Academic Network
 

Academic Network Ranked on BusinessWeek’s Top Inner City 100 List



Innovative Portland-based healthcare communications company named once again one of fastest growing inner city companies in the nation

Portland, Ore. - BusinessWeek Magazine and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) have ranked Academic Network, a Stericycle company, an innovative & award-winning medical and health communications firm 49th on the 11th Annual Top Inner City 100 list. 2009 is the second consecutive year that Academic Network has ranked in the top 100 awardees.

The ICIC was established to recognize the fastest growing companies in America that are based in the “inner city” and provide new business growth potential to their communities. Innovative practices and sustained growth are the predominant traits of the 2009 Inner City 100 award winners. Through an annual national competition, ICIC ranks the 100 fastest-growing businesses in inner city settings. The 2009 award ceremony was held May 20th in Boston.

Academic Network, now a company of Stericycle, Inc., focuses on healthcare communications services to a wide range of corporate and governmental clients involved in the pharmaceutical, medical device, food and beverage sectors. The firm’s expertise in consumer affairs ranges from contact center solutions for consumer affairs and clinical trial recruitment, adverse event reporting, design of disease specific websites and social media strategies directed at consumers and health professionals. These platforms provide clients with creative and tested strategies for interacting with consumers.

The founders of Academic Network, David McCarron, MD, FACP, and Kathleen A. McCarron, veteran healthcare professionals– have each worked with the pharmaceutical and food industries for over thirty years within the academic and private sector. Academic Network was established in the early 1990’s to fill the void in the telecommunications industry for services focusing solely on health-related products and issues.

“Our staff of healthcare professionals that include physicians, nurses and dieticians, our ability to staff our contact centers with healthcare professional, the enhanced adverse events monitoring and use of social media have enabled us to continue to grow our consumer affairs, patient recruitment business and provide adverse event reporting during product recalls for the protection of the consumer,” says the company’s co-founder , Kathleen A. McCarron.

“We are delighted to celebrate businesses like Academic Network that are playing a critical role to revitalize distressed urban communities throughout America,” said Michael Porter, founder and CEO of ICIC and Professor at Harvard Business School. “By creating jobs, income, and wealth for local residents, these high-growth businesses are vivid proof that the most effective way to address economic inequality in America is to equip every community to prosper in the market system. Inner City 100 companies also provide a window into the future where all companies will need to learn to address diverse customers and mobilize diverse workforces.”

2009 ICIC awardees were selected from over 5,000 nominations. Highlights:

  • Inner City 100 companies are 34 percent minority-owned. Nationally, just 8 percent of companies with annual revenues over $1 million are minority-owned.
  • The 2009 Inner City 100 companies are 18 percent owned by immigrants to the United States.
  • 21 percent of the 2009 Inner City 100 are women-owned. Nationally, only 10 percent of companies with over $1 million in annual revenues are women-owned.
  • The 2009 Inner City 100 boasts an average workforce that is 53 percent minority employees and 43 percent inner city residents.
  • The 2009 Inner City 100 pay an average of over $15.00 per hour to hourly employees and $53,000 per year to salaried employees.

Academic Network provides optimal, most cost-effective means for distributing health-related product information to consumers and healthcare providers. Academic Network offers:

Contact Center Solutions: Call center, IVR, online and fulfillment
Clinical Trial Recruitment and Retention: Site support, Telecom and Online Screening
Quality and Regulatory Compliance: Adverse event reporting, recall customer care
Healthcare Operators: Medical, Nutritional, Health; Multilingual Expertise
Medical Advisory Boards: Internationally recognized experts
New Media Communications: Web 2.0, blogging, social media and online reputation monitoring expertise as well as web design and support services

# # #

About Academic Network Academic Network, now a Stericycle Company is a leading medical and health communications company conceived by academic professionals to serve as a singular source for communicating health-related issues to consumers and health professionals. Academic Network works with leading pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and other Fortune 500 companies, as well as healthcare organizations, in developing effective communications strategies through consulting, telecommunications, internet and new media resources. Visit Academic Network at www.academicnetwork.com Please contact Claudia Johnson @Claudia Johnson.com, 503-799-2220 for more information

About the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC’s mission is to promote economic prosperity in America’s inner cities through private sector engagement that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. ICIC brings together business and civic leaders to drive innovation and action, transform thinking and accelerate inner city business growth and investment.

