FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
Spectrum Science | June 10, 2022
Spectrum Science, an independent, integrated marketing, communications and media agency hyper-focused on health and science, announced the acquisition of The Seismic Collaborative, an independent health and life science agency that specializes in supporting early-stage health tech and biotech companies. The Seismic acquisition establishes the Emerging Innovation Group within Spectrum, a new offering that expands the agency's capabilities to deliver at all points of a company and product lifecycle.
"We're delighted to welcome Seismic's incredible talent and expertise to the Spectrum team," says Jonathan Wilson, Owner and CEO of Spectrum. "For the past several years, we've worked to strategically diversify talent and capabilities within our agency, to keep pace with client needs in a rapidly evolving industry—including the burgeoning biotech and health tech sectors. With today's acquisition, we're now able to broaden the scope of clients we support, bringing a flexible model and approach to service both early-stage and start-up clients as well as those who are more established."
This new venture brings seasoned leaders with extensive experience and current business in emerging innovation and health technology to the Spectrum team, including Seismic CEO, Lisa Rodriguez, who will serve as the President of the Emerging Innovation Group within Spectrum and will play a lead role within the company's existing Health Tech practice.
"Becoming a part of the Spectrum organization strengthens Seismic's connection to clients who are growing, expanding and advancing innovation in the health tech and life science sectors. Now more than ever before, emerging companies require end-to-end, global capabilities to reach their hypergrowth goals—Spectrum is the perfect place to make that happen. Our new home provides a dynamic and vibrant extension of our services where we can evolve with our client partners throughout their lifecycle."
Seismic CEO Lisa Rodriguez
Also joining the Spectrum organization from Seismic are EVPs Melissa Laverty and Vikki Herrera, along with Seismic's full team of strategists, writers and earned and social media specialists.
Today's announcement builds on the recently announced acquisition of SONIC Health, the first deal of its kind for Spectrum in the company's 26-year history. Financing for both acquisitions was provided by Monroe Capital.
About The Seismic Collaborative
The Seismic Collaborative communicates the stories of the people, products and services that transform healthcare and save lives through a range of strategy, media relations, content and social media services. The Seismic Collaborative's model rejects traditional PR agency norms, focusing instead on high-touch, deeply engaged, collaborative partnerships that are structured upon the results achieved. To learn more, visit www.teamseismic.com.
About Spectrum Science
Spectrum Science is an integrated marketing, communications and media agency like no other. An independent, full-service agency with end-to-end capabilities, Spectrum's team are experts in science—focused on strategic engagements with our audiences. We leverage human-centered insights, motivating creative, innovative storytelling and technology to reach audiences where they are with the content they need and want. Spectrum offers global reach as the US partner and chair of Global Health Marketing & Communications (GHMC).
Avania | June 21, 2022
Avania, the preeminent, full-service global MedTech contract research organization announced that Astorg has acquired a majority stake in the company. Astorg, together with Kester Capital current investor who intends to retain a minority stake will actively support management’s plans to advance Avania’s development as a MedTech solution provider.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Avania was formed in March 2020 from the combination of five complementary businesses and started a successful journey to establish a fully integrated platform to serve sponsors worldwide in advancing medical technology products from early development to post-market ensuring customized, scalable solutions that optimize efficiencies and streamline the advancement of medical technology.
Astorg brings an impressive global network of relationships in the MedTech space which will strengthen Avania’s pipeline and broaden its customer base while the capital access will help accelerate its growth, both organically and via acquisitions.
“The platform we have built has positioned us ahead of our competition in the MedTech CRO space, and this deal will bring additional investment to strengthen our infrastructure, capital for acquisitions, and added support as we continue to grow Avania into the clear market leader. The largest CROs do not have the specialization that we bring, and the regional niche providers do not have the scale and reach of Avania. This unique positioning, along with the continued changes to the MedTech regulatory landscape, will allow us to push ourselves to the next era of growth.”
Sapna Hornyak, president and CEO of Avania
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Sapna and her team, as well as Kester, on this transaction,” said Managing Partner of Astorg Mid-Cap Edouard Pillot. “Being one of the global leaders in a profitable and fast-growing niche market, Avania squarely fits with Astorg’s investment criteria, and we are delighted to have Avania as our first Mid-Cap Healthcare deal, sitting within Astorg’s broader healthcare portfolio.”
Avania is a leading, global full-service contract research organization focused on the management of clinical studies for medical technology, IVDs, biologics, and device-drug combination products internationally. Avania supports products from the first-in-human phase through the post-market phase with the same customized approach. When you need to advance your medical technology, it takes Avania. Avania’s vision is to be your trusted global partner in the evolution of your medical technology from innovation to commercialization to improving patient health and well-being.
