Sander Last is 37 years old and lives in Maastricht, the Netherlands, together with his wife and his few-months-old beautiful daughter Pleun. He has been working for Medtronic for ten years now and you could describe Sander as a motivated, involved, socially-committed and organized person who is also maybe a little stubborn (in a good way!) at times.
In his spare time, Sander enjoys quality time with his young family, even more since the birth of his daughter. And when there is time left during the week, he is actively performing sports; playing hockey, swimming, fitness or hiking. Although Sander enjoys his sports a lot, he equally enjoys going into town for a coffee, a drink with friends or staying at home for a movie.
My current job title is Value-Based Health Care (VBHC) Business Developer at the Medtronic Bakken Research Center (BRC). As Medtronic, we are devoted to transforming healthcare into a value-based ecosystem. This means that we commit to not only deliver excellent patient outcomes via our technology and services, but we are also dedicated to take responsibility for these outcomes via our future business models. In this perspective, I work hard to operationalize VBHC within Medtronic. More specifically: I ensure that our clinical, research and scientific talents, resources and knowledge get embedded into the innovative VBHC projects that we implement together with IT, our Integrated Health Solutions (IHS) team, our business units and other stakeholders. Innovation is a team sport. We can only be successful in VBHC through collaboration and partnerships, both internally and externally.
At college, I wasn’t the best example of a good student. Yet I enjoyed life to the max in different areas (likely making my parents nervous). After switching studies several times and taking a break from college for some time, I started my part-time Information Management bachelor study. I combined this with my first job at a large computer brand call center. Here, I quickly got involved in providing trainings to employees.
After two years, I noticed that I was ready to start using the knowledge that I had gained during my study about business administration and IT. So, I moved to another company to become a functional application engineer. Here, I was involved in an order-to-cash change program to standardize these processes within three business units.
Meanwhile, I finished my bachelor, and ten years ago, I joined Medtronic as a business system analyst. In this role, I became jointly responsible for the deployment of the clinical trial management systems (CTMS), with the goal of standardizing the clinical study management within the Medtronic clinical teams globally.
After being in that role for three years and much of my deployment work completed, Medtronic created a new shared service organization for clinical operations (data management, monitoring, safety reporting, contracts and payments). I joined that organization from the start, as I was eager to use my knowledge to contribute to processes and tools for the development of core business processes for this newly formed organization. Contributing to the growth of this organization (previously called ICO, now MC2) really became my passion. I held the position of Global Strategic Account Manager. And during my time here, we eventually grew from about 40 FTEs in 2012 to about 900 FTEs globally in 2016.
In 2016, I decided to go back to college, because I was intrigued by business and market development. I started my executive MBA at Maastricht University. Meanwhile, I got the opportunity to take on my current role in 2017, in which I was able to put my newly learned knowledge directly into practice. Only recently at the end of 2018, I obtained my Executive MBA degree.
My main challenge is my impatience. The concept of VBHC is very promising but also super new and innovative, and there is not much knowledge available yet on how to apply this. The time from initial ideas and experiments to a large-scale adoption and implementation of an innovation is often long. This is the case for products, but also for concepts like VBHC.
EVERY DAY, I learn at all possible levels, and I work with great, interesting and inspiring people around me.
What I really like, is that we work on something tangible and meaningful: improving our patients’ lives and from there, contribute to a better, healthier society.
The concept of VBHC aims to solve multiple structural challenges in healthcare. For example, stopping the continuous rise of costs and reducing the variation in outcomes of care. By addressing these challenges, we can eventually ensure that more people in need receive the best possible care and therapies. And this directly relates to our mission:
To contribute to human welfare by application of biomedical engineering in the research, design, manufacture, and sale of instruments or appliances that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life.
On a daily basis, I am fed by different perspectives and knowledge from others around me. In my turn, I feed others with similar information. This creates a continuous circle of new learnings, insights and collaborations. From here, together we progress and create a new, better future.
I remember my first day at the company. I was so impressed by the international setting and diversity of my colleagues. Switching languages constantly, talking Dutch while meeting local people from the Province of Limburg, and switching to English when talking to colleagues coming from all corners of the globe. It felt very energizing and inspiring from day one, even though I needed some time to adjust.