Q&A With Lorie Spence Co-Founder of Bridge Medical Communications
A partnership built on a passion for patient care, co-founders and STEM entrepreneurs, Lorie Spence and Carolyn Pritchard built CONNECT Communications, a division of Bridge Medical Communications, to fill a gap in the healthcare system.
With their combined expertise of over 40 years in the healthcare industry and their personal experience navigating the system for family members, Lorie and Carolyn quickly realized the disparity between “patient outcome”—often spoken about among healthcare professionals—and the reality of the patient experience.
We’re honored to have the opportunity to interview co-founder Lorie Spence. With over 20 years experience in the healthcare industry, Lorie has witnessed firsthand the evolution from small molecules and a single physician prescriber, to precision medicine models and a more holistic approach to medicine centered on patient care and advocacy. Leveraging her business and communications background, she co-founded Bridge as a way to help healthcare professionals adapt and evolve within this rapidly changing environment of therapeutic advances.
Read more about Lorie’s inspiring story below.
Please introduce yourself and tell us in your words, about your inspiring story and how you got to where you are today.
My journey has been a fascinating evolution. Initially, I set out on a path towards a legal career, but my time at university exposed me to the world of literature, and helped me get more social, prompting a change in direction. I shifted gears, pursuing a post-diploma in public relations, and entered the field with enthusiasm.
During my career, I had the privilege of working in consumer PR and healthcare communications, where my passion truly ignited. The complex and dynamic healthcare industry, particularly in pharmaceuticals and biologics, captivated me. To deepen my expertise, I pursued an MBA. However, my agency experiences left me yearning for more autonomy and the ability to provide tailored solutions to Canadian clients. This desire led to the founding of Bridge and CONNECT Communications, where we aim to leverage our industry connections to offer specialized medical communication and innovative problem-solving, making a significant impact in the healthcare landscape.
What are some podcasts you can’t imagine your day without and why?
I have two podcasts that I can’t imagine my day without. The first is Mel Robbins’ podcast, and what truly resonates with me is Mel’s authentic approach and her commitment to sharing knowledge and insights with her community. She’s on a mission to inspire and uplift, and her journey from challenging times to where she is today is truly remarkable. Her ability to transcend difficulties and focus on a greater purpose is incredibly inspiring.
The second podcast that’s a must-listen for me is ‘The Goal Digger Podcast’ by Jenna Kutcher. What sets Jenna apart is her remarkable evolution as an entrepreneur and podcast host over the past three years. She started as a solo entrepreneur and has grown into a multifaceted team, expanding her offerings and even collaborating with industry giants like Tony Robbins. Jenna’s commitment to constant improvement and efficiency is something I find truly motivating. She’s not afraid to pivot and explore new approaches, which aligns with our own ethos of continuous growth and adaptability
What are your top 3 mobile apps that help you stay organized and on top of your game?
My top three mobile apps that help me stay organized and on top of my game are a fitness app, a banking app, and WhatsApp. I use a Apple fitness app to stay on track with my health and fitness goals, ensuring I maintain a balanced lifestyle. The banking app is essential for me as an entrepreneur, allowing me to efficiently manage my finances and stay in control of my business expenses. Lastly, WhatsApp keeps me connected with friends and family, helping me maintain strong personal relationships even in the midst of a busy schedule.
How do you use social media in your business?
In my perspective, LinkedIn provides an outstanding platform to showcase our expertise, foster connections with industry peers, and bring attention to the achievements and innovations that characterize our business. These combined efforts not only bolster our professional network but also play a pivotal role in elevating our company’s presence and recognition within the industry.
LinkedIn serves as our primary platform at Bridge and CONNECT Communications for connecting with peers, clients, and industry experts, helping us stay informed about industry trends. Additionally, our Facebook page CONNECTing — Canadian Patient Perspectives in Health complements this by providing a platform where we share knowledge and information, reducing gaps in healthcare. We actively engage with our
customers on both platforms, addressing inquiries and gathering feedback to enhance our products and services while ensuring a positive customer experience.
Can you share some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from your successes and failures in business?
One of the most significant challenges I’ve encountered in business, which I wouldn’t categorize as a pitfall but more as an ongoing balancing act, is the constant tension between focusing on the business’s long-term direction and managing day-to-day operations efficiently. It’s like walking a tightrope.
A crucial lesson I’ve learned, applicable to both successes and setbacks, is the importance of decisiveness. Indecision can be detrimental, akin to moving backward. Taking action and being adaptable are paramount. This is aligned with one of our core values: adaptability. Making a decision allows for adaptation and correction if needed.
Regarding failures, I’d lean more towards labeling them as opportunities to learn. Learning from these experiences, whether it’s pivoting, avoiding repetition, or moving forward, has been invaluable. Often, these opportunities center around resourcing, especially in a small entrepreneurial business. It’s about having a team that shares the same vision and goals, which is essential for success.
What are the three most important habits to be a successful entrepreneur?
When it comes to being a successful entrepreneur, three vital habits stand out. Firstly, maintaining a balance of mental and physical wellness is crucial. A healthy mind and body provide the foundation for sound decision-making and sustained energy. Secondly, effective time management is essential. It’s about prioritizing tasks wisely, ensuring that the most important ones receive the attention they deserve. This can be challenging, as it’s often tempting to focus on routine tasks instead of those that truly matter.
Lastly, to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be open to ideas and learning so you and your business continuously evolve with changing tides.
What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me usually begins with journaling to clear my thoughts. Afterward, I dedicate time to my workout, which helps set a positive tone for the day. Following that, I take a moment to prepare and get organized. When my workday begins, I prioritize the first two to three hours for focused, priority tasks, avoiding any meetings during this time. Meetings are usually scheduled for the later part of the day.
After tackling my priorities, I make sure to set aside some downtime in the evening. I enjoy having dinner with my husband, and in the evening, I often find time to read or engage in any other activities that bring me relaxation and fulfillment.
How do you boost your self-esteem in moments of doubt?
Boosting self-esteem during moments of doubt often involves reminding myself that failure isn’t the only outcome. It’s about understanding that the path might change or take more time, and that’s perfectly okay. The key is not to succumb to fear and to keep moving forward, one step at a time.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment and why?
My biggest accomplishment, I would say, is the journey of sustaining an entrepreneurial business for over 12 years with a co-founder. In an industry where businesses often change course or partnerships don’t last, this ongoing collaboration represents a significant achievement. It’s a testament to our shared vision, commitment, and the ability to navigate challenges effectively.
What initiatives or actions do you believe are crucial for fostering a more supportive and inclusive business environment for women?
Our foremost commitment is to cultivate an inclusive and supportive business environment that particularly benefits women. Our approach centers on breaking down barriers and empowering all team members. This means ensuring that career growth opportunities are accessible to everyone, irrespective of gender. We make a point of
recognizing and rewarding talent without any gender bias, and we actively encourage women to explore leadership roles within our organization.
In addition, we’ve introduced a range of policies designed to enhance work-life balance. We recognize that women often manage a multitude of responsibilities outside of the office, so we’ve implemented measures like flexible work arrangements, comprehensive family leave policies, and remote work options. These initiatives are instrumental in creating an environment where every team member, especially women, can thrive and succeed.
Want more inspiring interviews?
Learn about Smitey, Revolutionizing The Way Short Women Buy Clothes, or read about Lorie’s co-founder in a Q&A With Carolyn Pritchard Co-Founder of Bridge Medical Communications, or learn about Fashion, Sustainability, and PR with Narvan Founder & Creative Director Marjar Kragar, part of our interview series spotlighting successful women in business.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?