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Podcast: Type 2 Inflammation: Health Disparities & Impact on Minority Populations
Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter , Midwestern Regional Director, WIG Board of Directors
Dr. Debra Sierka, Senior Medical Director, Dermatology Dupilumab, NA Immunology, Sanofi Genzyme
Dr. Gary Puckrein, PhD., President and CEO, National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF)
Kenny Mendez, CEO and President, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
Podcast: New Normal, Same Cancer
Massachusetts State Representative Kim Ferguson
Camille Hertzka, Vice President, Head of Medical, US Oncology, AstraZeneca

COVID-19 has also brought with it a challenge to those facing a cancer diagnosis. Within less than 2 months following the start of the pandemic, average weekly new cancer cases dropped by about 46% across six major types of cancers, including breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric and esophageal cancer combined. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses the ways we can work to identify cancer earlier through improving screening and testing capabilities, ensuring equitable care, while leveraging digital platforms and prioritizing personalized medicine.


Podcast: Alzheimer's Disease: The Importance of Early Detection and Diagnosis
Massachusetts State Representative Danielle Gregoire
Catherine Freiman, Medical Director – Alzheimer’s, Biogen
Jennifer Rosen, Director of State Affairs, Alzheimer’s Association
Minnesota State Senator Carla J. Nelson
Quality care for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias starts with an early, documented and disclosed diagnosis. However, less than 50% of people with dementia are diagnosed and of those who are—less than 50% are told. According to the World Health Organization, tens of millions of people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to grow in the coming years, outpacing the healthcare resources needed to manage it and costing billions of dollars. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses why it's important for states to consider policies that promote early detection and diagnosis - including public awareness programs and health care professional education and training that creates the infrastructure necessary to address the growing public health crisis.

Podcast: Lessons Learned: Caring for Employees, Patients, and the Community During COVID-19
Idaho State Senator Abby Lee
Lauren Duprey, Head of Human Resources U.S. Business Unit, Takeda

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic made us readjust to a “new normal” is an understatement. Over the past several months, we’ve grown accustomed to social distancing, wearing masks everywhere we go, working from home and attending multiple virtual meetings throughout the day. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses the lessons learned while caring for employees, patients and the community during these uncertain times. Over the past few months, we have seen unprecedented levels of collaboration, increased use of technology, and new ways of working that we would never have thought possible. 2020 may have been a year like no other, but it has certainly transformed our workforce and health care community into stronger versions of themselves.


Podcast: The Co-Pandemic: Breaking Down Barriers to Mental Health Access in the Age of COVID-19
Connecticut State Representative Christie Carpino
Reyna Taylor, Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy, The National Council for Behavioral Health
Dr. Manpreet K. Singh, MD, MS, Director for the STANFORD Pediatric Mood Disorders Program
Brenda Gleason, President and Founder, M2 Healthcare Consulting

The COVID-19 pandemic is making an existing mental health crisis worse. Experts are warning mental health issues and substance use disorders will be exacerbated for people who already have these conditions, and may lead to new mental health and substance use issues in the general population. Hear our panel discuss how methods to restrict access to lifesaving medications can hurt patients and state budgets. Health outcomes data shows that prior authorization policies for psychotropic medications in Medicaid patient populations have led to poorer outcomes for patients, including medication discontinuation, lapses in care, homelessness, emergency room visits, incarceration and an increased use of crisis services.

Mental health treatments are not one size fits all. Treatment plans should be designed between a patient and their doctor.


Podcast: Pandemic Preparedness for Public Health Labs
Dr. Denise Heaney, Senior Scientific Affairs Manager, Diagnostics Information Solutions, Roche Diagnostics
Dr. Jill Taylor, Senior Advisor for Scientific Affairs, Association of Public Health Laboratories
Dr. Jennifer Rakeman, PhD, Assistant Commissioner and Laboratory Director, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Dr. Wendi Kuhnert-Tallman, Centers for Disease Control Laboratory and Testing Task Force

COVID-19 has been a game changer for the healthcare industry. The pandemic has engulfed our work streams and has both highlighted our collective successes, and elevated our inefficiencies. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses how critical it is that we continue to address these challenges and adopt long-term key best practices to support patient care in this critical time and any future preparedness needs.  


Podcast: Vaccine Development for COVID-19
Laura Blake, Outreach & Development Manager, Women In Government
Julia Worcestor, Director of State Policy-Mid-Atlantic Region, PhRMA

The past year has transformed our daily lives. We’ve seen masks, social distancing, and washing our hands for 20 seconds or more become part of regular routines—all while we wait for a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. As we head into the cooler months and the infection rates increase around the country, the biopharmaceutical industry is working around the clock to find solutions. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses one of the most important topics affecting lives around the world, the outbreak of COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, and where we stand in terms of a vaccine.

