Past Employee Champions

Each year, employees who have gone outside their job description as advocates for the biopharmaceutical industry are recognized as Champions. All Champions who come from a variety of disciplines. They not only excel in their everyday roles, but also as advocates for our industry. Learn more about these remarkable Champions below:

Astellas WWFH Champion Keya Pitts

Keya Pitts

Executive Director, Pharmacovigilance and Clinical Quality Assurance
Astellas Pharma US

Over the past several years, Keya has been a passionate volunteer in iBio Institute's Stellar Girls program. As part of these efforts, she has mentored and coached girls (grades 3-8) in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, helping to diversify the STEM talent pipeline. Keya also has inspired young women and minorities to pursue their professional leadership goals through her participation in such activities as the Astellas Executive Women's Day.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - John Banaszak - Astellas

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 help provide 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.

Joseph Latella

Senior Regional Specialty Sales Manager
Astellas Pharma US

(Astellas) Joseph (Joe) is a passionate PAC Ambassador and an active student of health care policy. He is a member of the St. Elizabeth's Hospital Foundation Board and brings a trusted perspective on the implications of evolving policies on physicians, patients and the hospital.

2018 WWFH Astellas Champion - Dan Hoeppner

Daniel Hoeppner

Associate Director of Neuroscience
Astellas Research Institute of America

Daniel’s peers recognize his knack for translating the complexity of today’s science to patients, colleagues and lawmakers. Over the past year, he has educated federal and state policymakers on the innovative ways that Astellas is advancing neuroscience. He’s participated in researcher “fly-ins” in DC and Sacramento and organized facility visits for legislative staff in San Diego.

2018 Biogen WWFH Champion - Jen Norton

Jen Norton

Vice President, Market Access & Reimbursement

Jen has volunteered her time to help educate federal legislators on Biogen's public policy goals. She has traveled to DC several times to meet with Biogen’s Government Affairs team and members of Congress. She has a unique talent for explaining the complexities of drug pricing and value-based contracting so that members of Congress and their staff understand them.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Biogen - Travis Gregory

Travis Gregory

Associate Director, Corporate and Government Affairs IT

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.

Juan Nadal, MD

Vice President, Medical Communications
Bayer Corporation

(Bayer Corporation) Dr. Nadal is an advocate for health professionals and patients. A champion for clinical pharmacists, Juan has been instrumental in Bayer's PharmD Fellowship program with Rutgers University, which enables new PharmD's to have a better inside view of the biopharmaceutical industry.

J. Aaron Graham

Executive Director, Brand Safety and Security
Boehringer Ingelheim

(Boehringer Ingelheim) Aaron has engaged with Congressional members and the FDA on outreach to Hispanic groups about the dangers of purchasing counterfeit medications from unauthorized retailers. He also advocates on drug take-back programs, anti-counterfeiting and protection of BI’s extensive supply chain.

2018 BI WWFH Champion - Brendan Bertsch

Brendan Bertsch

Executive Director, Contracts and Pricing
Boehringer Ingelheim

Brendan actively engages with external stakeholders to support our industry and demonstrate the value of our medicines to policymakers. He has educated state legislators on the drug supply chain and value-based insurance designs so that legislators have the knowledge to make informed decisions about legislation seeking to ensure patient access to affordable medicines.

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.

BMS Veterans Community Network (VCN)

Bristol-Myers Squibb

VCN raises awareness and provides a sense of community across the company around military service members, veterans and their family members and nonmilitary employees who just want to help. VCN works with veteran organizations and actively provides mentoring opportunities for former service members to assist in their transition to a career outside the military. Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud to be an employer of choice for veterans where they may build a career and successful life outside the military.

2018 BMS WWFH Champion - Kristie Fischer

Kristie Fischer

Executive Associate
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Outside of Kristie’s role at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), she is a Helping Hands Volunteer Program Administrator, coordinating employee engagement for service hours to charities. In 2017, more than 1,400 volunteers gave over 6,200 volunteer hours and participated in 65 events. Kristie also leads employee community outreach with the Salvation Army Backpack Drive, Bentley Community Services, Thanksgiving Food Drive and the United Way Adopt-A-Family program. And last year, she and the BMS Organization for Latino Achievement collaborated to create an innovative new Adopt-A-Family program to help families affected by the hurricanes in Puerto Rico.

