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Shelley Tanner


By | A Note from Shelley

(NEW YORK, Dec. 27, 2019) – A Note from Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

SanovaWorks had a remarkable year in 2019, and we expect more of the same in 2020. Our products, conferences, and partnerships enjoyed record numbers in growth and sales. Our digital content platforms proved popular among the health care practitioners they aim to serve. SanovaWorks’ commitment to giving back was fueled by our employees’ drive toward more social and ecological responsibility. The SanovaWorks 2020 Vision lays the groundwork for increased numbers and quality technology to deliver the content that is provided for the clients and customers we serve.

ODAC & SOCU had Record Attendance

Our returning conference ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic and Surgical Conference (ODAC) had a record attendance in 2019 – 850 registered attendees, and is currently registering for our 2020 conference.

Skin Of Color Update (SOCU) showed up with a new name and, not only had record attendance, it “sold out on Broadway”, and proved once again to be the leading dermatology conference in the US. 

JDD & DiR Increased Content Publication

Their partner publications and study programs Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, (JDD) launched a brand new website, manuscript portal, continuous publishing model and relaunched the popular podcast.

Dermatology in Review exam study system launched a new study guide to support study with “Boards of the Future”. Derm in Review also announced a new editorial board.  

Next Steps in Dermatology, the popular lifestyle blog for Derm in Review, has taken off with an online following that has increased since its debut.

SanovaWorks in Partnership with GW

In a partnership with George Washington University, we worked together with the  Cancer Center and Hematology and Oncology (CEHP) department to grow their educational programs and support their ever-growing portfolio of programs. In 2019, with the CME support of CEHP, SanovaWorks produced the conferences Hematology Update 2019, Oncology Update 2019,  and Hematology and Medical Oncology Best Practices 2019, and Hematology and Oncology Online Home Study Program. The leaders in their respective medical fields presented on topics with new and consistently updated information.

Giving Back at SanovaWorks

Giving back to causes and communities that are near-and-dear to our hearts is part of our company culture and creed.  Primarily driven by our employees, our sense of corporate responsibility is notable as well.

As a remote company, SanovaWorks makes an environmental impact every day. By not having a typical “office building” we reduce paper waste, minimize electricity usage, and eliminate commuter transportation pollution. We value being environmentally conscious, as a company and as individuals. 

Environmental Awareness Month

Annually we acknowledge April as Environmental Awareness Month. Employees vote on which eco-friendly organization to donate to.  This year, as a group we picked Natural Resources Defense Council, whose mission is to help protect the air, land, water, and wildlife from forces of pollution. 

Think Green & Get Some Green

Our “Think Green & Get Some Green” competition gives employees the opportunity to share their environmentally-conscious and energy saving tips and resolutions.  The top 3 winners this year included:

  1. always ask for an electronic receipt instead of paper, as it reduces waste and BPA in your system
  2. unplug laptops, microwaves, and other electronics when not in use
  3. install a rain barrel as an easy way to conserve water

Additionally this year we extended to our clients an eco-friendly starter pack, inclusive of a reusable straw, tote bag, and cutlery.

Volunteer Month

Giving back is also our way of engaging on a personal level with our colleagues, which is especially important for building camaraderie and culture at a virtual company.  Every September, we encourage employees to participate in Volunteer Month because we believe that acts of service, in addition to charitable contributions, are hugely impactful. In  2019 we closed the company for a day so that everyone could participate. SanovaWorks employees take Volunteer Day as an opportunity to get together and bond over their shared interests in giving back.

Morris Heights Health Center & SanovaWorks Connection

Annually in December for the past 11 years, SanovaWorks has run a drive to donate toys, books, and coats to Morris Heights Health Center (Bronx, NY). One of our employees worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Morris Heights many years ago, where she coordinated the “Reach Out and Read” program. We love partnering with this organization — both to give back to the local community here in NYC and honor the personal connection to our company.

Additionally in 2019 we made a financial donation to an organization, providing new toys to 1,800 NYC families in deep financial need during the Christmas season. This special contribution was the inspiration of another SanovaWorks employee. 

