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Category Archives: Medicine

Lydia Pinkham lived at a time when the female menstruation was a taboo topic in society. Yet, she is considered by modern-day feminists as a feminist in her own time, an early crusader for women’s rights particularly their healthcare rights.

Unlike many early feminists whose methods typically involved grand public gestures of protest, Pinkham used her knowledge and skills in herbal medicines in promoting women’s health issues. While she was motivated by economic reasons, her bravery in distributing information about an exclusively female domain was lauded as revolutionary for the women’s liberation movement.

Note: Pinkham’s herbal-alcohol tonic for the relief of menstrual and menopausal pains was commercially successful. She was then able to provide a comfortable life for her family.

But Pinkham is also highly regarded for another reason. She held strong anti-segregation and abolitionist principles, which was the result of her own family’s stance on the issues. In fact, she was a member of the Lynn Female Anti-slavery Society and she helped host abolitionist meetings in her home.


Dr. John Martin, current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gilead Sciences, has achieved different recognitions throughout his career, but most notable of all was the Gertrude B. Elion Award for Scientific Excellence from the International Society for Antiviral Research. He is also in Harvard Business Review’s list of 100 Best Performing CEO’s in the World.

His career at Gilead Sciences began in 1990 when he joined the company as Vice President. However, before joining Gilead Sciences, Dr. Martin was already accomplished in the field of antiviral studies. From 1984 to 1990, Dr. Martin was the Director of Antiviral Chemistry for Brystol-Myers Squibb. From 1978 to 1984, he was with Syntex Corporation where he co-invented the drug called Ganciclovir, which is used in the treatment of the cytomegalovirus infection.

Aside from performing his duties as CEO of Gilead Sciences, Dr. Martin also works for the Administrations Advisory Committee of the Centers for Disease Control/Health Resources and Services. He is also one of the Board of Directors of the California Healthcare Institute.

Nationally recognized in the health field, Cástulo de la Rocha has led AltaMed Health Services Corporation from a three-person operation to one of the top five Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) in the United States and the largest in California. Today, the nonprofit community health-clinic system receives half a million visits each year at 44 locations in Orange and Los Angeles Counties in California and includes more than 1,200 employees. Cástulo de la Rocha’s entrepreneurial spirit, business skills, and accomplishments are all the more impressive considering he received no formal schooling until he arrived in the U.S. from Mexico at age 11.

He went on to graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a B.A. in Political Science and earn a J.D. at Berkeley School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining AltaMed in 1977, the Mexican native served as a law clerk in the Law Offices of Francisco S. Velez in Guadalajara, Mexico, working in both civil and criminal law. He also accepted a position as a legal intern for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in San Francisco. At AltaMed, Cástulo de la Rocha serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, overseeing a budget of nearly $200 million, with the independent medical center providing outpatient services to a population including a large contingent of Latinos.

The senior-level health care executive’s long list of accolades includes induction into the National Association of Community Health Centers’ Grassroots Hall of Fame in 2011 and a 2010 Champion of Health award from National Medical Fellowships, Inc. In 2009, the Mexican American Bar Foundation named Cástulo de la Rocha a Pioneer for Justice, and HispanicBusiness magazine featured him as one of the Top 100 “Latino Influentials.” In another example of how far the 11-year-old boy with no formal education has come, he has held multiple prestigious positions outside of his leadership role at AltaMed, including serving as Envoy to Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Antigua for the 1984 Summer Olympics.



It’s not easy being in the health care profession. Hundreds of lives are on your shoulders each day, and you are always responsible for heavy life decisions. But when an entire health care system is your responsibility, it has to be a hundred times a heavier burden to bear. Dr. Delos Cosgrove, the Chairman, Board of Governors, CEO and President of the Cleveland Clinic Health System has a lot on his plate, presiding over five billion dollars’ worth in the Cleveland Clinic, 9 community hospitals, 15 health and surgery centers, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Florida, the Cleveland Clinic Toronto and the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Delos Cosgrove graduated from the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine in Charlottesville, where he received his medical degree, and completed his medical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Brook General Hospital in London and the Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cosgrove’s medical resume includes having served as the Chief of US Air Force Casualty Staging Flight in Vietnam, where he was awarded. A cardiac surgeon specializing in thoracic and cardiovascular diseases, Dr. Cosgrove served as Chairman for this department, where he led the Cleveland Clinic’s heart program to the number one spot in the USA for ten years.

With almost 500 journal articles, a book, training and medical films to his credit, Dr. Cosgrove has been a much-anticipated and sought-after public speaker for various international forums, has been on the subject of a cover story for Time magazine as well as for Newsweek, The New York Times and the Washington Post. He has spoken at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Switzerland, has been awarded distinctions for his commitment to improving the health care system and has been listed as one of the most powerful figures in health care and one of the most powerful physician-executives in the world.

Of all the fields of medicine she could have chosen, Dr. Sagun Tuli decided to focus on neurology and spine surgery, a decidedly male field. Like pioneers and entrepreneurs before her, the native of India charted a course and followed it, regardless of the challenges that surely lay ahead. Her persistence and dedication paid off. Dr. Sagun Tuli became the first and only board certified female in her field in the Harvard Medical School system, which includes 17 affiliate teaching and research facilities. An associate surgeon in neurosurgery and spine in Boston at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Faulkner Hospital for nine years, she currently shares her skills as a physician and surgeon at the Center for Advanced Brain and Spine Surgery at MetroWest Medical Center in Natick, Massachusetts.

