Monthly Archives

April 2020


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (Apr. 21, 2020) – Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

For most people, their entire world has changed overnight. We are in around week 5 of the global pandemic since its impact started rocking the inhabitants of the US. Almost all of the nations citizens are under some kind of “shelter in place” order to minimize risk of disease spread, and ultimately the toll that the impending wave of sickness, suffering and death that the COVID-19 virus would bring. Kids aren’t in school. Parents are now home-schooling while working. The degree of separation between each one of us and a COVID-19 death or critical illness is rapidly decreasing. Millions of people have lost their jobs, and for those who still have jobs, there is certainly some kind of anxiety attached to the conditions under which they are now working. Among the many professions and jobs that are considered “essential services”, are all healthcare workers. Whether they are on the frontlines or not, they are stepping into daily risk simply because of the nature of their work. 

And what is the result of all of this? Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. Emotions are high and many people do not know either how to deal with these new intensified feelings, nor do they have a clear understanding of the ripple effect left on the other side of them acting out of any of these particular feelings. 

JAMA recently reported:

“The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and efforts to contain it, represent a unique threat, and we must recognize the pandemic that will quickly follow it—that of mental and behavioral illness—and implement the steps needed to mitigate it.”

The Mental Health Consequences of COVID-19 and Physical Distancing The Need for Prevention and Early Intervention

SanovaWorks Initial Response to COVID-19

During the initial wave of uncertainty that hit my network of friends, colleagues and peers, SanovaWorks decided to bring together panels of various healthcare practitioners to help aid the anxiety that was boiling up through opening conversations that would help guide people. To date, we have completed four panels on various important topics in which no-one received compensation. Each is given and received as an offering to the community it served.

During promotion of our webinars, our choice of topics and panelists have come under scrutiny in a private, closed social media group.  Emails and messages were sent to our staff that included emotionally charged language.

How Do You Respond to Negative Feedback?

I would say that the number one response in this kind of situation is to listen and inspire dialogue. By email, we have requested dialogue with every single person who has reached out. Although many have not responded, we continue to appreciate those that have.

In addition to listening, it is important to acknowledge the other party’s opinion and feelings. Acknowledging does not mean agreeing, but it does say “I hear you, and I respect that you have this opinion and these feelings”.

You do not have to apologize for doing things you believe in, but you can apologize for any issues that have been experienced by the other party as a result. Of course we did not intend that any action would result in suffering for the other party, and an apology is appropriate for unknown ripple effects like this. Any apology you give should be one hundred percent authentic or it isn’t worth saying at all.

Above all you must be respectful and kind. This should be “table-stakes”.

How Can You Learn from Feedback?

When marketers ask their target market research questions, while tantalizing to the ego, they are not looking for glowing recommendations. They are looking for the truth. Even if you do not agree with a person’s opinion, one piece of feedback can represent the opinion of more than just that one person. I would expect that leaders are grateful that some people are willing to stand up and verbalize their thoughts, giving insight to the market that would otherwise stay hidden. When someone in your market complains to you about something, as mentioned above, listening is the best course of action. 

I live my life by the following advice that was shared by a very wise person I know:

If someone insults you and it is false, you should ignore them.

If someone insults you and it is true, you should thank them.

We should always be open to hearing what the market has to say. Their insight will prove valuable to navigate some of the complex business challenges you face. 

How Can You Protect Your Teams

Many of SanovaWorks employees; have spouses who have lost jobs, are isolated in other parts of the country, have suddenly become full time carers for young children and have home-school responsibilities. While they all still have their jobs, they have uncertainty in general because we cannot make promises given the uncertain nature of things, are working on all the programs we were working on before the pandemic, but now to survive as a company, we are all working on additional programs. Our previous brick and mortar office location was in New York City, so many of our employees are located in that area–the global epicenter of the pandemic.

Add the recent feedback calling into question our decisions to facilitate a webinar for a group of heath care practitioners, that we had agreed to support, it makes an already bad day, week, or month, into an even more overwhelming situation.

What you can do is keep everyone informed. Do not let the rumor-mill increase any feelings of tension. You should state your position with regards to the matter by giving them basic facts, and an open line of communication to discuss the matter further. And you should reiterate the most important facets with points such as:

  • We always listen to others
  • We do not tolerate bullying and disrespect
  • We should let people experience us by example and our integrity
  • We believe all healthcare practitioners need and are entitled to appropriate education 

As I reflect on the past weeks, and months, I can say that there has never been a moment that I did not feel hopeful– and ultimately that hope is that this global crisis gives each of us the opportunity to grow as human beings, citizens, leaders, and employees.  

