Monthly Archives

March 2021


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (March 31, 2021) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Conflict is a part of daily life. Sometimes we wake in conflict. Our alarm goes off, we need coffee, our inbox is overflowing, and our boss, employee, or associate isn’t communicating quickly, clearly, or at all. Conflict arises, diffuses, or escalates, based on our individual approach to the situation. 

A leadership role often comprises dealing with conflict. Each situation is unique, however, it can indicate a larger issue in a company or organization. These are the things I’ve experienced in my career and my leadership role at SanovaWorks. 

In the past year, I’ve had the good fortune to meet Vickie Williams, a conflict resolution expert. I’ve enjoyed many conversations with Vickie about conflict resolution and how individuals and companies can respond appropriately. Vickie generously agreed to share her wisdom and insights on how to resolve conflict, and why conflict isn’t bad, it’s actually necessary. 

SHELLEY: What are your top tips or suggestions to mitigate the situation when conflict arises?

VICKIE: I have 8 steps that I suggest when conflict is present. 

  1. 5-second rule: In 5 seconds if what you are about to say or do, is harmful to yourself, others or the world around you –do not do it.
  2. Know the outcome that you seek. Why are you having this conversation? What do you seek to gain or learn from this conversation?
  3.  Timing. Just because you want to have the conversation, be mindful that it may not be the right time to have it. Take a temperature check on your attitude. Are you angry? Are you emotional? Is the other party angry or emotional? Take a minute, gather your thoughts and let everyone cool out.
  4. Tone. Manage your tone. Do not get loud or snarky. You have identified the outcome that you are seeking, tailor your conversation to that effect.
  5. Patience. The difficult conversation may need to be revisited. Be patient. Know what you can live without to get to a solution that meets most of what is important to you.
  6. Be open, flexible, and fluid; but know your limits.
  7. No is a complete sentence. No explanation or permission is necessary to disengage with a conversation or person if the engagement causes you stress, pain, or trauma.
  8. Lastly are you prepared for the other party’s action, inaction, or reaction?

SHELLEY: How do you build and maintain relationships?

VICKIE: Ask the question. If there is confusion seek clarity. Boundaries are important. Ensure that you understand that you control them. Communication is critical, say what you need and want and convey them by your actions. Trust is the most important part of any relationship. It is easy to break and hard to regain.

SHELLEY: Is relationship building different in the age of COVID-19?

VICKIE: Yes, it is different –but not difficult.

SHELLEY: When do you know it’s time to call in the experts regarding conflict resolution?

VICKIE: In a personal setting it is when the pain hits you deep and you feel lost. In a business setting, ask yourself the following question:  Are your employees exhibiting the following behaviors? Excessive absenteeism, excessive tardiness?

And are your employees, leaving, disengaged, gossiping, not cooperating, breaking rules, and/or disrespectful?

What is important to note is that at some time or another every workplace will experience some of these issues. It is not the issue in itself that determines when you should bring in an outside consultant, it is the degree and duration of these incidents that raise a red flag.

SHELLEY: What are your final thoughts about conflict?

VICKIE: Conflict is not bad. Conflict is not good. Conflict is necessary. Please do not be afraid of conflict, it can assist parties to identify issues that need to be resolved. Lastly, a mediator is a professional and adheres to the process. The mediator is neutral and not on anyone’s side. Therefore this can be a very equitable process.

Vickie is an entrepreneur. She created OPN-Door Communications; a mediation, conflict coaching and training firm. OPN-Door Communications was developed to help businesses and families resolve conflicts, communicate effectively, build relationships, retain relationships, maintain relationships, preserve relationships, and sever relationships with dignity and diplomacy.

Vickie believes that education is key to your success. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from her beloved, Elizabeth City State University, Master’s in Public Administration from Old Dominion University, and four certifications in Mediation with the Virginia Supreme Court.

