There are a number of health organizations that offer various programs to help people improve their health; however, one of the issues that Sunny Patel, Health Dialog’s director of clinical products and strategy noted is fragmentation. “Many of these organizations specialize in one area, but you don‘t have a need for just one type of intervention. People have multiple problems or issues. If you only focus on one area, you’re only going to help a small subset of the population,” Sunny explained.
“Health Dialog focuses on comprehensive interventions,” Sunny said. “As an example, with our Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program, we view all the medications the member is taking, plus their health conditions. We take a deep dive into what might be a potential problem because of a medication and what changes can be made. Not only lifestyle changes, like diet and exercise, but also digging into social support, as well as how to stimulate both body and mind to be as healthy as possible. We look at all of the different facets. To say it another way, people are complex. I think everyone can relate to that concept. In order to really help, you need to be able to touch on all of the individual complexities to really make an impact.”
As the director of clinical products and strategy, Sunny helps identify how Health Dialog can continue to meet the evolving and multi-faceted needs of members, including developing new tools. Sunny explained his goal is to drive new clinical solutions and tools that in turn drive growth and allow Health Dialog to innovate more and improve care. As an example, he has worked on developing and enhancing platforms that increase efficiencies. By providing information in one place rather than multiple systems, Care Navigators are able to more quickly identify potential member issues and help them overcome medication adherence barriers.
The ability to innovate is what drove Sunny, a licensed pharmacist, to a career in population health. Sunny started his career with Health Dialog’s sister company, Elixir, a pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company, after receiving his doctorate in pharmacy from Northeast Ohio Medical University. “A pharmacist can have many different career paths. In school, I was mainly exposed to pharmacists working in a hospital or retail setting. However, in my last year of pharmacy school, I completed two different elective rotations in informatics and formulary management. The teams I worked with at these rotations really opened my eyes to the varied opportunities available to a pharmacist,” Sunny explained. After serving Elixir for nine years, Sunny transitioned to Health Dialog in 2021. He has enjoyed the flexibility this career path has provided, allowing him to focus on projects and be innovative in helping members achieve whole health for life.
In his 10 years with the Elixir/Health Dialog family, Sunny has seen a lot of changes and innovation. Not just in his personal life, having married in 2015 and had his first child 17 months ago, but as Elixir and Health Dialog integrate more with each other and their parent company, Rite Aid. There’s a much stronger emphasis on skillsets and tools with improved analytics and a national reach to meet the changing and varied needs of our clients and members.
Sunny concluded, “We have a lot of great programs that reach people and really impact their lives in a positive way.”
Name: Sunny Patel
Title: Director of Clinical Products and Strategy
Tenure with Health Dialog: 1 year, plus nine years at sister company, Elixir
Education: PharmD from Northeast Ohio Medical University
Family: Married for seven years with 17-month-old daughter and dog Lucy
Hobbies: Spending time with friends, investing, whiskey tasting and reading