Speakers & Panels – 2014 Health & Life Sciences Conference


Keynote Speakers

Dr. Cohen is a business executive with extensive P/L and operational responsibility including experience with growing existing business, developing and growing new business ventures and turnaround of losing entities.

Dr. Cohen is currently Senior Vice President and Group Executive-Diagnostic Solutions Businesses and Chief Medical Officer for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE:DGX). With annual revenues of over $7.5 billion, Quest is the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services. He has an extensive background in federal and state healthcare policy. In 2010, he was named as one the nation’s top 50 most powerful physician executives by Modern Healthcare.

Prior to joining Quest Diagnostics in March 2009, Dr. Cohen served as Senior Advisor to New York Governor David A. Paterson and was responsible for all policy and strategic planning. In 2006, he was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York; his campaign platform centered on the healthcare crisis and substantive healthcare reform.

Dr. Cohen served for six years as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, the nation’s fourth-largest nonprofit health system. He has held senior professional appointments, including Professor of Surgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Senior Lecturer at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Cohen is a vascular surgeon, having completed his residency in surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and vascular surgery fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed professional articles, authored two books and has spent more than two decades in the healthcare field as a practicing surgeon.

David Meeker was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Genzyme in October 2011. Genzyme is a global biotechnology company committed to discovering and delivering transformative therapies for patients with rare and special unmet medical needs. Dr Meeker oversees and provides the vision for the company’s two business units – Rare Diseases and Multiple Sclerosis – as well as its long-standing relationships with patient communities and dedicated workforce of nearly 10,000 employees.

In his career with Genzyme, Dr. Meeker has held key positions of increasing responsibility most recently as Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he was responsible for Genzyme’s commercial organization, overseeing its business units¸ country management organization and global market access functions. As Chief Operating Officer, he played an important role in the integration with Sanofi.

Dr. Meeker joined Genzyme in 1994 as Medical Director to work on the Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy program. Subsequently, as Vice President, Medical Affairs, he was responsible for the development of rare disease therapies that today represent transformative and life-saving advancements in medicine for patients.

Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr Meeker was the Director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and an assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State University. He has authored more than 40 articles and multiple book chapters. Dr Meeker received his MD from the University of Vermont Medical School. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2000.

Terrier Talks

Dr. Leigh Zawel joined Pfizer in 2013 to lead CTI’s work in the Boston office. Before CTI, Dr. Zawel was the oncology site lead at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) Boston. In this role, he was responsible for drug discovery efforts focused on the identification of development candidates for programs in the oncology franchise. Dr. Zawel worked previously at Sanofi-Aventis, where he was Director of Cancer Biology, and Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research/Oncology, where he was an Oncology Group Leader. Dr. Zawel has a deep background in identifying and validating oncology drug targets and in transitioning drug discovery programs through lead optimization to Phase 1 clinical trials.

Dr. Zawel earned his Ph.D. in the laboratory of Danny Reinberg where he identified and characterized components of the RNA Polymerase II basal transcription machinery. Dr. Zawel’s postdoctoral training was in the laboratory of Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler and focused on dysregulation of TGFB signaling in cancer. Dr. Zawel also holds a MS in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, as well as a BS in Biology from Rutgers University. He has published more than 30 scientific publications. He is also an author on 45 patents covering chemical matter, drug combinations, biomarker utility and gene function in areas of apoptosis, inflammation and TGFB signaling.

Brian Jack, MD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. Dr. Jack graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and completed his residency training at the Brown University. He completed a fellowship at the University of Washington. Dr. Jack came to BU and Boston Medical Center in 1997 as the founding Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles or book chapters, reviewed papers for major medical journals, served on NICHHD, HRSA and AHRQ grant review panels. He is currently PI on grants from HRSA, NHLBI, PCORI, AHRQ, Kellogg Foundation and NIMHD.

