All Posts By

Shelley Tanner


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (September 10, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Volunteer Day at SanovaWorks is Friday, September 25th

SanovaWorks will be closed on September 25 so that team members are free to participate in Volunteer Day.

Our Team has worked at the Bowery Mission for many years on Volunteer Day. We certainly encourage participation, but more importantly we want everyone to stay safe and healthy.  We created an internal space where team members can share volunteer ideas that are compliant with COVID safety guidelines: e.g. virtual volunteering, pen paling, phone calling, etc. 

We’ve reminded our Team, if they do decide to volunteer in-person, please stay safe by wearing a mask, social distancing by 6 feet where possible, and washing hands thoroughly and regularly.


Census phonebanking is extremely important and is an opportunity that only comes around every 10 years. This is the NYC census phonebank volunteer page, but I am sure an equivalent exists in most communities.

How to get involved with virtual volunteering

The Idealist shares some great insights here and highlights some established virtual volunteering programs at the United Nations, Red Cross, and Smithsonian Institute.

Letters of Love campaign

Comprehensive Medical Mentoring Program (CMMP) whom we are partnering with on Skin of Color Update Virtual 2020, hosts a Letters of Love campaign on their website. You can send cards with cheerful messages to seniors in senior living centers, and e-cards to children in children’s hospitals.


VolunteerMatch is an organization that matches passion and talent with important causes. They have hundreds of virtual volunteering experiences–something for everyone. They’ve also created a COVID-19 hub specifically for coronavirus volunteer opportunities. Learn about virtual volunteer opportunities here, and visit the COVID-19 hub here.

The largest not-for-profit exclusively for young people and social change. View their campaigns.

Volunteer Day 2020 is more important than ever

Volunteer Day this year is more important than ever.  Let’s face it, 2020 has been testing our limits. Volunteer Day is an opportunity for each of us to help make our communities a little brighter, and our world a little better. 

We hope to inspire others to take a day for service.

Shelley Tanner, President / CEO, SanovaWorks


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (September 7, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Time to Vote

SanovaWorks will join many other companies and give Election Day as a day off work. It’s time to vote. We encourage our employees to vote and be part of the process. Know what platforms you support, and take the action to make your voice heard through your vote. It’s empowering. And yes, the Presidential elections are of utmost importance, but down ballot races are just as important –so it’s good to know where candidates stand on the issues that are important to everyone; environmental protections, social justice, pandemic response, international relations, and the global and national economies.

Register to Vote

Getting involved in political elections means a bit of research. I’ve tried to include some links that will help you find your way to register to vote in your local, state, and federal elections coming up. 

Vote America

Find answers to common questions about voting in the United States. 

State by State Summary of Voting Leave Statues

Aussie Expat to NYC Resident

I became a US Citizen in 2010. I had been living in NYC for almost ten years and was finally able to obtain citizenship. I celebrated my first 4th of July with my Australian friend and travel mate, Michelle in 1998, way before I decided to move to New York to plant myself firmly and establish my roots in what I thought was the greatest city on Earth.

Here I am now, running a company of empowered employees that think results matter — like I do. 



Shelley Tanner, President / CEO, SanovaWorks

SanovaWorks remote work structure allows team members the flexibility for work life balance, which is highly effective in work quality and commitment. 

{ PHOTO | Our First 4th of July  | 1998 | Mission Beach | San Diego } 



By | Press

New York (Aug. 5, 2020) – Press Release


Atlas will highlight and compare unique features of common dermatologic conditions in different skin types

Leaders from academic dermatology and education are joining together to create a comprehensive dermatology atlas that will address what has become a well-documented gap in dermatology education. The atlas will display side-by-side images of the most common dermatology conditions in the full spectrum of skin types. “Dermatology: A Diverse and Inclusive Color Atlas,” will be developed by co-editors Misty Eleryan, MD, MS, and Adam Friedman, MD, and published by SanovaWorks and Educational Testing & Assessment Systems.

