The Society For Women’s Health Research Announces “Beyond The Bruises” Campaign Highlighting The Effects Of Domestic Violence On Chronic Disease

bruisesThe press release below was issued May 27 by the Society for Women’s Health Research and can be seen here.

The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR ®), a national non-profit and thought leader in research on sex differences in health and disease, today announced “Beyond the Bruises,” an online campaign uniting survivors, advocates, organizations, and celebrities in bringing awareness to the effects of domestic violence on chronic disease.  The campaign features a short film that shares the stories of domestic violence survivors who struggle with chronic disease as a result of their abuse, as well as the website, a resource center that houses information on the often unrecognized effects of domestic violence on chronic illness.

A 2013 study conducted by MORE Magazine and the Verizon Foundation found that 81 percent of domestic violence victims experience chronic health problems, proving that domestic abuse is not only a criminal issue, but a public health issue as well. “Domestic violence is a huge problem affecting men, women, and children every single day,” said Kristina Paruginog, one of the subjects in the film. “Do not be ashamed, do not be embarrassed, and most importantly, seek help.” (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

All women are health workers

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

How women define health Center for Talent Innovation

The following post originally ran on Health Populi on May 26. See the original post here.

The spiritual and emotional top the physical in women’s definition of “health,” based on a multi-country survey conducted in Brazil, Germany, Japan, the UK and the U.S.

The Power of the Purse, a research project sponsored by the Center for Talent Innovation, underscores women’s primary role as Chief Medical Officers in their families and social networks. The research was sponsored by health industry leaders including Aetna, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cardinal Health, Eli Lilly and Company, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Merck KGaA, MetLife, Pfizer, PwC, Strategy&, Teva, and WPP. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Missed our Indoor Tanning Event, Don’t Fret…We’ve got a Recap

Tim_HeadshotOur Skin Cancer Awareness Month series comes to a close today. Below is a recap of Wednesday’s event co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses.

It was a late night call to Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi that made dealing with melanoma a personal experience. Tanzi, a dermatologist who previously had many difficult face-to-face conversations with patients to discuss a skin cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment options, had decided to test a sample of her own skin after discovering noticeable symptoms. She had no risk factors, limited sun exposure, and at 37 years of age, she hadn’t been in a tanning bed since she was college-aged.

But when she listened to her voicemail, she knew that her colleague’s urgency signaled that the news was bad; she just needed to know how badly her skin cancer had progressed.

Tanzi, who has now survived multiple bouts of melanoma, shared this courageous story and joined other fierce cancer prevention advocates to talk about the reality of skin cancer and the dangers of tanning. The Capitol Hill event, “The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College,” was co-hosted by Disruptive Women in Health Care and Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, a program of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Birth of Pull the Plug on Tanning Beds

unpluggedWith May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with yesterday’s event co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

Eight years ago, my daughter Jaime died from melanoma, which the doctors believed was from her use of tanning beds in high school and college. She was diagnosed when she was 20 and fought the evil beast of a disease until her death at 29.

My Jaime’s story gave me the passion and conviction to become “the indoor tanning industry’s worst nightmare.” The day after Jaime’s funeral I began going after the indoor tanning industry and their lies and deception. I drew their wrath by commenting on magazine and newspaper articles on the internet about the dangers of tanning beds (see Social media was in its infancy; Facebook and Twitter had not yet been born. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Addressing the risks of indoor tanning

RLD officialWith May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month and in tandem with our event Wednesday co-hosted with the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, The Hazards and Allure of Indoor Tanning Beds on College Campuses we are running a series on skin cancer. Be sure to check back daily for posts on skin cancer including how you prevent and detect it. Enjoy!

It is not the kind of selfie we usually expect to see on Facebook. A young woman looks forlornly away from the camera, her face covered from top to bottom with bloody scabs—the result of treatment for skin cancer. The therapy is aggressive; but it is necessary, because at the age of just 27, Tawny Willoughby has had carcinoma six times. Almost every time she sees the dermatologist, she has to have more cancerous tissue removed. By posting her painful photo on Facebook, Tawny hopes to save others from a similar fate. At the time of writing, the image has already been shared almost 70,000 times.