SanovaWorks Shares Our 2020 Vision

After record attendance and sold out conferences, we are in search of larger venue for SOCU and ODAC in the next year. New digital content on the JDD website is coming in 2020….stay tuned! SanovaWorks is expanding our digital media to increasingly provide the content in the formats that health care practitioners want and are engaging with.  

The SanovaWorks 2020 Vision will provide tools that improve the lives of patients by delivering the healthcare education that professional audiences need and want, creatively and strategically.

Luciana Nofal, Vice President of Marketing and Client Relations shares her insights, “A new decade calls for a new approach to healthcare marketing communications. SanovaWorks enters 2020 with data-driven strategies utilizing artificial intelligence, voice search optimization, and social media influencer marketing. SanovaWorks connects the elusive brand experience with engaging, consumable content across print, live and digital platforms.” 

And our Vice President of Operations, Caroline Barrett adds, “In 2020 we will continue to support environmental protective initiatives and organizations, and we’ll continue to encourage and build a culture of volunteering and charity. Just how exactly our support of these causes will manifest will be informed by the ideas and energy of our employees!”

I’m so proud to call SanovaWorks my professional home, and to call my colleagues there my friends.

Cheers to a healthy and prosperous 2020 to our extended SanovaWorks family, our partners, our HCPs and all our clients and customers.

Shelley Tanner, CEO/President,  SanovaWorks

Compassionate Empathy in Action


By | A Note from Shelley

(NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2019) – A Note from Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Are listening, empathy and compassion the strong skills needed in leadership today? I think so.

Listening may be hard if you really like to talk!  

Of these strong skills, listening can be a challenge for some leadership. For example, listening may be hard for those who really like to talk. Listening is difficult for habitual interrupters. And listening is practically impossible for the digitally (or otherwise) distracted. However, I’ve found listening is a vital skill that I’ve personally worked hard to perfect. Listening is one of the greatest tools we can employ in business. We are so veiled by our perceptions that it is hard to truly open our ears and minds to what others are saying. For example, “ready to listen” is what Chris Voss says is the most effective way to go into negotiations. Never Split the Difference, Voss’ book, enlightens the readers to listening as the key component in mastering a negotiation.

Here’s a twelve minute video of Chris’ Tedx Talk Never Split the Difference

Empathy and listening go hand in hand. 

How can you be a truly good listener without having an appreciation for the other person’s point of view? Many people (and leaders) bucket empathy in with “soft skills” and mistakenly think of it as “being nice” or trying to “make people happy”. This is far from the truth. In this Forbes article the following quote says it all: 

“Empathy enables you to know if the people you’re trying to reach are actually reached.  It allows you to predict the effect your decisions and actions will have on core audiences and strategize accordingly.  Without empathy, you can’t build a team or nurture a new generation of leaders. You will not inspire followers or elicit loyalty. Empathy is essential in negotiations and sales:  it allows you to know your target’s desires and what risks they are or aren’t willing to take.”

Compassionate Empathy the strongest leadership skill.

Compassionate empathy is leadership strength in action. Recently, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern remarked that ‘It takes strength to be an empathetic leader’. Moreover, Ardern’s leadership style is an example to follow. Of the three types of empathy, cognitive, emotional, and compassionate; Ardern clearly has employed compassionate empathy in her response to her constituents needs. 

The Cornerstones: Leadership, Listening, Empathy, and Compassion 

SanovaWorks is a company built on the principles of listening, empathy, and compassion. As a remote company, these cornerstones are imperatives in our daily operations. Without first fully listening and tapping into the needs of our teams, we would not be able to provide the highest level of service and products for our clients. Our leadership style ensures job satisfaction, and peak performance for our clients. Win, Win, Win!