Adam Taliaferro

Associate Director, State Strategy & Policy
Bristol-Myers Squibb

(Bristol-Myers Squibb) After his workday is over, Adam not only represents his hometown in the New Jersey state legislature, he is also an advocate for patients and the health care industry through his foundation. The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides emotional, financial and educational support to individuals who suffer catastrophic head or spinal injuries and supports the research, prevention, and care of such injuries.

Celgene WWFH Champion - Jennifer Jorgenson

Jennifer Jorgenson

Senior Hematology/Oncology Consultant

Jennifer created and launched an "Ambassador Captain" program, identifying and partnering with a colleague in each of 40 sales districts throughout the country. These captains work directly with Jennifer, and in coordination with the Government Relations team, to facilitate grassroots outreach among their teams to elected officials on key policy issues at the state and federal level.

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.

2018 Celgene WWFH Champion - Gregg Lanez

Gregg Lanez

Senior Patient Support Specialist

In his day-to-day role, Gregg helps patients navigate their insurance benefits, understand their options for assistance, and ultimately ensure that they get the medicines they need. Gregg sees firsthand the impact that public policy can have on a patient’s ability to access life-changing and life-saving medicines. He is a regular attendee at Celgene's Annual Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., and he has represented the company at countless events in New Jersey with federal, state and local elected officials.

GSK WWFH Champion - Brian Johns

Brian Johns

Vice President, DPU Head HIV, R&D Infectious Disease

Brian leads a team at GSK that is collaborating in research with UNC-Chapel Hill HIV Cure Center with the focus of finding a cure for HIV instead of just treating the disease. In addition to his WWFH Champion Award, Brian was also honored as “Tar Heel of the Week” in October 2016 by the Raleigh News & Observer.

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.

Michele Schmidt, RN

Executive Director, Global Project Leadership

(Celgene Corporation) As a “Celgene Ambassador," Michele has been a tremendous partner to the Government Relations teams in helping them understand and communicate Celgene's clinical trials footprint to legislators across the United States. She helped create the first Celgene State Fact Sheets to demonstrate Celgene's presence in states across the country – an important tool as we discuss the impact of the biopharmaceutical industry.

WWFH Eli Lilly & Company Champion - Tony Major

Tony Major

Senior Software Engineer
Eli Lilly and Company

Tony has been a key figure in educating public policymakers on the process of innovation, the cost of R&D and the lost opportunities when not making investments in these areas. To translate this arduous work, he has helped develop an augmented reality program and sample presentations for policymakers. The presentation includes 3-D goggles that show how we can manipulate molecules in the lab and demonstrates how augmented reality helps us better understand these modifications before we bring those changes to human testing. His presentations leave a strong impression on visiting policymakers.

J&J WWFH Champion - Caroline Pavis

Caroline Pavis

Director, Strategic Communications
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Caroline has created and launched an industry-leading, first- and only-of-its-kind program for increasingly influential online patient health advocates. HealtheVoices, now in its third year, brings together online patient advocates for a weekend of learning, growing and mutual support.

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.

Pauline Coderre, RPh, MS, CCP

Health Education Consultant
Eli Lilly and Company

(Eli Lilly and Company) Pauline is a true patient advocate who believes in going beyond medicine to engage, educate and empower patients to be active in their own health care and improve overall outcomes. She identifies new ways to provide patients with timely, action-oriented resources on health and wellness and a variety of disease states.

2018 GSK WWFH Champion - Dr. Leonard Friedland

Dr. Leonard Friedland

Vice President, Director Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines North America

Dr. Friedland is a licensed pediatrician in Pennsylvania. Prior to joining GSK, he conducted his residency in pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, also in Philadelphia. He helps develop vaccines for children, adolescents, adults, the elderly, and during pregnancy. These include vaccines for preventing the flu, meningitis and more. Outside of this work, he is GSK’s medical and public health representative and spokesperson for U.S. vaccine topics at the CDC, public health venues, Congress and media outlets.