Tawny’s risk of developing skin cancer was greatly increased by her frequent use of a tanning bed. Research published in the British Medical Journal links indoor tanning to more than 170,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. every year. People who start using tanning devices when they are young are in still greater danger. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

Nurse Executives & Nail Salons

aanderson_headshotI’ve been eyeing my colleagues’ manicures lately – a wardrobe staple, now that I work in nursing administration. The higher the title, the fancier the nails, it seems. Gone are the days where my closely trimmed, bare nails matched my simple scrubs. Dry cleaned suits and pumps are job requirements, and tasteful manicures seem highly recommended. Recently, I’ve considered picking up the practice, keeping my hands in my lap with rookie shame.

I learned early on in my nursing career that the intensive care unit was no place for manicured fingernails, but administration is a different story. The on-and-off of latex gloves, constant washing, and ever-present hand sanitizer that nixed my polish in a single shift aren’t as present as I walk the halls in my supervisory role. In a week, I might don a single pair of gloves, and although I can’t kick the compulsive habit of frequent hand washing, my work is heavy in polish-preserving tasks like e-mailing and making phone calls.

But after this weekend’s New York Times report on the dangers that NYC manicurists face, I wonder if nurses – bedside and executive alike – shouldn’t take a definitive stand against the practice altogether. (more…)

Subscribe to our newsletter

  • May 4th, 2015 Meet Dakota Fisher-Vance…she didn’t let cancer derail her
    By Glenna Crooks
  • TBT: Taking A Stand Against the USPSTF’s “New Breast Cancer Guidelines”

    Grace Bender

    On November 11, 2009 we ran the post below. For many this week when the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its draft breast cancer screening recommendation it was deja vous.

    As a member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance Board and a breast cancer survivor, I welcome readers of Disruptive Women in Health Care to read the statement below that was released by Komen as a result of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force “new breast cancer guidelines.” In addition, please visit the Komen website: and take a stand and action by signing the petition and help ensure that all women have access to this lifesaving screening.

    Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Recommends No Impediments to Breast Cancer Screening (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Snap to It: Passing the Torch of Advocacy and Change

    Janice Lynch Schuster

    Any given week, one of my five Millennial children is out volunteering for community-based groups, or marching in the streets for social justice. Although I like to think that I had some influence on their propensity to serve and advocate, they deny this. Instead, they tell me, they are driven by motives and experiences that are entirely their own.

    Even so, they were all in grade school when I took them to their first rally: the Million Mom March on Washington to protest gun violence. They were in middle school when I joined a candlelight vigil to protest the war in Iraq, and in high school when I canvassed for Kerry and Obama. Their father, my former husband, played his part, too, having them volunteer at organizations that serve the homeless in our community, and other groups that help vulnerable people thrive.

    It could be, I guess, that children take less notice of us than parents believe (or take notice, for years, of our shortcomings). I have no doubt, though, that my parents influenced me to try to change the world for the better. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    SWHR Honors Champions of Women’s Health at their 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner

    swhrThe Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) held their annual black-tie gala on March, 25, 2015. This year celebrated 25 years of transforming women’s health. More than 600 guests gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Washington D.C. to commemorate this milestone.

    Judy Woodruff was the evening’s master of ceremony. The gala honored the accomplishments of several champions of women’s health, and opened with an anniversary video, chronicling SWHR’s efforts to put women’s health at the forefront of research. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Founder Robin Strongin helps Women in MedTech Group Launch at MassMEDIC Forum

    The article below originally ran on April 9 in MedTech Boston and can be accessed here. Many thanks to Disruptive Woman Randel Richner who invited Disruptive Women Founder Robin Strongin to participate in this launch. Can’t wait to hear more from this group!

    StronginThe first-ever Women in MedTech event launched last week in Waltham, MA as 125 women gathered for a MassMEDIC-sponsored forum titled “Disruptive Technologies in Medicine.” Its founders frame their goal: “To unite New England medical device executive women by providing an inspirational and educational leadership forum.” The message: “You will hear us now.”

