Motivated by compassion, a desire to contribute to the greater good in society, and a sincere love of Data Management, Navitas Data Sciences’ Lead Data Manager I, Andrew Shechtman, has reached a pinnacle in his career and personal life that many people strive for their entire life. In the past decade, Shechtman married the love of his life, had two amazing sons, landed his dream job, and reached a major career goal.
Andrew being welcomed at the Navitas Data Sciences offices in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
He’s been with DataCeutics/Navitas Data Sciences only a year, but his drive, talent, personality, and impressive resume led to a position with a new and important client as Lead Data Manager I. “To have this opportunity to build a Data Management Team with a new client has always been a career goal of mine. Balancing the study task work, tight timelines, and managing a team of Senior Data Managers has been both a challenging and thrilling opportunity for me thus far,” he says.
Shechtman is thrilled to be working in the ever-changing, exciting field that he is in. “Data Management and Data Analytics are becoming nimbler and faster every day,” he says. “As the speed of science accelerates, the data needs to stay in lockstep with it. AI, Data Management analytic tools, and high-speed database migrations are all going to be part of the future Data Management landscape,” he continues. These are the reasons why Shechtman believes that to be successful, a Data Manager must always be prepared for the unexpected, and possess the ability to pivot quickly when necessary. “It’s important to have contingency plans, and to know your processes,” he adds.
Navitas Data Sciences has given Shechtman the opportunity to exercise his talents to the fullest, and he enjoys the family atmosphere that the company has created. “The people at DataCeutics/Navitas Data Sciences are genuine, and work in a team mentality to achieve goals, which I really like, instead of clamoring for individual recognition,” he says. Shechtman’s road to this point in his career illustrates what a person can accomplish with clear goals and hard work.
Andrew enjoying his passion for snowboarding in Breckenridge.
Armed with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Shechtman became a successful sales representative and account specialist for Novartis Animal Health at Novartis Pharmaceutical Services at Greensboro, North Carolina. It was at this job, while working in the field, that he developed excellent people skills and a keen interest in the research side of pharmaceutical and clinical development.
When Novartis sold their Animal Health business to Eli Lilly, Shechtman set out to follow his new dream of pursuing a career in pharmaceutical research and clinical development. He started at the ground floor, learning the ropes as a Lab Value Entry Clerk, and worked as a Data Entry Operator for Research Pharmaceutical Services in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. A year later, he was promoted to Clinical Data Manager by a superior who noticed the quality of his work and appreciated his deep understanding of the tasks he was working on. That advancement changed Shechtman’s life and set him on a vibrant, challenging, and exciting career path.
His next position was Senior Project Data Manager at Chiltern International in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Three years later, he transferred to Syneos Health, in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he moved his way up to Manager of Clinical Data Management (Oncology and Hematology Studies).
To date, Shechtman has amassed thirteen years of Phase I, II, and III experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. His vast therapeutic experience includes CNS-Neurology (Pain, Neuropathic); Cardiovascular (Acute Coronary Syndrome); Gastroenterology (Acute Intestinal Infections); Hematology: Cancer (Acute Myeloid Leukemia); Cancer-Multiple Myeloma; Cancer-Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; Immunology (Immune Deficiency); Oncology (Cancer-Bone, Cancer-Lymphocytic Leukemia, Cancer-Gastric); and Respiratory (Chronic Bronchitis).
His track record in Data Management is beyond reproach, consistently achieving target objectives, and building strong relationships with clients while delivering quality project results on time. Undoubtedly a team player, Shechtman’s warm personality and natural leadership qualities make him a strong, successful manager. “I’m driven by my interest in the work, and it naturally motivates me,” Shechtman says.
Andrew enjoying a summer treat with sons Benjamin and Levi
Another motivating factor is Shechtman’s sheer compassion for humanity: “I enjoy knowing that I am a small cog that contributes to the greater good in societal health. When my Uncle received a Hematology Treatment a few years back that ultimately saved his life, I reflected on the variety of Hema Trials I worked on throughout my Data Management career. This brought an intimate face to those nameless subjects I work for on a day-to-day basis. It made me feel like my work matters; it truly matters.”
Shechtman’s compassionate approach to his work may be attributed to his background in animal care. The son of two veterinarians, he spent much of his youth working at the family business, the Buck Road Animal Hospital in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He recalls the time before 24-hour emergency vet care: “We always had cages with IV drips, critical care, and emergency cases in our kitchen. It was common practice for me to eat breakfast before school with 5-6 dogs and cats alongside me, staring at my waffles!”
For a time, young Shechtman accompanied his father on house calls to local farms. “I would hold the goats while Dad clipped their toenails, or gave them injections, etc. It was always interesting,” Shechtman says. “Most importantly, it taught me how to care for animals that couldn’t necessarily care for themselves, and it was a deeply rewarding feeling,” he continues.
This love for companion animals, and the need to help care for them, has been passed on to Shechtman’s boys, Benjamin (7 years) and Levi (5 years), who enjoy volunteering with their dad at local SPCAs (and hope to return to volunteering post-Coronavirus). Shechtman considers raising his two young boys with good hearts and souls his greatest personal accomplishment: “My sons approach life with kindness, empathy, and compassion,” he says. “In my experience, these are some of the most important human characteristics, and I'm beyond joyous to see these traits live within them,” says the proud father.
Shechtman noticed a societal change from the 1980s to the 1990s as people started seeing the family dog as a family member. “This shift in perspective gave more value to our animals, which opened up a new market for animal health products, special diets & medicines,” Shechtman says. “I love this growth in our society, seeing our pets as we would a loved one; more love and compassion is never a bad thing in society,” he adds.
Indeed, there has been strong evidence that the bond between people and their pets is not only beneficial for the animals but actually contributes to the wellness of humans. The Animal Welfare Institute writes: “Pets not only provide love and affection—they may even help keep us well. Recent studies have linked pet ownership to lower blood pressure, reduced stress, less incidence of heart disease, and lower overall healthcare costs. In short, companion animals make us happier and healthier.”
Andrew and his boys LOVE basketball. Shown here at a St. Joe’s Hawks basketball game.
Companion animals have never been more important to humans than they’ve been during the COVID-19 pandemic. As so many people have been isolated and missing the warm embrace of loved ones, many have adopted companion animals to fill the void, causing a spike in animal adoptions all over the country. On March 26th, CBS reported: “It seems people around the country aren't just stocking up on toilet paper and frozen food amid the coronavirus pandemic, many are also taking home a new foster pet. Animal rescue organizations are reporting a large uptick brought by interested foster parents over the past month.”
Animal shelters all over the country are looking for good foster parents to help during the pandemic.
The Pennsylvania SPCA, where Shechtman has been a member for many years, and many animal rescue shelters like them, have organized COVID-19 foster parenting programs to help care for and reunite displaced cats and dogs whose owners have contracted Coronavirus and cannot care for them while they are ill. These programs provide wonderful opportunities for those who wish to enjoy the comfort of a companion animal while in isolation, but perhaps cannot provide forever homes. The community response has been great.
This is the kind of love, compassion, and intentional contribution to the better good of society that has driven much of Andrew Shechtman’s life and career, and Navitas Data Sciences is proud to have him in their ranks.