His research team has developed the “ReEngineered Discharge” (Project RED), adapted by the National Quality Forum as a national “Safe Practice”. RED is being used in all states and in over 10 countries. He completed projects with AHRQ funding including “Reengineering the Hospital Discharge for Patient Safety” which provided an in-depth analysis of the hospital discharge process. RED was then tested in Testing the Re-Engineered Hospital Discharge a RCT funded by AHRQ in the “Partners in Patient Safety” grants. Dissemination and implementation of RED was explored in an Action RFTO entitled Avoiding Readmissions in Hospitals Serving Diverse patients. Building on a RO1 from NHLBI with colleague Tim Bickmore of Northeastern University, he developed a health IT system to deliver RED at the bedside (the “Louise” system). Dr. Jack completed an AHRQ funded project entitled “Virtual Patient Advocates to Reduce Ambulatory Drug Events” that adapted Louise to be used by patients online when they went home from the hospital designed to monitor medication adverse events related to the transition from the hospital to the ambulatory environment. He recently completed a project to design a tool kit describing the RED process and studied the barriers to RED implementation. New projects include a RCT of a mental health intervention to reduce rehospitalizations for those with depressive symptoms (AHRQ, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation) and an exploration of the causes of readmission from the patient perspective that focuses on mental health and the social determinants of care (PCORI).

Dr. Jack received the 2008 CDC “Partner in Public Health Improvement” award for his work as leader of the CDC’s Select Panel on the Content of Preconception Care. He has completed work to design a preconception HIT system (Gabby) to assist in the provision of this care (AHRQ, HRSA MCHB, Kellogg) and is beginning a RCT to study its impact (NIMHD).

He received the 2013 Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, the “Patient Care Award for Excellence in Patent Education Innovation” award, the AHRQ “Patient Safety Investigator” award, and the “Best Research Paper of the Year” award of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. He was selected to HealthLeaders magazines annual “People Who Make Healthcare Better” list and one of Boston’s “Best Doctors” in each of 2010-2014. His Annals of Internal Medicine article describing RED is listed in the book “50 Studies Every Physician Should Know”. In 2013 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.

Dr. Jack has also been active in the worldwide development of family medicine. He is Director of the Lesotho Boston Health Alliance, a Kellogg Foundation funded program that aims to improve the quality of district health services in Lesotho. He is a founding member of the AAFP’s Center for International Initiatives. He spent a sabbatical year in Budapest, Hungary in 1995 where he received a special citation from the mayor of Budapest. He taught in Jordan and Pakistan and has worked on development of family medicine in Lesotho, Albania, Jordan, Romania, and Vietnam.

Ben has overall executive profit and loss responsibility for the Patient Self Service product suite consisting of Patient Portal, Queuing, Kiosk, and Survey. These responsibilities include the strategic direction of the Patient Information Exchange Platform, its design and development as well as its implementation, deployment, and marketing. Ben directs the technical and GUI development, ensures that clients are benefiting from the latest technology advances, and advises domestic and international customers on best practices for achieving superior return on investment. Ben frequently speaks at events, conferences, and universities about the importance of patient-centric health information models. Ben is a graduate of MIT.

Panel Discussion

Henry Feldman is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a board certified attending physician in Internal Medicine (FP Hospital Medicine). He has an undergraduate degree from Northeastern University in Management. He worked in the computer industry for almost 10 years, prior to going to medical school at such companies as Allen Bradley, Microsoft, Kraft General Foods and The Boston Consulting Group. He received his medical degree in 2001 at the NYU School of Medicine. He completed his internship, residency and chief medical residency in Internal Medicine at NYU/Bellevue Hospital in New York. He then completed a 2 year Medical Informatics fellowship at NYU School of Medicine.

In 2006 he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center clinically as a hospitalist in the department of Medicine as well as being appointed to the division of clinical informatics. He currently serves as the Chief Information Architect of the Division of Clinical Informatics, where he manages the software design and development teams. His research is primarily around electronic health records, particularly in the Middle East, along with mobile computing and user interface design. He continues to practice medicine in the hospital, and serves as an attending physician on both the teaching and non-teaching hospital medicine services. He also attends on the wards at the West Roxbury Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a Nocturnist, providing hospital medicine and critical care overnight.

As Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer for CVS Health MinuteClinic, Angela is responsible for providing clinical and professional practice governance and oversight for MinuteClinic’s more than 2,500 Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants who provide evidence-based, high-quality, convenient and affordable healthcare services in the organization’s more than 930 walk-in clinics located in 30 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, she is responsible for leading the organization’s Clinical Quality and Patient Safety, Practitioner Training & Education, Professional Practice Advancement, and Provider Workforce Recruitment and Planning programs.