Regina Holzbauer - WWFH Champion - Merck

Regina Holzbauer

Executive Director of Operations

Regina has played an instrumental role in helping Merck organize site visits at its Animal Health facility in Millsboro for federal and state legislators, the USDA Deputy Secretary and local high school students with an interest in science and agriculture. She is an incredibly collaborative partner who brings a high level of focus and rigor to all aspects of her responsibilities to enhance the reputation of the company and the biopharmaceutical industry.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Marilyn Foote-Hudson - GSK

Marilyn Foote-Hudson

Executive Director, North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation

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.

Christine Schnackenberg, PhD, FAHA

Senior Scientific Investigator

(GlaxoSmithKline) Dr. Schnackenberg chairs GSK's Science in the Schools group in Upper Merion, PA. This volunteer group works to provide opportunities for GSK employees to share science in their local communities and inspire future generations of scientists.

2018 J&J WWFH Champion - Pedro Costa

Pedro Costa

Senior Director, Government Affairs/SC
Johnson and Johnson

Pedro works in Public Affairs for Johnson & Johnson and had quite the year in 2017. In his role, he has helped create a more favorable climate for companies to invest and create jobs in Puerto Rico. Following the devastating effects of hurricane Maria, Pedro worked to ensure that patients could access critical medications and medical supplies. Pedro also tirelessly worked to keep J&J and key supplier facilities up and running, while helping distribute necessary relief supplies to those who needed them most. He even filled his own car with relief supplies and personal belongings to reach communities in the middle of the island.

Bob Abraham Pfizer

Robert Abraham

Sr. Vice President & Group Head, Oncology R&D

Based at Pfizer's La Jolla (CA) site, Bob understands the importance of community and patient engagement. Under Bob's leadership, he has hosted patient advocacy groups at the site and speaks to organizations like the San Diego Komen for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference and other charitable related events.

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.

Norris Turner Jr., PharmD, PhD

Therapeutic Area Director, Healthcare Quality Systems, Strategic Customer Group
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

(Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson) Norris helps develop and drive programs aimed at elevating the standard of care for those with serious mental illness. Through legislative advocacy and community outreach, he champions policy solutions and population health management strategies that support earlier treatment interventions and enhanced collaboration between the mental health and criminal justice systems.

2019 WWFH Employee Champion - Jon Martin - Merck

Jon Martin

Executive Director, Payer Marketing, US Hospital/Specialty

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.

2018 Merck WWFH Champion - Frank Stone

Frank Stone

Director, U.S. Managed Markets Finance

Frank has played an instrumental role in helping Merck conduct extensive modeling of the economic and market impact of a wide variety of legislative and regulatory proposals. He has a passion for using data to explain the underlying business environment and has done that for Merck since 2006. This work helps Merck and the industry present effective policy and advocacy to leaders and policymakers.

Robert Betzig

Site Leader, Pfizer Global Supply, Kalamazoo Site

Bob is an effective and accessible voice in highlighting the value of the pharmaceutical industry for policymakers and thought leaders. He has engaged federal, state and local officials at the site to help them better understand the challenges and opportunities of our industry. Bob is also involved and supportive of Pfizer's Michigan Legislative Leaders program, which pairs Pfizer colleagues with their state legislators and trains the colleague on how to best represent and advocate for Pfizer policy positions.

Marilyn Mainardi

(Merck) As Merck's national representative for the Merck Patient Assistance Program, Marilyn has been instrumental in supporting Merck's core value of expanding access to medicines and vaccines. She embodies the underlying principles of the program by always remembering it is about ensuring patients have access to the medicines they need to improve their health and well-being.

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.

Jason Brandt Sanofi

Jason Brandt

Head, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Sales, West Division
Sanofi US

Jason Brandt is highly committed to civic action both personally and professionally. Through his role on the Sanofi US PAC Board, Jason advocates tirelessly for issues related to the healthcare industry. His passion for civic action is also clearly apparent in his leadership role as a Vice President of Sales in our Diabetes and Cardiovascular, West division. He proactively communicates this commitment with his division and encourages his peers to do the same.

2018 Pfizer WWFH Champion - Marie Claire Peakman

Marie-Claire Peakman

Head Primary Pharmacology, Medicine Design, Worldwide Research & Development
Pfizer, Inc

Dr. Peakman proactively educates policymakers on the importance of the industry’s work. She represented Pfizer at the 2018 Connecticut Pharmaceutical Researchers’ Day at the Capitol and worked with the Pfizer Legislative Team to advocate before the Rhode Island legislature. Dr. Peakman serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut and she is a member of the United Way SECT Impact Council, which identifies key areas for community impact efforts. In her spare time, she chairs the Parish Council for St. Bernard’s Parish in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. And from 2009 to 2012, she was on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital.

