Navigating Uncertainty: Disruptive Women Style

A Disruptive Women Luncheon

Women spend much of their time learning to work around, work through and work directly on difficult challenges, be they work related, political (large and small p), accessing capital, work/life balance (whatever that means). The one constant we know is uncertainty. 2017 is unfolding to be a year of enormous uncertainty in every dimension of the word. Who better to share tips on navigating through waves of uncertainty than women who know how to throw on a life preserver (and matching shoes) and get stuff done. Join our global panel of experts for a spirited conversation. Lunch included.

February 21, 2017 — 12:30PM EST – 02:30PM EST

Orange County Convention Center - Room 414C

REGISTER NOW  Please register for the HIMSS Conference first then select Disruptive Women Luncheon from the Education tab as an optional event.  


Nicole Gardner

Halle Tecco

Ceci Connolly

Sarah Kerruish

Peggy Williams

Robin Strongin

Navigating Uncertainty

Fighting the injustice of health disparities: Honoring the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & Dr. John M. Eisenberg

Robin Strongin

For the past several years I have run this post and just as it was those years, it is this year a very important message.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.John EisenbergWe, as a nation, have made progress and I believe Dr. King would be proud. But our work is far from complete – particularly where health care is concerned. Another doctor, Dr. John M. Eisenberg, a physician of tremendous stature whose life was also tragically cut short (not by an assassin’s bullet but by brain cancer) was equally passionate about the dignity of life and justice for all Americans. Dr. Eisenberg, who among other things, served as the Director of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (as AHRQ was known back in the day), cared deeply about access to and the integrity of health care for all Americans – regardless of skin color.

Seventeen years ago, on January 14, 2000, Dr. Eisenberg gave what is, in my opinion, a brilliant speech to the employees of the Department of Health and Human Services. As with the past years I want to share his words with all of you today — as a reminder of how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go. (more…)

Digital Health, Destiny and Doritos

This post was originally published on January 8, 2017 on Venture Valkyrie.

It’s the first of the new year and of course that can mean only one thing:  the avalanche of stories about how much was or wasn’t invested in digital health and whether the current environment favors/disfavors growth in this sector and all that jazz.

It used to be, once upon a time, that the advent of the new year meant all things biotech as JP Morgan’s Healthcare Conference rolled into town, but no longer.  The “digital health” concept and all it sweeps in with it has become as popular as the biotech talk just like Kanye/Kim have swept JZ/Beyonce to the back of the ballroom.

Given this phenomenon, I have been asked multiple times in the last few weeks to give my predictions about digital health in 2017 and to weigh in on what will be hot, what should be hot and what we can expect, particularly in light of, you know, the change.

So I figured I’d collect my thoughts here and also the responses I have given to various inquiries on the digital health discourse.  This way, when I am working the crowd at JP Morgan this week I can just say “have you read my blog?” instead of “well, you know, it’s all about VR and blockchain now” (hat tip to Matthew Holt).  My thoughts in somewhat random order:

With the burgeoning convergence of all things digital with all things healthcare, the noise level at JPM, the Consumer Electronics Show (where I was last weekend) and a plethora of other geek-friendly events has reached record highs.  It’s tough to find the shiny needles in the repetitive haystack sometimes.  So I have to say I am most on the lookout for real success stories, and particularly those that demonstrate how the confluence of IT and pharma or IT and medtech have meaningfully improved clinical outcome and reduced cost while doing so.  I’d also like to hear some evidence of how all of this big data/AI/machine learning work is resulting in actual activity to change physician and consumer behavior, particularly around improved diagnoses and avoidance of medical errors.  So far most of the talk has been about technology and too little of the talk is about results.  I hereby declare that the digital health theme for 2017 should be: you show me the evidence it works, I’ll show you the money! (more…)

Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers: Brain Breakdowns in Tandem

Glenna Crooks

An Alzheimer’s patient’s brain is not the only one broken-down by the disease. The caregiver’s brain is, as well. How could it not?

Consider soon-to-be-caregiver, Margaret, in this MindMap of her life. She is not a real person by the way, but this picture of her life is based on real people and might be a lot like yours. Like many today, she is busy, time-crunched and already on “cognitive overload” as a working wife and mother with a home, three children, a dog, a cat, and a small vacation home. Her husband works for a global company and travels most of each week. She joined her father-in-law’s accounting firm and recently became the managing partner.

Margaret’s life is near perfect. She is financially secure and her family has never faced anything worse than ordinary illnesses, occasional plumbing problems and snow days. It is overloaded, though, and about to be more so as it collides with Alzheimer’s Disease: her widowed father-in-law has just been diagnosed. Others in his family do not live nearby and given her husband’s travel schedule, she will become the caregiver.

Imagining she was my best friend, I set out to help her. It took far longer than I thought to understand the stages of the disease and caregiving dynamics and to map them out to show her and help plan next steps. It did not take long, however, to realize that she needed far more than information. She needed help, not only for caregiving but for coordination, and that was not easy to find. (more…)

Closing Out 2016 at the Disruptive Spa (not really, just taking some R&R)

Robin Strongin

As we close out 2016, I want to take the opportunity to thank all the disruptors out there—women and men—working hard to get the needle to move (or at least to quiver).  We know, with absolute certainty, that progress is not linear, it can take longer than we’d like, and it can be exhausting.  But, it can also be exhilarating, satisfying, and surprising.

We are very excited to announce our 17 Disruptive Women to Watch in 2017—but unlike past years, you will have to wait until early 2017 to find out who these amazing women are and how they are shaking things up.  Hey, we are disruptive so we like to mix it up from year to year.

And, what a year it has been.  Disruptive Women has had a very busy year (so what else is new, women’s work is never done) and we have fabulous programs planned for 2017: make sure to see us in January at the JP Morgan Health Care Conference, in February at HIMSS and stay tuned for many more exciting programs.

So that we can spend time with our loved ones, and polish our disrupting skills, we will be on R&R until the start of the new year.

Warm wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season.

A few words of inspiration to ring in the new year:

“The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand

“Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” –Margaret Thatcher

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

“When you lose a couple of times, it makes you realize how difficult it is to win.” – Steffi Graf

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin

“You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”– Maya Angelou

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” — Coco Chanel

And this gem from Elvis: “You’ve got to follow that dream, wherever that dream may lead.”



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The 14th Annual World Health Care Congress
Apr 30 - May 03 2017
Location: The Marriot Wardman Park Hotel | Washington, DC

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