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Cure for the Common Co. podcast series

Health and Benefits
N/A

June 26, 2020

We interview entrepreneurs, CEOs and subject matter experts who are changing the way health care and employee benefits are delivered.

Listen as we explore developments in the world of employee health and benefits. Entrepreneurs, CEOs and other thought leaders join us to discuss the technology and innovation that help employers purposefully design and distinguish their programs — all while addressing the needs and priorities of a new generation of talent.

We’re also tackling timely topics like COVID-19, the economy and other headline makers to deliver current thinking on the topics that matter most to employers and employees.

Included in this series:

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Episode 14: The pandemic’s impact on behavioral health care and delivery, COVID-19 edition


About our guest
Mandie Conforti
Mandie Conforti, LCSW

Mandie Conforti is a Director at Willis Towers Watson, and a licensed clinician. Her areas of concentration include employee assistance programs, managed behavioral health care and work-life programs. Mandie supports clients in a variety of industries on plan design analyses and pricing, integration of medical and behavioral health programs and vendor selection and plan implementation.


The pandemic, sheltering in place, social distancing, feelings of isolation: All have had an impact on the emotional and mental health of employees at every level of the organization. Willis Towers Watson’s Mandie Conforti and Steve Blumenfield talk about how employers can address what employees are feeling while working within the limits of the current behavioral health marketplace. Hear real-world examples and get ideas for how you can support the mental wellbeing of your talent.

Episode 14: The pandemic’s impact on behavioral health care and delivery, COVID-19 edition
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Episode 13: Chronic condition management for vulnerable populations, COVID-19 edition


About our guests
Jan Wuorenma
Jan Wuorenma, BSN, RN, MBA

Jan Wuorenma is a Senior Health Management Consultant, Health and Benefits, with Willis Towers Watson. She has more than 30 years of experience with clinical and medical practice management, and has developed integrated care continuum programs through care system redesign and innovation. Jan regularly performs care management program reviews involving clinical, advocacy/navigation and wellness programs.

Julie Stone
Kara Speer, MPH

Kara Speer is a Director, Health Management, with Willis Towers Watson. She focuses on providing strategic consulting on health management initiatives, vendor programs, program design and overall vendor management. Kara has led work groups to develop intellectual capital and shape the firm’s perspective on metabolic syndrome and diabetes. She also provides leadership on consulting services that address employer-sponsored health centers.

Julie Stone
Julie Stone

Julie Stone, MPA, is a Managing Director, Health & Benefits North America, with Willis Towers Watson. She is responsible for leading the Health & Benefits thought leadership and intellectual capital initiatives, which includes a wide range of disciplines, including health management and wellbeing, pharmacy, leaves/absence and disability management, inclusion and diversity, dental and vision, and more.


COVID-19 has added a new layer of vulnerability for employees and dependents who are managing chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and other health issues. Willis Towers Watson thought leaders Jan Wuorenma, Kara Speer, Julie Stone and host Steve Blumenfield discuss the specialized issues these populations face and share ideas about the support systems and tools employers can provide to help these populations keep their health issues in check.

Episode 13: Chronic condition management for vulnerable populations, COVID-19 edition
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Episode 12: Re-imagining employee communications, COVID-19 edition


About our guests
 Lindsay Stortz
Lindsay Stortz

Lindsay Stortz is Senior Director, Talent & Rewards, with Willis Towers Watson. An expert in employee experience, Lindsay has a deep understanding of individual behavior and the ability to communicate information in meaningful and accessible ways. These days, she also is focused on rethinking benefits communications in light of current workforce challenges, helping employers focus on inclusion, collaboration and employee voice.

Julie Stone
Julie Stone

Julie Stone, MPA, is Managing Director, Health & Benefits North America, with Willis Towers Watson. She is responsible for leading the Health & Benefits thought leadership and intellectual capital initiatives, which is work that includes a wide range of disciplines, including health management and wellbeing, pharmacy, leaves/absence and disability management, inclusion and diversity, dental and vision, and more.


Whether your workforce is still primarily disbursed or you’re preparing to re-open your worksites, COVID-19 has created a new set of employee communications challenges that require a nuanced and targeted approach. Lindsay Stortz, Julie Stone and host Steve Blumenfield discuss innovative approaches you can take to ensure your messages reflect sensitivity and awareness of different employee populations’ needs. Also, hear how this crisis has created an opportunity to temporarily — or permanently — look at how you reach employees.