“To effectively diagnose and manage skin diseases in all patients, dermatologists need to be fluent in the diverse array of clinical presentations of even the most common skin diseases in all skin types,” said Dr. Friedman, professor and interim chair of dermatology at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “I hope this atlas is one of many initiatives that will ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care.”

“As physicians, we take an oath to do no harm to our patients; however, we are potentially harming patients of color by not adequately educating ourselves on the variations of presentations of common dermatoses on all skin types,” said Dr. Eleryan, a micrographic surgery and dermatologic oncology fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Our atlas will fill that void and hopefully assist in closing the gap in health disparities among patients of color, who are often misdiagnosed or rendered diagnoses very late in the disease process.”

In addition to the co-editors, an advisory council of thought-leaders from across the country and multiple academic institutions will guide atlas development and editing. “We have identified both emerging and established experts who have a proven track record in and a passion for diversity and inclusion in dermatology,” said Dr. Friedman.

Dermatologists trained in medical photography will take high-quality images for the atlas at four sites across the U.S. The atlas is planned to be available as an eBook in winter 2020/2021. 

About SanovaWorks

SanovaWorks is the parent brand for its portfolio of products, including the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, and producer of the ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic & Surgical Conference, and the Skin of Color Update Virtual 2020 conference.

About Educational Testing & Assessment Systems

Educational Testing & Assessment Systems is publisher of Dermatology In-Review and Next Steps in Dermatology. 

About the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Founded in 1824, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.

Media Contact:

Allison Sit

[email protected]




By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (July 22, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

The effects of COVID-19 are still manifesting in US households, communities, and markets. The workforce is adjusting to furlough, dismissal, and/or remote worker life. These effects are likely to continue through 2020, and beyond. The long term effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of practitioners and support staff are now part of the conversation and discussion of how we move forward. 


Whether you are on furlough, updating your resume, or comfortable and confident in your current role, communication in the age of COVID-19 looks different than anytime in our history. We are writing the book on how to manage business during a pandemic. The age of COVID and guidelines about safe distancing certainly have changed work life for many people, not only in the US, but across the globe as well. With adjustments to how we “show-up” for work, many companies have now transitioned to operating remotely. New systems and processes are being created to accommodate remote work and establish safe distancing and protection guidelines. 


Effective communication during a global pandemic

Step one for effectively communicating during a global pandemic, make sure you have a good internet provider and a strong connection because you are going to need it. We rely on video conferencing and bandwidth for effective communication more than ever now. If you have connection problems, it’s time to fix them. 

Follow up is essential

Don’t forget to follow up after an interview, a meeting, or a chance encounter with someone in your network. Writing a personal note is essential to remind them of the conversation, to stay at the top of their mind and to stand out from the crowd. You can even go a step further than an email communication with a personal note on a unique one of a kind card. Who does that anymore? You will certainly get someone’s attention with something chosen especially for them. 


When and how

If you are adapting to a remote work life during the pandemic, then you need to know the two most important aspects of communication. Working remotely requires clear communication and expectations. Setting up guidelines for when and how to communicate is important.

Signe Philstrand explains, “It’s not productive to be bombarded with IMs and emails throughout the day, and radio silence can leave you wondering if anything is getting accomplished. Set up a clear plan for when you expect to hear from your staff, or colleagues – for instance, a 15-minute touch-base call every morning, emails returned within 24-hours, or maybe a daily end-of-day report from your staff. Pick the ways that your team will communicate and get everyone on the same tools. You don’t want to have to check numerous places for messages. Decide what is communicated by each. Short, occasional messages are best for IMs, while longer messages can be via email – while longer yet should be done in a conversation by video chat.


As we all make the necessary adjustments to type, frequency, and tools, we should remember, that clear communication is the most effective communication. And don’t forget sincerity and a personal touch go a long way.

