Academic Network

Academic Network Health Contact Center Experts at DIA Conference

Academic Network, a Stericycle Company (NasdaqGS: SRCL), the health communications division of Stericycle, Inc. focused on global contact center solutions and clinical trials recruitment and retention for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, CRO and food & beverage industries, today announced its attendance at the Drug Information Association’s 49th Annual Meeting (#DIA2013), Advancing Therapeutic Innovation and Regulatory Science, which will be held in Boston, MA on June 23-27.

Health experts from Academic Network will be present to discuss an expanded portfolio of global contact center services that span over 30 countries and 20 therapeutic areas. Growing services include expert patient recruitment, consumer affairs, pharmacovigilance, REMS support and recall services. “The annual DIA conference presents the opportunity to have the kinds of innovative discussions that lead to breakthroughs in our business and the life sciences industry at large,” said Don Houghton, Director of Contact Center and Online Operations. “We always look forward to this networking opportunity and to sharing ideas with new and existing colleagues.”

Academic Network will attend the conference during the exhibition dates of June 23-26, 2013 Please contact Rachel Greben, Relationship Manager, 503-432-4650 to arrange a meeting or informational webinar.

About 49th Annual Drug Information Association (DIA) Meeting.

The DIA Annual Meeting is the premier event for professionals involved in the discovery, development, and lifecycle management of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and related products. The conference provides an invaluable forum for professionals involved in the discovery, development, and life cycle management of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and related products, including discussion of current issues related to new areas such as comparative effectiveness, health outcomes, and medical devices.

An anticipated 7000 attendees, which includes industry professionals, clinicians, patient representatives, and regulatory agencies from all continents, plan to attend and present at this premier event with over 250 educational offerings and an exhibit hall featuring  over 450 companies. For more information, please see


Academic Network, a Stericycle company, combines advanced teleservices technology, professional standing in academic medicine, and an experienced staff of healthcare and communication specialists to provide the full range of services necessary to establish and promote the health benefits of your products. Available as an independent external resource or an adjunct to your in-house services, Academic Network offers innovative and flexible solutions to the challenges of communicating health-related product information to a large and diverse audience immediately, professionally, and effectively. Clients look to Academic Network for our expertise in Clinical Research Recruitment, Retention and Compliance, Customer Contact Services, Pharmacovigilance, Consumer Affairs and New Media Communications.

Academic Network Excels in Patient Recruitment for Oncology, Cardiovascular Studies

Advancing medical research through contact center expertise and innovation

Academic Network, a Stericycle division, reports a surge in patient recruitment for clinical studies related to oncology and cardiovascular health. This enhances consistently strong performance in patient recruitment, retention and compliance in a wide range of therapeutic areas.

An industry leader in contact center and communications solutions for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical device, food and beverage and government industries, Academic Network is now leading the way in clinical trial patient recruitment for prostate and other cancers. Academic Network is employing traditional contact center channels and new media, including SMS text and mobile strategies, for complex international trials. Health trained call center agents provide 24/7 best in class customer care in over twenty languages.

Academic Network also reports a surge in cardiovascular-related health studies, with innovations that extend the ability to reach wider audiences in record time. Bringing a tradition of cardiovascular expertise to these trials, the Academic Network contact center is able to communicate at a high level of professionalism to consumers and health professionals alike.

“We are proud to have effectively joined our health expertise to new technologies, enabling us to reach this level of excellence in patient recruitment in the fields of oncology, cardiovascular health, and many other therapeutic areas,” says Director of Contact Center and Online Operations Donald Houghton. “We value our position as industry leaders in patient recruitment and a range of issues related to consumer affairs, REMS, and drug and product safety.”

As health communications and services grow increasingly international and mobile, Academic Network is at the forefront of industry trends, providing value through medical, technological, and international expertise.

Food Safety Experts Speak at American Dietetic Association FNCE

Academic Network Educational Panel Session at  ADA’s Annual Conference

As food safety comes under the national spotlight, so do recalls of food products. How does a dietitian communicate recall solutions and education to the consumer? Food safety experts and key industry speakers from regulatory, recall, retrieval and crisis management will be on hand to discuss new federal regulations and communications techniques that result in better, faster flow of accurate information.

  • Impact of Food Recalls on the Dietitian’s Role
  • Monday, November 8, 2010 from 3:30-5:00pm
  • Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Room 258 ABC

For the dietitian, and the American consumer at large, keeping abreast of food safety trends and regulations has become a case of information overload. We have access to more information about a food supply that is more highly regulated than ever. The challenge lies in efficient interpretation and channeling of this information, especially when a food-related recall strikes. How does the dietitian get it right?