Connect with Vickie 

Phone: (757) 816-4478

[email protected]

Twitter: @opndoorcom

Instagram: @opndoorcom




By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (March 30, 2021) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program, (CCMMP), is providing opportunities to underrepresented students in medicine and healthcare. 

A Conversation with  Lauren Payne, MD

Dr. Lauren C. Payne is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at George Washington University. She is also the Director of Teledermatology at Howard University Hospital Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Payne is Chairperson to the Board of Directors for Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program.

What is CMMP?

Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program (CMMP) is a non-profit organization that was created in 2015 to provide minority students, who may come from disadvantaged or underprivileged backgrounds, with experiences that foster successful matriculation into health-professional schools.

Our mission is to encourage, support, educate, and mentor minority students. We hope to inspire and guide these students as they matriculate through their educational pursuits and healthcare careers.

Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program History 

CMMP was founded in 2015 by Dr. Byron Jasper during his Community Health Leadership Development Fellowship at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Jasper recognized the important role that mentors played in his own personal journey and sought to continue this pattern of giving back and guiding future healthcare professionals through their own journeys with the help of mentorship. CMMP was created to provide underrepresented students, who may come from disadvantaged or underprivileged backgrounds, with experiences that foster successful matriculation into health-professional schools. This will ultimately increase diversity within the medical field, which is an additional goal of the organization. 

Since its inception CMMP became a self-standing, non-profit organization in February of 2018 and now has chapters in Washington, D.C, New Orleans, LA, and Baton Rouge, LA. 

The Importance of Increasing Diversity in Medicine 

  • African-Americans (AA) make up 12% of the general population in the U.S., but only 4% of the nation’s physician population 
  • A study conducted by the American Academy of Medical Colleges (AAMC) in 2014 noted that the number of black male medical school applicants and matriculants has actually decreased compared to the number of black males in 1978. 
  • During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were over 10,000 medical school acceptances of Caucasian applicants, compared to just 1,500 and 1,300 AA and Hispanic acceptances, respectively. 
  • The New York Times published an article in August 2018 reviewing a study conducted in Oakland, CA revealing black male patients were more likely to trust and follow medical recommendations made by black male physicians compared to physicians of other races. 

All of these statistics and findings shine a spotlight on the importance of providing patients with access to health professionals from similar backgrounds as oftentimes these patients feel more comfortable and are more likely to adhere to treatment plans provided by those professionals. It was because of these, and other reasons that Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program was created. 

Our Approach to Mentoring 

CMMP takes a unique approach toward mentoring and guiding students by encouraging mentoring at all levels of education. This means students begin to acquire their mentoring and leadership skills as early as high school and will begin mentoring younger students where possible. This pattern continues at all levels within CMMP, beginning with undergraduate students and extending up to one’s professional medical careers. 

Descriptions of Programs and Initiatives 

CMMP recognizes the importance of providing students with vast opportunities, including educational, clinical, and community service focused, to ensure they are well-rounded and well-prepared as they apply to graduate and professional schools. 

 Summary of some of CMMP’s initiatives

  • The Rounds Initiative – Students are presented with a real-life clinical case to allow them to start “thinking like clinicians”. 
  • Clinical Research Internship – Students are provided hands-on exposure to clinical research. 
  • CMMP Consults – Healthcare professional guests discuss their paths to medicine, provide advice on various topics, and answer questions from students and participants. 
  • Clinical Shadowing Experience – Students are granted the opportunity to shadow clinicians in an outpatient clinical setting. 
  • CMMP Pre-Med Preparation – Students are given a “crash course” in pre-med prep including mock interviews, personal statement and CV writing workshops, presentations from medical school admissions departments, and more. 
  • Suture and CPR Workshops – Students are able to have hands-on practice with suturing and become American Heart Association certified in CPR. 
  • The Articulate Mentors Blog – This is CMMP’s blog that discusses topics including academics, health and wellness, mentoring, and more. It provides an opportunity for students to enhance their professional writing skills. 
  • Anonymous Accolades – This initiative allows “unsung heroes” to be recognized anonymously. 
  • “with CMMP” – Members encourage the importance of health and wellness with local communities through the hosting of and engaging in, various physical activities including running, walking, bike riding, yoga, and other health-focused activities. 

