In June, Walgreens announced its plans to launch its own clinical trial business. The goal? To redefine the patient experience and increase patient access and retention in drug development research.
DSN: What excites you most about leading this team and the new clinical trials business?
RT: There are so many structural and clinical barriers that serve as reasons why patients do not participate in research. Because 70% of patients live more than two hours from the closest clinical research site, my team and I have such a tremendous and exciting opportunity to change the paradigm by creating a model that’s centered around the patient and their needs, instead of the clinic and the industry.
The newly expanded clinical trials business is another way Walgreens is building its next growth engine of consumer-centric healthcare solutions as we provide patients with complex or chronic conditions another care offering in their treatment journey. We not only want to provide innovative research options for trial patients, but also connect them to our suite of Walgreens pharmacy and healthcare services — prescriptions, vaccines, screenings and more.
DSN: Why is being an advocate for women’s equality important to you?
RT: Despite a renewed push for gender equality in the life sciences, women remain starkly underrepresented in all roles, especially leadership roles. Men and women enter the workforce with advanced degrees in medicine and science at almost the same rate, but women then either drop out or hit a plateau in their careers. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, men make up 52% of the U.S. workforce, but 73% of the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, workforce. There have been gains made over the years, but there is much work yet to be done. My goal is to drive a more inclusive and diverse culture and mindset to ensure we drive more equity for women within our teams and leadership roles.
This push for more equality in women’s rights is a passion of mine. Outside of work, I’m involved with organizations that offer lifesaving care, shelter and support to traumatized women and children living in poverty. Providing education to children can serve as a foundation that keeps their hopes alive, which is extremely important to me. I’m also an advocate for women’s equality. When I wrap up my career in life sciences, my hope is to become an international ambassador for education, health and women’s rights.