Meet Melissa: An innovative, entrepreneurial woman-on-a-mission

Glenna Crooks

Here I go again, introducing you to another innovative, entrepreneurial woman-on-a-mission. Although we both worked in the biopharmaceutical sector and I consulted for her company, I did not meet Melissa Toler until she’d left to pursue her passion.

Melissa Toler Photo for BlogMelissa, you’ve had an interesting path. Given your PharmD degree and the many options that created for you as a career woman, what spurred the transition to your current work?

I went to pharmacy school as a “consolation prize” for my parents, who wanted me to be a doctor. I knew I didn’t want to spend eight years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to do something that didn’t light me up. My pharmacy education seemed like the next best thing.

Since pharmacy school, I’d had visions of working in a corporate setting…hospital and retail pharmacy weren’t for me. Once I got a taste of life in the pharmaceutical industry, I LOVED IT. There were so many opportunities for pharmacists. However, as the years went on, there was a nagging voice inside that was telling me “there was something else.” (more…)

Rare Disease Day: Bringing People Living with a Rare Disease out of the Shadows and into the Spotlight

Today is Rare Disease Day. To help raise awareness among the public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives we are posting the video below.

February Man of the Month: Dr. Louis Sullivan

sullivan.louiswTo celebrate Black History Month we are honoring Dr. Louis Wade Sullivan as our February Man of the Month. He is an active health policy leader, minority health advocate, author, physician, and educator. Dr. Sullivan served as Secretary of Health and Human Services from 1989 to 1993 during President George H. W. Bush‘s Administration and was Founding Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine. (more…)

TBT: Here’s My Battle…What’s Yours?

Today’s TBT post is in honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” -Plato

I’d like to start with a disclaimer: I am not a dietician, a doctor, or a therapist, and I do not have the expertise or authority to provide professional advice on the following subject.  I do, however, have personal experience, and in ways, I feel that for so many others confronting similar issues, these personal experiences hold equal to professional training.

I had an eating disorder.  More specifically, I had several.  For 10 years of my life, I cycled through various types of disordered eating methods [Side Rant: technically I am classified as Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) because I don’t meet the very specific criteria of eating disorder categories; however, telling people I have an ‘other specified feeding disorder’ makes me feel like an animal that just has a difficult time controlling what she eats.  It’s a completely invalidating name for a condition, in my opinion, which is why it is simply easier for me to say I had an eating disorder].  My battle with food started in high school when I would restrict my calories and eat as little as possible.  In college, I gained the “freshmen 15” and then some, but also discovered I had the ability to make myself throw up.  That led to binging and purging, sometimes several times a day.  (more…)

What Do Women Know About Obamacare That Men Don’t?

Susan-DentzerThe post below originally ran on The Health Care Blog. Susan Dentzer is one of Disruptive Women’s 2015 Women to Watch, read the post and you will see why!

For the second year running, more women than men have signed up for coverage in health insurance marketplaces during open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, enrollment ran 56 percent female, 44 percent male, during last year’s open enrollment season; preliminary data from this year shows enrollment at 55 percent female, 45 percent male – a 10 percentage point difference.

What gives? An HHS spokeswoman says the department can’t explain most of the differential. Females make up about 51 percent of the U.S. population, but there is no real evidence that, prior to ACA implementation, they were disproportionately more likely to be uninsured than men – and in fact, some evidence indicates that they were less likely to be uninsured than males. (more…)

   Event Photos

View all event photos »


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 »
Find out where you can find our Disruptive Women on TV, in the news and on bookshelves.
Read more details »