Be well,



By | Diary of a Remote Company

NEW YORK, (July 13, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Diary of a Remote Worker

Continuing with our Diary of a Remote Worker series, my longtime colleague, friend, and Medical Director Extraordinaire, Donald Morcone, gives his best survival tips on being a remote worker, and what he’s re-reading from his bookshelf.

Meet SanovaWorks Team Member

Donald Morcone, Medical Education Director

What is your speciality at work? Do you have a super power? Brag on yourself.

Celebrating the success of others.

Who is your work hero or shero? What is their superpower?

My work (s)hero is Miss Luz Figueroa. Her energy is limitless and infectious. Working alongside Luz is a constant inspiration.

How has life during the pandemic changed for you? Stayed the same?

My life has not been overtly effected by the pandemic. I have been working remotely for 7 years, so there has been no transitioning from face-to-face daily work and my M-F routine is not changed. I have been called on to accelerate my work and my workload has substantially increased so my working hours have increased.

What do you miss the most about life pre-pandemic?

I miss being able to read a person’s face, not just listen to what they are saying when enaged in conversation. Interactions with others wearing a mask does not allow me to observe facial queues and a persons lines, wrinkles, etc. tell me so much. I also miss shopping! I have always rewarded myself for a difficult work day by going shopping. I miss the opportunity to physically volunteer. Working remotely is somewhat isolating and I have enjoyed going to an organization and interfacing with others in a volunteer capacity.

What challenges have you and/or your family faced during the pandemic?

I made a major life change in December 2019 by moving to a new home in a semi-rural beach town on Cape Cod. I was just getting settled in to a new way of life, beginning to meet new people and get involved in town live and that was abruptly halted when the shelter-in-place restrictions were imposed. I had several weekend trips planned to visit friends in NYC which have been postponed indefinitely and I have not seen some of my closest friends in 6 months.

What’s your best advice for those people who are brand new to remote work?

Be disciplined. Dedicate a space in your home just for work. Don’t have a television on in the background. Limit your time spent checking personal email, texts, social media. Take breaks. I get so engrossed in what I’m doing that I often skip lunch.

What are your top 3 remote worker survival tips?

First, set a routine for yourself; get ready for work every morning, just as if you were leaving your home (shower, shave, make the bed, wear shoes!). Second, take breaks. And third, set boundaries; do not accept meetings, calls, etc. after respectable work hours and when you close down for the day, do not check email throughout the evening. Those of us who work remotely work longer hours since there’s no commuting time and work is just an arm-stretch away from everything.

What have you mastered about working remote – that you had challenges with at the start – or saw a better way to do?

I have always been a very disciplined worker and employee. I was raised by depression-era parents who instilled a heavy work ethic and inspired dedication to my work and employer. That said, I tend to over-work, so I have learned to set boundaries and balances for myself.

What are you reading for enrichment or just for fun? Work or non-work?

I have not been able to go to the library or book store in several months so I have been re-reading some of the classics on my bookshelf. I just re-read The House of Seven Gables, The Sun Also Rises (I only read it in French, so this was my first time reading it in English!) and Pride and Prejudice.

What’s on the menu? What are your favorite foods that you are indulging in or purely enjoying during this virus spring?

I have always cooked extensively for myself and others on a daily basis and bake several times per week. I’ve been baking a lot of bread (as my expanding waistline shows) and I’ve been churning my own sweet butter in an antique hand-cranked churn. I have started to eat ice cream just about every day and will start making homemade ice cream now that summer is upon us.

Speaking of self care, what do you do to reward yourself after a long week or a personal or professional success?

I am lucky to now be living at the beach. I am 2/10th mile to Nantucket Sound and 1 Mile to the Atlantic Ocean so I try to get down to the beach or town harbor every night. The light, air, and expanse of the ocean offers me a great sense of vastness and renewal. During the winter months I would light a fire in the fireplace, enjoy a glass of cab and zone out.

What is in your Netflix, [Hulu, Amazon, AppleTV, etc.] queue? What are your recommendations? Why?

