Leadership Q&A with Lissa Mays, RN

What first attracted you to VMS?
When I first learned about this job opening, all the research I did on VMS was very positive. From speaking with others who had previously worked or contracted with VMS, the common theme was that VMS had an outstanding culture. Working for a company that has a great culture is extremely important to me. During my interview process after meeting with Kristin and Sam, I was even more confident the culture at VMS would be a great fit. What also attracted me to VMS is the strong emphasis they put on empowering patients. Patient empowerment puts patients at the heart of it and can be a very powerful tool in improving patient outcomes.

Why do you do what you do?
My entire career I have always been passionate about putting patients first. Whether it is through bedside nursing, pharmaceuticals or education, I have always wanted to make a positive impact on a patient and their family’s lives. VMS is very passionate about putting patient’s first.

How do you “live” the VMS core values?
As a leader, I think forward leaning and challenging the status quo is how we getter better and stronger. I strive to do this every day. We always have a choice to get even better at what we do, and if we can be open to looking at or doing things differently, we go from good to great. As a leader, we have the obligation to encourage those around us to also challenge the status quo. If we can do this, we can inspire others to always do their best.

Medication adherence is a growing issue in the pharmaceutical industry today. Why is this such an important issue, and what do you think are the best ways to tackle this concern? 
Medication adherence is a very important issue that must be constantly addressed. Around 50% of patients do not adhere to their medications correctly, which costs the US healthcare system billions of dollars each year. More importantly, not adhering to medications correctly can lead to treatment failures or even death. In order to address barriers to medication adherence, we first must understand why. There are several factors that can impact this such as fear, side effects, lack of understanding, or not being involved in the treatment decision process. I think the single most important factor to address this issue is patient education. The more we can educate a patient, the more we can empower them to be motivated to manage their disease and medication properly. This is where a Clinical Educator can play a crucial role in addressing this growing concern.

If you could have dinner with anyone (living or deceased), who would it be and why?
If I could meet or have dinner with anyone it would be Clara Barton, who was a pioneering founder of the nursing profession. Nursing education was not formalized during her time, so she self-taught nursing care. What I find so fascinating about her is the nursing care she provided to soldiers during the Civil War. She made it her mission to bring supplies and tend to the wounded soldiers on the battlefield, often risking her own life. She became known as the “Angel of the Battlefield.” After the war, she dedicated her time assisting families to help identify soldiers killed or missing in action. She helped locate over 22,000 missing soldiers for families. She eventually founded the American Red Cross. She was a true humanitarian in every way.

Lissa Mays is a Clinical Field Manager at VMS BioMarketing where she helps keep our field educator networks running at peak performance. She received her BS in nursing from Purdue University and her MS in nursing from Indiana University. Lissa joined VMS in 2018.