Shelley Tanner, President and CEO SanovaWorks

Articles for Reference:  

How Can You Be Sure Someone Is Fit to Be a Leader? It Comes Down to 1 Word

Empathy Is An Essential Leadership Skill — And There’s Nothing Soft About It

Empathy: The Most Important Leadership Skill Needed Today


By | A Note from Shelley

(NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2019) – A Note from Shelley Tanner, SanovaWorks CEO/President

Results Matter in Every Situation

As milestones in life and career approach, I pause to reflect on my past experience. My journey brought me from Australia to New York, with many stops along the way. My story is one of tenacity and a willingness to fight “hard won” battles.  The personal and professional results that ultimately matter the most are the rewards. Results matter is a philosophy that I have adopted across the board. In every situation. Results matter is why SanovaWorks is the leader is our field.

Life and Work: It’s All Experience

My career trajectory is one with a variety of experience and structure. My career turned out to be great training for all that life has thrown at me. Long story short, I’m a cancer survivor. I recently celebrated five years since my diagnosis with friends, family, my SanovaWorks family, and our clients. It was a special evening celebrating life. 

At this surprise party, I’m once again reminded of why I do what I do. My work as President and CEO of SanovaWorks, impacts my employees, their families, as well as our clients, the physicians and healthcare providers. The list is long. I’m truly humbled that I am able to do work that is meaningful.

Recently, I had the honor of attending the Champions for Change Gala held by the Skin Cancer Foundation as a Committee Member and representative of SanovaWorks. This was a great honor for me. Positively impacting the lives of people who are battling cancer is something I strive to do everyday. 

Growing Up Down Under

Born and raised in Australia, my life began Down Under. A certain Warner Brothers cartoon character seems to be our claim to fame in Tasmania; however, my childhood home is where my love of nature, animals, and endless adventure was born. While I never could, or would, deny my Aussie roots, I do currently consider myself a New Yorker, because honestly, I do heart NY. 

Healthcare Got Me into This

As a Registered Nurse in Australia and London, I developed deep compassion for patients. It was also hands on experience in the complex systems that run hospitals. I completed postgraduate studies in Nursing, Health Promotion, and Public Health including a Masters of Health Science. I worked on large-scale government health and wellness programs from the needs analysis stage to implementation and evaluation. Little did I know then that my career would take me in the direction of leading SanovaWorks. 

How Sanova Works 

Seventeen years ago, I was presented with the opportunity to join a start-up healthcare communications provider. The company’s vision and potential were truly compelling, so I accepted and never looked back. Physicians Continuing Education eventually gave birth to SanovaWorks. We are successfully producing materials, web based tools, live, online, and print, CME programs, and podcasts through Sanova Learning, Sanova Publishing and Sanova Live. The SanovaWorks Team is a group of brilliant minds that have a strong work ethic with mutual appreciation and respect. I could not be more proud to be a part of this company.

Did I say that I love being at work and I love our company? A company culture that inspires and gives staff a sense of professional fulfillment and belonging, is one of my most significant and fundamental goals in leading our team

The CEO role was a natural fit. As an RN, I approached every nursing role as if I owned the hospital – always looking for ways to do things better. The results I accomplished included, reducing the disposable waste in operating rooms, and implementing patient assistance programs with the hospital research department. I am passionate about improving products and systems, creating win-win situations, and resolving persistent challenges.

Today, I bring that same commitment to SanovaWorks. We believe that finally, results are what matter and this is at the core of what we do.

Our Results Matter Philosophy

Results matter to us because they matter to our clients and end-users. This philosophy is reflected not only in the work we produce, but in our internal culture as well.  SanovaWorks home office is located in New York, however we have a remote work structure. Our results-oriented work environment maintains flexibility as part of our cultural DNA. Employees are encouraged to work in the way that lets them deliver the best outcome to our clients and the healthcare practitioners we serve. 

We bridge the gaps (and straddle communications channels) in the field of medical education. Our clients are Healthcare professionals that include boomers and millennials. We are experts to speaking effectively to both generations and everyone in between.