Shelley Tanner, 

CEO/President SanovaWorks



By | Press

NEW YORK, (April 10, 2020) – Luciana Halliday Nofal, VP Marketing and Client Relations SanovaWorks

Polling Questions Answered by Dermatologists and Dermatology Healthcare Practitioners

Moderated by Joel L. Cohen, a panel of dermatologist and dermatology industry experts including Adam Friedman, MD, Neal Bhatia, MD, Bill Humphries (Ortho Dermatologist), Sue Ellen Cox, MD, Kavita Mariwalla, MD and Carrie Strom (Allergan) joined the COVID-19 conversation discussing the questions that are on the minds of many dermatologists and healthcare practitioners in the country. The initial broadcast attracted 1,900 registrants and nearly 800 attendees participated. More than 85% of the audience were of dermatology physicians, with the remaining participants made up of dermatology residents, fellows, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  Attendees were polled a variety of questions regarding how their practice was responding to COVID-19.

Adoption of Teledermatology

Regarding how physicians were adapting to the use of teledermatology, almost one third (30.71%) of those who answered saw no teledermatology patients in the preceding week, almost forty percent (39.98%) saw less than five per day, under ten percent (9.06%) saw more than 11 patients a day, with the remainder of respondents (21.26%) saw between five and ten patients per day in the previous week.

When asked the average time a teledermatology encounter takes (physician log on to physician log off), almost one third (31.25% said five to ten minutes, almost half (47.12%) took from eleven to twenty minutes, less than four percent (3.85%) took more than thirty minutes for the encounter, while the remaining (17.79%) took twenty-one to thirty minutes.

Urgent Dermatologic Cases

When the subject of what urgent dermatologic cases besides melanoma the participating dermatologists were seeing live in their practice, almost one third (29.41%) answered “zoster, versus concerning rash”, more than forty percent (41.18%) answered “spot checks of atypical pigmented lesions”, just over a quarter (26.47%) were seeing “invasive growing squamous cell” and under three percent (2.94%) were seeing live patients in their office for tumors around the orbit.

Patient Access to Medications

Almost one half of those who responded (47.85%) answered that they were having difficulty getting anti-malarials (HCQ, Chloroquine) for their patients that are on them, while the other half (52.15%) were not.

Return to Business for Cosmetic Practices 

Almost forty percent of those polled (38.69%) were optimistic that their practice would be back to “normal” (seeing cosmetic patients full time) in July, with an almost even spread of the remainder of respondents believing their practice would be back to normal in June (16.58%), August (15.58%), September (14.57%) or October and beyond (14.57%).

Planning for the year ahead

When asked how likely participants were to register now for a conference taking place in the fall, winter or spring, the majority of those who answered, said they were likely to register now for meetings during any of those time frames, ranging from almost half of respondents (47.75%) who would be likely to register now for a fall meeting, almost two-thirds (62.64%) for a meeting in the winter, and more than three-quarters (77.78%) would register now for a meeting taking place in the Spring. 

We look forward to asking more questions in the future to help the community provide the support it needs right now.

The on-demand broadcast has attracted over 500 registrants as of April 9th and is available on

Click here for access to Part I

Part II:  COVID-19: Your Questions Answered

COVID-19: Your Questions Answered, part II of the webinar series, was broadcasted on April 7, 2020. 

During this webinar dermatology experts and other thought leaders examined the legal and financial concerns of dermatology providers during the global coronavirus pandemic. David Goldberg, MD, JD lead a panel of experts, Joel L Cohen, MD, Jeffrey Dover, MD, Gunga Mukkavilli, CPA, and Janel Ablon, Esq. through discussions on furlough vs. layoffs; mortgage and rent relief programs; the CARES Act; and other important and current legal and financial matters for dermatologists. 

A second panel of experts including Joel L Cohen, MD and Jeffrey Dover, MD, from the previous panel, joined by Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, and moderated by Adam Friedman, MD, answered questions, discussed practical tips you can use in your practice right now; and how to move forward with patient care. Part II attracted 1,300 registrants with nearly 700 attendees.

Staffing, financials, and teledermatology

Over half of those polled (53.42%) responded that since the pandemic they have had to furlough staff and almost one quarter (23.6%) hadn’t but believed they may have to in the future. 

More than three-quarters of respondents (75.46%) said that their receivables in March compared to February are decreased greatly, while less than eight percent said their receivables were “about the same” (5.52%) or had “increased slightly” (2.45%). The remainder of respondents (16.56%) indicated that their receivables had decreased slightly.

With regards to financial assistance programs, almost all respondents (89.15%) said that they applied for the Paycheck Protection Program a Small Business Association loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to this, almost one third (28.68%) had applied for the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance), just under eight percent (7.75%) had applied for other Federal loans or grants, six percent (6.2%) applied for state loans or grants, and just two percent (2.33%) had found and applied for other loans or grants. 

Most respondents (78.42%) were not planning on borrowing from their retirement savings, while a further almost twenty percent (18.42%) were unsure and just three percent (3.16%) indicated they were planning on borrowing from their retirement fund,

Only a very small number of those polled (8.84%) feel experienced with teledermatology and use it as a normal part of their practice, and less than five percent (4.42%) were not planning on using it at all. Almost all respondents (86.74%) had little to no experience in teledermatology. Almost sixty percent (58.01%) had started teledermatoligy since the pandemic began, a further twenty percent (21.55%) had started before the pandemic but considered themselves a beginner, and a further seven percent (7.18%) had not started but wanted to.

