2019 WWFH EMPLOYEE CHAMPIONS

Meet the employees we’ve recognized as We Work For Health Champions in 2019. These are exceptional employees who raise awareness about the vital role the biopharmaceutical industry plays in improving patients’ lives. The 11 individuals work tirelessly to educate lawmakers on the impact public policies can have on innovation.

Champions Award Logo

John Banaszak

Assistant Director, Marketing Operations
Astellas Pharma US

As assistant director of marketing operations in Northbrook, Illinois, John invests considerable time and energy encouraging employee participation in initiatives focused on constructive public policies that help foster medical innovation and ensure patient access to needed medicines. John helped create Astellas' civic engagement program that enables colleagues to voluntarily reach out to elected officials on priority legislation.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Biogen - Travis Gregory

Travis Gregory

Associate Director, Corporate and Government Affairs IT
Biogen

Travis was instrumental in creating Biogen’s new employee engagement platform, Biogen Political. It was no small task – it required modifying multiple IT, HR, compliance, legal and other processes to build a website accessible to employees. Thanks to the site and Travis’ hard work, Biogen’s voice to members of Congress and state and local officials can be heard. In addition to Travis’ support of Biogen’s public policy and government affairs team, he was nominated to serve on the Biogen PAC Board to help advise and grow the Biogen PAC.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion Award - Boehringer Ingelheim - Adam Price

Adam Price

Vice President of Legal operations, Employment & Transactions
Boehringer Ingelheim

Adam works with BI’s state lobbyists to educate state legislators on employment and data privacy issues, such as paid family and medical leave and harassment, as well as BI’s current policies and procedures. Through his work, legislators have the knowledge to make informed decisions about employment-related legislation. In addition, Adam provided BI’s unique perspective on legislation that sought to restrict patient access to prescription and patient assistance programs. As a result, he is now a trusted resource for policymakers, who advance BI’s positions and employee perspectives on public policy issues.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Adrienne Gonzalez - Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Adrienne Gonzalez

Senior Corporate Counsel of U.S. Commercial, Legal & Compliance
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Adrienne has spent most of her career as an attorney shaping an environment so patients have less barriers to access and companies have the opportunity to bring innovations to market. At the same time, she brought this same passion to her role as the first lead of the BMS Black Organization for Leadership & Development (or “BOLD”). Adrienne planned and executed initiatives to improve recruiting and retention of African-American talent, external corporate reputation and business outcomes for African-American patients. During her tenure, she increased BOLD membership by 200%, drove focus toward clinical trial diversity, expanded the BOLD Day of Service on MLK Day, established a five-year post-graduate biomedical fellowship program with the United Negro College Fund, and educated Congress and the CBCF on BOLD’s work.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Michele Sharr - Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Michele Sharr

Director and Program Lead for Cell Therapy Specialists in Clinical R&D Management
Bristol-Myers Squibb (Previously Celgene Corporation)

As a PAC Ambassador, Michele recruited dozens of new Ambassadors and PAC Members, including the research & development team and CAR T team. She is also a strong advocate for the industry within the New Jersey life-science and business community, and consistently represented her company at countless events with elected officials and key leaders throughout the state.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - D.R. Foley - Eli Lilly and Company

D.R. Foley

Senior Director for Facilities Development & Delivery
Eli Lilly and Company

As Lilly develops facilities plans across the country and worldwide, D.R. includes the Government Affairs team in the planning process to help understand assets on the ground in high-impact locations and how a policy shift might change the economic metrics of a decision. He has a deep knowledge of the industry, and when Lilly engages policymakers at the state and federal level, D.R. is part of the team that walks them through the facilities, explains how the supply chain works and discusses how decisions made in legislative committee rooms and regulatory bodies impact Lilly in meaningful ways.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Marilyn Foote-Hudson - GSK

Marilyn Foote-Hudson

Executive Director, North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation
GlaxoSmithKline

Marilyn Foote-Hudson has served as the executive director of the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation for over a decade, exhibiting leadership and dedication to the countless number of lives she has touched in the state. Marilyn supports and delivers science and health education programs across the state to those in kindergarten through high school. In addition, Marilyn works to provide access to higher education to six UNC campuses for students who learn differently. And she is instrumental in awarding grants for scholarships and program improvements to increase the number of women and minority students who graduate with a degree in science, technology, engineering or math, known as STEM, and to pursue careers in those fields.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Dr. Susan Nicholson - Johnson & Johnson

Dr. Susan Nicholson

Vice President, Women's Health
Johnson & Johnson

In her role at J&J, Dr. Nicholson develops an overarching women’s health strategy with a focus on maternal health. She has carried this torch by driving investment in policies and solutions to address the U.S. maternal mortality crisis, partnering with national maternal health leaders to identify and take action toward solutions. She has hosted maternal health roundtable sessions with partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and the National Birth Equity Collaborative to identify opportunities to reduce maternal mortality. She also engages in policy and advocacy efforts by educating policymakers on critical women’s health issues.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Jon Martin - Merck

Jon Martin

Executive Director, Payer Marketing, US Hospital/Specialty
Merck

Jon plays an invaluable role in supporting Merck’s work on federal policy issues, providing content expertise on a wide variety of legislative and regulatory proposals. His extensive experience in a broad array of both therapeutic and program-level areas of Merck’s business contributes to the development of innovative, actionable solutions for an increasingly challenging policy environment for the industry. He has a unique ability to distill the issues and rapidly assess the business implications of complex policy proposals focused on the biopharmaceutical industry. Additionally, Jon has proactively taken time from his business responsibilities to travel to Washington to meet with officials from a variety of federal agencies as well as other key stakeholders, providing Merck and industry perspectives on complex issues such as the misaligned incentives in Medicare Part D.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Pfizer - Paul Richardson & Oleg Brodsky

Oleg Brodsky

Principal Scientist
Pfizer Inc

Oleg is a special type of researcher who can translate scientific concepts into themes and messages that resonate with non-scientists. He communicates the value of the critical work of pharmaceutical research in understandable, impactful ways to key elected officials, advocates and the public visiting Pfizer’s La Jolla, California site for many years now. Additionally, he is involved in external educational programs, such as Chemistry Rocks, which works with high school students to illustrate how chemistry is applied at work and in everyday life.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Pfizer - Paul Richardson & Oleg Brodsky

Paul Richardson

Director, Oncology Medicinal Chemistry Group
Pfizer Inc

Paul is a special type of researcher who can translate scientific concepts into themes and messages that resonate with non-scientists. He communicates the value of the critical work of pharmaceutical research in understandable, impactful ways to key elected officials, advocates and the public visiting Pfizer’s La Jolla, California site for many years now. Additionally, he is involved in external educational programs, such as Chemistry Rocks, which works with high school students to illustrate how chemistry is applied at work and in everyday life.