Episode 12: Re-imagining employee communications, COVID-19 edition
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Episode 11: Supporting employees in a work-from-home environment, COVID-19 edition


About our guests
Jeff Levin-Scherz 
Megan Sowa

Megan Sowa, MPH, is Director, Health & Benefits, with Willis Towers Watson. She has been involved in managing and driving strategy for Willis Towers Watson’s diabetes and musculoskeletal partnerships as well as strategic initiatives around caregiving and care management. Megan also leverages her expertise and experience to assist clients in developing long-term, data-driven health management solutions.

 
Rachael McCann

Rachael McCann is a Senior Director at Willis Towers Watson, where she advises clients in health and welfare strategy, innovation, modernization, cost management and employee experience. Rachael also is a Leader in the firm’s Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) consulting practice, supporting clients as they align their talent, I&D, benefit and sustainability strategies with the employee experience.

 
Julie Stone

Julie Stone, MPA, is Managing Director, Health & Benefits North America, with Willis Towers Watson. She is responsible for leading the Health & Benefits thought leadership and intellectual capital initiatives, which is work that includes a wide range of disciplines, including health management and wellbeing, pharmacy, leaves/absence and disability management, inclusion and diversity, dental and vision, and more.


The forced work-from-home environment that employers and employees are living in because of COVID-19 has taken the challenge of caregiving to a new level. In this episode, Willis Towers Watson thought leaders share their insights about child-care support, elder-care support and overarching family-care support. Get a more comprehensive understanding of the issues, learn how leadership can make an enormous difference for your people, and pick up some tips and tools to help those caring for others.

Episode 11: Supporting employees in a work-from-home environment, COVID-19 edition
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Episode 10: In the trenches with employee benefits, COVID-19 edition


About our guests
Jeff Levin-Scherz 
Marco Diaz

Marco Diaz is Senior Vice President, Global Head of Benefits, at News Corp, where he oversees the company's global benefits strategy and deployment. He also serves as Board Chair of the North East Business Group on Health, participates as Board member of the Foundation for Arts and Healing, and is a member of several executive client advisory groups.

 
Mark Hope

Mark Hope is a Senior Director in Willis Towers Watson’s Health and Benefits Consulting business and is a member of the firm’s Health & Benefits Intellectual Capital Development Team. Mark works extensively in the areas of active employee and retiree medical strategy, design, pricing, health care reform, consumer drive health care and union bargaining support.


Marco Diaz talks with Mark Hope and Cure for the Common Co. host Steve Blumenfield about how News Corp’s employee benefits team has been managing — and succeeding — through COVID-19. Hear how a strong foundation of employee benefits has led to rapid adoption of telemedicine options, the ways that communication has improved at every level, and how News Corp is preparing to bring employees back to physical worksites by leveraging risk stratification.

Episode 10: In the trenches with employee benefits, COVID-19 edition

Episode 9: The world of work in a pandemic reality, COVID-19 edition


About our guests
Jeff Levin-Scherz 
Jeff Levin-Scherz

Jeff Levin-Scherz, MD, MBA, is Managing Director and co-leader of the North American Health Management practice at Willis Towers Watson. Jeff trained as a primary care physician and has played leadership roles in provider organizations and a health plan. He is Assistant Professor at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.

 
Julie Stone

Julie Stone is Managing Director, Health & Benefits North America, and Intellectual Capital Leader at Willis Towers Watson, responsible for thought leadership and intellectual capital initiatives. In addition, Julie works with employers to develop health and welfare benefits strategies integrating human-centered design approaches with overall business strategy.


Dr. Jeff Levin-Scherz and Julie Stone give listeners a crash course in COVID-19, what it means to employers and workers, and what to expect as people begin returning to the physical workplace. From scenario planning to addressing a new host of emotional and behavioral health needs, these two experts offer a variety of topics employers need to think about and begin planning for today in order to prepare for both the near- and long-term future.

Episode 9: The world of work in a pandemic reality, COVID-19 edition

Episode 8: Noah Lang, Stride Health


About our guest
Noah Lang

Noah Lang is the CEO and co-founder of Stride Health, which helps the more than 100 million people who work for themselves to save time and money by providing software and services that help them obtain health insurance and manage their taxes.


Noah Lang tells the story behind the company he founded and leads today, Stride. He describes how the online tool and app helps the growing number of people working in the gig economy purchase health insurance, get federal subsidies and tax credits, and obtain other benefits usually provided to full-time employees such as dental, vision and life insurance.

Episode 8: Noah Lang, CEO and co-founder, Stride Health
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Episode 7: Daniel Perez, Hinge Health


About our guest
Daniel Perez

Daniel Perez is CEO and co-founder of Hinge Health, a company that pioneered employer-centric remote physical therapy for those suffering from musculoskeletal disorders.