My guilty pleasure is the soap opera genre. I have been watching a lot of serial-type television on-demand and I’ve just finished 5 seasons of Brothers & Sisters. I can’t wait until Hollywood reopens and The Young and the Restless starts to film.

How do you stay positive?

I remind myself that I have many blessings in my life, some given to me by the universe, and others earned by my personal discipline. I remind myself that my issues and problems are insignificant in the greater scheme of things.

Have you taken up any new hobbies? Learned a new skill?

I have revived my interest in cross stitch embroidery and I’ve been working on a Christmas tree skirt that probably will be finished in 10 years (I’m very slow).  I have also started collecting sea glass on my ocean walks. I now have a large outdoor space and have just planted a pollinator garden.

What are you most grateful for right now?

I am grateful for my physical and mental health, for my steady state of employment, for living in an idyllic environment. I am grateful for my many friendships.

Any other shout outs or closing thoughts?

I am happy to be healthy.  



By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (July 3, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Communicating with a personal handwritten note or letter is becoming a thing of the past. Fast paced, emoji packed, short text and acronym driven digital communications are the current trends in getting your message out. I’m all for staying current and riding the waves of progress; however, I believe that a personal touch goes a long way. 

Personal and handwritten or unique one of a kind cards 

Either a personal handwritten note with a thoughtful message or a one-of-a-kind card, conveys a wish to cultivate a deeper more meaningful relationship. There are certain types of communications we all know require a more personal touch. Invitations to special events, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation wishes, condolences and messages of sympathy, all require a personal message, from the giver to the receiver. The time and effort taken, in these particular types of communications are always self-evident. 

In my leadership role at SanovaWorks, I am consistently impressed with short meaningful communications from peers, team members, interviewees, and others that I interact with. When they follow up on a meeting, conversation, or interview, with a personal communication that recalls something we spoke of, a promise to reconnect, or just a simple note to check in and say” hi, how are things?”, I experience the value in cultivating that relationship. 

Meet Erika Burnett, CEO & Creative Designer A Single Suggestion

A Philadelphia entrepreneur, Erika is the CEO and Creative Designer at A Single Suggestion. Erika creates handcrafted cards for people who love to make others feel special. 

“A couple years into running the business, I found out that creating cards was relative to my passion for making others feel special and giving their heart something to remember. In other words, I want others to feel, like I feel when someone does something special for me.” – Erika Burnett

Erika’s mission “to rekindle person-to-person intimacy through handwritten notes, one card at a time” is a true inspiration, especially considering the current state of affairs, the need for social distancing and wearing masks. We may need to adjust our styles of communicating now and in the future, but one constant is that the impact of a personal message or note is immeasurable. It’s actually a gift that keeps on giving. Every time you write a sincere, personal communication, in whatever medium you choose, it’s guaranteed to have a positive impact on the receiver. 

Follow Erika and learn more about A Single Suggestion

TWITTER @ASingleSuggest

INSTAGRAM @a_single_suggestion


By | Diary of a Remote Company

NEW YORK, (June 29, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Diary of a Remote Worker

Continuing with our Diary of a Remote Worker series, my longtime colleague and friend, Signe Philstrand gives her best survival tips on being a remote worker, and some extra insight and inspiration for our mental health during this pandemic.

Meet SanovaWorks Team Member

Signe Philstrand, Vice President


What is your speciality at work? Do you have a super power? Brag on yourself.

My job is to support the employees of our company in any way that will benefit them, and move us toward product and company goals. This comes in many forms, be it creating or refining processes, removing obstacles, coaching, training, mentoring, motivating, strategizing approach of projects, making decisions, developing strengths, creating plans to achieve goals, organizing initiatives, upholding morale and company culture, steering toward company strategy–and anything else that arises. My base goal is that people on our staff actually like their jobs, and truly enjoy working for our company, and can be proud of our company. When you have that everything else can fall into line.

Who is your work hero or shero? What is their superpower?

