Escalent Expands Its Life Sciences Capabilities with Addition of Industry Leaders

April 21, 2022

Appointment of four vice presidents reflects advisory firm’s commitment to providing unrivaled insights and counsel to health and life sciences market

Escalent, a top human behavior and analytics advisory firm specializing in industries facing disruption, recently expanded its life sciences advisory practice with the addition of four new leaders. Joining the Escalent health team are Courtney Kerwin, Mike Berinato, Donna Patton and Carla Essen, each of whom will assume the role of vice president and support practice leader Ryan Doornbos.

“More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s no surprise that the strategy and delivery of healthcare is changing in ways we could never have predicted,” said Melissa Sauter, CEO of Escalent. “Our life sciences leadership team brings impressive creative and analytical skills that will help our clients navigate the twists and turns of industry disruption.”

“Each of these four leaders has a unique background in the life sciences industry, enabling us to provide our clients with a robust understanding of the most important challenges they face,” added Doornbos. “From the complexities of market disruptions and the industry’s ongoing digital transformation to increasing expectations on individualized care and outcomes for patients, these talented experts have earned a reputation for providing actionable insights across the health ecosystem. These important investments in our team indicate the significant opportunity we see for Escalent in life sciences over the coming years.”

Courtney Kerwin and Mike Berinato will serve as vice presidents and senior client managers, engaging with our life sciences clients on their most pressing strategic challenges, crafting thoughtful and innovative solutions, and offering consultative advice.

Courtney Kerwin Courtney Kerwin brings 15 years of global market research and consulting experience, and has partnered with several well-known healthcare clients across the product life cycle, leading and executing global HCP and patient strategic initiatives. She has worked across several therapeutic areas, with expertise in rare disease, and is passionate about enabling customer-centric business strategies inspired by insights her teams have unearthed.
Daniel Hall Mike Berinato has more than 20 years of experience helping life sciences and other Fortune 500 companies address critical business issues with data, research and consulting. His experience enables him to partner on a variety of business challenges throughout the product life cycle—from early-stage opportunity assessment to product launch, as well as ongoing product management. He has worked with internal and external stakeholders on challenges in many treatment areas, including oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory, diabetes, the central nervous system, and mental health.

Donna Patton and Carla Essen will serve as vice presidents that lead our execution teams.

Donna Patton Donna Patton leads the life sciences insights and consulting team along with the life sciences project management team. She is an accomplished insights leader with experience conducting domestic and global custom studies across a wide range of industries and methodologies. Her strengths lie in working closely with clients and key stakeholders to understand their objectives, determine the most efficient design and analytical approach, and identify strategic insights to drive their business.
Carla Essen leads the life sciences moderators and qualitative team. She has more than 15 years of healthcare experience ranging from account management to strategic consulting in pharma, medical device, biotech, rare disease, payers and hospital systems. Carla is an empathic, engaging moderator who can easily pivot from sensitive conversations with patients to complex therapeutic decision-making with physicians. She is skilled at recognizing insightful “nuggets” and ensuring research is impactful for all members of a cross-functional team, enhancing client partnership and collaboration.

Ryan Doornbos leads Escalent’s health and life sciences practice.

From his first engagement 20 years ago helping a medical device company launch a pioneering drug-eluting stent through his engagements today, Ryan applies a strategic lens to how he approaches the challenging business problems his clients face. His experience covers vaccines, diabetes, cardiology, rare diseases and oncology, among others. He has advised clients from the business development and innovation process, through the product launch cycle, and into ongoing operational challenges faced by the ever-changing industry.

To learn more about Escalent’s growing life sciences practice, visit

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