Our response to COVID-19
At MJH Life Sciences™, our mission is to provide health care providers with the resources they need to enhance patient outcomes. To support clinicians during this uncertain time, we are continuing to develop timely, critical and accurate information for those on the front lines.
Please check out our schedule of webinars covering COVID-19 across all our brands.
If you’d like to read more about our response to this pandemic, please see the article below. And if you’d like to help those on the front lines, consider donating to the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund through this link . We’re matching April donations.
MJH Life Sciences™ Takes Innovative Charge During COVID-19 Health Crisis
By Rachel Narozniak, M.A.
Preventive measures aimed at flattening the curve of COVID-19 have altered standard patterns of information exchange in health care, and MJH Life Sciences™, the largest privately held, independent, full-service medical media company in North America, is innovatively adapting and expanding its educational offerings to ensure that health care professionals on the front lines have access to the resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The majority of health care professionals are used to interacting with their peers, whether through the events that we host or national meetings. Over the past few weeks, we have seen meeting after meeting either postponed or canceled. The latter is where it becomes concerning because canceled meetings leave a big gap in the educational information that needs to be shared with clinicians,” said Mike Hennessy Jr., president and CEO of MJH Life Sciences™.
Although information on the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic is changing continuously, the commitment of MJH Life Sciences™ to the timely dissemination of credible clinical insights remains consistent. To equip health care professionals with the knowledge necessary to confront this health crisis and bridge the informational gaps associated with COVID-19, the company has expanded its portfolio of digital resources to include live webinars featuring leading disease specialists and other key opinion leaders.
During the week of March 23, MJH Life Sciences™ hosted seven different webinars, six of which were focused on COVID-19, said Hennessy. “We have programs in oncology, pharmacy, infectious disease and the veterinary and payer spaces. This past week alone, we educated more than 5,000 health care professionals, all from a virtual setting,” he noted, adding that the company will continue to coordinate webinars across health care specialties for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of note, many of these webinars were organized in just a week to 10 days, according to MJH Life Sciences™ Vice Chairman Jack Lepping. “That is a testament to how our team is able to put together these events at a moment’s notice with an impressive group of renowned leaders,” he said. “We have to act quickly and be prepared for what’s coming down the pike tomorrow, all while maintaining quality and disseminating information in an extremely expedited fashion.”
The diversity of the company’s health care communication brands — such as OncLive®, the nation’s leading multimedia resource focused on providing oncology professionals with current and incisive information on patient care, and Contagion®, a prominent voice in the infectious disease space — allows MJH Life Sciences™ to “talk about the health crisis in the context of each health care specialty,” Lepping explained.
The company’s capacity to engage an array of clinical audiences across its broad network of brands, coupled with its ability to anticipate and meet informational needs via webinars and other digital offerings, positions MJH Life Sciences™ as a definitive leader in health care communications, one that is taking innovative charge at a critical time in medicine.
Furthermore, the company’s dedication to developing digital programs to deliver accurate and actionable insights to the health care community during the COVID-19 pandemic has not gone unnoticed, according to Silas Inman, senior vice president of content. Health care professionals have been “very receptive to these new formats,” he said. “We polled a group of clinicians at the end of one of our webinars and got an overwhelmingly positive return. Not only did they appreciate the webinar, but over 99% said they wanted more like it.”
The company’s vast menu of virtual offerings is but one part of its broader library of COVID-19 resources, Inman added. “In the past few months, we’ve developed more than 500 articles across brands covering the breadth of COVID-19, with close to 20 new articles added each day,” he said. “This content is providing useful information across multiple specialties on how to adjust day to day to the disease in the health care setting.”
Tailoring Web Content to the Times
Sustaining continuing medical education (CME) programming is a key focus of the MJH Life Sciences™ range of recent webcasts. Produced in partnership with the MJH Life Sciences™ brand Physicians’ Education Resource® (PER®) — a leading provider of live, online and print CME activities — and fellow MJH franchises Contagion®, Pharmacy Times Continuing Education™ (PTCE) and OncLive®, the self-funded webinars are free, delivering critical information to clinicians without a price barrier.
On March 25, Contagion® and PER® hosted “COVID-19 for Clinicians: What You Need to Know,” a live CME-certified webinar that drew a virtual audience of more than 1,300 attendees.
“Once the virus began spreading person to person, we moved quickly to secure the top names in infectious disease, all of whom went above and beyond to make time for Contagion® in between pressing commitments such as CNN interviews and calls with their respective governors,” said Alexandra Ward, M.A., the publication’s editorial director.
Invited speakers of the webinar included Helen W. Boucher, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, chief of the division of geographic medicine and infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Center; Carlos del Rio, M.D., director of clinical sciences and international research at the Emory Center for AIDS Research at the Emory University School of Medicine; Stanley Deresinski, M.D., clinical professor of medicine in the department of infectious diseases at Stanford University; and Jason C. Gallagher, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDP, FIDSA, BCPS, Contagion® editor-in-chief and a clinical professor at Temple University’s School of Pharmacy.
“COVID-19 for Clinicians: What You Need to Know” is evidence that the core belief of MJH Life Sciences™ — that collaboration saves lives — has remained unchanged. “We are now simply collaborating virtually to save lives,” Ward said. “Being able to partner with PER® and provide CME for this event makes it all the more valuable to the clinicians we serve.”
The collaborative webcast was succeeded by a fellow live, CME-certified cooperation, “COVID-19 Essentials for Pharmacists and What You Need to Know Right Now,” hosted on March 28 and produced by PTCE and PER®. Expert panelists discussed the epidemiology of COVID-19 and current evidence on potential treatments and addressed COVID-19 questions frequently posed by patients and care providers alike.