Academic Network, a Stericycle company, is assembling a panel of industry experts to discuss The Impact of Food Recalls on the Dietitian’s Role at the American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (#FNCE) on November 8th in Boston, MA.  In doing so, Academic Network joins a crowd of over 10,000 dietitians and food industry leaders participating in this annual landmark event.

Food regulatory and nutrition communications leaders Gale Prince and Ilene Smith, RD, compose this education session panel at FNCE, to explore how dietitians can best access, understand, and convey recall-related information. The session is moderated by Presiding Officer Edith Howard Hogan, RD, a Medallion Award winner and former ADA media spokesperson.

Mr. Prince, founder of Your Food Safety Coach, LLC and an industry veteran of food safety and quality control issues, traces developments in food regulation and legislation. He examines the relationship of federal agencies in tracking and regulating the US food supply, providing an overview of the recall classification process. Ilene Smith, Executive Vice President and Director of Food & Nutrition at Porter Novelli, reviews best practices for navigating food safety communications. Ms. Smith highlights new media tools that empower the RD to act as a primary source of accurate information in a recall situation.

We invite you to join us on November 8, from 3:30-5:00pm, in Room 258 ABC at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

About FNCE

Each fall, the American Dietetic Association sponsors the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts – more than 10,000 registered dietitians, nutrition science researchers, policy makers, health-care providers and industry leaders attend the annual meeting – and address key issues affecting the health of all Americans. The annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) features more than 100 research and educational presentations, lectures, debates, panel discussions and culinary demonstrations. More than 400 exhibitors from corporations, government and nonprofit agencies showcase new consumer food products and nutrition education materials.

Are big brands responsive to social media-savvy consumers?

Social media tools give consumers have an increasingly active voice in monitoring product recalls. How do major brands respond in the face of a recall? This week’s article in the Washington Post considers how companies must deviate from tradition and develop new strategies to respond and communicate to social media-savvy consumers.

Academic Network Expands Portfolio

Clients Choose Academic Network for Health & Medical Expertise and Capability

Portland, Ore.-based Academic Network expanded its portfolio with the addition of two new clients: Blue Chip Patient Recruitment and OncoGenex in the last quarter of 2009. Academic Network will provide clinical trial recruitment services to ensure rapid and cost effective enrollment for Blue Chip and will provide a compliance and assessment program for OncoGenex.

Kudos to Mark Miller, CEO of the Year!

Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research, today named Mark Miller, chairman, president, and CEO of Stericycle Inc. as its 2009 CEO of the Year! Read more.

Academic Network Builds Upon Health Expertise to Provide Social Media Services for Health Industries

Medical Experts Enhance the Online Identity of Your Product

Your customers are talking about you online. You want to be fluent in the conversation.

Academic Network, a Stericycle company, has developed an outsourcing online management service targeted to the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries.  The service includes both an online audit and ongoing reputation monitoring by health professionals trained in medicine, nutrition and identifying adverse events. The service is designed to offer companies an outsourcing solution at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining an online reputation management system in-house.

Clients use Academic Network’s professional social media staff to monitor and engage with others online, thereby enhancing their brand. Academic Network has created an outsourcing model to manage the risk and provide the expertise to help companies not only launch a social media campaign but maintain their reputation online at a fraction of the cost. A successful social media campaign involves dedicated resources to effectively monitor and manage online conversations about a company’s products.  Academic Network’s health professionals provide the expertise to assure that any adverse conversations online are brought to the attention of their clients to protect the safety of their products and customers.

Many companies have started to use social media tools but have not considered the overall costs to build and maintain a successful online program. Academic Network offers an outsourcing solution that will add expertise, while reducing overall costs in equipment, software and staff. The savings incurred mirrors that of traditional call center outsourcing, and takes advantage of the shared resources that Academic Network offers.

Influenza Facts: H1N1 vs. Seasonal

As the Old Man Winter approaches and the air blows with a chill, summer-loving folk deny the upcoming cold season by continuing to wear sun hats and flip flops. However, with 5% to 20% of the United States population contracting the flu each year, maybe it’s time to consider tube socks instead of tube tops.

This flu season promises to be a particularly harsh one, with the entrance of a new strain of Influenza virus: the H1N1, or “swine” flu. Last week alone, CDC has tested 8,268 people positive for Influenza. All subtyped influenza A viruses being reported to CDC were 2009 influenza A (H1N1) viruses. Whereas the typical flu season starts in late November, making the emergence of the H1N1 virus first influenza pandemic (global outbreak of disease) in more than 40 years. Additionally, the flu season has started earlier than usual, with over 13,000 cases of the flu nationwide since August 30th.

The signs of the H1N1 are quite similar to the Seasonal Flu, requiring a test to differentiate between strains.