It would have to be Shelley. She really is the epitome of a fearless leader. I know that term is thrown around, but it is the perfect description of her. She is the reason that all of us are here, and that this company is so successful. Period. She’s a pillar.

How has life during the pandemic changed for you? Stayed the same?

As we have been remote for many years, work has not changed a bit in that aspect. We were fortunate to have time to plan and then to hone our remote processes over the years, and we have it down to a science. I can’t imagine all of these companies having to adopt it overnight. I truly believe it is how many companies should be operating, even when this pandemic is over, but it does take planning and effort to make it work right. Outside of the workweek, even though everything is pretty much open, we rarely go out to anywhere public that is inside. We go to the beach minimum several times a week, and ride our bikes, and fish–we always have spent a lot of time outside but now more so, as there is nowhere else to go!

What do you miss the most about life pre-pandemic?

Not wearing a mask! I feel like I am one of the few people in FL that is not opposed to wearing one though. I don’t like wearing one, but I do it because we should. Simple as that. And, I miss live music! A summer without summer concerts and festivals is strange, but they will be back at some point, and we will enjoy them even more. I’ll never take them for granted again.

What challenges have you and/or your family faced during the pandemic?

Again, super fortunate that my job hasn’t been affected, and my husband has a home watch company, keeping an eye on empty houses for snowbirds and second homeowners, so his job is not affected either. The challenges I have faced are what everyone faces: confusion, frustration, irritation, bewilderment, the feeling of it being like a movie, which has worn off now though, and I’m just left with the wondering of what’s the best thing to do, when will this all be over, and what will life look like in the future?

What’s your best advice for those people who are brand new to remote work?

Keep in contact with your team, meet regularly ON VIDEO. Also–train the people you live with that when you are working, you are working. Just as if you were not there and in an office across town. Yes, on the couch or at the kitchen table or on the lanai–you are at work.

What are your top 3 remote worker survival tips?

1) Set crystal clear expectations   2) Organize your online drives so everyone knows where everything is and where everything should be 3) Establish regular status updates and check-ins. And did I mention keep in contact and meet ON VIDEO? Phone calls won’t do it. You have to have the regular facetime in order for it to really work. If you’re not used to it, make yourself get used to it. It’s a key factor in successful remote working.

What have you mastered about working remote – that you had challenges with at the start – or saw a better way to do?

As I talked about in my best advice above–I’ve learned to train the people in my life that just because I am working at home, I am “at work.” I learned to have a strong resolve about it as it’s natural to keep chatting to someone who is in the house with you, and it’s hard to concentrate when someone is doing that. I’ve also learned to sit in places where no one will be walking around behind me, as that can be distracting to others when you are in video meetings. And I move around a lot. I have a number of “work areas” and I like to get a change of scenery. It’s sooo nice to be able to work outside. Take advantage of that perk. Also, regularly get up and stretch, get the blood moving, go outside for a short walk–don’t sit all day.

What are you reading for enrichment or just for fun? Work or non-work?

I just started Gathering of Waters, by Berenice McFadden, from a recommendation. I read a chapter of Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron almost every day because it helps to keep me sane and I like the short readings. And when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t sleep, to distract myself I will read You Think It, I’ll Say It, short stories by Curtis Sittenfeld. Then up next is White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo. It was on back order at Amazon, but it just shipped.

What’s on the menu? What are your favorite foods that you are indulging in or purely enjoying during this virus spring?

Mangoes are in season and we’ve been eating a lot of them…so good. Our usual fare is fish, which we’re eating even more now as fishing is a good pastime when you’re not going anywhere inside or in crowds. And we live on peel and eat shrimp, another staple.

Speaking of self care, what do you do to reward yourself after a long week or a personal or professional success?

I love a glass or two of Pinot Noir on Friday evenings, right after work. Since the pandemic started and restaurants became a no-no, my neighbors have been meeting in driveways in beach chairs spread apart for cocktail hour, so nowadays I can usually pour a glass and wander outside and find some company to share it with. It puts a period to the end of the week. Or starts the weekend, however you want to look at it. Weekends = beach, and that’s where we unwind and relax. You can always keep driving and find some empty area away from others to put your umbrella.

