Chris Hanson is the Vice President of Business Development at Unitech Medical, Inc. Chris has over 20 years of experience in the health care industry.
What is Unitech Medical, Inc.?
Unitech Medical, Inc., is the maker of innovative CamWell® botanical skin care products. The company was established in Minnesota in 2005 and has been a Medical Alley member since 2009. We at Unitech Medical are dedicated to helping improve quality of life through innovative, evidence-based health care solutions focused on integrative oncology care. Many of our customers use our products while undergoing cancer treatment.
What was your professional journey that led you to working for Unitech Medical?
I have worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years in several business development roles. I have also had the opportunity to work in a variety of therapeutic areas including dermatology, cardiology, and women’s health.
In 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. While going through radiation treatment, I was introduced to CamWell botanical skin care products through a friend. In the months that followed, the same friend introduced me to the CEO of Unitech Medical which led to this opportunity. It’s a natural fit with my background and personal experience as a cancer survivor.
What is one thing the Medical Alley community might be unaware of about Unitech Medical products and how they benefit cancer patients?
According to the National Cancer Institute, almost two million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year. Over 95% of radiation patients and 75% of chemotherapy patients will experience skin side effects from treatment. When left unmanaged, the skin side effects can cause treatment interruption, additional wound care costs, social psychological suffering, and quality of life issues. We are proud to have several clinical studies about how CamWell Hand to Heal® and Herb to Soothe® have helped cancer patients, including one clinical study by Johns Hopkins using CamWell Herb to Soothe in managing acute radiation dermatitis in head and neck cancer patients. We have been and will continue collaborating with distinguished cancer researchers and clinicians in developing evidence based natural solutions and novel cancer therapies that can help cancer survivors live longer with better quality of life while reducing the total cost of health care delivery.
What motivates you as a leader?
There is a certain gratification that comes from helping women grow professionally and I’ve had that opportunity at the university level and mentoring other young professionals. I’ve been a guest lecturer in several college classes over the years and have mentored a number of young women who are starting their careers. In addition, I’ve worked with a number of early-stage businesses and guided them in developing their go-to-market strategies and long-term growth strategies. It’s been motivating to be trusted by early-stage organizations to help develop their market strategies.
What advice would you give to aspiring healthcare leaders who are looking to make an impact in this industry?
Think about innovation that can help lower the total cost of health care, reduce the workload for health care providers, and promote self-care for disease prevention. Use your voice and purchasing power to take action to invest in your local community by supporting supplier diversity and advocating for women-owned businesses. If possible, seek out volunteer opportunities that align with your values and broaden your perspective.
How do you see the healthcare industry changing in the next 5-10 years, and what is your organization doing to stay ahead?
It’s interesting to see how we are growing in our personal understanding of what we eat and put on our bodies to support our health — and how we are reconsidering our approach to the environment. As we continue to take concern with harsh chemicals in our homes, communities and across the globe, we are also thinking about chemicals and ingredients that come into contact with our bodies. At Unitech Medical, we are fulfilling the growing interest of individuals seeking self-care with natural solutions that are sustainable and environmentally friendly.
In addition to our clinically proven CamWell botanical skin care products for helping manage skin side effects of cancer treatment, we offer plant based, on-the-spot lotions for people with sensitive skin including babies and breastfeeding mothers. All CamWell moisturizers are vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free, nut oil-free, BPS-free, parabens-free, dye-free, and have no added fragrances, colors, or harsh chemicals. Unitech Medical will continue to invest in our community and innovate more health care products that will improve outcomes for patients, reduce total cost of health care delivery, and protect our environment.
How does your company prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, both in terms of your workforce and the services you offer?
As a WBENC certified women-owned business, Unitech Medical embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion, in every way, every day. We work with women entrepreneurs and vendors in our daily business operation whenever possible. In fact, our CamWell botanical skin care products are made with hand-picked herbs by women. We use our purchasing power to help promote financial independence for women, especially women of color. Unitech Medical is an LGBTQ friendly company. We are also very conscious of inequities in cancer communities. Over the past 11 years, we contributed over $750,000 in monetary and in-kind product donations of CamWell lotions to local and national non-profit organizations who reach underserved communities.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity and challenge facing the healthcare industry in Medical Alley?
Of course, residing in Medical Alley is a huge benefit for people, industry, and healthcare systems. That doesn’t make anything perfect, yet we are fortunate to have several public private efforts that have and continue to identify issues and work together to find solutions. That collaboration is essential and will remain among our biggest opportunities. We will continue to face rising costs and health inequities, and Medial Alley’s focus on healthcare transformation will help lead the world in tackling the issues and embracing innovation.
What are your hobbies or things you enjoy doing when not at work?
My husband and I are semi-adventurous cooks and seek out new cuisines and ingredients. Like others, we’ve increased our plant-based meals and TRY to grow a healthy seasonal vegetable & herb garden. I’m also a volunteer member of the leadership team for Global Wellness Connections and focus on one of our flagship initiatives, “The Future of Wellbeing”.
What is your favorite thing about the Medical Alley community?
I was fortunate to work for Medical Alley for 3 years and it was an eye-opening experience after a decade working in industry. I witnessed first-hand the community of expertise from this diverse ecosystem coming together to solve problems, share resources, and generally and generously support one another. It’s because of Medical Alley that I’ve had the opportunity to build a strong network – which I still rely on, regularly connect with, and often refer to others seeking a resource.