Whether you’re a parent of a child newly diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) or a college student learning how to manage the disease while living away from home for the first time, it can be difficult navigating life with a chronic illness.
That’s why we created Vertex Guidance and Patient Support (GPS) – a team of over 100 people who currently support over 15,000 U.S patients living with CF who take our medicines and are enrolled in the program. I’ve been incredibly proud to lead the GPS team for the past three-and-a-half years, and our goal is to be with you every step of the way to make your journey a little easier.
If you or a family member are taking one of Vertex’s medicines, you can enroll in the GPS program through your healthcare provider and receive personalized support from your dedicated patient support specialist. They can assist with navigating insurance issues, coordinating shipments with specialty pharmacies, providing educational materials, and sending monthly refill reminders to help you stay on track. They also interact frequently with healthcare providers to share timely information with them and proactively get ahead of issues that may arise affecting a patient’s treatment. Beyond that, our team provides tips on managing general treatment routines and even offers videos featuring our patient support specialists’ favorite healthy recipes.
What’s more, you can always reach your dedicated patient support specialist directly – via phone, text or email – and our team really strives to build long-term relationships with patients, caregivers and health care providers. This means you know there’s someone at Vertex who’s here just for you – someone who has your back, all the time.
But we always know we can do more. As a result, we’re continually looking for new ways we can meet you where you are and better support your long-term care. That means creating new channels of communication – including conversational texting and an app just for patients – as well as developing customized educational materials and resources that are tailored to specific age groups and language preferences.
If you want to learn more about Vertex GPS, please visit our website, call your dedicated patient support specialist if you are already enrolled or talk to your healthcare provider if not currently enrolled.
Below, I’d like you to meet three members of our patient support team. They come from a variety of backgrounds, but what they all have in common is the passion, energy and drive to help and support you throughout your journey.
Anh Nguyen is a principal patient support specialist and has been with Vertex for more than four years. She is responsible for the New York City area and most recently worked as an EMT.
“I’m analytical and I love to problem-solve, but what really drives me is that I love being able to see the development of the patient journey. I want patients to know that I am here and in their corner fighting for them. My goal is to take at least one thing off of their plate – patients don’t always have time to figure things out and make multiple calls to pharmacies and healthcare providers. I want to fit into their lives, to help remove any barriers to treatment. I love the connections I’ve made, and I go home at the end of the day knowing that I’ve made a difference.”
Hayley Adamuska has been a Vertex patient support specialist for just over a year and works with patients in Arizona, New Mexico and Hawaii. Her background is in human development and developmental psychology.
“A lot of people think of GPS as just a call center – patients call in, ask a question and we’ll figure it out. But we’re so much more. It’s always been very clear to me that patients are the focus at Vertex. Whether we’re conducting a welcome call to a new patient or reaching out to existing patients to see how they’re doing, we make connections and build rapport. We’re another extension of their care team, and patients and caregivers know we are always here for them. For example, our new conversational texting capability has been a game changer. It makes the experience more personal – patients know they’re reaching me directly.”
Shawn Dockham joined Vertex five years ago and now leads a team of patient support specialists who cover Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. He moved into patient services after an 11-year career in finance.
“I love this work – it has meaning, and I get to connect with patients. No matter how big we get or how sophisticated our systems are, what’s really important is maintaining that patient connection. When I was a patient support specialist, talking with families was my favorite part of the job. Having them say ‘thank you’ and tell you to thank the scientists and everyone at Vertex – it just gives you the shivers. At the end of the day, realizing that everything you do impacts our patients and impacts the lives of this community – it’s the greatest gift of working here.”