Medtronic Canada drives transformative technology

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Jennifer Cox is the director of health systems strategies and government affairs at Medtronic Canada.Provided

When it comes to corporate mission statements, there are few as succinct or resonant as that of Brampton, Ont.- based Medtronic Canada. A leading global health care technology company, Medtronic is dedicated to “alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life.”

Medtronic fulfills that mission by pioneering cutting-edge technologies like GI Genius, a computer-aided polyp detection system, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), that is helping to improve the early detection of colorectal cancers, one of the most prevalent, and preventable, of cancers.

But as exciting as such innovations are, they are only part of the mission undertaken by people like Maisie Cheung, Medtronic Canada’s senior director of marketing, and Jennifer Cox, the company’s Vancouver-based director of health systems strategies and government affairs.

Cheung and Cox are among many members of the Medtronic team who work closely with customers, clinicians and government policy-makers to try to expand access to innovative procedures.

“Products and technology are one thing,” says Cheung, a 15-year veteran of Medtronic Canada, “but what keeps me here and makes me excited to go to work every day is the opportunity to make sure more patients have a way to benefit from these procedures.”

Cox concurs. “My job is a non-selling one; I’m here to work with clinicians and health care systems to advocate for better access for products that will improve patient care,” she says. “That advocacy is the best and most rewarding part of my job.”

Both Cheung and Cox note that recently licensed technologies like GI Genius are limited in availability because of restrictions that cap the number of procedures public health authorities will fund.

The same is true for less visible innovations such as neurostimulation technology that helps patients suffering from urinary or fecal incontinence to find relief for their conditions through a simple implant procedure.

“We’ve worked tirelessly with the surgical community to help them make policy-makers aware of the need out there,” says Cheung. “We’ve been successful in helping to get funding for more procedures, but it’s still less than ideal.”

Cheung and Cox are both deeply touched by the stories they have heard directly from patients who benefited from the neurostimulation implants.

“In some cases, urinary or fecal incontinence is the result of a trauma experienced by a woman during childbirth,” notes Cox. “They’ve struggled with this for years and have been so isolated and felt so much shame that they’ve been afraid to go to the grocery store or ice skating with their children. They tell us how happy they are to have this procedure and get their lives back.”

Cheung says that being part of innovative health care solutions is a huge motivating factor for the entire Medtronic team.

“This is the most passionate group of colleagues I’ve ever worked with,” she says. “Everyone is committed to doing the best they can for our customers.”

Cox, who joined Medtronic three years ago after nearly a quarter-century in the health care field, says the company’s reputation is well established.

“Medtronic has always been highly regarded as a company you aspire to work for,” she says. “It’s a huge attraction for people who want to be part of a very patient-centric organization.”

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Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.


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