Professional Development


Sensory Talent Pipeline: Research Challenges and Impact of Technical Skill Development

Wednesday, October 26  •  2:45-4:15 p.m.
Atlanta 4-5

Moderator/Organizer: Kristine Wilke, The Kellogg Company

Building on the 2014 Workshop: Training the Next Generation of Sensory Professionals, this session will focus on current research challenges faced by our membership as well as discuss the potential connection between technical development and department capabilities. Results of a membership/company survey will be shared and the panel will discuss ideas and suggestions of how to navigate the research challenges.


Emotions and Empathy: How a New Research Model Is Transforming Patient and Caregiver Experience at One of the Nation’s Largest Health Systems

Friday, October 28  •  8:30–9:45 a.m.
Capitol Ballroom

Michelle Gandolf Frietchen, BBA, MA; Senior Manager, Market Research & Insights; Cleveland Clinic

Find out how Cleveland Clinic, in collaboration with a research partner, designed a custom market research approach to understand patient emotions before, during and after the patient experience.

It not only inspired the creation of powerful patient vignettes, with the use of innovative emotions research and traditional segmentation research; It also completely revamped the orientation process for new caregivers and is helping to transform the current culture for all existing employees across an organization of 40,000 caregivers.

You will walk away with an understanding of this inspiring, hot-off-the-press case study. Take the toolkit with you – along with strategic insights from Cleveland Clinic Market Research & Insights you can apply to build empathy and understanding of your consumers, research partners, and/or customers. 

 Michelle has worked in Market Research & Insights at Cleveland Clinic for 23 plus years. In her role, she has managed the Market Research Department since 2001 and has been involved in strategic initiatives such as improving the patient experience, business development and branding. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Quantitative Business Analysis and a master’s degree in Consumer / Industrial Research.

She is versed in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, including ethnography with physicians, consumers, patients, employees and key stakeholders. She is a professionally trained focus group moderator and has moderated more than 100 focus groups and one-on-one in depth interviews for a range of service lines and business units, from new concept testing to branding research to patient satisfaction research. Michelle has also conducted several positioning, advertising tracking and image & awareness studies.

Michelle consults for several internal areas within Cleveland Clinic, such as Operations, the Office of Patient Experience and Finance. She also serves on multiple committees within the Cleveland Clinic and is the Co-Chair of Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), an Employee Resource Group which strives to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth for Cleveland Clinic female caregivers.

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