Principled Collaboration

Jamie Ring | July 17, 2012

Jamie Ring, Senior Director for Patient Advocacy at Genzyme, shares her perspective on patient organization and industry collaboration.

When I first joined Genzyme, I spent my first few weeks reviewing the values of patient advocacy with Sara, my manager at the time. She had developed a "compass" logo to guide us in all of Genzyme’s collaborations with patient organizations (which we still use today, seven years later!). It’s been clear to me for years that these values hold great significance. I’ve selected a few of our Collaboration Values to highlight here:

  • Offer contributions to our partners that go beyond the financial to include employee involvement, expertise, services, and information
  • Seek mutual benefit in our collaborations—we can achieve more together than we can independently, especially in optimizing patient care
  • Communicate openly and consistently to enhance our understanding of mutual perspectives
  • Conduct relationships with transparency, sensitivity, and humility

Genzyme's Patient Advocacy compass is shown here:


But the most critical piece of partnering with the patient community is a mutual respect for independence. There are countless ways that we can partner with the advocacy community, but that said, there will always be some areas where we won’t see eye to eye. For a healthy collaboration to be sustainable and productive both parties need to have the ability to respectfully disagree or to say "no" to one another. Whether it’s a patient group choosing not to participate in a Genzyme activity or vice versa, if we can still say "no" or respectfully disagree on something, then I know that our relationship continues to be productive.

For more insights into how we work with patient organizations, have a look at Genzyme's Principles of Collaboration.

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