Dan Perez talks about how suffering from major injuries inspired both him and his business partner to found Hinge when they were PhD students at Oxford. He also explains the philosophy underpinning the company: To be effective long-term, musculoskeletal care must go beyond physical therapy to include coaching, patient education and behavioral health support. Otherwise initial results from physical therapy will evaporate over time, increasing the odds that surgery becomes necessary.

Episode 7: Daniel Perez, CEO and co-founder, Hinge Health
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Episode 6: Sami Inkinen, MS, MBA, Virta


About our guest
Sami Inkinen, MS, MBA

Sami Inkinen is the CEO and co-founder of Virta Health, which provides the first clinically-proven treatment to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery.


Sami Inkinen tells the story behind the company he founded, Virta Health, a technology-enabled virtual clinic that can treat diabetes without medication. Sami trained as a physicist and started his career in a nuclear power plant. Despite being a world-class triathlete, he learned he was becoming pre-diabetic, setting him on a new journey, leading him to found Virta.

Episode 6: Sami Inkinen, MS, MBA, CEO and co-founder, Virta
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Episode 5: Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, MS, Helpsy


About our guest
Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, MS

Sangeeta has been an engineer for nine years at companies such as IBM and Motorola and a nurse for seven years at Mayo Clinic, Stanford and UCSF. She is the founder, CEO and the vision behind Helpsy.


Sangeeta tells the story of how her own health challenges led her change careers, from engineering to health care, ultimately leading to her founding Helpsy, a whole health and artificial intelligence cancer nurse that anticipates and addresses patients' physical, emotional and social needs.

Episode 5: Sangeeta Agarawal, RN, MS, Founder and CEO, Helpsy
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Episode 4: Andrew Le, MD, Buoy


About our guest
Andrew Le, MD

Andrew Le is the CEO and co-founder of Buoy, which was created at the Harvard Innovation Labs, won numerous awards (e.g. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation A.I. Challenge), and has partnerships with CVS Health and Boston Children's Hospital.


Andrew Le trained as a surgeon, but decided not to practice medicine because he wanted to help more people than he realized he could within the parameters of the way medicine is practiced today. So he started Buoy, an app that uses artificial intelligence, probability, statistics and machine learning to help those who realize they are ill to take the first step in getting care. The app helps people understand what is going on clinically and matches services and benefits to the individual's specific condition.

Episode 4: Andrew Le, MD, CEO and co-founder, Buoy
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Episode 3: Mette Dyhrberg, Mymee


About our guest
Mette Dyhrberg

Mette Dyhrberg is the founder and CEO of Mymee, a digital therapeutics program rethinking autoimmunity. The Mymee protocol detects triggers to reverse the symptoms of autoimmune disease using data analytics and telehealth coaching.


Mette Dyhrberg tells the story of her personal journey that led her to found Mymee, a digital therapeutic that provides a platform for understanding the triggers that can set off the immune systems of those suffering from chronic illnesses. She explains how Mymee can be used to treat autoimmune diseases without medication.

Episode 3: Mette Dyhrberg, Founder and CEO, Mymee
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Episode 2: Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, Wellthy


About our guest
Lindsay Jurist-Rosner
Lindsay Jurist-Rosner is the co-founder and CEO of Wellthy, which helps 66 million Americans who care for sick, aging or disabled loved ones.

Lindsay Jurist-Rosner discusses Wellthy, a care-giving company that helps those assisting aging, chronically ill or disabled loved ones by providing an advisor and technology platform for coordinating and managing day-to-day care. Lindsay tells a touching personal story of how caring for her mother inspired her to start Wellthy and shares common challenges caregivers face daily.

Episode 2: Lindsay Jurist-Rosner, Co-founder and CEO of Wellthy
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Episode 1:Peter Shalek, AbleTo


About our guest
Peter Shalek

Pete is the chief product officer at AbleTo, where he leads a talented group of project managers, designers and product marketers responsible for AbleTo's product strategy, roadmap and execution.


Pete Shalek tells the story of how he founded Joyable, a behavioral health app that makes it simple to get support for mental health. The technology provides cognitive behavioral therapy, the most effective treatment today for anxiety and depression. Pete discusses the challenges and rewards of being a healthcare innovator as well as the inspiration behind Joyable, which was later acquired by AbleTo, a virtual behavioral health services provider.

Episode 1: Peter Shalek, Chief Product Officer, AbleTo
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