Vince Foglia, Chairman and CEO Sage Products Inc.
Sage Products Inc (Cary, IL) has a core belief in prevention. The company believes that evidence-based interventions will lead to improved outcomes. This particular belief led to the birth of Interventional Patient Hygiene, a nursing action plan focused on fortifying patients’ host defenses with evidence-based care. By promoting a return to the basics of nursing care, Sage’s advanced patient hygiene products and programs help healthcare facilities improve clinical outcomes by reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infection and skin breakdown. Sage’s Chairman and CEO, Vince Foglia recently provided an up-close-and personal look inside the company’s vital role in the healthcare industry and his day-to-day roles and responsibilities in overseeing the business as its corporate commander-in-chief. Q: Sage Products is a worldwide leader in disposable healthcare products. The company’s core belief is in prevention — that evidence-based interventions will lead to improved outcomes. As the Chairman and CEO, what do you feel our readers should know first and foremost about your company? A: Sage is a manufacturer, and we pride ourselves in developing innovative products that solve real problems in the healthcare industry. From the very beginning—it’s hard for me to believe it’s been 40 years—we’ve been focused on prevention. Today, our products help prevent adverse hospital-acquired events—specifically skin breakdown, pressure ulcers, healthcare-associated pneumonia and surgical site infections. We believe strongly in evidence and outcomes. Our products have the science behind them to prove they really do work. I also think it's important for readers to know that we are a true American manufacturer, and manufacturing in America is not dead. I’m very proud to say that all of our products are made in the US. When they’re made here, we control the quality and that’s an area we won’t compromise. Q: Please describe your work experiences that prepared you for your current position as Sage’s CEO. Also, how passionate are you about the health and medical fields? A: My first position in healthcare almost 50 years ago was as a salesperson for MacBick, which sold medical supplies to hospitals. One of our product lines was focused on driving down hospital-acquired infection. I learned right away that nurses were receptive to products that would improve care and help patients. Even with today’s demands—paperwork, technology, etc. nurses still want the very best for their patients. That will never change. It was during that time that I developed my passion for healthcare, because of the dedication I saw from nurses to their patients. I wanted to be a part of it. I am truly passionate about healthcare. It’s been my life’s work and dedication for almost 50 years. I love this industry. I know countless medical professionals, and I admire the work they do. I’ve seen many dear friends and family members receive care, and even I have experienced what it’s like to be a patient. We’ve made great advances in healthcare, and I think there are many more to come. I’m driven to contribute in a positive way for the good of all. Q: Please expand on the latest news surrounding Sage’s products given to the Chilean Miners: A: One of our distributors in Chile made the connection to the rescue effort and donated our Comfort Bath® washcloths and Shampoo Cap. Both are prepackaged, rinse-free products—the very same ones used in hospitals. Sadly, they’ve been called on to serve a need in many disaster situations when clean water isn't available. Our products were used in relief operations during Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti. In these situations, we donated a substantial amount of product. They've also been used by the men and women of our military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our desire to be ‘clean’ is rooted in our culture. Whether you're in the middle of a natural disaster, a war, or if you’re a patient lying in a hospital bed, cleanliness is very basic to our dignity as human beings. It was great to know that our product may have helped make a terrible situation a little easier for the Chilean miners. But nothing was more gratifying than to see those folks reunited successfully with their families. Q: Please tell our readers more about Sage’s products for heel protection and incontinence: A: We developed our Prevalon® Pressure-Relieving Heel Protector in response to many requests by nurses for a better way to prevent the growing problem of heel pressure ulcers. Despite best efforts by nurses using pillows, expensive mattresses, and multiple heel protectors, incidence numbers are climbing. Pillows work, but they never stay in position to offload heels. Our product is really an engineered pillow that is designed to stay on and keep the foot and heel in proper position to float the heel. As an added benefit, it helps prevent plantar flexion contracture. Prevalon has quickly become the number one brand of heel protection because it works. We back it with published studies showing clinical outcomes and financial cost avoidance. Comfort Shield® Barrier Cloths were developed in response to nursing studies that showed barrier creams were often not applied to the skin after incontinence cleanup. The traditional, multi-step approach to cleanup and barrier application left a lot of room for inconsistent care. Shield Barrier Cloths were the first product to combine all the steps into one easy-to-use cloth for cleanup and barrier application. Again, we have published studies to prove they increase compliance to protocol and yield extraordinary treatment and prevention outcomes for Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis (IAD). This is important because IAD is a proven risk factor for pressure ulcers. If you can prevent IAD, you can save tremendous costs for your facility. Q: What are some of the company’s biggest accomplishments thus far? What are some of your key products that clearly distinguish your brand? A: Let me start by saying that we have been named a “Great Place to Work” by the Society for Human Resource Management (http://www.shrm.org/Pages/default.aspx) for the last five years. I believe we have the very best people in the industry, and I think we will always be successful in anything we try to accomplish. Because of each employee’s efforts, Sage is a trusted leader in the healthcare products industry. I’m proud that our five major brands are trusted by more hospitals than any other brand of products in their categories. I know we have an impact on skin integrity and pressure ulcers, ventilator-associated pneumonia, surgical site infections and heel pressure ulcers. These complications impact lives and we are focused on preventing them, and that drives what we— myself and every employee of Sage do— every day. Q: Please describe the mission/vision of Sage: A: Sage is a developer and provider of medical devices that are sold to healthcare providers throughout the world. We are an innovator, and we focus on unique products that solve real problems in healthcare. We recognize and support the basic integrity of every employee, customer, and supplier. We respect each individual as a person and devote our entire company to customer satisfaction in every way. While this may sound wordy, one way to think about our company that’s easy to remember is our current tagline is, Simple interventions, extraordinary outcomes. Q: How exactly does your personal vision fit with the company’s goals? A: I know that right now someone in a hospital is benefiting from one of our products. I’ve always wanted to be a part of something that matters. And what could matter more than patient safety? After all, we’re all going to be patients some day! I believe, just like the nurses I’ve met over the years, that we can do better. This belief drives me every day. It also drives all aspects of our company. We are dedicated to the common good, and we strive to do things right. Q: Please provide information regarding the company’s market overview: A: Our market is primarily hospitals, with a major concentration in the ICU while being heavily supported by WOCNs and infection control. We’re also rapidly expanding in the long-term care, long-term acute care, and Canadian and international markets. Q: What projects or products is Sage currently working on, on both a national and international scale? A: If there’s one thing I know, it’s that there’s a major need for our next product already rearing its head in healthcare facilities. Our research and development team spends all of their time in facilities, not in some laboratory. They talk to nurses about what they see as an opportunity to improve the way care is provided. Together, we pioneer new concepts that are simple yet yield extraordinary outcomes. I can say that you will see a new product from Sage in 2011 that will target a major problem found with bedbound patients. I encourage the readers to get excited and wait and see. Q: Looking ahead, what types of things will take place in order for Sage to continually grow laterally in such an evolving market? A: Well will continue to focus our efforts on prevention, which fits the way the healthcare industry is moving. We will continually refine our products so they deliver both the clinical and financial outcomes that our customers have come to expect. There’s no magic formula to the way we do business. We believe in quality products and providing proof that they work and education to use them efficiently and effectively. We are not afraid to invest heavily in ideas, concepts and improvements that will help us make an even greater difference in patients’ lives. For more information, visit www.sageproducts.com.