Astorg is a leading private equity firm with over €17 billion of assets under management. We work with entrepreneurs and management teams to acquire market-leading global companies headquartered in Europe or the US, providing them with the strategic guidance, governance, and capital they need to achieve their growth goals. Astorg enjoys a distinct entrepreneurial culture, a long-term shareholder perspective, and a lean decision-making body. We have valuable industry expertise in healthcare, software, business-to-business professional services and technology-based industrial companies. Astorg has offices in London, Paris, New York, Frankfurt, Milan and Luxembourg.
About Kester Capital
Kester Capital is a primary buy-out specialist. Kester focuses on the healthcare, data & information and technology sectors, targeting businesses that require capital in order to unlock their potential.
Elevance Health, Inc | June 20, 2022
As Anthem, Inc. moves closer to rebranding to Elevance Health, Inc. later this month, the company announced the launch of healthcare services brand Carelon and health plan brand Wellpoint to join the company’s family of brands that includes Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The move will optimize and streamline the company’s brand portfolio, reduce complexities, and further underscore its evolution to deliver solutions beyond traditional health insurance, simplify the healthcare experience, and advance health beyond healthcare.
“An important part of being a lifetime, trusted health partner is grounded in our ability to ensure consumers have access to services that will meet their whole health needs across their entire healthcare journey. The addition of our new brands to our family of companies will bring together services and products within their respective brands that further integrate our business and health expertise across the industry to solve complex challenges and improve consumers lives.”
Gail K. Boudreaux, President and CEO Anthem, Inc
Blending a powerful suite of solutions to solve complex healthcare challenges
Bringing together decades of experience, the company introduces its new healthcare services brand Carelon to consolidate the company’s existing broad portfolio of capabilities and services businesses under one brand to address the most complex healthcare challenges and support clients and consumers across the entire healthcare continuum. Derived from the word ‘care’ and suffix ‘lon’ meaning full and complete, the name Carelon stands for the importance of providing full and complete care. Carelon will serve one in three people in the U.S.
With services ranging from research to integrated whole person care delivery, pharmacy, behavioral health to digital platform and technology services, Carelon will build better care for people and enhance efficiencies systemwide. Through partnerships across healthcare, Carelon will improve outcomes and reduce total cost of care through digitally enabled solutions to improve whole person health.
The company expects to fully transition its capabilities and services under the Carelon brand over the next two years. This change further helps to streamline the end-to-end experiences for providers, clients and consumers.
“Carelon makes connected care possible for everyone by putting people at the center of what we do and delivering the right balance of care, technology, data-driven insights and expertise to solve complex challenges and help consumers lead healthier lives,” said Pete Haytaian, Executive Vice President of Anthem, and President of Carelon. “Bringing together these solutions will help deliver our strategy, drive growth, and exceed expectations for care providers, consumers, and our other partners.”
Launching a brand focused on improving the health of individuals and communities at all stages of life.
The company will also launch the Wellpoint brand to unify its Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans in select markets, simplifying interactions that consumers have with these health plans. Wellpoint’s suite of products and services are designed for consumers at any stage of life seeking to make the right care decisions and will offer access to simple, supportive health solutions that will help foster independence, confidence, and whole person health for consumers.
The company plans to make this transition over the next few years. This change will not impact the company’s affiliated Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross health plans.
“Unifying many of our non-Blue Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans under one brand helps consumers, care providers, and the healthcare industry better understand how our organization works together to deliver our distinct set of products and services that address the health and wellbeing of those we serve,” added Boudreaux. “Our Wellpoint health plans will continue to address consumer needs at a personal level, removing barriers and creating more meaningful connections across a lifetime of milestones and experiences.”
This step in the company’s rebranding is a continuation of its bold and ambitious purpose to improve the health of humanity by serving people across their entire health journey; connecting them to care, support and resources; and simplifying every step of the healthcare journey to make health more equitable and accessible.
On June 28, Anthem will become Elevance Health and will commemorate its official rebranding by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Shares of the company’s common stock will begin trading under the new ticker symbol ELV as of that morning.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem, which will become Elevance Health on June 28, 2022, is a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves approximately 118 million people, including nearly 47 million within its family of health plans. Delivering health beyond healthcare, Anthem is expanding from being a partner in health benefits to a lifetime, trusted health partner.
Easterseals | June 23, 2022
Easterseals announced today that it has received a grant of $750,000 from the Abbott Fund, the foundation of the global healthcare company Abbott, to pilot the Project on Education and Community Health Equity from now through 2025. The three-year project aims to address systemic barriers to high-quality education and healthcare experienced by children and families in underinvested communities.
