National Consumers League

Health Advisory Council Newsletter | 2017 Q2 | Member Q & A

2017 | Q2 Newsletter | Q & A with Health Advisory Council Members

Gay Johnson

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CEO, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health

Q. Please discuss your work at the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH) and how it relates to NPWH’s overarching mission. 
A. As the CEO, I’m responsible for delivering on the organization’s overall mission, which is to help improve access to quality care by nurse practitioners who focus on women’s health, as well as to serve as a leading voice for courageous conversations about women’s health throughout their lifespan. NPWH elevates the health issues others overlook and unmasks family, cultural, and economic issues that impact women’s health—both in and outside of the exam room. I work closely with NPWH’s Board of Directors, comprised of top academics and practicing nurse practitioners (NPs) in women’s health, to ensure that we are engaged in research and policy discussions that can best inform the field and ensure that women have access to quality health care. I build strategic partnerships and help our team convene a very robust set of policy discussions and continuing education programs for NPs around the country.

Q. How long have you been at NPWH, and what do you love most about your job?
A. I started at NPWH in 1997, making this my 20th year with this terrific organization. In 2012, I was asked to lead the organization as the CEO—after having served as Vice President and CFO and starting as the Finance Administrator. What I love most about my job is knowing we are making a difference in women's lives everyday by supporting Nurse Practitioners in many ways, from academia where future NPs are just starting out, to those who are in clinical practice providing the best possible care to their patients.

Q. What are the biggest challenges and opportunities facing NPWH today?
A. The ongoing healthcare debate and passage of the American Health Care Act is a huge challenge—not only for NPWH, but for women all over America. NPWH is working tirelessly to ensure that women across the lifespan will still have access to safe, quality healthcare, and NPs understand how changes in legislation may impact how they provide care so they can continue to serve their patients the best they can. We routinely write and sign on to letters to Congress with other healthcare and women’s health organizations, and attend Congressional briefings and coalition meetings to ensure we understand what is happening as it happens. However, in the midst of the challenges we also have exciting opportunities. The number of nurse practitioners in the United States has risen dramatically in recent years, and is expected to continue to rise. NPWH works closely with nursing schools around the country, and there’s huge opportunity there to encourage students to become certified as a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. As the number of NPs (and our membership) grows, we look forward to having an even wider reach and being able to positively affect even more women’s lives.

Q. What NPWH initiatives would you like to share with the Council?
A. Since so much of women’s health is focused on the childbearing years, we see our role as central to bringing awareness to quality women’s healthcare across the entire lifespan—particularly women’s sexual health. We have a number of conferences and continuing education opportunities we offer, along with resources for clinicians and their patients, and we are part of advising the field on practice guidelines. We will convene the second annual “Healthy at Any Age: A Summit on Women’s Health After 50,” in November 2017. We also hold the only NP conference dedicated exclusively to women’s sexual health in the country. Our fifth annual Women’s Sexual Health Course for NPs will be held in June 2018 in partnership with the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. This October, we will convene our 20th annual NPWH Premier Women’s Healthcare Conference. We also continue to update our well-woman visit mobile app—a fourth edition with a new menopause module is coming soon—and we are in the process of building a comprehensive online patient portal that will focus on educational materials for consumers. In addition, we are one of four partner organizations in the ACOG-led Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI). WPSI is charged with recommending updates to the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines, as well as making new recommendations. These guidelines are routinely used by clinicians to determine what screenings and other various preventive health services they should offer their patients, so the project will have an important impact on women’s health.

Q. What does NPWH value about membership in NCL’s Health Advisory Council?
A. NPWH is proud to partner with NCL and so many organizations dedicated to improving healthcare, particularly for women in America. The collaboration between both consumer and healthcare organizations is hugely beneficial as we work together to identify new ideas and insights that ultimately provide support for those who participate in the Council as well as NCL.

 

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Tracy Valorie, Sr. Vice President, General Manager

Bausch + Lomb & Valeant Women’s Health
Valeant Pharmaceuticals 

Q. How would you describe your role at Valeant Women’s Health?
A. I am the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bausch + Lomb (a subsidiary of Valeant) and Valeant Women’s Health. For Bausch + Lomb, I lead the Ophthalmology portfolio, which includes ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, surgical devices and instruments. For our Women’s Health business, I am responsible for the ADDYI team, which is solely focused on providing and delivering the first-ever treatment for premenopausal women with acquired, generalized Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).

Although the therapeutic areas differ, my management responsibilities are similar across the various businesses. The goal is to ensure each business offers innovative technologies, treatments, and resources that help meet the needs of healthcare practitioners and the patients they treat and to ensure patients have access to our broad portfolio of products.

Q. What do you think Council Members should know about Valeant?
A. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. is a multinational, specialty pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of pharmaceutical products primarily in the areas of women’s health, dermatology, eye health, GI, neurology and branded generics. Our products play a role in helping millions of people worldwide live healthier lives by providing treatment to those affected by debilitating diseases. As a company, we are committed to improving the health and well-being of people everywhere.

Q. What Valeant initiatives would you like to share with the Council?
A. As part of our Women’s Health initiatives, Valeant supports a program led by the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) called Find My Spark that aims to provide facts about female sexual dysfunction (FSD), including its most common type, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). Find My Spark encourages and empowers women to take charge of their sexual health and talk to a healthcare professional about any troubles they may be facing. You can find related information at FindMySpark.com.

Separately, ADDYI, indicated for the treatment of acquired, generalized HSDD in premenopausal women, is part of the Valeant Access Program. This program enables most commercially insured patients to pay no more than $25 for 12 refills; it also allows eligible patients to pay $150 for 6 refills if they are uninsured.

Bausch + Lomb is proud to have been dedicated to innovation in eye health for more than 164 years and is committed to providing affordable access to our large portfolio of products. The company’s pharmaceutical Rx eye care portfolio is part of the Valeant Access Program and enables most commercially insured patients to pay no more than $35 for their prescriptions of select drugs and $60 for eligible uninsured patients.

Q. What is Valeant doing to change the way people think about and approach healthcare?
A. Because we operate in many diversified businesses, we have an opportunity to collaborate across divisions to continually look for innovative solutions to healthcare issues including but not limited to building an innovative pipeline, educating consumers, and looking for innovative ways to ensure access. 

Q. What does Valeant value about membership in NCL’s Health Advisory Council?
A. We are honored to have the opportunity to become a Member of NCL’s Health Advisory Council. NCL is an organization that truly puts consumers first. Valeant is anchored by its 22,000 employees worldwide who come to work each day with a common goal of improving people’s lives through our healthcare products. We value NCL’s common goal of making a difference in people’s lives and providing education about healthcare.