2021 WWFH EMPLOYEE CHAMPIONS

Meet the recipients of the 2021 We Work for Health Champion Awards. This award recognizes individuals who strive to advance science and support innovation so that patients around the world can get the medicines and treatments they need. This year’s recipients, in the midst of a global pandemic have demonstrated commitment and resiliency that goes above and beyond expectation.

Champions Award Logo

Don Raineri, Pharm.D.

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs-U.S. and Global Head of Labeling & Regulatory Intelligence
Astellas

In the past year, Don has helped lead the company’s efforts to enhance diversity in clinical trials participation, including shepherding development of an implementation plan specific to PhRMA’s revised clinical trials principles. Don has also represented Astellas in discussions on the reauthorization of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), working to encourage an efficient process with provisions that advance innovative drug development tools and approaches that can help safely expedite patient access to new medicines. Don serves as the executive sponsor of Astellas’ Stellar Women Employee Impact Group.

Dr. Gersham Dent

Senior Director in the Biomarker Center of Excellence, R&D
Biogen

In 2020, Dr. Dent was a key voice in discussing the importance of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease with members of Congress. She participated in Capitol Hill briefings and attended multiple meetings with legislators to explain the issue. She is a powerful advocate for pioneering innovation and continues to be a trusted advisor and partner to Biogen’s Public Policy and Government Affairs team.

John Zieger

National Account Executive, P&OCS, Federal DOD-Tricare
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS)

John Zieger, Federal Account Executive at Bristol Myers Squibb has been named a 2021 We Work For Health Champion. The award, issued by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), recognizes his commitment, both personally and professionally, to military service members and veterans. In his position at BMS, Zieger is a leader in the company’s relationship with the Department of Defense/Defense Health Agency; he also serves on the leadership team of our Veterans Community Network PBRG. Zieger is a registered VA volunteer, a formal advocate for veteran hiring and mentoring and has successfully forged several public/private partnerships that effectively address veteran health disparities.

David Riggs

Sr. Director
Eli Lilly and Company

David and his colleague, Caroline Rosewell, were the team leaders in the company’s efforts to set up monoclonal antibody infusion clinics across the state of Indiana. These clinics not only helped get the treatment out to at-risk patients across the state, but they also served as an important tutorial and "how to" for hospitals and clinics across the state and nation. Earlier this year, their team held a working call with the State of Michigan Department of Health to walk them through their experiences as they helped them deal with the most recent COVID-19 surge in their state. A how-to manual was developed and was part of our contribution to the Nation of India as they struggled through their outbreak.

Caroline Rosewell

Sr. Director
Eli Lilly and Company

Caroline and her colleague, David Riggs, were the team leaders in the company’s efforts to set up monoclonal antibody infusion clinics across the state of Indiana. These clinics not only helped get the treatment out to at-risk patients across the state, but they also served as an important tutorial and "how to" for hospitals and clinics across the state and nation. Earlier this year, their team held a working call with the State of Michigan Department of Health to walk them through their experiences as they helped them deal with the most recent COVID-19 surge in their state. A how-to manual was developed and was part of our contribution to the Nation of India as they struggled through their outbreak.

Dr. Chureen Carter, PharmD, MS

Sr. Director, Real World Evidence (RWE) Alliances
Janssen (Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson)

Over the years, Dr. Chureen Carter has demonstrated her commitment to supporting and mentoring rising scientists. In her work building alliances that support evidence generation, Dr. Carter puts patients first, ensuring stakeholders understand the full value of the medicines they need. She has an exceptional ability to build bridges, whether with partners outside the organization or between different areas within it. She is a positive leader who inspires excellence wherever she goes.

Denarra Simmons

Senior Research Scientist, Analytical R&D
Merck

Denarra plays an important role in supporting Merck’s work on advocacy issues by sharing her personal story and experiences with elected officials and the public. Denarra has focused her advocacy on communities of color and the development of women and girls in STEM. Her work has helped enhance Merck’s story and assisted the Merck government affairs team build effective policy and advocacy strategies for the company and the industry. She was recently recognized in a newly launched campaign called #ScienceWorks for her efforts to engage in discussions with members of both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Dr. Angela Anderson

U.S. Head of D&I, Strategy and Operations
Novartis

Dr. Anderson, in partnership with her colleague, Vanessa Adams, served as the U.S. D&I leads for the Employee Resource Group (ERG) Capitol Hill Fly-In. They worked to produce content, align with ERG associates for the opportunity and partnered with Public Affairs to execute the initiative. The Fly-in provided Novartis associates who participate in ERGs with an opportunity to experience the work of public affairs, directly engage with policymakers to educate them about the work of our ERGs and demonstrate the company’s commitment on issues of mutual importance.

Vanessa Adams

Associate Director, D&I
Novartis

Vanessa, in partnership with her colleague, Dr. Anderson, served as the U.S. D&I leads for the Employee Resource Group (ERG) Capitol Hill Fly-In. They worked to produce content, align with ERG associates for the opportunity and partnered with Public Affairs to execute the initiative. The Fly-in provided Novartis associates who participate in ERGs with an opportunity to experience the work of public affairs, directly engage with policymakers to educate them about the work of our ERGs, and demonstrate the company’s commitment on issues of mutual importance.

Michael McDermott

President, Pfizer Global Supply
Pfizer

Michael leads Pfizer Global Supply (PGS), an organization of more than 26,000 global colleagues, who are responsible for manufacturing and global distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech COIVD-19 vaccine. His leadership has been pivotal to the company’s efforts to enhance the COVID-19 vaccine production and distribution process. He has also taken the time to share Pfizer’s vaccine story with key policymakers, elected officials and the media.

Sanofi Protein Sciences Team


Sanofi

The Sanofi Protein Sciences team is being recognized for their extensive engagement with federal and state legislators. When Connecticut Gov. Lamont was newly elected, the team hosted him and Lt. Gov. Bysiewicz at their Connecticut site to learn about the research and development on the COVID-19 vaccine and their flu vaccine innovative technology. Since that visit, the Governor has been a strong advocate urging residents to get a flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to hosting the Meriden state legislators at their site, they secured the testimony by Indresh Srivastava, Head of Process and Analytical Development, Protein Sciences, before the Connecticut Joint Health Committee to oppose HB 6447, the Governor’s bill on drug pricing that would stifle innovation.

Kim Doggett

Head of Site Engagement
UCB

Kim is an individual who is committed to helping educate policymakers and stakeholders about the important and challenging work of developing new medicines for patients. She participates in several fly-ins and she’s UCB’s leading voice on the importance of diversity in clinical trials and is leading work to advance the company in this area. Her work has been highlighted at conferences and contributed to UCB being recognized as Corporate Partner of the Year.