Nancy Bell, PharmD

(Pfizer) Dr. Bell works with insurers and large health care delivery systems to improve the quality of health care. Dr. Bell works extensively with the Iowa Pharmacy Association and her alma mater, Drake University, to shape the profession of pharmacy and relations with the pharmaceutical industry to improve health care in her state. She has worked with various advocacy groups on smoking cessation policies and efforts and has also been appointed to a statewide task force addressing opioid and heroine abuse.

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.

Jayaram Srirangam, PhD, MBA

(Pfizer) - For more than 20 years, Jay has been a passionate advocate for the industry. Whether it’s shoe-leather lobbying or discussing how the industry is addressing life-threatening diseases at TEDx or the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers at UCSD, he is a tireless champion for Pfizer and for the industry.

Alok Goel

Senior Manager, HR Operations & Special Projects
Sanofi US

(Sanofi US) Alok has a passion for grassroots, civic engagement and health care policy. Al is one of the first to take action when employees are asked to make their voices heard by Congress. He has frequently visited legislators in their districts and even on Capitol Hill. In doing so, Al always draws on his experience to advocate for the biopharmaceutical industry and the patients it serves.

Catherine Roman

(Astellas) - Catherine selflessly volunteers her time and energies as a PAC ambassador to educate her peers on the value of supporting Astellas’ government affairs initiatives. She has also volunteered in Massachusetts state politics for 10 years and is currently an elected official in her hometown.

Edio Zampaglione, MD, FACOG

(Bayer) - Dr. Zampaglione is passionate about ensuring all women have access to the information and support they need to take control of their health. He is a champion of Bayer's support of patient education on family planning through advocacy partnerships.

Mary McConnell-Meachen

(Boehringer Ingelheim) - Mary is a tireless advocate who engages with external stakeholders to demonstrate the value of our business to patients and policymakers. This includes Mary's election to the Pharmaceutical Product Stewardship Working Group Board of Directors, focused on implementation of drug take-back programs.

Dinorah Williams

(Bristol-Myers Squibb) - Dinorah spearheaded an effort to educate BMS’ New Jersey workforce on the 2014 election and the importance of being politically active. Her efforts helped create greater awareness about the role government affairs and policy plays in supporting biopharmaceutical innovation and appropriate patient access to innovative medicines.

Zoya Girard

(Celgene) - Zoya serves as a “Celgene Ambassador” and lobbies for patient rights from Sacramento, CA to Washington, DC. By working with elected officials, she shares examples of how public policies can impact innovation and limit access to life changing medicines for patients who need it most.

Michael Devine, RPh

(GlaxoSmithKline) - Michael “Andy” Devine serves as a great role model on service to patients, to the industry and to the political process. A trained pharmacist, Andy dispenses the right messages to colleagues, senior management and elected officials alike, helping to create an environment where his colleagues and our industry can continue to succeed.

Allyson Kayton

(Ikaria) - Allyson is a leading advocate for Ikaria and neonatal patients across the country. Through her work with the FL Assoc. of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners and the National Assoc. of Neonatal Nurses and Nurse Practitioners, Ally ensures that the voices of our nation’s vulnerable critical care patients are heard by policymakers in Florida and in Washington, DC.

Denise Tucker

(Merck) - Denise is a leader who drives her company’s policy priorities and, in turn, our industry’s. From Part D to Health Care Reform Implementation, Denise helps partners understand the implications and how our collaborative work will, ultimately, help better patients’ lives.

Camille Lee

(Novo Nordisk) - This year, under Camille’s leadership, her company’s Cornerstones4Care diabetes program will send more than 3 million action alerts to patients, helping inform them of new treatment options – and helping build out our industry’s army of advocates.

Warachal Eileen Faison, MD

(Pfizer) - Outside of her work at Pfizer and as a geriatric psychiatrist, Dr. Faison tirelessly collaborates with the Alzheimer’s Association and American Heart Association. She spends countless hours in the community participating in health fairs and seminars to educate the community-at-large about Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular diseases.