COVID-19 Resources Page

Podcast: Social Justice
Colorado State Senator Julie Gonzales
Ken McNeely, President of AT&T West

Our country has been at unrest for quite some time now, but it seems like everything came to a head the moment an African American man took his last breath while in police custody. George Floyd’s untimely death in Minneapolis, Minnesota sparked outrage all around the U.S. resulting in protests and cries for police reform. At times, it may seem like no one is listening—but a group of high power chief executives of almost 200 large companies are working hard to move the needle when it comes to “real change.” On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses one of the hottest topics in our country, social justice and how people in influential positions are working with civil rights organizations, law enforcement, elected officials and other businesses on the local, state, and federal levels pushing for change that addresses injustices in law enforcement.

Social Justice Resources Page

Podcast: BIOEquality Agenda
New Jersey Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter
Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)

“All men are created equal.” Five simple words that when put together lay the foundation of what our Founding Fathers had in mind for this great land that we live in. To make that dream a reality for all people, especially underrepresented populations, like women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQ+ community it takes bold and brave leaders who challenge companies, the government, even ourselves to make diversity more than just a word or program, but a true part of who we are and what we stand for. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses the BIOEquality Agenda—ensuring scientific justice by building bridges to minority communities. We’re tackling some big issues by taking on the inequality, injustice and unfair treatment aimed at women and communities of color through the positive force of biotechnology

BIOEquality Agenda Resources Page

Podcast: Bridging the Education Divide
Texas State Representative Toni Rose
Dr. Kiesha Taylor, Senior National Education Administrator at T-Mobile
Gabriella (Gaby) Rowe, Grow Associates LLC, and Project Lead for Operation Connectivity

COVID-19 has not only turned our healthcare, community, and business landscape upside down, it has also impacted our education system.
Approximately 50 million students will attend school from home for at least part of the 2020/21 school year due to the pandemic. This dynamic shift in the method in which education is delivered has brought with it a host of problems, including the fact that millions of students without connectivity are disconnected from virtual classrooms and are wholely unable to participate in school. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses the digital divide in terms of children’s inability to complete their homework because of the gap in internet access. The situation it creates for students can easily be referred to as the HOMEWORK GAP. Similarly, with so many children now attending all or part of their actual school day virtually, what served as the HOMEWORK GAP has morphed into a more pressing SCHOOLWORK GAP, where students are unable to attend school. Fortunately, there are industry leaders who are stepping up and helping communities all across the country access the internet. Whether you live in a big city, small town or somewhere in between, where you live should not determine where you go in life. We learn that access to the internet means access to opportunity. 

Podcast: Biosimilars and Cost-Savings
North Carolina State Senator Natalie Murdock
Carol Lynch, Sandoz US President, Head Sandoz North America
Pam Traxel, Senior Vice President, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Cheryl Larson, President & CEO of the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH)

Science is forever evolving, particularly when it comes to cutting-edge medicines aimed at improving the quality of life for millions of people. It has been a decade since one innovation entered the picture which has helped save lives while being an affordable option for those living with cancer, arthritis, and auto-immune diseases. Biosimilars are available in almost 100 countries around the world including those in Europe as well as Australia, Canada, Japan, and the US. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses how these medicines expand treatment options and can potentially improve patient outcomes by increasing or providing earlier access to therapies.


Podcast: Safe Drug Disposal
Connecticut State Representative Christie Carpino
Irina Butler, MPP, Vice President of Compliance and Operations, Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Work Group (PPSWG)
Any medicine can cause harm if not taken properly or by the wrong person. No one wants to hear about their grandmother taking expired medicine that no longer treats her illness, or worse someone having to visit the ER. Especially when this could have been prevented.   According to the 2018 National Survey of Drug Use and Health, a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses why it’s more important than ever to securely store and dispose of unwanted, unused, or expired medicines. They also chat about the importance of following the instructions provided with medicine, including labeling information and medication guidelines. 

Podcast: It Takes 2: Type 2 Inflammation
California State Senator Melissa Hurtado
Carole Huntsman, Head, Sanofi Genzyme North America and US Country Lead
Dr. Mandeep Kaur, Vice President, Head, North America Medical for Dupixent at Sanofi Genzyme
Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens, Director and Founder, The Community Asthma Prevention Program, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
People of all ages, genders, and backgrounds are connected by similar challenges because of one lesser known chronic condition known as Type 2 Inflammation. Recent scientific developments have shown that this overactive immune system response, underlies different atopic, allergic and inflammatory diseases. What exactly does that mean and how does it affect our families and communities? On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses how the Type 2 Inflammation connection can help patients work with their doctors to gain control of their chronic disease. As for policymakers and industry leaders, these chronic conditions impact communities of color and those in underserved communities. Now’s the time to get to work and support measures to address Type 2 Inflammation.