Dr. Tuli could have carefully guarded her position; after all, she worked hard to get there. Instead, she has acted as a physician mentor, earning recognition for her efforts from the Women Physicians Congress of the American Medical Association. She also has addressed the Women and Leadership course at the Boston College Carroll School of Management and the American Medical Women’s Association at the Boston College and Tufts University Schools of Medicine. The noted surgeon has delivered numerous gender-neutral presentations as well, in such locations as Canada, India, Nepal, Algeria, and Kenya.

Not an occupation for sissies, spine and neurosurgery takes a depth of knowledge and rock-steady hands. Managing complex spine cases caused by degenerative, traumatic, infectious, or neoplastic conditions, Dr. Sagun Tuli was the only neurosurgeon to perform complex spine surgeries for four years at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In addition to her full-time clinical work, she conducts extensive clinical research. Dr. Tuli earned her MD and became a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, where she also fulfilled a residency in neurosurgery. She completed an MS in Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and a fellowship in spine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Possessing the vision and drive of an entrepreneur, Ellen Scharaga has served as a pharmacy executive for nearly 30 years. Since accepting the role of Senior Vice President of Operations at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Great Neck, New York, she has gained Joint Commission Accreditation for several facilities, grown the operations staff by 50 percent, and significantly reduced prescription-processing turnaround time. A State of New York registered pharmacist, Ms. Scharaga completed a B.S. in Pharmacology at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, and served as Director of Pharmacy for Baxter Healthcare early in her career.

In other senior positions in the field, she acted as Director of Pharmacy and Quality Assurance at ABEL Health Management Services, Inc.; as General Manager of the New York branch of Health Infusion, Inc.; and as District Infusion Manager of Homedco Infusion. Ellen Scharaga also served as New York General Manager of National Medical Care, Inc. Subsequently, as Director of Pharmacy and then Vice President of Pharmacy at Group Health Incorporated, she showed her entrepreneurial and leadership skills as a strategic planner, network program designer, contract negotiator, and proactive manager. Immediately prior to joining OncoMed, Ms. Scharaga accepted a position at Advanced Care Incorporated as Director of Pharmacy, where she became the primary advisor in pharmacology, including overseeing provider and member relations and new-product development.

A member of several professional organizations, such as the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, Ellen Scharaga enjoys such activities as walking, shopping, and reading in her leisure time. Like many successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople, she also takes pleasure in sharing her success, supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; the American Cancer Society, Inc.; and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Named in New York magazine as one of the Best Doctors in New York and in Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. as one the Top Doctors in New York, Dr. Gustavo Stringel also has earned consistent recognition in the Marquis Who’s Who in America as a top doctor in New York. His entrepreneurial approach to medicine has attracted such notice and enhanced the medical environment. As Surgeon in Chief and Director of Pediatric Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, Gustavo Stringel collaborated with upper management to develop and implement quality and performance indicators for surgical and pediatric services.

At Westchester Medical Center, Dr. Stringel also spearheaded efforts to build the children’s hospital, where he established the Division of Pediatric Surgery and the Division of Minimally Invasive Surgery. He also developed the Multidisciplinary Pediatric Surgery Group of Westchester, a professional corporation, where he serves as President, and assisted in recruiting new specialists in such disciplines as cardiac, plastic, and neurosurgery; liver transplantation; and pediatric subspecialties. And like any good entrepreneur, Dr. Stringel shares his expertise, as a tenured Professor at New York Medical College in Valhalla and through hundreds of presentations, scientific papers, book chapters, and a CD-ROM. In addition, he serves as an Advanced Trauma Life Support instructor.

Board certified in surgery and pediatric surgery, Gustavo Stringel also maintains certification in surgical critical care and medical management. A Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Surgeons, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, he holds professional memberships in several other organizations. Fluent in English and Spanish, he earned his M.D. at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Medical School and completed rotating internships and residencies in Mexico and Canada. In addition, Dr. Stringel received an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts.


Deepak Chopra is an Indian doctor and writer who was born in New Delhi, India on October 22, 1946.  He is a popular of influential books on mind-body science and spirituality. His teachings have influenced millions of people around the world, including the New Thought Movement.

Chopra and his wife Rita migrated to the US in 1970. He finished his residency at the University of Virginia Hospital. When he passed the medical board exam, he became a specialist in internal medicine and endocrinology.

During the early years of his medical practice, Chopra taught at Tufts University and Boston University. Later, he became Massachusetts’ New England Memorial Hospital’s Chief of Staff. He also became the Chief at Boston Regional Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

He began his private practice in 1981. Chopra a practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine was named Dr. Vaidya Brihaspatu Dev Triguna. This was the beginning of Chopra’s active involvement in Transcendental Meditation.

Chopra was the Executive Director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind-Body Medicine in San Diego, California in 1993. In 1996, he established The Chopra Center in La Jolla, California. Later, a branch was also established in New York.

The Center was established to combine western medicine with natural medicine. Chopra believed that good health is not only about the absence of disease but a balanced function between the mind and body. The Center was recognized by the American Medical Association as school for continuing education for doctors.

Chopra authored over 40 books, mainly focused on medicine and the connection between science and religion.