Seasonal Flu
All types of flu can cause:

o Fever
o Coughing and/or sore throat
o Runny or stuffy nose
o Headaches and/or body aches
o Chills
o Fatigue Similar to seasonal flu, but symptoms may be more severe.

H1N1 Flu
There may be additional symptoms. A significant number of H1N1 flu cases:

o Vomiting
ο Diarrhea


For both types of flu, symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Despite this new strain of flu virus, CDC’s recommendations to avoid getting sick remain the same:

ο Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
ο Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
ο Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
ο Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
ο Stay home if you are sick until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100°F or 37.8°C) or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®).
ο Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

Additionally, CDC recommends that those at high risk for contracting either type of Influenza virus be vaccinated. Those groups include:

For seasonal flu:
People who should get the seasonal vaccine each year are:
1. Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
2. Pregnant women
3. People 50 years of age and older
4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
• Health care workers
• Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
• Household contacts and caregivers of children <5 years of age with particular emphasis on vaccinating  contacts of children <6 months of age (these children are at higher risk of flu-related complications

For the H1N1 virus, prioritized groups for vaccination include:
1. People with more severe illness, such as those hospitalized with suspected or confirmed influenza
2. People with suspected or confirmed influenza who are at higher risk for complications
• Children younger than 2 years old
• Adults 65 years and older
• Pregnant women
• People with certain chronic medical or immunosuppressive conditions
3. People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy

So, remember: When Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose, it’s time to bundle up, keep your hands clean, cover your coughs and get your flu vaccine.


(2009). Questions and Answers Regarding Estimating Deaths from Seasonal Influenza in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

(30 October 2009). 2009-2010 Influenza Season Week 42 ending October 24, 2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

(1 October 2009) 2009-10 Influenza (Flu) Season: Questions & Answers about the 2009-2010 Flu Season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

(16 October 2009)

(2009) H1N1 (Swine Flu). Retrieved from

(16 October 2009). Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

(23 September 2009). Questions & Answers: Antiviral Drugs, 2009-2010 Flu Season. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

Health Experts Weigh in on Salt Debate

Today’s article in the TimesOnline (London, UK) asks “Is salt really the Devil’s ingredient?” Focusing on a recent piece in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), the article questions the growing portrayal of salt as a primary dietary culprit.  The CJASN article, coauthored by Dr. David McCarron, questions the regulation of sodium consumption through public policy, stating that science must ultimately determine the matter.

How to Keep Safe in an Era of Increasing Product Recalls?

Maybe you were affected by the recent peanut butter recall, or last year’s pet food recall, or the holiday toys recalled for lead poisoning. Perhaps you take prescription medications that affected you adversely. As a consumer, you may own or have ingested a product that has been — or will be — recalled because of safety issues. Finding out about recalls can be challenging due to the large number of products available and the lack of a consistent method for manufacturers to reach consumers.

So, how do you keep up with all of these product recalls that could be harmful or even fatal? Most people want to know as soon as possible whether they could be in harm’s way because of a recent purchase. The news media will typically cover such episodes but is it fast enough to get the word out? There are options. You can register your new product if it is a consumer good or check out the company’s website or blogs.
The downside to surfing websites is you have to keep returning to them for updated information. That’s why the government’s electronic notification system is so handy — you can sign up for all notifications, or you can specify a particular type of recall. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive an e-mail asking you to confirm your subscription by replying to the message. Whenever a product manufacturer or a government agency issues a recall, you’ll immediately receive an alert. If you want a blanket subscription — where you get all recall e-mails from the CPSC, FDA or USDA — go to and type your e-mail address in the boxes shown. If you suspect that you have become ill or harmed by a product, you may report an adverse event online directly to the agency through this website that has links to all agencies governing recalls. While some manufactures have a toll free number to report an adverse event, we encourage you to report directly on line too.

Another great way to keep abreast of recalls is Twitter and blogs. If you tweet, use hashtags such as #recalls, #FDA, #,food, #pharma and #foodsafety to keep abreast of the current tweets. Blogs such as are a good resources too. A product recall situation can be an opportunity to demonstrate a high level of commitment to your customer.

National manufacturers of food & beverage, consumer products and pharmaceuticals rely on the Pearl’s own Academic Network, a Stericycle company, to handle adverse event reporting during a recall. Academic Network’s 300- seat capacity call center staffed by trained medical professionals provides adverse event reporting outsourcing services to companies that need additional support during a crisis. In addition to adverse event reporting, Academic Network’s staff of registered nurses, dietitians and highly-trained general operators provide consumer affairs support to the food and pharmaceutical industries for consumer information toll free lines and patient recruitment. The firm’s collective experience provides the ability to respond quickly with acute knowledge and sensitivity to your customers in the event of a product recall or adverse event situation. Call us at 503.228.3217 or visit