Expert Commentators

Expert Commentators for Making More Health: Achieving Individual, Family and Community Well-Being.

Meet our Expert Commentators who are all doing great work in the sector and sharing their insights, expertise and feedback right here on our competition discussion forum. We invite you to follow their contributions:

Scott Hampton

Scott Hampton has directed medical product engineering and commercialization for over a decade. He has a number of patents and has started companies in both medical devices and pharmaceuticals. For the last seven years his work has focused on early-phase innovation: structuring companies, negotiating technology licensing agreements, raising capital, and building great management teams. Scott serves as Chairman on the boards of Therakine (biologic drug delivery) and Atlanta Catheter Therapies, and is a founder of the Medical Device Development Group in Atlanta (MDDG). Many of the business methods that MDDG uses are based on his research work in effective innovation of medical products. Scott received a BS in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and an MS in International Manufacturing Management from the University of California, San Diego.

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Patrick Cheung

Patrick looks back on a successful career in corporate world for 12 years. Then he built his own multimillion business which he sold in 2006 to devote all his resource, experience, time and effort to find ways to make a better world. He is the founding director of HK Social Entrepreneurship Forum and also is the Chairman of Dialogue in the Dark HK. From 2008-2010 Patrick served as the Interim Ashoka China Representative on a pro-bono basis to kick start its China operation. A trained Industrial Engineer, Patrick also received management training at Harvard and INSEAD. He has a master degree in Int. Relation and Public Affairs.

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Dr. Stephen Friend

Dr. Friend is President of Sage Bionetworks, a nonprofit foundation he co-founded in August 2009, to encourage the sharing of clinical/genomic data and models to generate representations of disease capable of driving new therapies and diagnostics. Sage is hosting large usable clinical/genomic data sets and building platforms for generating evolving disease models that can be versioned in a crowd sourced open access fashion. Previously, he was a Senior VP at Merck, where he led Merck’s Molecular Profiling and Cancer Research. Prior to Merck, Dr. Leland Hartwell recruited him to build the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Seattle Project, an advanced institute for drug discovery. While there, they developed a method for examining large patterns of genes that led them to co-found Rosetta Inpharmatics in 1997.

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Andre Blackman

Andre Blackman is an agent of change and innovation within the public health community. He is very passionate about the role of new media, mobile technology and other useful innovations as it relates to health communications and public health in general – resulting in Public Health 2.0. Andre feels that public health and new media are focused on the people, so there should be parallels to how they both interact.

His background consists of science and technology organizations, health nonprofits and traditional public relations. Through his consulting/advising vehicle, Pulse + Signal, Andre aims to educate and provide strategy for a variety of healthcare (public/community health, pharma, etc.) related organizations and initiatives that want to make use of the new socially interactive landscape; generating new ideas for greater impact.

Andre has been a featured speaker/commentator on a number of Public Health 2.0 related conversations around HIV/AIDS, mobile health, health disparities and new forms of health journalism. He has worked alongside organizations such as the Black AIDS Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dept. of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Division of Public Health to educate and promote innovation around important health initiatives and opportunities.

You can find his thoughts on public health and innovation through his blog, Pulse + Signal and via Twitter

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Alberto Vazquez, MD

Alberto has a long track record as cardiologist and author of many scientific publications. He is founder member of the Argentine Council of Ergometer and Rehabilitation of the Argentine Society of Cardiology, charter member of the Argentinean Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine (ex AMAIFA) and Fellow of the International Society of Pharmaceutical Medicine (IFAPP) among other scientific associations. He had been professor at the Medical School of the Buenos Aires University (UBA) for 7 years. He graduated in Social Management at Fundación Unida. Alberto is also the founder and current president of SAHDES (Health, Habitat and Development) an entity focused on health promotion through the empowerment of vulnerable communities and the improvement of the primary care system. Alberto is an Ashoka fellow from 2007.

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Shiban Ganju

Dr Shiban Ganju is a consultant physician in Chicago area and the chairman of Atrimed Pharma, Bangalore.

He has participated in about a hundred non-profit projects. He is the founder ‘Save a Mother’ - an NGO, which innovates health care solutions for the poor. It has reduced maternal mortality by 90 percent in over 900 villages in Uttar Pradesh at minimum cost.

