Cammie Brannan joined Clear Point Health and Thought Leader Select as a research associate in 2005. In her current role managing thought leader relations at Thought Leader Select, Cammie works directly with physicians and other health care professionals to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data for each key opinion leader assessment. Cammie spent a decade working in accounting and financial management, earning a reputation as a leader in compiling data and optimizing its presentation for decision-makers in a variety of industries. Prior to joining Thought Leader Select, Cammie worked for a North Carolina firm that provided research and consulting services to the pharmaceutical industry, with emphasis on the drug-naming process.
The Thought Leader Select Blog sat down with Cammie to discuss her industry experience and her professional contribution to Thought Leader Select.
TLS Blog: Good morning, Cammie. Why did you join Thought Leader Select?
Cammie Brannan: I had been doing contract market research for a company in Raleigh, NC. We specialized in all of the aspects of naming new pharmaceutical products—market research, market testing, etc. I interacted quite a bit with health care professionals—we surveyed them.—gaining their valuable feedback on potential new names for drugs. For instance, were the names appealing, memorable, and would they be confused with other products on the market. It was a pretty interesting business.
While I was completing my tasks, I noticed several areas that needed process improvement. So, I contacted one of the senior managers in the company, a woman named Laura Nufire. She really took my suggestions on board and was impressed with my initiative. Later, when the company was bought out, she referred me to her husband, Paul Meade (founder and president of Thought Leader Select).
I joined Paul and Lisa’s (Lisa Smith, Meade’s business partner) company, Clear Point Health, and helped them streamline some of their research processes. Soon after, when they launched Thought Leader Select, I found myself doing work with medical experts.
I was really impressed with the vision that Paul and Lisa had laid out with Clear Point Health and then Thought Leader Select. They are quite visionary, and Paul sold me on the vision they had for building research services that would really meet the emerging needs of the healthcare industry.
TLS Blog: How do your academic and/or professional background inform your work at Thought Leader Select?
Cammie Brannan: I came from a background of working in accounting and financial planning for the ten years prior to joining the company. During that time, I really developed a love for data. My work involved lots of stakeholders and decision-makers—people involved in strategic planning–and I had to make sure that when I compiled data for them, I organized it in such a way that it was tailored for a particular audience. Different executives have different needs and goals when they hire you to do research, so you have to present your findings in a way the data speaks to them.
Now my work at Thought Leader Select fosters mutually beneficial relationships between our clients and the health care providers we interact with to gather accurate information. Both constituencies want to work with each other, but they need companies like ours to make it fair, ethical, and beneficial for everyone involved.
TLS Blog: What do you enjoy most about your work at Thought Leader Select?
Cammie Brannan: I really enjoy working with two groups of people. First, I love collaborating with the research project managers on our team and my team of thought leader relations associates. Everyone I work with has a real ownership ethic—these people want to deliver a great product to our clients at every opportunity, and we are able to achieve that greatness together time after time. That’s a real thrill, when you work with people who have just as much pride in their work as you do.
Also, I really enjoy working with doctors. When I engage them in our research process, they are often initially skeptical. I sometimes receive negative feedback about how the process of key opinion leader identification can be a bad experience for them and how it seems unfair. I’m so glad that I can communicate to them the fairness and transparency of what we do, and how we are just compiling as much meaningful data as possible on their skills and experiences. I think they really respect our objectivity, and the role we play in the process of facilitating their collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.
TLS Blog: How do you spend your down time?
Cammie Brannan: My life is full of music! My oldest son has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. One of his positive triggers is music—he’s very musical, as is his father. I play piano and flute, and we have all sorts of instruments around the house—guitars, drums, amps—you name it!
We have a lot of impromptu jam sessions around here with our family, and I love the time we spend together playing rock and roll!
Also, my father taught me to fish when I was little. I love fishing, both deep-sea and freshwater, because it’s so peaceful. But when you catch one—and I catch big ones!—it can be so exhilarating, too. I’ve always loved the looks on men’s faces when they see me bait a hook and proceed to haul in a big one. All of the boys in my life—sons, nephews, cousins—think I’m the greatest!