Originally written by: Jeffrey Bergin, SAP North America Total Rewards
Photo: SAP’s Jewell Parkinson and Jason Russell help oversee and implement the software

Jewell Parkinson & Jason Russell.jpg

If you subscribe to the Philadelphia Business Journal, you may have seen the article below featuring our own Jewell Parkinson and Jason Russell. The article highlights the Corporate Oncology Program for Employees (COPE) and how we’re offering this meaningful benefit to our employees.

I’m proud to be part of a company that’s investing in the health and welfare of people everywhere using our innovative technology like SAP HANA, to fight disease.  And taking the step to offer COPE to its employees is a great example of why SAP is frequently recognized as an employer of choice.

If you’re not familiar with COPE, U.S. employees can find out more information about it on the SAP Benefits extranet site at www.sapnorthamericabenefits.com.

Thanks SAP for a benefit that I hope I never have to use.

SAP Takes Aim at Employee Cancer

Jun 19, 2015, 6:00am EDT John George Philadelphia Business Journal

SAP North America is using its computer and database-management skills to help its employees battle cancer.

The German software giant, which has 2,500 employees at its U.S. headquarters in Newtown Square, recently launched a pilot program — with the help of a health technology firm — to aid SAP employees in the United States and Germany who are diagnosed with cancer.

The goal of the program is to provide employees with individually tailored treatment plans, including insight into which drugs would be best suited for a patient based on his or her genetic makeup.

Jewell Parkinson, head of human resources for SAP North America, said the program called COPE was developed in a partnership with Molecular Health. Molecular Health is a German company focused on the development and application of information technology to prevent and treat disease. Cope is an acronym for Corporate Oncology Program for Employees.

“Somewhere around 40 percent of women and 50 percent of men at some point in their lives will be afflicted with a cancer diagnosis,” Parkinson said. “In terms of looking as a way to differentiate ourselves and offer a very meaningful benefit, this was an area we thought it made sense to pursue. Our understanding is we are one of the first companies, if not the first company, to offer such a benefit to employees.”

The pilot program is limited, for now, to employees diagnosed with solid-state tumors.

Jason Russell, director for the Total Rewards program for SAP North America, said the program kicks in once an employee is diagnosed with cancer.

The employee is directed to call an 800 number or use an email, both of which are confidential and “fire-walled off” from the rest of the company, to check on their eligibility. The employee, if eligible, gets a form that he or she gives to their doctor. Russell said the doctor then collects a tissue sample that is sent to Molecular Health, which conducts its analysis and prepares an individualized treatment plan.

Jason Russell, director for the Total Rewards program for SAP North America, said the program kicks in once an employee is diagnosed with cancer.

Russell said a “handful” of SAP North America employees have taken advantage of the program since it began in November.

Parkinson noted doctors don’t have access to the genetic sequencing information other types of data related to DNA that Molecular Health has.

“Molecular Health also leverages SAP technology including HANA (SAP’s relational database management system) to analyze terabytes of data in seconds,” she said. “It’s that power to do the rapid data analysis, based off the genetic sequencing of the person’s solid tumor, that generates personalized, precise treatment options for patients. The treating physician can take that information and work with the patient to determine if one of the options is right. This is an empowering tool for physicians, who wouldn’t otherwise have that kind of information available at their fingertips.”

SAP earlier this year announced it was teaming up with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and its wholly owned subsidiary CancerLinQ, on a data-mining project.

Russell said SAP expects the company to expand the program to Canada later this month. He said rolling out the program worldwide to SAP employees is complicated because of the various regulations different companies impose on the use of genetic data.

“Every country is a little different and you have to navigate the different landscapes,” he said.

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