He was the convener for Indian Health Information Network Development and facilitated the concept for National Heath Literacy program. He serves as an adviser to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and American India Foundation.

He has written for: and ‘Mail Today’ from Delhi.

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Maria Elisa Bernal

Colombian economist with a master's degree in labor market and 30 years of work experience. She has worked as a researcher and professor at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, a researcher of FEDESARROLLO, Special Advisor to the Management of the Department of Economic and Social Development at the Inter-American Development Bank where she had the opportunity of participating closely in the creation of the IDB Institute for Social Development. She was also Director of International Cooperation at Colombia’s National Department of Planning, where she created the International Cooperation Agency. Since 2000 she is an official of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and since 2004, she leads the project "Experiences in Social Innovation", an ECLAC initiative, with support from the W.K Kellogg. This project has given her the opportunity to get to know closely over 4800 innovative experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean in areas such as education, health, income generation, rural / agricultural development, food security and nutrition, youth programs, social responsibility and volunteerism.

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Gina Lagomarsino

Gina Lagomarsino is a Principal and Managing Director at R4D, with a focus on health systems financing and the role of the private sector within health systems. She leads the Center for Health Market Innovations, a global information resource for programs that engage private health care providers to improve health and financial protection for the poor. She also leads the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage, which connects the community of national health insurance policymakers pursuing universal health coverage in their countries.

Gina has over 15 years of experience in health systems design. Prior to joining R4D, she was Senior Health Policy Advisor to District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams, where she worked to reform the Washington, DC health system. She designed and implemented a managed care reform strategy to improve health outcomes and operational sustainability of the DC Healthcare Alliance, a health coverage program serving low-income DC residents. She spearheaded the District’s effort to implement the Medical Homes initiative to expand and improve the quality of private community health centers. In addition, she led an initiative to develop a new teaching hospital as a public-private partnership between the District of Columbia and Howard University. Prior to her work in the public sector, she was an engagement manager in the Healthcare Practice of McKinsey & Company, where she advised senior executives of health insurance and hospital organizations on strategy and operations. She also worked for Kaiser Permanente, a private integrated financing and delivery system, based in California, where she implemented a new model of primary care at a large multi-specialty medical center and served as a market research consultant for Kaiser insurance products.

Ms. Lagomarsino holds a Master's in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in Public Policy with Honors from Stanford University.

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Nancy Davenport-Ennis

Nancy Davenport-Ennis is one of the nation’s leading patient advocacy experts on issues related to patients’ healthcare access challenges. She is the founder and CEO of the Patient Advocate Foundation, she also founded the National Patient Advocate Foundation, which strives to improve access to patient care through federal and state regulatory and public policy efforts. Davenport-Ennis has served on the National eHealth Collaborative Board and also served on the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) Committee and the National Institutes of Health’s Open Ended Working Group (OEWG). She has previously served on national commissions for the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, C-Change, and One Voice Against Cancer. She has received national awards for her advocacy efforts from Yoplait and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, US Oncology, and the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

She is also the recipient of the 2005 Women in Business Achievement Award presented by Anthem and Business Week, and was honored with the 1989 Outstanding Young Woman of America Award, the Association of Community Cancer Centers Advocate of the Year Award and the U.S. Oncology Medal of Honor Award. Davenport-Ennis was also appointed to the Governor’s Commission on the Uninsured in Virginia and was named as a Paul Harris Fellow by the National Rotary Foundation.

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Akila Maheshwari

Akila Maheshwari Charagi, aged 51 years, was afflicted by paranoid schizophrenia in 1992. After a series of challenges and struggles in her professional and personal life she was able to overcome her delusions and also manage her negative symptoms and emotional and cognitive deficits associated with the illness. Akila is bound by a strong set of values like integrity, passion, team player, humility, compassion and a strong leadership orientation. She is a double major in both Law ( LLB) and Finance ( MMS) from Mumbai University. She has written a variety of books in Finance and Marketing and is a poet and short story writer. In a career spanning 30 years she has been in many leadership roles both in the public and private sector. Her key skills are in consulting, administration, innovation, creativity, teaching, training and Instructional Design. She has been a member of the Insurance and Education Committees of Indian Merchant Chamber in Mumbai. Her domain expertise is wide ranging from Banking, Insurance, Financial Services, Media and Healthcare. As the founder and promoter of NAMI INDIA Akila has been actively involved in advocacy, change, stigma eradication, policy and creating Networks in the area of Mental Health in India. She has been a part of the sub- committee for Rehabilitation in Disability for the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012- 2017) for Government of India. Akila is happily married and has three children. She acknowledges her families' remarkable role in her journey to recovery and happiness.