For more information about the 2009 Inner City 100 list, please contact Julia Ely at (617) 292-2383. The entire list can be found at www.icic.org.


Academic Network Named One of Fastest Growing Companies in the Nation



Ranks on BusinessWeek’s Inner City Top 100 List

Congratulations to our Portland team at Academic Network! We are honored to be named one of the fastest growing inner city companies in the nation for the second consecutive year! Academic Network placed 49th on 11th Annual Top Inner City 100 list sponsored by BusinessWeek and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). The ICIC was established to recognize the fastest growing companies in America that are based in the “inner city” and provide new business growth potential to their communities. Innovative practices and sustained growth are the predominant traits of the 2009 Inner City 100 award winners. Through an annual national competition, ICIC ranks the 100 fastest-growing businesses in inner city settings. The 2009 award ceremony was held May 20th in Boston.

Academic Network’s staff of healthcare professionals include physicians, nurses and dieticians. We believe our growth is based on our ability to quickly staff our contact centers with healthcare professionals, our enhanced adverse events monitoring and the use of social media in patient recruitment. We continue to grow our consumer affairs and patient recruitment business, while providing adverse event reporting during product recalls for the protection of the consumer.


Link to the President’s Food Safety Working Group



A new website for The President’s Food Safety Working Group will serve as a hub for citizens and stakeholders to stay informed and provide input on national food safety.

On March 14, 2009, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Food Safety Working Group, chaired by the Secretaries of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

As the President said in his address, the working group “will bring together cabinet secretaries and senior officials to advise me on how we can upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century; foster coordination throughout government; and ensure that we are not just designing laws that will keep the American people safe, but enforcing them.”

This site allow participants to learn about agencies playing a role in food safety, participate in the conversation (i.e. Twitter hashtag #WHsafefood), and find additional resources and activities.


Outbreak, Recall Information Seekers Drive Social Media Adoption



Everyone is online these days, watching and discussing health-related news. Within a few days of news of the swine flu outbreak, the term “swine flu” became 10x more popular on blogs and Twitter than references to the peanut-related salmonella problems earlier this year, according to Nielsen Online, which tracks online buzz.

We tracked the peanut recall ourselves, and were amazed at the rapid spread of information and questions surrounding the recall of hundreds of products made from peanut paste.

Agencies Lead Outbreak and Recall Information Distribution

Government agencies, most notably the CDC and FDA are leading sources of health-related news and recall information. They’re taking a leadership position, especially in getting recall news out via social media means.

On Wednesday, April 29, the CDC’s emergency Twitter feed had blossomed to more than 40,000 followers (up from a few thousand during the peanut recall in February.) Today, their feed has more than 57,000 subscribers.

Who knows how many followers they’ll have as the swine flu news and information spreads?

In an interview on NPR, Andrew Wilson, heading up the Health and Human Services efforts to think about uses of technology for outreach, said, “Not only are we trying to get information out using these tools, but we’re also trying to establish relationships.”

They’ve been learning, as have we at Academic Network, that by establishing online relationships with bloggers, journalists and public health officials, agencies are able to combat misinformation and broadcast warnings extremely quickly.

Recall News and Information Resources

The FDA has a wonderful online resource for consumers - an online alert system that anyone can use to:

♦ Subscribe to recall alerts by email
♦ Report a recall
♦ See all food and pharmaceutical-related recalls

Recalls.gov is a site coordinated by “six federal agencies with vastly different jurisdictions” that have joined together to “create a “one stop shop” for U.S. Government recalls.” On this site, any consumer can report a defective product directly to the government, an important service.

As we support companies with products in recall situations, Academic Network and our parent company Stericycle will to continue to leverage social media to understand and help answer questions consumers are asking around recalled products, and to engage in getting the right information out about products in recall at the most critical time in the most efficient manner.


Information about Swine Influenza



Click here to access the Department of Defense Influenza Watch page and interim guidance documents for clinicians, health care providers and public health emergency officers.


Kudos to SOCAP planners for bringing social media to the forefront of customer care and customer communications!