Dean Gianarkis, PharmD

(Pfizer) - Dean represents the biopharmaceutical industry within numerous community organizations, including patient advocacy groups, pharmacists and Federally Qualified Health Centers. He is a strong advocate for wellness and smoking cessation policy and works closely with NJ Breathes to that end.

Jason Pelletier

(Sanofi) - In 2014 Jason brought his incredible energy to Sanofi's Corporate Affairs department during a field-rotation program specifically working on employee civic action initiatives. His enthusiasm helped drive strong employee participation in company activations and voter education and registration events.

Chris Reddick, PhD

(Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA) - Dr. Reddick is works to improve access to healthcare and medicines for patients living in extreme poverty in underdeveloped communities worldwide. In 2012, he started Healthcare Partners for Children, an organization that provides opportunities for healthcare professionals to directly impact the lives of patients and people in need beyond their daily work.

Robert Kernstock, PhD

(Astellas Pharma US) - Dr. Kernstock is a member of Astellas’ Science WoRx steering committee that focuses on fostering science education at the elementary and high school grade levels. As part of the program, he has helped many high school students on projects in the STEM lab, including one to identify potential biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.

Joanne Palmisano, MD, FACP

(Boehringer Ingelheim) - Dr. Palmisano is a leading advocate for Boehringer Ingelheim who regularly engages with external stakeholders to support the industry and demonstrate its value to patients and policymakers. Her passion for pediatric therapies has also led her to participate in FDA dialogues on sound policies for pediatric drug development.

Sabrina Aery

(Bristol-Myers Squibb) - Sabrina is a board member of BUILD, an organization that partners with high schools in Palo Alto, Oakland, Boston and Washington, DC, to use a four-year curriculum of youth entrepreneurship to engage and propel low income, disengaged youth in tough neighborhoods through high school and into college.

Michael Murphy

(Celgene) - Michael has advocated on behalf of Celgene's public policy priorities at both the federal and state levels as a Celgene Ambassador. The Celgene Ambassadors program is a group of more than 50 employees who help colleagues understand why what happens in Washington, D.C. and state capitols impacts Celgene and the patients it serves.

Carmela Mascio

(Cubist Pharmaceuticals) - Carmela Mascio is a leading ambassador for STEM education and community outreach. She is passionate about demystifying science for students through interactive, hands-on activities, as well as helping students understand various career opportunities in STEM-related fields.

Nathan Wright

(Eli Lilly and Company) - Nathan has led Lilly’s efforts to identify its vendors in Indiana and across the country. His work has helped Lilly to realize how vendors can become important voices in the debate about the value of the biopharmaceutical industry - regardless of the product or service they provide.

Scott Smith

(GlaxoSmithKline) - Together with NC BIO, the NC Chamber, and the We Work For Health Initiative, Scott and his colleagues at GSK brought together about 100 business leaders, policy makers and non-profit leaders to celebrate the industry and discuss the sector's economic impact and opportunities for growth.

Bruce Smith

(GlaxoSmithKline) - As an active volunteer and supporter of the American Diabetes Association of Oregon for over a decade, Bruce has been a member of the auction committee and helped lead its fundraising efforts. His dedication has never been about product; it’s not about sales, but about strengthening patient advocacy and improving quality care.

Colleen Lange

(Merck) - Colleen Lange has been instrumental in helping Merck organize facility site visits for federal legislators over the past year. Hosting Members of Congress at facilities across the county is one of the most important ways to demonstrate the value of our industry in particular states, and to showcase our highly technical - and impressive - research operations.

Tiffini Brabham, DVM, PhD, DABT

(Pfizer) - Dr. Brabham is a strong advocate for Pfizer’s grassroots and PAC programs. She volunteers for Project 351, an initiative created by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to, “unite diverse 8th grade service Ambassadors from every city and town in the Commonwealth for an inspirational year of community service, leadership development and enrichment.”

Terri Swanson, MA, PMP, LATG

(Pfizer) - In addition to her "day job," Terri Swanson has been a leader in reaching out to schools and civic organizations to help build an understanding and awareness of the drug discovery and development process. With a group of colleagues at Pfizer's Groton, CT, site, Terri created, "The Long Road to Drug Discovery," an interactive game with an integrated slide presentation.