What is in your Netflix, [Hulu, Amazon, AppleTV, etc.] queue? What are your recommendations? Why?

Netflix: Dead to Me (I love both of those girls); Never Have I Ever (If you love Mindy, that show is so Mindy); Tom Papa – You’re Doing Great (He is so hilarious, probably one of my favorites); I Am Not Okay With This (It’s so great, just try it); Dark (Season 3 just started–if you watch you have to watch it in its original German and read the subtitles, don’t do the dubbing!)

How do you stay positive?

See my answer to self-care above. Kidding! Being outside; Being some-sort-of-active; Meditation.

What are you most grateful for right now?

I am grateful now and always, that Kurt and I like to spend so much time together. I hear of people saying that the divorce rate is going to go up because of Covid. We are the opposite, we are glad for the excuse to just hang out together, the two of us. I’m also grateful for our amazing company and the people in it. I am impressed daily. I am grateful I am one of the people that still has a job, as so many had the bottom fall out beneath them unexpectedly. And I am grateful my colleagues, family, and friends are healthy.

Any other shout outs or closing thoughts?

A shout out to our whole SanovaWorks team–staff members and contractors–each are top pros in their area, and it shows. Our team is incredibly strong and tight. This group has worked together for many years and we know how to work together well. With the changes to our industry that the pandemic has brought, everyone has had to step up to the plate to help fill in gaps. We are so thankful and fortunate to work with the sort of people that can and will do that!


Shelley and Signe


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK, (June 15, 2020) –  Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

In the wake of the recent murder of George Floyd, and the swell of the social justice movement Black Lives Matter, we are witnessing a watershed moment in time. Things are changing. People are, finally, paying attention. Statues are coming down and confederate flags are banned in the very environment they once flew proudly. Symbols of racism, oppression and hundreds of years of suffering; they are no longer welcome in the “land of the free.”

Many people agree that these actions are welcome — and long overdue. Other steps are being taken to properly acknowledge the history of Black Americans in this country. It’s the right direction, but still a long way to go. Reform and change are necessary, when progress is to be achieved. 



Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19, which is commemorated as African Americans’ Independence Day. This pivotal year marks the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States in 1865.

“June 19th is the anniversary of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved African Americans in Texas, the last Confederate State to have the proclamation announced. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier, and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.” Wikipedia

Currently, forty-seven of fifty US states recognize 6/19 as Juneteenth, either in the form of a state holiday, ceremonial holiday, or a day of observance. As we have seen these past weeks, change is happening, so we can expect the other states to fall in line with this recognition that is long overdue.

This year and every year going forward, SanovaWorks and its affiliates will acknowledge Juneteenth as a company wide holiday. SanovaWorks isn’t the first company or organization to commemorate Juneteenth, but we hope to inspire other businesses in Dermatology and other professional communities to follow suit.

Juneteenth Celebrations

Johnson House is holding a Virtual Juneteenth Celebration

Johnson House is of historical significance because it was a stop on the Underground Railroad that functioned to transport runaway slaves from the South to the North where they could be free. Harriett Tubman, an Abolitionist, is reported to have visited the Johnson House.

Food for the Body, Food for the Soul

Black Heritage Trail New Hampshire

Live Streamed Cooking Demonstration, African Drumming Live Streamed from the Portsmouth African Burying Ground, A Virtual Concert, & A Virtual Community Dialogue Featuring Special Guest Adrian Miller

I encourage you to do a search to find a Juneteenth Day celebration that inspires you to take part.

As I personally take a very long pause and acknowledge my own privilege and lack of awareness, in this age of radical and needed change, I encourage my Team, and anyone reading this, and anyone I encounter, to celebrate and acknowledge Juneteenth, a profound day, inspiring hope, and reflection.

Shelley Tanner



Emancipation Proclamation