The panel comprised Contagion®’s Gallagher as well as Daniel T. Abazia, Pharm.D., BCPS, CPPS, associate director of pharmacy at Capital Health, and Rupal Patel Mansukhani, Pharm.D., CTTS, FAPhA, a clinical associate professor at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
The CME-certified continuing webcast series “COVID-19 and Cancer Care: What Oncologists Need to Know Today” complemented these individual CME offerings. On March 23, the first installment of the OncLive® and PER® cooperative engaged more than 1,150 attendees, who tuned in to hear key opinion leaders in oncology discuss the risk of COVID-19 for patients with hematologic and solid tumor malignancies, optimal preventive protocols for cancer facilities across inpatient and outpatient settings, and therapeutic strategies.
Featured speakers included Amelia A. Langston, M.D., executive vice chair of the department of hematology and medical oncology at the Emory University School of Medicine, director of the bone marrow and stem cell transplant program at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and medical director of the Winship Cancer Network; Ruben A. Mesa, M.D., FACP, director of The University of Texas Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center; Hope S. Rugo, M.D., FASCO, professor of medicine and director of Breast Oncology Clinical Trials Education at the University of California San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Cardinale Smith, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of medicine in the department of hematology and medical oncology and an associate professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“Oncology has been a focal point for our company. Many of the thought leaders we work with reached out to us and asked that we take an active role here, and we were happy to do so,” said Hennessy. “We thought pulling together a large pool of top physicians to interact with community physicians was crucial at this time, and based on the overwhelming turnout that we saw in week one and the feedback that we received, we said, ‘This is something that we’re going to continue every week, at least until our audience feels that they have a good grasp of what they need to be doing.’”
Taking Conferences Digital
Beyond COVID-19-focused articles and webinars, the transition of various live events and conferences from an in-person to a digital format has been a driving force of innovation at MJH Life Sciences™ during the pandemic.
On March 12, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo formally banned all public gatherings of more than 500 people. The new rule was established just one day before PER®’s 13th Annual Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Congress® and Other Genitourinary Malignancies conference was scheduled to take place at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York, New York. Beyond this statewide limitation, oncology institutions across the nation had also started to impose travel restrictions on clinicians.
However, MJH Life Sciences™ was already ahead of Cuomo’s announcement and the travel bans. “We made the decision 48 hours before Friday (March 13) to pivot and turn this into a virtual meeting, given the travel restrictions on faculty that we were hearing about,” said Ed Bosak, director of studio operations. “Our first action item was to specify the best interface for allowing the conference to appear as if it were planned to be completely virtual, even though 48 hours prior, it wasn’t.”
Bosak and fellow studio operations personnel worked around the clock to set up a studio in a boardroom at the MJH Life Sciences™ headquarters in Cranbury, New Jersey. From there, Bosak and his team drew upon the internal resources of the company’s in-house studio to facilitate the digital meeting. This included the green screen technology that studio operations regularly uses for panel filmings, such as the OncLive® Peer Exchange.
After establishing an infrastructure that would allow a live broadcast of the conference, MJH Life Sciences™ brought the program co-chairs — Leonard G. Gomella, M.D., FACS, director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center Network of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Daniel P. Petrylak, M.D., co-leader of Cancer Signaling Networks at Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut — to Cranbury to host the meeting as planned.
Streamed live on the PER® website, the 13th Annual Interdisciplinary Prostate Cancer Congress® and Other Genitourinary Malignancies brought clinical evidence, pathologic insights and information on established and emergent treatment strategies alike to its viewers. Those uninhibited by COVID-19 institutional travel policies could still attend the event at The Roosevelt Hotel, view the broadcast from the venue and complete assessments to earn CME credit.
“It really exemplified our capacity to come together as a team to identify the most appropriate solutions, get the right troops on the ground and understand the intuitive software that the doctors needed to participate,” Bosak said. “We pride ourselves in our video innovation, and as we continue to innovate, our solutions will only get better.”
Lepping added, “Our ability to pull this off in two days was unprecedented.” The world-class studio at the MJH Life Sciences™ headquarters was key to the transition’s success. “Friends of mine in the business were amazed that we were able to do this and said they had tried to find studios to handle some of their canceled events, but the studios in New York were completely booked,” Lepping explained. “This gives you an idea of how important the studio was during this time.”
The dynamic approach of the MJH Life Sciences™ studio operations team to presenting the conference, amid challenges posed by COVID-19, extended to the 5th Annual School of Gastrointestinal Oncology® conference, broadcast live on March 21.
The company’s seamless, strategic transition of its live events to digital format is a product of its sustained focus on developing original video offerings, according to Hennessy. “We’ve always found video production to be extremely important, and it’s something that we started more than a decade ago, when it was probably a little ahead of its time in this space,” he said. “We will continue to push the envelope in terms of what we’re able to do from a video standpoint.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so will the MJH Life Sciences™ collection of clinician-facing multimedia resources, allowing the company to fulfill its mission of delivering imperative insights to those who need them most, to inform practice and improve patient outcomes.
“Through these virtual events, webinars and articles, we’ve educated tens of thousands of clinicians. Each of these doctors, nurses and pharmacists is treating patients on the front line — they’re the real heroes of this pandemic,” said Inman. “One of our goals as a company is to improve patient care worldwide, and by arming these heroes with knowledge, we feel as if we’re fulfilling our mission in a highly meaningful way.”