Andrea Heslin Smiley
President and Chief Executive Officer
Human to Human Education
Andrea Heslin Smiley lives out her passion to empower the patient by leading an army of caring, devoted, and highly trained Nurse Educators. As President and CEO of VMS BioMarketing, Andrea has made it her mission to tackle the threat of medical adherence, well aware that 50% of chronically ill patients do not take their medication as prescribed or remember everything their doctor tells them.
Her impressive solution is to help patients learn and absorb the information that biopharma companies offer by deploying VMS Clinical Nurse Educators to provide customized education, hands-on training, and ongoing health coaching. While technologies such as smartphone apps and online learning have helped both HCPs and patients improve medication adherence, Andrea says this works best in concert with human-to-human connection. Research shows that patients receiving face-to-face education may be almost four times as likely to be adherent to medications than those who don’t. As a result, VMS nurse-led education programs have achieved a 33% increase in medication adherence after just six months.
Since so many factors of medication nonadherence can be attributed to human behavior, Andrea believes human interaction is the single best mitigant. She leads VMS educators who provide home visits, meetings at the doctor’s office, telephone calls, and other one-to-one interactions. Under Andrea’s leadership, VMS uses integrated adherence predictive measures, adapted from validated behavior change assessment tools. These tools are used across the range of patient programs, recognizing that psychosocial constructs such as activation, self-agency, and control orientation are directly related to adherence behaviors.
Andrea’s leadership has laser-focused VMS programs on customized solutions that are personalized to patients’ learning preference (for example, auditory, visual, or tactile) and according to their communication preference whether that is in person, telephonic, or web-based. This personalization and dedication have earned the trust and gratitude of thousands of patients, leading to a 95% increase in patient satisfaction and confidence to manage their therapy after education. One of these many patients told their VMS Educator: “Thank you for providing more than just information. I know you care—you are my advocate and coach.”