    Randel Richner, President of Richner Consultants, opened the forum. “Today is a dream of mine, to have all of you in this room,” she said. Two powerful influences have guided her life: her dad, who said, “You will always work,” and Robin Morgan’s 1969 book, Sisterhood is Powerful. Richner started her career as a dialysis nurse on a bus, but has taken her work many places since. She has been called incendiary – inflammable and provocative – and effective, and she believes deeply in an Alibaba quote: “To be more successful, bring in more women.” (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Both of Them

    Regina Holliday

    Disruptive Women is embarking on an exciting week…Tuesday we head to NYC where we will be emceeing XX in Health as their retreat takes over the boy’s club (The Harvard Club). Then on Thursday we will be talking to women in tech at MassMEDIC. So as we interact with new disruptive women this week we wanted to reflect back and run some powerful posts from the past. Be sure to check the blog all this week for some of our favorites.

    Do ever think of animals or fictional characters can well represent the personalities of new people you meet?

    regina h 1

    I often do.  It helps me remember them and their personality.  When I first met Matthew Browning it was on Twitter and I knew him by his description: Founder, CEO Targeted Instant Communications, Inventor IntelliBlast Communications System, RN, MSN, FNP, Healthcare 2.0, Husband & Daddy, :-)   When I met Matthew in person I thought of the 1984 film: The NeverEnding Story.  In particular I thought of the character known as Rock-Biter.  This character is tall and strong with a deep rumbling voice.  It was a perfect fit for Matthew. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    The State of Women in Healthcare: An Update

    Halle Tecco

    Exactly a year ago, we decided to publish the gender data on founders at Rock Health. Despite women being the majority of our team and our board, only 30% of our portfolio companies had a female founder (today, we are at almost 34%). Because we’d like to help our portfolio companies access a diverse talent pool, we began the XX in Health initiative nearly four years ago.

    The aim of this initiative is to bring women together to network and support one another. The 2,400 members of the group share resources and ideas on LinkedIn and meet regularly across the country. This week we’re hosting a webinar on the topic for both men and women, and next week along with Disruptive Women, we’ll host our sixth XX in Health Retreat in NYC.

    Today, through this initiative, we are proud to share our third annual report on the state of women in healthcare. Our past reports on this topic have been some of our most popular content, and we encourage you to share this report with your colleagues.

    Women are still underrepresented in leadership positions in healthcare. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Endo Awareness

    Amber Coleman-MortleyMarch is endometriosis awareness month.  According the CDC, endometriosis occurs “when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else”.  In other words your uterine lining can grow on ovaries, it can wrap around your intestines and in some cases on parts of the body nowhere near the female reproductive organs, like in a few rare cases the lungs.  As serious as this sounds, unfortunately, many people have heard more about ovarian cancer (which is very serious) than endometriosis.  I, however, have known about this disease and the havoc it can wreak for my entire life.

    Growing up I used to pray that I would never get my menstrual cycle.  I never wanted children and I never wanted to take part in any of the natural changes that occur within the 21-35 day interval of femininity.  I saw it as the body’s unnecessary method of taking out the garbage and wondered what would happen if you could “become a woman” but keep all of that “stuff” in there. But alas the end of middle school came and my prayers were not answered.  I was a normal woman and I had to deal with the “tribulations of womanhood”. But my overall attitude toward the process changed when someone very close to me was diagnosed with endometriosis. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Launching Healthcare’s Most Essential Dialogue

    Mary R. Grealy

    On Monday, March 2, a remarkable event took place in Washington, DC.  In a city in which bickering and finger-pointing are practically cottage industries, the diverse interests of American healthcare – many of which often find themselves on opposing sides of issues – came together to begin finding common ground on challenges affecting health system value, innovation and sustainability.

    The stakes for this discussion couldn’t be higher.  Virtually every day, new health innovations are emerging from drawing boards and laboratories.  Advances in medicine, however, bring with them more questions.  How do we incentivize even greater progress to help extend and improve patient lives?  How do we make game-changing innovations affordable and accessible for patients and consumers?  And, how do we create a structure that achieves both high-quality healthcare and long-term economic sustainability?

    The Healthcare Leadership Council – a coalition of CEOs from all health sectors – created an initiative, the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI) for the very purpose of answering questions like these. (more…)

    Subscribe to our newsletter