Today’s guest post comes from Jamie J. Oldani, a member of Lilly’s State Government Affairs team. Jamie has more than two decades of experience in Government Affairs, legislative policy research, and strategic coalition development.
Contemporary society is constantly evolving, becoming more diverse, and benefiting from a proliferation of technology and information that leads to new scientific discoveries at what seems like breakneck speeds. These advances help us research solutions to problems with increasing specificity to ensure that tomorrow’s medicines will meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population. But, we risk losing momentum if we aren’t working together. In reality, working in partnership with experts in different fields, and with those representing different constituencies, is the key to Lilly delivering on our promise to make life better.
This is just as important in public policy as it is with scientific research. When thinking of public policy solutions for the access and affordability of medications, partnerships allow policymakers, Lilly, and others to:
- Build trust with one another
- Educate ourselves on the needs of our constituencies
- Engage in thoughtful dialogue to develop good public policy
Since 2006, I have served as Lilly’s lead partner with the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL). My involvement with NHCSL took shape with encouragement from members of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, in my home state. I’ve served in a few different leadership roles on NHCSL’s Business Board of Advisors, currently serving as vice chair.
Through our partnership, many productive discussions and educational sessions have occurred in the areas of innovation, health care disparities among minority populations, and possible solutions for addressing overall health care challenges.
While we won’t always agree on policy solutions, the partnership between Lilly and NHCSL has led to trust, understanding, and a willingness to engage one another in an effort to reach our mutual goal of improved health outcomes for our constituencies.
Our partnership also provides NHCSL an opportunity to push us to do better. Last year, Senate Majority Leader Carmelo Ríos Santiago (PR), president of NHCSL, encouraged Lilly and other large corporations to be more “intentional” on diversity and inclusion, with employment, to address the needs of minority communities in the United States.
In a recent historic move, NHCSL entered into an agreement with Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics to hold an annual leadership academy to boost the number of Latina legislators across the country and equip them with the tools necessary to achieve leadership positions in their state legislatures. Lilly is excited to participate with NHCSL on this journey. I’m looking forward to learning from NHCSL’s rising political stars and facilitating relationships with women in corporate leadership positions.
Our relationship with NHCSL is just one example of Lilly’s commitment to partnerships and the benefit to society when we work together to find solutions for our most pressing challenges.