SanovaWorks was an early adopter in social and digital marketing to reach millennial and Gen Z healthcare practitioners. We also understand that we reach our more mature audience with print. We are engaging every generation and segment of physicians from residents through retirement preparation. The new and rapidly growing segment of healthcare being managed by Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants are not ignored.

Being a healthcare practitioner means a lifetime of learning. This translates into actively seeking advances in medicine in order to give patients the best care possible. Because the results of healthcare matter, we strive to provide only the highest level of education. We use the power of our communication channels to distribute credible science. 

I welcome the incumbent challenges that will arise as our company adopts new products and services and advanced digital marketing strategies. This is how SanovaWorks maintains and expands its client base.

Work Life Balance

Leading a company isn’t easy. It’s hectic and my schedule is packed. The only way I can make it all happen is by finding time to relax. Writing, travel, and meditation are the activities that I credit with giving me personal clarity, concentration, and a balanced view. This is critical when it comes time for decision making. Results matter is not only my professional philosophy, it’s a philosophy that has carried me through my entire career and personal life. 

Shelley Tanner, President and CEO SanovaWorks

Shelley Tanner and Perry Robins Skin Cancer Foundation Gala


By | A Note from Shelley

NEW YORK (Oct. 24, 2019) A Note from Shelley Tanner, CEO/President

Champions for Change Gala

On October 17th, I had the great honor of attending as a Committee Member for the The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Champions for Change Gala, held at the Plaza in New York.

It was a wonderful evening celebrating The Skin Cancer Foundation’s 40th year of existence, and vital work advancing research initiatives, educational campaigns, and community programs that save lives. With 400 guests in attendance, more than $700,000 was raised. That’s something to celebrate! 

Recognition for Sandy Klein

Shelley Tanner SanovaworksDuring the evening special recognition was given to Sandy Klein, SCF’s 2019 Champion for Change honoree for his ongoing commitment and support of SCF. On behalf of the whole SanovaWorks Team, we celebrate Sandy for this special honor. This year SCF’s Media Award was given to Parents magazine for the article, “Here Comes the Sunscreen” by Leslie Goldman. This award recognizes excellence in print, broadcast and online journalism that addresses skin cancer prevention, early detection, and/or treatment. Thank you to Ms. Goldman and Parents Executive Editor Julia Edelstein for their contribution to skin cancer prevention and early detection.

Skin Cancer Foundation Mission

For 40 years, The Skin Cancer Foundation has worked to educate the public on the importance of skin cancer prevention, early detection and prompt, effective treatment. The dedicated staff works with physician members, corporate partners, directors and donors, to treat and prevent skin cancer and, ultimately, save lives. 

As a cancer survivor, I am hyper aware of the importance of the “what’s that moment”, –like when Susan Manber’s daughter asked about the small white dot on her nose. It was only the tip of the iceberg, in so many ways. For skin cancer, the tip of the iceberg is visible, so be on the lookout and continually ask “what’s that?” 

A Special Thank You

A special thank you to Jane Brody for covering Susan’s story. I was born in Australia and spent the first half of my life there, where a story like Susan’s is all too common. Although skin cancer and melanoma rates in the US are not as high as they are Down Under, most people don’t realize not only how prevalent it is – but how preventable it is! Continually ask “what’s that?” about any skin changes you see; better to ask– if it’s nothing, carry on, but if not, you have early detection. Thank you Skin Cancer Foundation for launching “The Big See” to draw more attention to this.

Except for the year that I was undergoing chemotherapy myself, I’ve been to the Skin Cancer Foundation Gala for the past 15 years or so. My favorite thing about the Gala is seeing a passionate group of people come together to support this worthy cause. Skin cancer touches the lives of everyone. The SCF gala brings together dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other healthcare practitioners, skin care industry teams, professional and consumer media, journalists, high-profile personalities, patients, family, and philanthropists to work on this common goal. I can say with confidence that as a cancer patient, I felt deep gratitude for everything that came together to provide the level of treatment I was able to access. The Skin Cancer Foundation helps to provide that same level of treatment and support. Thank you, SCF.


Regards, Shelley Tanner