Ruth left a large pharmaceutical company to start a nonprofit that explores what it truly means to be healthy.
In October 2015, I moved to Amsterdam to take an amazing job: Global Head of Patient Advocacy at an international pharmaceuticals company. I worked with a fun and energetic team, I had a great boss, and I was growing professionally. I felt enabled and I was happy.
As with any job, there are frustrations. In late 2017, the company announced a significant restructuring. I was retained, yet felt disappointed.
I joined THNK Class 13 in March 2018. The very first day was also my birthday: THNK was a present to myself. It gave me space to explore my “what if” ideas. The faculty and my classmates helped me strengthen my confidence and in August – between module 2 and 3 – I made the change. I stepped away from my job, I freed myself from a corporate agenda, and my ideas started to become real. The first #PersonBeforePatient was born.
Emotionally, I felt elated and terrified all at the same time. I had spent the majority of my working life in a structured working environment, with a regular paycheck. I also felt passionate about the new, and this made me feel calm – the eye of the storm; chaos around me, but in the middle there was a peacefulness.
#PersonBeforePatient is now an incorporated and registered not-for-profit organization in the Netherlands. We are exploring what it means to be healthy: physically, emotionally, socially, environmentally, and economically.