Sarah S. Harrison

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Strategic Health Consultant, Vice President, Customer Strategy Integration, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Inc., Washington, D.C.

Sarah Scott Harrison began her relationship with Astra-Zeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, one of the world’s top five pharmaceutical companies, almost 30 years ago, when she joined the Zeneca Agricultural Pro-ducts business unit as a chemist in 1977. She eventually was named vice president of Customer Strategy Integration, with responsibility for optimizing sales and profits in the public sector. Her work has affected more than $6 billion in revenue. She also created and implemented market-access strategies and infrastructure changes to more effectively manage the public-sector market. Her prior leadership positions include vice president, Pain, Anesthesia & Infection Business Unit and vice president, Managed Healthcare and National Accounts.

For now, Harrison is on a special consulting assignment, helping to steer the company’s efforts to improve minority health by focusing on reducing the disparities in health care. In this role, she has aligned AstraZeneca with the National Medical Association and is creating strategic collaborations and action plans. “Raising the overall value of the Black race is very important to me and I will continue to push for social change,” says Harrison.

A dedicated wife and mother, Harrison attributes her successes and achievements to the support and encouragement of her family, especially her mother, who instilled in her a sense of pride, self-confidence and a “can-do” attitude, she says. She also points to her own “heavy dependence on prayer, praise, preparation, performance, perseverance, patience and peace,” her 7 Ps for life. Armed with these 7Ps and firm religious convictions, Harrison contends that she eventually will realize her dream of using her “broad business experience, leadership skills and vast network to improve health and well being, reduce poverty and help youth and the underserved live a more successful life.”

Among her numerous accolades and awards are the 2004 National Medical Association’s Presidential Award and the 2002 Apex Award from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education. The Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association also named her Woman of the Year in 2002.

Harrison has a B.S. in chemistry from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and an M.B.A. from the University of Houston in Texas.

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