Mobile Mirror, Mobile Mirror on the Brain: Mind, Maps, and Memory


Room: Potomac 1-3
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM


** This event requires a separate registration and add-on fee. It is NOT included with General Conference Passes.But, if you use our special code: DISRUPT16, you can attend at no charge.


A Disruptive Women in Health Care Roundtable: Tackling Brain Health

Women. We bring home the bacon and freeze our eggs. We learn from an early age how to multi-task (in heels while walking backwards—you have to be of a certain age to get that one).  We take care of things, and people. That’s what we do.  But what happens to us, to our brains, as we are busy taking care of everyone and everything?  Women are twice as likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s as men, making up two thirds of the 5.4 million people in the United States slowly dying with the disease; and women are two thirds of the caregivers. Once women reach 65, they have twice the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s than breast cancer. The burden multiplies when you consider caregivers. They frequently put their careers on hold and drain their own savings to provide care. One in five switches to part-time work, sacrificing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages and benefits. Brain disease goes far beyond Alzheimer’s of course.  There are so many women who are on the bleeding edge of this work—in the labs and in the think tanks, in the trenches and in our homes. Come meet the brains behind numerous innovative advances in the study of brain health.  Learn about provocative new technologies and bold solutions as our panelists unabashedly share how they are tackling the hard stuff.  They’ve got the chutzpah, the moxie, and the smarts to power through the status quo.  Join us for a memorable conversation.


Robin Strongin, Founder of Disruptive Women in Health Care, will moderate this roundtable.


Corinna E. Lathan, Ph.D., Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Anthrotronix

Meryl Comer, President and CEO, Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative,

Glenna Crooks, Ph.D., Founder, SageLife, LLC


Sponsored by:


The Sandwich and Boomer Generation’s Dilemma

Are you like us, part of the sandwich generation? We all likely know and help an aging family member, friend, or neighbor who has health issues, few community supports, and lives alone or with someone else who needs support. We also have our own concerns about one day facing the same challenges, or not being able to choose where we live. But we also aspire to have a quality of life that is not solely defined by our health status.

The Boomer generation is unprecedented in size, living well and longer into older years, but when frailty occurs and supports are needed, many older adults find that there are few informal and formal caregiver supports available, and that those that do exist are financially out of reach. Compounding the problem, oftentimes one’s living circumstances may lead to significant social isolation that can negatively impact health and well being. Regardless of how many times we hear about the costs and quality of life issues staring our older adults in the face, little seems to change in terms of policies, programs, and personal planning. But denial and inaction are no longer viable in the face of the unprecedented aging population and the strong preference older adults have to age in place.

There may be a silver lining for the silver tsunami. Nascent but positive trends are emerging in the form of innovative policies and programs that integrate health and community-based services with the goal of helping people stay healthier as they age and manage difficulties better when they do emerge. Complementing these are a variety of grass roots, community-based initiatives — cohousing, villages and livable communities – that are creating infrastructure and support for aging in place. These promising policies and programs could be the start of a bridge between health-related community-based services and the grass-roots initiatives. Sustained funding to support these promising approaches, however, remains a challenge. (more…)

Youth and the Young. Health and the Healthy.

Glenna Crooks

We’ve all heard it: “Youth is wasted on the young.” To that, I’ll add “Health is wasted on the healthy.”

Both sayings came to mind as I read Elayne Clift’s post about caregivers a few days ago. To the national numbers she cited, I’ll add a few more. Mine don’t come from national surveys but from working to understand life in a “new way,” one that is vital if we are going to roll up our policy sleeves and help caregivers.

This new way identifies all the connections we maintain with other people; connections that are vital if we are to have families, careers, homes, and a social life. Most of us – especially when we are young, healthy and exceptionally energetic – manage these connections without much thought. Then, as the world gets more complicated, our lives get more demanding, our “village support systems” fray and life tosses us a wildcard, all hell breaks loose.

Here’s a simple example. In this family, the husband and wife met in college, married soon after, bought a home, had three children and adopted a rescue a dog. Both have jobs. The wife – let’s call her Margaret – manages slightly more than 600 connections for her own life and career, her children’s lives, her extended family and in-laws, her home and her community volunteer activities. This number might seem large and surprise you. It surprised her, too, but it is “average” for a woman in her situation. Because her husband travels extensively for his job, Margaret is the principal caregiver for her children, who range in age from 9 to 16. Responsible for their welfare, she stays connected to their teachers, coaches, car pool drivers, classmates’ parents and neighbors. Although she has aging relatives and knows that one day they will need her support, they don’t yet need her help to manage their health or households.

Around the time of her 45th birthday Margaret was diagnosed with celiac disease. Given the genetic nature of the condition, it wasn’t surprising that months later her three children were diagnosed as well. To protect the family’s health, especially where the children were concerned, she determined that 200 of the 600 connections she managed needed to know because food was involved. Especially when she was not around to supervise, she wanted to be sure others were informed and would help the children avoid gluten.   (more…)

The criteria to determine which organizations are diversity leaders

rockhealthThis post was originally published on Rock Health on December 4, 2016.

After reviewing hundreds of public nominations for the Top 50 in Digital Health: Diversity Leadership award, we are proud to announce the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Wellist as the deserving honorees of 2017. They each truly embody leadership in diversity, having continually shown their commitment to hiring, supporting, and building diverse teams to tackle the most pressing problems facing healthcare today.

We know that having a diverse team creates a positive and more inclusive culture—and benefits the bottom-line through a lower turnover rate. Disruptive Women in Health Care, a longtime Rock Health friend, provides a platform for provocative ideas in healthcare focusing on the subject of diversity. Rock Health partnered with Disruptive Women to determine the honorees and develop criteria to better measure companies’ commitments to diversity. (more…)

Prioritizing Sex-Based Research in Heart Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

This blog was originally published by The Huffington Post on 11/30.

Co-authored by Jill Lesser, President of WomenAgainstAlzheimers and British Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Heart Alliance.

What if we could access knowledge that would transform modern medicine, enabling better disease prevention, better clinical decision-making, better therapeutics and better health outcomes for all Americans?

We don’t have to imagine. The answer lies in making medical research truly inclusive—in part, by filling the widespread gender, racial, and ethnic gaps in clinical trials; and most significantly, by studying sex differences in disease. These differences include the risk factors women and men face, the way they develop and experience illness, and the way they respond to treatment.

Sex matters. Every cell has a sex, and male and female cells react differently to the same stimuli. Understanding sex differences can revolutionize how we diagnose, care, and cure disease, from catalyzing therapeutic breakthroughs and innovations to driving meaningful advances in women’s health and, thus, strengthening society as a whole.

That is why, at a time when the promise of precision medicine is gaining momentum, sex-based research should be at the forefront—beginning with heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. (more…)

   Event Photos

View all event photos »

   Upcoming Event
Mobile Mirror, Mobile Mirror on the Brain: Mind, Maps, and Memory
Dec 13 - 13 2016
Location: Gaylord National | Room: Potomac 1-3

View events calendar »

Our newest eBook "The Different Faces of Caregiving" explores the state of caregiving in the United States. Download it today!
Download our two new ebooks »
   Are you Disruptive?

Disruptive Women is looking for submissions from women in the health care field, from doctors and nurses to policy experts and legislators. Learn more »