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Dr. Arnold Noyek

Dr. Arnold Noyek has developed a "health-to-peace" model for bridging political conflicts through cooperative healthcare initiatives. His organization, CISEPO, has worked for the past 15 years to build trust and respect across the Arab-Israeli fault line by using health as a common language of need. Leveraging Canada's position as an international "honest broker", Dr. Noyek initially brings together health professionals from across the lines of conflict in order to receive leading-edge education and capacity-building. Through several stages of facilitated collaboration, the CISEPO model eventually gives rise to autonomous cooperative health associations working across cultures, faiths and political convictions to alleviate suffering and end conflict. CISEPO currently engages in service delivery and training programs in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, and plans are being developed to roll out this staged peace-building process to many more geographies over the coming years. Dr. Arnold Noyek is a Senior Ashoka Fellow, Director of International Continuing Education for the Faculty of Medicine - University of Toronto; founding Director of Peter A. Silverman Center for International Health – Mount Sinai Hospital; and founder of Canada International Scientific Exchange Program – CISEPO.

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Mor Mbengue

Mor Mbengue, a teacher by training, is currently Education Inspector for the National Ministry of Education in Senegal. From 2001 to 2008 he was the National Educational Advisor for Coordinating the Initial Training and Continuing Education of Elementary Teachers. Since 2002, he has been a member of the group of 40 Basic Education Curriculum Editors, Language and Communication division. He is also First Assistant Secretary General of the Democratic Union of Teachers and Teachers of Senegal (UDEN). Since 2004 he has coordinated Senegal’s National Program of EFA/ HIV/AIDS of the Education Union Group of Senegal, the Senegalese Committee of Teachers’ Unions for the battle against AIDS (COSSEL/SIDA). Mor Mbengue is an innovator in transformational leadership in the educational field in the battle against AIDS. In addition to these responsibilities, he has authored numerous publications.

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Innocent Laison

Innocent Laison is the Senior Program Manager of the African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO), which he joined in 2003 as Communication Manager to support the transformation and leadership process. Since then, he had dedicated himself to an articulated and relevant community response to the HIV/AIDS in Africa . He is based in Senegal. He represents civil society organization in several national, regional and global health-related committees and events including IHP+ Civil Society Consultative Group. He has contributed to several manuals and guidelines for community involvement in the response to HIV/AIDS in Africa . He is a sociologist with a double specialization in Urban Sociology and Sociology of Work and Organizations. He now becomes the IHP+ southern civil society alternate. He is also an expert in strategic planification and social mobilization and advocacy with locals and international organizations

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Wellington Nogueira

Wellington founded and manages Doctors of Joy/Doutores da Alegria - Arts, Education and Development – winner of the Prêmio Criança (Children's Award) given by Foundation Abrinq. He has also been recognized three times by the UN Habitat Division as one of 40 global best practices and was the winner of the "Culture and Health Award”, granted in June 2009 by Alive Culture, a joint initiative of the Ministries of Culture and Health.

Wellington is an actor and alumni of the American Academy of Dramatic and Musical Theater in New York where he worked as a theater professional actor and in cinema and circus projects.

In 1988 he joined the cast of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, a pioneering program that takes specially trained clowns to visit children in hospitals. Back in Brasil in 1991, Wellington founded its sister organization, Doctors of Joy/Doutores da Alegria which now works with eight hospitals in São Paulo, three in Rio de Janeiro, four in Recife and one in Belo Horizonte.

Wellington is a renowned social entrepreneur, Ashoka fellow and Avina leader in Brazilian Northeast Region.

He won the Best Actor Award for "Doctors of Joy - the movie" by Mara Mourão at Fiesp Prize/Cinema Sesi Paulista. He has been a member of the cast of the movies "Saturday" (Ugo Giorgetti), "Alô" and "Avassaladoras" (Mara Mourão), and of the musical "Ópera das Pedras" (Denise Milan and Lee Breuer).

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