Students Engaged in Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program

What the Students Say

”The ability to talk to these awesome physicians and network with them was great and something I have never been able to do before.”

“I really enjoyed getting to meet people from so many different backgrounds, as it showed me that the healthcare field is super diverse and that there are so many options that I can pursue!”

“This was my first time experiencing something like this and I truly enjoyed it! I also appreciated how our current courses like genetics and organic chemistry relate to real patient cases.”

“I enjoyed the welcoming environment. The personalities were strong and made the meeting entertaining and engaging, while also still dropping knowledge in a way that we would understand easily. The information was presented with us as students in mind.”

What does Success Look Like?

We are happy to share that five former CMMP CRI Interns and National Leadership members were accepted and matriculated into medical school, Including HUCOM, Wayne State, UCSF, USHUS in 2020. And so far in 2021 two students have been accepted into medical school.

Call for Mentors
It is that time of year again! 

Are you interested in getting more involved with a non-profit organization aimed at increasing diversity in medicine –while also boosting your resume? 

CMMP is accepting nominations for the 2021-2022 CMMP National Leadership.

We welcome Health Professional School students, Physicians, and other healthcare professional mentors who are interested in assisting pre-health mentees in various capacities including:

  • Providing Clinical Shadowing Opportunities
  • Reviewing Personal Statements and Curriculum Vitaes
  • Serving as mentors for mock interviews and The Art of Networking Events
  • Serving as guests for CMMP Consults

The deadline is April 11th, 2021.

To learn more about CMMP and become involved visit the following: 

Social Media
○ Instagram – @cmmpmed
○ Facebook –
○ Twitter – @cmmpmed
○ LinkedIn – 

Email[email protected]


By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (March 23, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

The increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and attacks in our country is shameful.  What we’re seeing take place is a consequence of racism and xenophobia.

The murders in Atlanta this past week were an act of hate and bias, and nothing short of horrifying.

Here are the victims’ names – let them not be forgotten.

Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33

Paul Andre Michels, 54

Xiaojie Tan, 49

Daoyou Feng, 44

Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, 30 (wounded)

Soon C. Park, 74

Hyun J. Grant, 51

Suncha Kim, 69

Yong A. Yue, 63

I am reaching out to you all to offer my support, and to reaffirm both my and SanovaWorks’ commitment to diversity, inclusion, and creating an equitable and safe environment for all.

Next month we will continue the conversation in our Racial Equity Training Sessions with Equity Allies. In the meantime, I encourage you all to take action personally:

1.  Acknowledge, amplify, and denounce the ongoing anti-Asian hate crimes in America.  Don’t let these heinous acts go unseen and justice unserved.

2. Interrupt anti-Asian racism when you hear and see it. Speak up to stop it in its tracks.

In solidarity, SanovaWorks will be making a donation to Womankind:

I’ve said it many times over: we have lots of work to do.  But I know we can rise up to challenge discrimination, hatred, and violence – and we can make our world a better place.

Caroline Sophia Barrett

Vice President of Operations


By | SanovaWorks

(Photo Courtesy of Tess Thomas / Malala Fund)

NEW YORK, (March 8, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

International Women’s Day March 8, 2021

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Marked annually on March 8thInternational Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the most important days of the year to raise awareness and advocate for women’s equality.

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong.

It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson

Malala Fund

In honor of International Women’s Day, SanovaWorks will make a donation to the Malala Fund.

The Malala Fund advocates at the local, national, and international levels for resources and policy changes that improve access to education for girls. They focus on accelerating progress by challenging systems, policies, and practices, so all girls can access 12 years of free, safe, quality education.