Lori Madsen

(Sanofi US) - Lori was chosen in 2013 to serve as a champion for her region as part of a company and industry advocacy campaign. Lori has been a standout contributor by consistently mobilizing her peers and leadership to engage in a dialogue about the importance of our industry to patient-health and local economies.

Andy Hull

(Takeda Pharmaceuticals International) - Andy believes in the importance of providing educational opportunities for students to become future leaders in the industry and worked to support the EDUCATE Center, providing industry-led science and math programs for middle and high school teachers and students.

Rodney Gillespie

(AstraZeneca) - Rodney advocates for policies and practices that help support patient health and access to medicines as a member of the Corporate Advisory Council for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), the 21st Century Council for the Congressional Black Caucus Institute (CBCI) and AZ’s Political Action Committee.

Dr. Jim Baxter, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

(Boehringer Ingelheim) - Dr. Baxter actively supports the biopharmaceutical industry through advocacy with patients, business leaders and public officials. He shared the industry’s economic footprint with members of Congress and boosted coverage of PhRMA’s Research in Your Backyard initiative.

Dave Matthews, CHMM

(Bristol-Myers Squibb Company) - As the company’s biological safety officer, Dave oversees animal care and use, water reduction, process safety management and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and excess energy. Since 2004, he has helped the site receive certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council.

Dr. Kristen Hege, M.D.

(Celgene) - Dr. Hege has developed a comprenhensive, national strategy for policymaker education and engagement. Along with Celgene’s Corporate Affairs team, Hege has highlighted the research, development and innovation needed to ensure that patients have access to life-changing medicines.

Jacquelyn Dungey

(Eli Lilly and Company) - Jackie has worked tirelessly to ensure the right voices are heard and the right information is seen by Indiana lawmakers and has encouraged the right level of access for patients and protections that ensure a successful environment for medical innovators in the state, while also finding data that proves how pharmaceutical interventions are cost effective, in addition to being lifesaving.

Steve Bushold

(Merck) - Steve advocates for the key role that pharmaceuticals play in the overall treatment of disease, where his goal is to drive business strategy and project planning. He has led the way for Merck to have significant process efficiencies, year over year cost reductions, working capital improvements, better value and innovation.

Andrew Ajello

(Novo Nordisk) - Andrew took the lead in the company’s drive to increase advocacy, committing his entire leadership team of 61 employees to come to Washington this month for Advocacy Day. He plans to bring 150 sales executives to Washington in the fall for a second Advocacy Day.

Peggy Staver

(Pfizer) - Peggy has been traveling to Washington for the past year-and-a-half to push for the enactment of a national tracing program to ensure the integrity of pharmaceutical products throughout the supply chain and has been relied on by numerous members of Congress.

Dr. Mark Vaughan, Pharm.D.

(Pfizer Consumer Health) - Dr. Vaughan has gone beyond his role as a scientist to help his community through various healthcare related initiatives and academic-industrial partnerships, which include volunteering as a pharmacist in a local free-health clinic for the uninsured, traveling on a humanitarian trip to Honduras, and leading discussions on proper diets.

Jaqueline Mitchell

(Sanofi US) - Jackie has emerged as a champion of the biopharmaceutical industry through working with Sanofi US’s grassroots program, VOICES, and serving as a “Civic Champion” who educates and recruits fellow employees to be active politically.

Dr. Jenny Colombo, Pharm.D.

(Takeda) - Dr. Colombo has demonstrated a great passion for community service within the workplace. She has most recently worked with the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry to coordinate the volunteer efforts of scientifically-trained Takeda employees to inspire children to continue their education in life sciences.


The “We” in We Work For Health comprises biopharmaceutical company employees, vendors, suppliers, and other business, academic and community leaders. Every day, we work to lead in the research and development of new cures, foster an environment for increased economic development, and invest in our communities to build a healthier America. Meet some of our past Champions.

Don Raineri, Pharm.D.
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.
Joseph Latella
(Astellas) Joseph (Joe) is a passionate PAC Ambassador and an active student of health care policy. He is a member of the St. Elizabeth's Hospital Foundation Board and brings a trusted perspective on the implications of evolving policies on physicians, patients and the hospital.
Dr. Gersham Dent
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.