We hope you enjoy watching and listening to these panels of experts discuss the latest issues in dermatology and we look forward to bring you more episodes.

The on-demand broadcast of Part II will be available on April 11, 2020 on

Click here for Part II




By | Press

NEW YORK, (Apr. 9th, 2020) – Luciana Halliday Nofal, VP Marketing and Client Relations

In response to the needs of the SanovaWorks community, our brands have developed COVID-19 resources.

COVID 19 part I dermatology JDD Next Steps SanovaWorks

On April, 1, 2020, the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (JDD) and SanovaWorks brands launched Part I of the webinar series: COVID-19: Urgent Dermatology and Aesthetic Issues for Dermatology.

Over the course of the 2 hours, Joel L. Cohen, MD and 6 different thought leaders joined the COVID-19 conversation, discussing the pressing questions that are on the minds of many dermatologists and providers in the country. The initial broadcast attracted 1,900 registrants and nearly 800 attendees comprised of physicians, residents, fellows, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  Attendees were interested and engaged throughout the entire 2 hours with a 76% average attentiveness and 72% average interest rating.

The on-demand broadcast has attracted over 500 registrants as of April 9th and is available on

Part II COVID in Dermatology Webinar Financial and Legal

On April 7, 2020, Part II of the webinar series was broadcasted: COVID-19: Your Questions Answered. Dermatology experts and thought leaders examined the legal and financial concerns of dermatology providers during the global coronavirus pandemic. Experts discussed furlough vs. layoffs; mortgage and rent relief programs; the CARES Act; the pros and cons of leveraging NPs or PAs for teledermatology and more. Then, hear questions answered by our panel of experts; discussed practical tips you can use in your practice right now; and how to move forward with patient care. Part II attracted 1,300 registrants with nearly 700 attendees. Attendees were engaged and interested throughout with an 82% attentiveness average and 75+% interest rating.

The on-demand broadcast of Part II will be available on April 11, 2020 on

Next Steps in Dermatology, a resource for young dermatologists and residents, recently launched a COVID-19 News and Resource Center. Next Steps in Derm COVID-19 News & Resources Center offers a curated selection of relevant news and resources from truthworthy sources to help physicians navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources include:

  • COVID-19 Webinars
  • Free CME
  • COVID-19 Related Podcast Episodes
  • COVID-19 PubMed Articles in JAAD, JDD, etc.
  • Recommendations from AAD, AMA, etc.
  • Guidance from HIPAA, Medicare, and on Telehealth
Flexible work at SanovaWorks


By | Diary of a Remote Company

NEW YORK, (Mar. 26, 2020) – Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

The pandemic caused by the spread of the COVID – 19 has changed the way we live, they way we socialize and the way we do business. When we feel helpless in the wake of a national tragedy or a natural disaster, not unlike the way many people are feeling right now, full of anxiety and worry; we can try to offer practical help. That’s what we are doing at SanovaWorks. While many companies are struggling to “get up to speed” on a remote workforce, SanovaWorks has been 100% remote for many years.

Follow our Diary of a Remote Company posts to get some insights from Team Sanova.

When I asked the Team what insights they can share to help other companies that are transitioning to a remote workforce in response to the pandemic, Karin spoke specifically to the need for patience when dealing with technology and varying skill levels and experience. I think her advice is worth sharing.

Karin Beehler, Executive Editor

Patience and understanding – Everyone has different levels of technology skills

Their area of work may be different and require different types of technologies and knowledge of programs different from the ones you use. Just because they do not understand the program you are using doesn’t mean they are incapable of learning it and getting up to speed. For instance, we encounter many doctors who are not experts at InDesign and Adobe PDF maker and editing tools or web conference software although obviously have other expertise! They may need some tips to get them on track so be willing to share your knowledge in a kind and professional manner. Be patient and understanding about other people’s learning curve and encourage their ability or interest to learn a new program. 

Where there is a will, there is a way

We can do this! It might not be perfect, and it can be frustrating when “all the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” but determination, patience, understanding, tolerance, and persistence will pay off. Sometimes conference calls don’t work out because someone can’t log on, or there is a major update needed, or a virus, or a crash, black-screen, files lost, files not found. These are just the normal obstacles of the work from home environment, like trains not running or printer is jammed, like with an office workplace. We do what we can to avoid them, but they happen so just accept and move on, find a work-around.

As my mother says, “you may not know what you want, but you know what you don’t want.” If one tech solution doesn’t work, stick with it until you find another one that is better. There is no one-size-fits-all but there are usually work-arounds that suit most people. Don’t get frustrated and sabotage your goal, and don’t give up.


See our post on generational learning for more insights on differences in learning styles.