2022 annual Awards gala
Celebrating achievements, advancements, & innovations in women’s health.
SWHR Hosted 2022 Annual Awards Gala, In-person April 28
Supporters of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) gathered in-person, together for SWHR’s 2022 Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, April 28, 2022 to honor leaders who have devoted their careers to improving women’s health and women’s advancement in science and medicine. The event was held at the InterContinental Washington DC – The Wharf.
For additional information, please contact Joy Braun, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.496.5001.
Learn more about the 2021 Annual Awards Gala here.
Check out photos from the 2022 Gala
Kaveeta Vasisht, MD, PharmD
Dr. Kaveeta Vasisht is Associate Commissioner for Women’s Health and the Director of the Office of Women’s Health (OWH) in the Office of the Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
She serves as the principal advisor to the Commissioner and other key Agency officials on scientific and policy issues relating to the health of women.
Under her leadership, OWH works to protect and advance the health of women through scientific programs, policy development, research, education, stakeholder collaboration, and outreach.
She has worked to promote the inclusion of diverse populations in clinical trials and the completion of appropriate data analysis that incorporate an understanding of sex differences to facilitate FDA regulatory decision making,
She has served as the clinical expert on multidisciplinary teams in the review and evaluation of scientific data to make regulatory decisions regarding risk-benefit assessments on the safety and effectiveness of therapeutics. In addition, Dr. Vasisht has extensive expertise in policy development and has led multi-stakeholder collaborations nationally and internationally to advance FDA’s regulatory mission.
She has received several awards for her work to advance women’s health including the FDA Commissioner’s special recognition and excellence awards.
Dr. Vasisht is board-certified in both internal medicine and adult endocrinology and holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She completed her internal medicine and fellowship training at the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she also served on the faculty. A former New Jersey resident, she obtained her medical degree from UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Rutgers College of Pharmacy where she was selected to participate in the prestigious Honors Program and graduated with High honors. She continues to practice medicine in a volunteer clinic.
Derrick Ward is a general assignment reporter for News4. A native of the District of Columbia, Ward grew up in Marshall Heights and the H Street Corridor in Northeast. He lived through the 1968 riots and documented his experiences on News4 as part of the station’s 40th anniversary coverage. Ward attended HD Woodson High School and the University of Maryland.
Ward’s journalism career began in radio. He worked for WPFW, WAMU and WTOP, covering major stories such as the Iran-Contra hearings, the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon, and the Washington-area sniper shootings.
When Ward made the move to television reporting, his first job was at WKBW-TV in Buffalo. He returned to Washington in 2006 and began reporting for News4.
2022 Award Winners
Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP
Wanda Barfield, MD, MPH, FAAP, is Director of the Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is a retired Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service.
As DRH Director, Dr. Barfield leads efforts to provide optimal and equitable health to women, infants, and families through improved surveillance and applied public health research during the critical junctures of population health– pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. Through building and strengthening strategic partnerships with multiple organizations, her division currently leads several activities to monitor: maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity; infant mortality and morbidity due to SIDS/SUID and preterm birth; the impact of emerging threats among pregnant/postpartum women and their infants (opioids, disasters, COVID-19); and women’s reproductive health issues ranging from contraception and teen/unintended pregnancy, to infertility and assisted reproductive technology.
She received her medical and public health degrees from Harvard University, completed a pediatrics residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and a neonatal-perinatal medicine fellowship at Harvard. Dr. Barfield is a Professor of Pediatrics, at the Uniformed Services University. She continues to provide clinical care to premature and other critically ill newborns.
Sudip S. Parikh, PhD
Sudip Parikh, Ph.D., became the 19th chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of the Science family of journals in January 2020. Dr. Parikh has spent two decades at the nexus of science, policy, and business.
Immediately prior to joining AAAS, Dr. Parikh was senior vice president and managing director at DIA Global, a neutral, multidisciplinary organization bringing together regulators, industry, academia, patients, and other stakeholders interested in healthcare product development. He led strategy in the Americas and oversaw DIA programs that catalyzed progress globally toward novel regulatory frameworks for advanced therapies not amenable to existing regulations.
Prior to DIA, Dr. Parikh was general manager of the Health and Consumer Solutions business unit and vice president at Battelle, a multibillion-dollar research and development organization. He led a $150 million business unit with over 500 scientific, technical, and computing experts performing basic and applied research, developing medicines and healthcare devices, and creating advanced analytics and artificial intelligence applications to improve human health. Previously, Dr. Parikh led Battelle’s global AgriFood business unit. Headquartered in London and Geneva, this unit provided environmental fate research and agriculture product development services from laboratories throughout Europe and the United States.
From 2001 to 2009, Dr. Parikh served as science advisor and professional staff to the United States Senate Appropriations Committee, where he was responsible for negotiating budgets for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and other scientific and health agencies. A key legislative liaison to the research and development ecosystem, Dr. Parikh was on the frontlines of many science policy issues debated during that time, including embryonic stem cell research, cloning, disease surveillance, bioterrorism, cyber security, and doubling the NIH budget.
