After a short time as a pediatrician, I became a board-certified Head & Neck Surgeon and performed surgery in academic medical centers including the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, The University of California San Francisco, and the University of Pennsylvania. I combined my academic medical life with a parallel career as a medical journalist and for more than thirty years working for ABC and NBC News. During that time I traveled the world - covering medicine, wars, famine, and humanitarian issues for Good Morning America, 20/20, TODAY, and NBC Nightly News. I received numerous awards during my tenure and believe that both professions complemented the other. In between my network positions, I served as Vice President for Medical Affairs at Johnson & Johnson and was on the board of GE’s Healthymagination. I value my time in the corporate world for giving me insight as to the complexities of bringing drugs and medicines to the marketplace.
I have been active on the speaking circuit for decades – concentrating on women’s health, scientific breakthroughs, and how best to communicate to patients and the public. I have presented to non-profit and hospital groups and have been a moderator for Fortune 500 company events. My strengths come from years of interviewing executives and scientists and breaking down complex medical issues for patients. I am a regular interviewer and moderator for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summits that are held every Fall. Today, with COVID sidelining many in-person events, I regularly moderate and interview via Zoom and other web forums.
Like so many people, COVID has disrupted the normal chaos and scope of my professional life. I am not currently running to catch a plane for a board meeting or presentation. However, the forced hiatus has opened up other opportunities. I am currently working with renowned Western photographer and cowgirl, Barbara Van Cleve, on a book about cowgirl wisdom. We all have heard plenty of cowboy stories and cowboy poetry jams. But what about the cowgirls and ranch women who settled the West? There are rich stories to be told and who better to learn from than a fifth-generation Montana cowgirl who is 85 years young. I also decided to put a stake in my backyard community. So even though this might on the surface defies common sense, I have opened a brick and mortar home goods store, thistle creek, on our Main Street in Big Timber, MT. It is my belief and hopes that people will increasingly turn to their local communities when they want something special. Why shop on the web or go to the big city when you can shop local. I am betting that an investment in Big Timber is an investment in the viability of a wonderful Western town.
I currently serve on the boards of directors of two NASDAQ companies: Alkermes (NASDQ: ALKS) and Axonics (NASDAQ:AXNX). I am committed to governance in the biopharma and medical device arena and believe in this sector of the US economy. I also sit on the boards of two non-profit organizations – The Fair Food Network in Ann Arbor, MI, and the Two Rivers Gallery in Big Timber, MT. I just wrapped up a television project with Ann Curry as a senior producer for the crowdsourcing television program Chasing The Cure.