Secondary education for girls can transform communities, countries, and our world. It is an investment in economic growth, a healthier workforce, lasting peace, and the future of our planet.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai

Find out more about the Malala Fund and donate here:

(Feature Photo Courtesy of Tess Thomas / Malala Fund)


Watch Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech


By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (March 1, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

March is Women’s History Month, which is a time to honor the immeasurable impact women have made on society by celebrating their remarkable achievements throughout history and reflecting on how they did it despite sexism, inequality, and the glass ceiling. It is a time to look back at how far we have come and to look ahead to contemplate the distance we have to go worldwide.

As a women-run business, we look to our female predecessors and contemporaries for inspiration and guidance. In commemoration of Women’s History Month, I am spotlighting a few of my heroines that ignite leadership, feminism, and activism within me.

At SanovaWorks, we encourage and embrace enthusiasm, commitment, integrity, grace, and entrepreneurial spirit in all that we do. I think these women epitomize these attributes through their lives and legacies.


Shirley Chisholm, 1924–2005

American politician, educator, and author, Shirley Chisholm was the first African American congresswoman, the first African American major-party presidential candidate, and the first woman to run for president on the Democratic ticket. She bridged the community and the Democratic Party with her authentic caring and kind nature and unflappable energetic spirit. Notably, she also helped push feminists of all backgrounds to examine intersectionality and privilege.

”Defeat should not be the source of discouragement, but a stimulus to keep plotting.”


Anna Julia Cooper, 1858-1964

Born a slave, Anna Julia Cooper became a prominent scholar, teacher, activist, and fourth African American woman to earn a doctoral degree. She wrote A Voice from the South by a Black Woman of the South, which argued for African American women’s central place in the battle for equal and civil rights. She established and co-founded several organizations to promote black civil rights causes and is often titled “the Mother of Black Feminism.”

“The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class—it is the cause of human kind, the very birthright of humanity.”


Katharine Graham, 1917-2001

Katharine Graham was one of the first female publishers of an American newspaper and the first-ever female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. In a male-dominated industry entrenched with institutional sexism, she struggled with her lack of confidence and distrust in her knowledge – which made her decision to publish the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate story, against the recommendation of male advisors, even more, monumental and courageous.

“The power is to set the agenda. What we print and what we don’t print matter a lot.”


Malala Yousafzais, 1997-

Pakistani activist for female education, Malala Yousafzais, is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She spoke out publicly against the local Pakistani Taliban, advocating for girls’ right to learn – and at the age of 15 she was shot in the head by an assassin in retaliation for her activism. She survived and has dedicated herself to giving every girl education and an opportunity to achieve the future she chooses.

“I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls.”

Learn more about Malala and donate to help girls learn around the world.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Madam C. J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, 1867-1919

African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist Madam C. J. Walker is the first female self-made millionaire in America. Her parents, both former slaves and orphaned at a young age, were born into poverty: to say that she built an empire out of nothing is an understatement. She developed and marketed a line of cosmetics and hair care products for African American women and used her wealth for philanthropy and activism.

“I am not satisfied in making money for myself. I endeavor to provide employment to hundreds of women of my race.”

In addition to my heroines, I harness strength and encouragement from the women in my life. The solidarity of our sisterhood, the stories of their womanhood, and their acts of feminism inspire and empower me.

I hope you celebrate this month by listening to and growing from women’s stories – both the women in your personal lives, as well as those that have made history. You may find the stories of your grandmothers, aunts, mothers, and neighbors as enlightening and inspiring as the stories of our feminist icons.

May their voices move you to contribute in your words and actions to a more feminist future and society.

The t-shirts worn in the photo of me and my kids are from Feminist Apparel and The Bee & The Fox.

If you are inspired to support Women’s health, education, rights, and social services, Charity Navigator provides highly-rated charities in this post:  Women’s History Month & Nonprofits Focused on Women & Girls,