An active member of the scientific advocacy community, Dr. Parikh serves as a board member and officer for several impactful organizations, including Research!America, Friends of Cancer Research, and ACT for NIH. He has received multiple public service awards, including recognition from the American Association of Immunologists, the National AIDS Alliance, the Coalition for Health Services Research, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Dr. Parikh is committed to early STEM education and, as a parent of three energetic young children, he prioritizes volunteering as a mentor for Science Olympiad teams at two elementary schools.
Early in his career, Dr. Parikh was a Presidential Management Intern at the NIH. He was awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship while earning his Ph.D. in macromolecular structure and chemistry from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. There, he used structural biology and biochemistry techniques to probe the mechanisms of DNA repair enzymes bound to DNA. The son of Indian immigrants who worked in the textile and furniture manufacturing plants of North Carolina, Dr. Parikh completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, first as a journalism major before switching into materials science.
Judy Sewards serves as Vice President, Head of Clinical Trial Experience for Pfizer’s Global Product Development organization. In this role, she leads cross functional teams in the creation and activation of new communications and services to build trusted relationships with investigator site partners and deliver a convenient and comfortable experience for clinical trial participants. She played a critical role on the COVID-19 vaccine operations team stewarding all investigator site and trial volunteer communications for the study, including overall recruitment efforts, and building awareness of and educating on the importance of participation within diverse communities. Prior to this, Sewards was Vice President, Head of Digital Strategy and Data Innovation responsible for setting and activating new digital and big data strategies to help Pfizer meet business and customer needs in the future health landscape. She has been with Pfizer over 10 years and has held a variety of leadership roles across marketing and innovation.
Before joining Pfizer, Sewards led insights, brand strategy and advertising for Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. Her other diverse experiences range from tech start-up to advertising and management consulting. Sewards received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College, where she also served as a member of the Board of Trustees.
Diana W. Bianchi, MD
Dr. Bianchi is director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she oversees an annual budget of about $1.5 billion in support of NICHD’s mission to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. Dr. Bianchi was the Health Public Service Visionary Award Winner during SWHR’s 2020 Annual Awards event.
Dr. Bianchi received her MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and her postgraduate training in pediatrics, medical genetics and neonatal-perinatal medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bianchi’s research focuses on prenatal genomics with the goal of advancing noninvasive prenatal DNA screening and diagnosis to develop new therapies for genetic disorders that can be administered prenatally.
She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a past president of the Perinatal Research Society and the International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics and on the Councils of the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research. Dr. Bianchi has received multiple awards, including the 2015 Neonatal Landmark Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the 2016 Maureen Andrew Award for Mentorship from the Society for Pediatric Research, and the 2017 Colonel Harland Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in Medical Genetics from the March of Dimes. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam in 2020.
Laura Cohen, JD
Laura Cohen is the Associate Vice President for Environment Shaping in Eli Lilly and Company’s Neuroscience Corporate Affairs group where she focuses on policy, access, and reimbursement issues for Alzheimer’s disease therapeutics, diagnostics, and screening. Previously, Cohen was the head of environment shaping and health policy for Lilly’s Immunology business unit where she worked across dermatology, rheumatology, and gastroenterology. Before joining Lilly, Cohen practiced law in several large law firms, including Sidley Austin, LLP; was an in-house counsel for a health insurance company where she focused on regulatory and government affairs issues; and began her career in health policy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. Cohen holds a BA with honors from Brandeis University in History and Health Policy and a JD with honors from Suffolk Law School.
Shontelle Dodson, PharmD
Shontelle Dodson, PharmD, is the Senior Vice President and Head of US Medical Specialties Business Unit at Astellas and has extensive clinical and research experience in the health care and pharmaceutical industries. She previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs Americas at Astellas. She currently serves as the SWHR Board Chair.
After several years of service in direct patient care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dodson spent 11 years at Pfizer Inc. in various leadership roles, including the U.S. Viagra Medical Team Leader and Senior Director, Group Leader supporting the urology and respiratory franchise. Following her work with Pfizer, Dodson served as Vice President of Medical Affairs at GTx Inc. In this capacity, she led the Phase 3 clinical development of a selective androgen receptor modulator for the prevention and treatment of muscle wasting in patients with cancer, including key economic and health outcomes assessments to support product utilization and valuation. Under her leadership at Astellas, the health outcomes group has pioneered multiple, innovative real world data projects, including two national registries in prostate cancer and overactive bladder, as well as partnered research with leading managed care and academic organizations.
She has received multiple awards for leadership and innovation during her career, including the National Healthcare Business Women’s Association Rising Star.
Dodson holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University School of Pharmacy and completed a postdoctoral residency at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Susan Alpert, MD, PhD
Florence Haseltine, PhD, MD
Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
Alliance for Community Health Plans
Association of Accessible Medicines
Medicaid Health Plans of America