YORK- Snow Companies is a full-service patient-engagement marketing company that was founded in December 2001 by Brenda Snow. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), Snow used her personal experience and entrepreneurial nature to assist people living with chronic conditions. She created a vessel for people to share their stories while helping others who find themselves in similar situations.
Prior to founding Snow Companies, Snow was working in marketing in San Fransisco and began to lose her ability to walk and her vision became distorted. At first, doctors dismissed her ailments. After more investigation, it was determined that she had MS. The initial treatments Snow were prescribed failed to offer relief, and the young mother found herself in a care facility at the age of 30.
After a therapeutic was prescribed, Snow was hopeful that relief was around the corner. When she couldn’t open the packaging or read the product’s instructions, it dawned on her that the manufacturer had never spoken to patients with similar circumstances.
The drug company was within driving distance to where Snow lived. She took it upon herself to pay them a visit in order to share her insight and was soon hired as a consultant. After moving to James City County, she founded Snow Companies and became the company’s first Patient Ambassador.
“We believe very strongly that you need to partner very closely with the people you ultimately serve,” said Blake Shewey, president of Snow Companies.
Pharmaceutical or biotech companies that are interested in bringing a drug to market put their products through different trial phases before it’s commercialized and marketed on a broader scale. Snow Companies’ goal is to build connections between brands and their patients. Shewey said that bridging the gap between patients and the biopharmaceutical companies that serve them is paramount.
“We’ll sit down with people and really try to understand what their unique challenges are,” said Shewey. “We educate them and structure programs that can support being able to give real patients a seat at the table in terms of informing them about the types of products they’re bringing to market, the services that sit around that, and ultimately, with a commercialized product, being a part of educating the broader community on what the disease is and the importance of being able to have informed conversations with your physician to make sure you can connect with the product that’s best for you.”
Snow Companies captures experiences via in-depth conversations with patients and caregivers through its patient ambassador flagship program. At the core of their mission, the ambassadors share their personal journeys as outreach to educate and inspire other patients to take an active part in their healthcare.
“Often people don’t realize they have something extraordinary to share,” said Shewey. “But, in reality, what one person thought was an ordinary experience can be life-changing for someone else. Companies benefit tremendously because they learn from patient experiences and have these amazing individuals assist them in helping to design programs that can support the product or company.”
To commemorate two decades of patient storytelling, Snow Companies has launched 20stories.com, a compilation hub that celebrates the thousands of ambassadors who have shared their stories and impacted other lives along the way.
Beverly Williams is one of the patient ambassadors who is featured on Snow’s “20 Years of Amazing Stories” project. Williams, a retired award-winning journalist, was officially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in 1987 when she was a senior studying at Virginia Tech. At the time of her diagnosis, Williams said she was surprised because she thought the disease only affected elderly people.
A patient ambassador since 2007, Williams said she’s had every major joint replaced in her body with the exception of her left hip. While her experience hasn’t been easy, she’s thankful Snow Companies is accompanying her on the journey.
“One of the aspects that I really appreciate about Snow is that their ambassadors focus on a lot of the diseases that you don’t hear about as often as some of the other ones,” said Williams.
She’s appreciative that Snow Companies has afforded her a platform to discuss her debilitating disease with others.
“It opened up another part of me while dealing with my RA,” said Williams. “Having the chance to go on speaking engagements to talk with other people who are dealing with RA has been cathartic. Snow makes it possible to let other people know that they’re not in this alone.”
Currently, Snow has ten patient ambassadors’ journeys featured on “20 Years of Amazing Stories” and will continue adding stories to commemorate the milestone anniversary.
With close to 400 full and part-time employees, Snow Companies moved from 219 Bulifants Blvd. in Michaels Commons to a 40,000 square foot building at 133 Waller Mill Rd. in upper York County in 2017. With a Google-esque work culture, the company’s employee workspace offers a pool table, video games, nursing suites, and a gym accompanied with shower facilities in addition to other employee perks. Snow Companies is a part of the Omnicom Health Group of agencies.
For more information on Snow Companies, click here to visit their website.