- Provide an overview of how lupus affects a women’s body and health differently than a man’s
- Increase visibility of the patient experience, emphasizing ways to empower others and improve quality of care and general wellbeing
- Discuss policy solutions that can improve access to care and treatment for women affected by lupus
Irene Blanco, MD, MS
Irene Blanco, MD, MS, is the Associate Dean of Diversity Enhancement, Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director, and the Director of the Montefiore Lupus Clinic at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine – Montefiore Health System. Her research interests focus on addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health in rheumatology through patient and provider centered educational interventions. As the Associate Dean of Diversity Enhancement at Einstein, Dr. Blanco focuses on the diversification of the medical and biomedical workforce. She believes that only by bringing people from traditionally marginalized groups into medicine; and supporting them as they cultivate positions of leadership, are we to truly address the needs of our most vulnerable of patients. She also brings this experience to the American College of Rheumatology as the co-chair for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce.
Ayanna C. Dookie
Ayanna Dookie is a New York based stand-up comedian, writer, and co-host of HydroxychloroQUEENZ: a Podcast on Living with Lupus. Having lived with this “cruel mystery” for almost a decade, she uses her comedy and podcast to raise Lupus awareness while also advocating for her fellow warriors. Ayanna has performed on Laff Tracks on truTV, Laughs! on Fox, Two Dope Queens on WNYC, NPR’s Snap Judgement, and at the world famous Apollo. Her writing can be seen on MTV’s Wild n’ Out and BET’s 50 Central. She also co-produces and performs on Lupus Foundation of America, Northeast Region’s annual “Laugh It Up with Us” Lupus Comedy Show.
Matt Harman, PharmD, MPH
As Vice President of Clinical Solutions, Matt works to monitor, evaluate and improve the pharmacy plan performance of the Employers Health $2.2 billion PBM group purchasing programs with CVS, OptumRx and Elixir. He works proactively with the organization’s more than 275 member employers to provide clinical information and strategies to help reduce health care spend and positively influence the health of more than 1.2 million individuals. Matt founded the Employers Health managed care pharmacy residency program and currently serves as the director. Additionally, he manages and executes the organization’s flu immunization program which administers flu vaccines to thousands of individuals annually at their workplace. Matt earned his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky where he co-founded an Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy student chapter and served as the inaugural president. While obtaining his PharmD, he enrolled in the College of Public Health to obtain a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Service Management. Matt completed his residency training at The Ohio State University Health Plan, which expanded his knowledge and skills in managed care pharmacy.
SWHR’s Lupus Program is supported by educational sponsorships from by Eli Lilly & Company and Aurinia. SWHR maintains editorial control and independence over educational content.