Angela serves as a board member of the Convenient Care Association (CCA), the industry’s trade organization, where she chairs the Provider Workforce Committee. Additional appointments include the CVS Caremark Diversity Council, Clinical Consistency Review Council, and Executive Women’s Committee. A graduate of Simmons College in Boston, MA, Angela has been a Nurse Practitioner since 1988. She has over 20 years of Primary Care as well as Practice Management experience in an urban-based Family Medical Practice which she co-owned. Angela also served for 10 years as a principal lecturer and clinical instructor for the Family Nurse Practitioner program in the School for Health Studies at Simmons College, Boston, MA.

Daniel McNamara oversees all of Shire’s Rare Disease Patient Services teams which include case management, patient access, and program management. This team supports over 3000 patients and family members living with Hunter Syndrome, Gaucher Disease and Hereditary Angioedema. He is also responsible for the Patient Services integration plan of Shire’s acquisition of Viropharma this past year. Shire’s Patient Services support programs include financial assistance support, case management support and access and reimbursement guidance for physicians who treat patients afflicted with these rare diseases. He joined Shire in 2010 to lead the Patient Access Management team within Shire’s Rare Disease Business Unit. In this role he was responsible for a team of field based access and reimbursement experts focused on ensuring that all patients had access to Shire’s portfolio of rare disease products and support.

Daniel started his biotech/pharmaceutical career at Elan Pharmaceuticals in 1997. He has since held roles in sales, sales management, sales training, biologic consulting and area management for both biotech and medical device companies. Prior to joining Shire, Daniel was leading a team of business development executives for Covidien focusing on practice management and operational efficiencies for bariatric surgical programs. Daniel has a BA in Psychology from the State University of New York at Albany and a Masters in Business from St. Johns University in New York. He resides in Medway Massachusetts with his wife Kelly and their four children.

Martha is the President of the New England Market for Aetna, where she is responsible for the profit and loss for the six New England states. She has responsibility over relationships and contracting with hospitals and physicians, all legislative and regulatory relationships, as well as she has oversight for the sales and service organization for the middle market, small group, public sector, and individual business. Martha has offices in Hartford, CT and Burlington, MA in the Aetna offices. She will be opening a new office in January located in Boston where she will have an office as well.

Martha graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries (FSA). Martha has been with Aetna since 1990 in various roles both in the actuarial field as well as in the businesses. She ran Aetna Global Benefits for 9 years before moving over to her current role in the New England Market.
Martha sits on the Boards of the Middlesex County United Way in Middletown, CT, and Achieve Hartford!, an education fund helping to close the education gap in the Hartford, CT schools, the New England Council, MetroHartford Alliance, and Connecticut Business and Industry (CBIA) boards. Martha is on the board of the Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation in her home town of Durham, CT.

Sally Okun is the Vice President for Advocacy, Policy and Patient Safety at PatientsLikeMe in Cambridge, MA. She is responsible for the company’s patient advocacy initiatives; she participates and contributes to health policy discussions at the national and global level; and she is the company’s liaison with government and regulatory agencies. Sally joined the company in 2008 as the manager of Health Data Integrity and Patient Safety overseeing the site’s medical ontology including the curation of patient-reported health data and an ever-evolving patient vocabulary. Okun also developed and manages the PatientsLikeMe Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance Platform.

Prior to joining PatientsLikeMe Sally, a registered nurse, practiced as a palliative and end-of-life care specialist. In addition as an independent consultant she contributed to multiple clinical, research, and educational projects focused on palliative and end-of-life care for numerous clients including Brown University, Harvard Medical School, MA Department of Mental Health, Hospice Education Network and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Sally participates on the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Healthcare as a member of the Clinical Effectiveness Research Innovation Collaborative, the Evidence Communication Innovation Collaborative, and the Best Practices Innovation Collaborative and is a member of the Committee on Core Metrics for Better Health at Lower Cost. She serves on the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI); the National Quality Forum’s Person-centered Care and Outcomes Committee; the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Reagan-Udall Foundation’s Innovation in Medical Evidence Development and Surveillance (IMEDS) Program and the Program Advisory Board of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Health Care. Sally is a frequent speaker at clinical, advocacy and policy events and in April 2013 was the first nurse invited to give a TEDMED talk at Kennedy Center.

Sally received her nursing diploma from the Hospital of St. Raphael School of Nursing; Baccalaureate degree in Nursing from Southern Connecticut State University; and a Master’s degree from The Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University. She completed her study of Palliative Care and Ethics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and was a fellow at the National Library of Medicine Program in Biomedical Informatics.