Kudos to SOCAP planners for bringing social media to the forefront of customer care and customer communications! It is time for social media and marketing to cross-over to the customer care world, and SOCAP delivered!  We were able to bring social media and marketing to a whole new level for the food, beverage and pharma industry at SOCAP (#symp09) this week.  Leading a panel this week at SOCAP (#symp09) on using social media for food and drug recalls, we also tweeted panel news from right there on stage.  We’ve been offering the industry social media and communications services for the last year, and industry leaders are beginning to explore the practical uses of social media as it relates to customer care and advocacy.  We are looking forward to many more conversations with our fellow SOCAP members through social media channels in the upcoming year… SOCAP launched a great social media party, and Academic Network was happy to help lead the first dance!


What if the Peanut Industry Had Used Social Media to Monitor & Engage Consumer Discussions?



Academic Network Leads Social Media Panel Today at SOCAP International Symposium: Social Media is Here to Stay so Companies Need to Prepare to Engage Consumers Online

April 21, 2009 (Chicago) —What if the US peanut industry - and the hordes of products and companies impacted by the recent recall — had used the power of the social media to both monitor online activity and engage consumers in discussions and build relationships? Academic Network, a Stericycle company, today led food, beverage and pharmaceutical companies in a panel discussion at SOCAP International Symposium about preparing companies and employees to engage in social media, a phenomenon that’s here to stay according to panelists.

As consumers flood online to research recent food industry recall issues, conversations are springing up all over the web. Consumers are sharing information - ideas, stories, and experiences - about food and drug recalls, diet, and healthy lifestyles. Forward-thinking companies are beginning to look not only at how their brands are reflected, but how their products are being talked about within online communities.

“Companies need to build online relationships with consumers and customers long before a recall or crisis hits,” says Janet Lee Johnson, senior online strategist, Academic Network, a Stericycle company and SOCAP panelist. “There will be more recalls in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Companies need to anticipate by building online consumer relationships now so when the inevitable happens they can engage another channel of communications and branding — social media.”

Academic Network advises companies getting into social media for the first time to “walk don’t run” when readying for a social media initiative:

♦ Have an established social media policy for your organization - if you do nothing else

♦ Approach social media strategically - have a plan; develop with your media, marketing, pr, consumer affairs, web and online teams

♦ Be sure you have an online listening strategy and don’t be afraid of it - listen in on relevant blogs, websites, Twitter (www.twitter.com) Facebook (www.facebook.com) and more

♦ Bring bloggers and tweeters into corporate media relations outreach - more and more consumers are listening and reading online

♦ Actively engage in discussions online as part of consumer relations, communications and branding strategy

Academic Network, a Stericycle company, and award-winning medical and health communications firm, is now offering services to help clients practice safe, protected consumer engagement in the growing world of Health 2.0 — the use of social media for collaboration between patients, caregivers, medical professionals and other stakeholders. Because the trend toward Health 2.0 is growing so rapidly, Academic Network has started utilizing social media platforms to gather consumer information on new products, recruit patients for clinical trials and help clients successfully build, monitor, manage and track their online reputation as they engage with consumers online.

Follow Academic Network via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


Academic Network on Facebook!



Click here to join us on Facebook.


Social Media and National Security



This link explores the development of a social media strategy to address national security.


Academic Network at SOCAP International Symposium - Update



Discover the value of our health and consumer affairs expertise during the SOCAP International Symposium, held at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel, in Chicago, Illinois on April 19-22, 2009. Come visit us at booth 12 to learn about our diverse range of services. As a new division of Stericycle, our capabilities have expanded from consumer support and education to providing a full range of outsourcing services to better support a recall or retrieval for your product.

On Tuesday, April 21, from 2:30-3:45pm in room Renaissance D, we present Leveraging Social Media in Product Recalls, a panel moderated by internationally recognized speaker David McCarron, M.D. Leading executives in social media communications and consumer affairs explore the power of social media to manage your company’s image and product reputation during a recall.

Panelists include:

David McCarron, MD, FACP
Co-founder, Academic Network, a Stericycle company
Janet Johnson

Senior Online Strategist, Academic Network, a Stericycle company
Mia Novic

Sales Director, Pharma/Healthcare, Nielsen Online
Chris Gidez
Senior Vice President, U.S. Director, Risk Management/Crisis Communications, Hill & Knowlton
Linnea Johnson

Director, Unilever Consumer Services

We are also accessible via company search at www.LinkedIn.com and www.Twitter.com/AcademicNetwork. Follow our tweets at SOCAP! We hope to see you at the meeting.