Values & Culture Aren't Just Words on a Page

For many companies and agencies, corporate culture and values are words that simply live on a wall or a website. At Discovery Worldwide, our values are so central to the organization that we actively look at our candidates for their alignment and embodiment of these values during the hiring process. We firmly believe that “good people bring out the good in people,” and that starts from the first beginning when our teammates, whether they be a 15+ year veteran or a recent grad, walk through the office door. 

As a whole, we are a healthcare communications agency that combines the power of science, storytelling and innovative delivery to move health forward.  


Optimism, Ownership, Collaboration, Transparency and Courage are the five values that guide all of Discovery’s work and employee programs.  From team work to freely sharing creative information to being courageous in their approach, these are values that Discovery lives by.  From Chicago to Philadelphia, our culture and values are consistent memorable through daily interactions that bring them to life, as well as strategically placed on office walls and swag, like mousepads. 

To ensure that Discovery employees are walking the walk, we’ve even created a peer-based recognition program, DWW Salutes You, for living the values. The program includes… 

  • On-The-Spot recognition in meetings:  Employees “shout out” those who are living the values.  Those celebrated receive a Starbucks gift card. 

  • L.O.V.E. (Living Our Values Everyday) Week: A weeklong celebration of Discovery employee culture and values.  Activities include: Dress like a Value Contest, DWW Feud, a fun game show quizzing employees on their knowledge of the values, DWW Department Fair, an opportunity to learn what everyone at the agency does. 

  • Hiring for Values: Discovery actively screens candidates through interviews and assessments for traits/values such as Optimism (problem solving), Courage (risk taking) and Collaboration (team work), etc. 

  • Appreciation. Applause. Adoration: Discovery believes that they better the world by living their values every day.  For those who demonstrate the value system, Discovery colleagues recognize them.  Stickers, notes of thanks and KIND bars are handed out to those who deserve praise.  Colleagues nominate individuals monthly who exemplify a specific value and they are entered to win a prize.  Lastly, a bi-annual event is held where two individuals who live and breathe Discovery values on a daily basis are recognized and receive a generous cash prize. 

As you can see, values are more than just a piece of paper at Discovery – we strive to live them in and outside of the work that we do. Care to learn more? Follow us @DWWHealth on social media. 

Values in Action: Team Ox takes on the 37th Annual Bike MS City to Shore Bike Tour

At Discovery Worldwide, we embody our 5 values
(Ownership, Transparency, Optimism, Collaboration & Courage)
in and outside of the work day. In "Values in Action," we spotlight the great things that make our teammates the #MovingHealthForward champions that they are.

Team Ox's Values: Collaboration & Optimism

Originally written by: Karen Oxman, Senior Project Manager
Edited by: Julie Stewart, Marketing Specialist

"Well, it’s that time of year again - summer is winding down and much of our spare time is spent pedaling our bikes in preparation for Bike MS City to Shore.

Since 2002, my husband Larry and I have been raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society by participating in The Bike MS City to Shore Bike Tour. On September 23 and 24, we will hit the road again in the 37th annual Bike MS City to Shore Bike Tour, a 180 mile trek from Cherry Hill to Ocean City, New Jersey and back.

Over the past nine years, we have pedaled as part of Team Ox, a team we started in 2008 to help us in the fight against MS. In just nine years with the help of friends like you we have raised over $300,000 for The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. We would love your support again this year as we continue our fundraising efforts in the hopes of one day putting an end to Multiple Sclerosis!

The National MS Society is the leading provider of services and programs for people living with MS and their families. The Society also invests more money into MS research than any other volunteer-driven health organization in the world.

When you donate to a Bike MS event, you become part of the powerful movement that will end MS forever. Thank you in advance for your generosity."

Consider making a donation to Team Ox here.
And follow along their journey through their Facebook Page here.

At the time that this blog was posted, Team Ox had raised $77,172.25 to support the National MS Society! WOW! Way to go Karen, Larry & team!

Opening Up About New Drug Formulations

Recently I had the privilege of creating sales rep training content for a product that’s just about to launch. This new formulation of an old drug has the potential to be very helpful to patients young and old due to its advantages of dosing and convenience.

The reps who were hired to communicate with doctors about this new product were actual vacuum cleaner salespeople up until this year. They’re about to step into the daunting world of healthcare and talk to medical professionals about why they should consider this product for their patients. I raise my glass to them. Hopefully I’ve provided them with all the information they’ll require to understand the existing patient need and explain the solution provided by this product.