Podcast Graphic-Malnutrition for Vulnerable Populations
Podcast: Malnutrition in Vulnerable Populations
Maura LaGue, Managing Director, Women In Government
Bob Blancato, Executve Director, National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP), and the National Coordinator of the Defeat Malnutrition Today coalition
So many aspects of our daily lives have changed since COVID-19 entered the picture. As we continue readjusting to the “new normal,” some familiar concerns have remained and come with a set of severe consequences. Food insecurity has plagued different American populations for decades, but has been compounded by the recent pandemic. The novel Coronavirus is disproportionately impacting older generations. With the closure of congregate meal sites and the increase in newly homebound older adults, there is now a higher demand for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, such as Home Delivered Meals and other community-based supportive services. However, these much needed resources have been strained and need some relief. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses how food insecurity drives harmful impacts on the health and well-being of older adults, exacerbating many chronic conditions. Important questions are answered, including how leaders can advocate for funding that would provide grants to states, territories, and tribes to help support the delivery of nutritious meals for older adults throughout the country.

Podcast: Increasing Access & Opportunity
Connecticut State Representative Christie Carpino
Illinois State Senator, Julie Morrison, Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee and founder of the Special Needs Caucus
Bobby Silverstein J.D., Principal, Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville, PC and Legislative Counsel, State Exchange on Employment and Disability or (SEED)
Nadia Mossburg, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
It’s been an incredible 30 years of breaking down barriers and striving for equality in employment, education, and public access for people with disabilities. The ADA remains a crucial tool in addressing persistent discrimination, and new barriers, like inaccessible websites, online systems, mobile apps, and other forms of information and communication technology. Learn how policymakers are continuing to shape the next 30 years to ensure that their constituents with disabilities have access to opportunities and workplace success.

Podcast: You're Never Too Old: The Importance of Adult Vaccination

Laura Blake, Outreach & Development Manager, Women In Government
Abby Bownas, Manager, Adult Vaccine Access Coalition
Adriane Casalotti, MPH, MSW, Chief, Government and Public Affairs at National Association of County & City Health Officials
Vaccines are not just for children. Adults can be protected from 14 deadly diseases - including Hepatitis A and B, Measles, and the Flu. According to the CDC, over 20 years, vaccines will prevent more than 700,000 deaths and 21 million hospitalizations. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses how vaccines save lives. They dive into many aspects of adult vaccination - including benefits, consequences, and all the barriers keeping people from getting immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Podcast: Bone Basics
Lucy Gettman, Executive Director, Women In Government
Maine State Sentaor Stacey Guerin
Arizona State Representative Jennifer Longdon
Dr. Andrea Singer, Associate Professor and Chief, Division of Women’s Primary Care and Director of Bone Densitometry, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis, and many don’t even know they’re at risk of developing weak bones. One in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone because of the disease, leaving many with permanent pain and a stooped or hunched posture.
There’s a bone health crisis affecting the country tallying up repeat fractures, hospitalizations and long-term care needs resulting in Medicare costs of 52-billion dollars a year. What’s more, many of these cases could have been prevented with scans and appropriate care. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses what happens when you or someone you love receives a diagnosis of osteoporosis. We’re going to get back to the basics… the bone basics.

Podcast: Don't Hesitate, Vaccinate
Patricia (Patti) Bellock, former Director of the Illinois  Healthcare and Family Services Agency, former State Representative/Deputy House Minority Leader 
Georgia State Senator Gloria Butler
Dr. Deborah Wexler, Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition
Elaine O’Hara, Chief Commercial Officer, Sanofi Pasteur
Erica DeWald, Director of Advocacy, Vaccinate Your Family
There are many reasons why people choose to vaccinate their families against preventable diseases. Vaccination promotes good public health and helps avoid a major disease outbreak. That’s something we saw this year, with several measles outbreaks in large communities across the country. Measles may have dominated the headlines, but other vaccine preventable diseases infected people of all ages… chicken pox, whooping cough, and tetanus. The previous flu season even stretched well into the spring. Today, there’s a lot of misinformation circulating about the safety and necessity of vaccines, as well as fears about autism and the number of vaccines administered at once. As a result, vaccine preventable diseases have resurged in the United States, with measles and influenza continuing to be an enormous national problem every year. On this episode of the Women In Government Podcast, our panel discusses vaccine confidence and delivers the important message of, Don't Hesitate, Vaccinate!