—What else can ASCO do?

Congratulations to the ASCO staff and leadership for a meaningful, interesting and thought-provoking 2014 Annual Meeting.  The theme of value in cancer care was evident throughout the meeting.  It is certainly an important issue.  Among the focuses of discussion both before and during the meeting , control of growing treatment costs, elimination of diagnostic tests which do not affect treatment decisions and avoidance of treatments without benefit near the end of life have been appropriately highlighted.  ASCO’s leadership is very determined to establish ASCO and its members as leaders in measuring and improving quality and value of care as a central element of health care reform.  It is difficult to argue with this strategy.

ASCO has another opportunity to lead in the arena of value.  As a large professional organization, it can lead other similar groups in evaluating and improving the value of medical specialty groups—specifically the cost and outcome of large annual meetings.

If ASCO is to assume a prominent role in improving the value of cancer care and reforming health care delivery, we and our leadership will need to demonstrate that we not only “talk the talk” but also “walk the walk” as individual physicians and as an organization.  With that in mind, I wonder if it is time to evaluate and improve the value of the Annual Meeting.  The 2014 meeting attracted over 28,000 cancer professionals.  Adding in support staff and pharmaceutical industry personnel, the attendance was probably somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000.  Whether we like to admit it or not, the cost of the millions of airplane miles traveled, the hundreds of thousands of meals consumed, the tens of thousands of hotel rooms rented and the thousands of bus and taxi trips to and from the convention center in many cases directly and indirectly contributes to the cost of cancer care.  The city of Chicago estimates that spending in the Chicago area associated with the 6-day Radiological Society of North American meeting of 40 to 45 thousand physicians and exhibitor attendees is around $125 million.  Our meeting is smaller and shorter but the spending is certainly substantial.  Realistically, that local spending represents only a fraction of the total cost of preparation and travel that occurs with any large international medical meeting.  Is there a less expensive way to do this which can serve the goals of the meeting and our organization while preserving or improving the effectiveness of the medical education and professional communication?

About 25 years ago, acknowledging that what happens at our Annual Meeting affects the cost of care as well as the perception of the “outside world” about oncologists and our organization, ASCO’s leadership, in partnership with pharmaceutical partners, led a trend in the broader medical community by appropriately limiting the extent of entertainment offered to Annual Meeting attendees.  Although it would not be accurate to label our Annual Meeting in 2014 as entertainment, isn’t it appropriate to once again re-evaluate our meeting to see how we might improve its value by looking at both cost and quality outcomes?

ASCO has aggressively adopted new technologies that facilitate remote learning and has provided post-meeting regional Best of ASCO sessions that have great value to attendees. With these types of advances in mind, isn’t it time to look for other ways to meet our educational goals at a lower cost while allowing rededication of some of the hundreds of millions of dollars spent in conjunction with the Annual Meeting to efforts that more directly improve the value of the research we conduct and the care we provide?

As part of our professional role, in the current era we all must take the responsibility to evaluate and improve the value of the care we provide.  Limiting this effort to the examination of cost and utilization of diagnostic technology, treatments and supportive care ignores some smaller but significant opportunities.  ASCO has the opportunity to lead.  The Annual Meeting might be a good place to start.

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What Makes Oncology Special?

Sometimes with all of the stresses of battling the system to help our patients and assure that our practices will survive, we need to be reminded about why we choose oncology—the special patients and families we get to work with.  The following email sent by the husband of a patient who had recently died with breast cancer eloquently tells the story of what makes oncology a special opportunity for all who choose it as a profession. (The names have been changed to protect privacy.)

Dear Dr. M:

It is with an unbearable heavy heart that I need to let you know that we lost Kay yesterday afternoon. After a long 10 day battle in ICU, she died in our arms peacefully and with no unnecessary life support.

I want you to know how much my family appreciates the work that you and your team did for Kay and for all affected by this disease. Because of your and others dedication to curing and treating, Kay LIVED (not survived) for 15 years post diagnosis in 1999. She saw our son graduate from high school, graduate from college, graduate from grad school and most important to her, see our only child’s wedding. For that, I thank you.

As late as this week, she would call other Docs “Dr. M”. You had that much impact on my family. You convinced her and gave her hope that it was possible to beat this and she took that and ran with it. She did beat it.

Kay didn’t let the cancer define her, she defined it. We will celebrate her life tomorrow comforted by hundreds that she touched.

May God bless you on your journey to end this terrible disease.

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