Little differences in a drug’s formulation, which is what these reps will be discussing, may seem like a small thing to many people. In fact, sometimes these new products are demonized by the media as frivolous wastes of healthcare investment. What good, they ask, is a new pill that lasts a few hours longer when people are dying of terrible diseases? Isn’t that where pharma profits should be directed?

Wouldn’t it be great if there were more voices in the media supplying examples of patients and families who greatly benefited when a grandmother’s reduced pill burden helped to prevent missed doses? Or when a liquid formulation helped a child who had trouble swallowing pills? Or when a formulation with more stable kinetics prevented the loss of a transplanted organ? Wouldn’t many people respond to a message like this in a positive way? The public may begin to have a better understanding of the challenges and decision-making processes within the pharmaceutical industry if such matters are communicated appropriately and effectively.

I’m not sure if or when the mass media will allow our industry the bandwidth to discuss the importance of new formulations in a nation where every healthcare dollar is so closely scrutinized and pharmaceutical companies are so deeply mistrusted. But as medical communicators, we have an opportunity to help both doctors and patients understand what our clients are doing to improve people’s lives in small but valuable ways, as well as in large and obvious ways. For certain patients, the value of a new form of an old drug can be immeasurable. Even more than a new vacuum cleaner.




 Associate Scientific Director, Scientific and Medical Strategy
Details guy. Soccer dad. Rock 'n' roller.

11 hours, 50 influencers, 1 #SMDayPHL


Sitting on the parkway, the Franklin Institute has been one of Philadelphia’s most beloved attractions, teaching kids and adults alike about advances in science and technology for nearly 300 years. It almost seems too perfect that Social Media Day Philadelphia 2016 takes place in a building so rich with stories of innovators. After 11 hours of learning from a variety of 50 speakers and panelists at this sold out event, here are the main takeaways for the pharmaceutical industry:

  • The magic formula for social media is to be both entertaining and educational with the goal to provide value to the customer at all levels of engagement.


  • It’s important to humanize brands because while people are relatable, companies are not


  • With healthcare social media, the stakes are much higher than regular social media. We’re helping people make critical choices about their health.


  • Regardless of your industry, your customer is on social in some way. You will always lose the game if you don't play.


  • Make the experience as easy as possible for your audience and customer. As a generation’s values shift, the format we use to connect with them must change.


At DUSA, we face the challenge of being creative while being compliant. It is up to us to get our clients innovating on social media to further progress the conversations between brands and consumers.



Social Media Specialist
Whittler of wood. Dangerously curious. Master of the art of the handshake.

Beyond "Sound Science"


Junk science” and “sound science” are two phrases often used in contrast with varied definitions depending on where you look and who you talk to. But what do they mean to us, as healthcare marketers?

“Sound science”, when used by scientists or medical professionals, describes robustly supported science, often confirmed by multiple peer-reviewed studies. On the other hand, data that is cherry picked and analyzed to suit a particular agenda is often described as junk science. It’s a pervasive issue, manifesting in media, government, courtroom and marketing environments alike. Junk science may utilize scientifically sound sources, but science becomes much less sound when it’s used selectively or manipulated to generate over-inflated claims.

Take for example a recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology that has been touted by reporters as good evidence that drinking water from plastic water bottles could fuel obesity. In this study, a human cell model was used to test the effects of BPS (one of the replacement chemicals used in consumer products that are marketed as BPA-free). Researchers observed that exposure of human cells to BPS induced lipid accumulation and increased the levels of markers of fat cell formation. This study takes a great initial step toward sorting out the potential impact of BPS exposure on the human body, but in actuality, data on the effects of BPS are relatively sparse and we are certainly a far cry from being able to draw any meaningful connections between BPS exposure and actual weight gain.

At DUSA, we offer our clients “deep science” and I’ve struggled in the past with what that promise really means. What’s the alternative? Shallow science? It’s clear to me now, however, that junk science is the undesirable alternative.

We use scientific data as a foundation for telling a particular story about a product and ensure that we are always relying on sound scientific sources to craft our messages. But I like to think that deep science means that we go beyond just making sure that our sources are sound. We go beyond verifying accuracy to evaluate the big picture and to dig until we find the root of the evidence. Because without this deep understanding of a product’s scientific foundation, light might not be shed on new perspectives – perspectives that help us ensure we are telling the right story and allow us to better partner with our clients in strengthening a brand’s voice. 


Scientific Director
Learning enthusiast. Detail specialist. World class juggler...of life's responsibilities