Research shows that many young children, particularly children with disabilities and children of color, face significant gaps in access to crucial health and social services that can provide the targeted support they need to be prepared to succeed in school. One example: according to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Black children with autism and other disabilities are diagnosed an average of more than three years after their parents expressed concerns about their development. This delay in diagnosis means these children miss out on age-appropriate care and the chance to improve their health and cognitive skills, often resulting in them entering kindergarten with knowledge and skill deficits that many are not able to overcome throughout their K-12 educational journey.
The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will create an integrated system that addresses the educational and healthcare needs of children to help them be kindergarten ready and reach their full potential. This includes work in three areas: expanding access to essential physical and mental health screenings and care for children; providing targeted social services to help families overcome gaps in basic needs, nutrition, transportation, and other social and economic barriers; and ensuring that early childhood administrators and educators have the right training to identify and address health and social challenges and provide culturally appropriate support for children. The project will be implemented at Easterseals Childhood Development Centers in Southern California, Atlanta and North Georgia, and the greater Washington, D.C., area.
"Addressing the healthcare needs of infants and toddlers as early as possible in their lives is one of the critical ways in which Easterseals serves young children and families across the country. The Project on Education and Community Health Equity will allow us to better address healthcare disparities experienced by young BIPOC children and their families in historically underserved and marginalized communities, and to better understand the connection between more equitable access to healthcare and kindergarten readiness. Centering communities of color in our efforts is a critical strategy to close the gap. Outcomes from the project promise to inform its future expansion to early childhood and early education programs throughout the Easterseals Network of 70 affiliates in communities nationwide."
Erika L. Watson, National Director of Childhood Development, Education and Equity at Easterseals
"We're proud to support Easterseals' important work to help close equity gaps in education and community health," said Melissa Brotz, president of the Abbott Fund and vice president of Global Marketing and External Affairs at Abbott. "We're committed to advancing health equity and fighting racial health disparities, and our partnership with Easterseals will help reduce barriers to care for children, their families and their communities."
The Project on Education and Community Health Equity builds on results seen through another Easterseals program, the Black Child Fund. Launched in 2021 with support from the Abbott Fund and others, the Black Child Fund advanced early identification and interventions among Black children with autism and other disabilities to reduce health disparities often experienced in early childhood. The Abbott Fund investment launched pilots at Easterseals locations serving Chicagoland and Greater Rockford, DuPage and the Fox Valley Region (IL), and Kansas City and St. Louis (MO).
Through these pilot programs, an 87% increase in the number of Black families seeking services and support was realized, with more than 300 Black children screened for early diagnosis of autism and other disabilities in just one year. Of these children, 80% were five years old or younger, with 75% requiring and receiving additional services through Easterseals. An important outcome of these pilots has been the strengthening of relationships within Black communities across these Easterseals service areas to ensure more equitable and more culturally responsive services and supports to young children of color with disabilities and their families.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data revealing that during the pandemic public health emergency, rates for primary and preventive services among children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined substantially. This decline in care for millions of children from low-income families will potentially have a significant impact on long-term health outcomes for the nearly 40 million children in the U.S. who rely on Medicaid and CHIP, including three-quarters of children living in poverty and many with special healthcare needs including infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities.
"Through the Project on Education and Community Health Equity, it is Easterseals' intention to address the disparities in healthcare among young children in low-investment communities and to understand the connection between health equity and early childhood educational attainment. We intend to center the experiences of children of color and their families, for whom inequities have only been exacerbated because of the pandemic," Watson concluded.
The Abbott Fund's partnership with Easterseals supports Abbott's 2030 Sustainability Plan, which aims to advance health access and equity through partnership. Abbott's ongoing commitment to address health equity challenges includes targeted programs to increase diversity in clinical trials, create opportunities in STEM for women and underrepresented groups, and empower communities to break down social and economic barriers to better health.
Easterseals is leading the way to full equity, inclusion, and access through life-changing disability and community services. For more than 100 years, we have worked tirelessly with our partners to enhance quality of life and expand local access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities. And we won't rest until every one of us is valued, respected, and accepted. Through our national network of Affiliates, Easterseals provides essential services and on-the-ground supports to more than 1.5 million people each year – from early childhood programs for the critical first five years, to autism services, medical rehabilitation and employment programs, veterans' services, and more. Our public education, policy, and advocacy initiatives positively shape perceptions and address the urgent and evolving needs of the one in four Americans living with disabilities today. Together, we're empowering people with disabilities, families, and communities to be full and equal participants in society.
About Abbott and the Abbott Fund
Abbott is a global healthcare leader that helps people live more fully at all stages of life. Our portfolio of life-changing technologies spans the spectrum of healthcare, with leading businesses and products in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic medicines. Our 113,000 colleagues serve people in more than 160 countries.