By | SanovaWorks, Team Sanova

NEW YORK, (November 30, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Chief Operating Officer

Giving Tuesday is upon us and SanovaWorks is kicking off our annual Giving Month Initiative.

 SanovaWorks’ Giving Month

The end of the year and the holiday season is a great time to give and share your good fortune with those in need. Supporting individuals and families not only helps them, but it is a gift to us to do something positive and to spread good cheer.

Opportunity to Donate Toys, Books, and Coats

This year we will be donating toys, books, and coats to the Morris Heights Health Center, which is a tremendous organization located in the Bronx that provides free and low-cost health care and an array of other services. MHHC is close to our hearts; we have worked with them for the past 13 years, and several of us have volunteered there.

With the pandemic, their services are more important now than ever before. MHHC reports that they will be hosting toy drive events between December 10th and December 20th at several of their locations. Team Sanova will send their donations directly to MHHC.

We are looking forward to yet another season of gifting and giving back. View a Photo Gallery of past years’ Toy Drive. If you would like to share in giving, you can make a donation to MHHC by following the link below.

With gratitude,




By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (November 7, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

Native American People have inhabited the land that we love and live on for thousands of years. Their countless contributions and influence on our Nation have not always been honored. Most recently, it has been reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Native Americans at higher rates. Together we recognize, celebrate, and vow to promote and protect the rights, tribal sovereignty, and natural resources of Native American People. We hope to share in the public’s education of tribal rights, laws, and issues. November is National Native American Heritage Month and November 26, 2021, is Native American Heritage Day.

National Native American Heritage Month 

Native American Heritage Day, November 26, 2021

In his official Proclamation from the White House Briefing Room, President Biden states: 

“The United States of America was founded on an idea:  that all of us are created equal and deserve equal treatment, equal dignity, and equal opportunity throughout our lives.  Throughout our history — though we have always strived to live up to that idea and have never walked away from it — the fact remains that we have fallen short many times.  Far too often in our founding era and in the centuries since, the promise of our Nation has been denied to Native Americans who have lived on this land since time immemorial. Despite a painful history marked by unjust Federal policies of assimilation and termination, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples have persevered. 

During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate the countless contributions of Native peoples past and present, honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our Nation, and recommit ourselves to upholding trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthening Tribal sovereignty, and advancing Tribal self-determination.“ 

SanovaWorks Supports Native American Rights Fund

In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, SanovaWorks supports the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). NARF’s mission is to protect Native American rights, resources, and lifeways through litigation, legal advocacy, and legal expertise.

Native American Rights Fund 

The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) was founded in 1970. NARF is the oldest and largest nonprofit legal organization “asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide.” 

According to the organization’s website, NARF’s legal resources are concentrated in these five areas: 

  1. Preserve tribal existence, 
  2. Protect tribal natural resources, 
  3. Promote Native American human rights,
  4. Develop Native American law and educate the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues
  5. Hold governments accountable to Native Americans

Preserve tribal existence

“American Indian and Alaska Native tribes have existed for thousands of years. NARF’s foremost priority is to protect and secure continued tribal existence. NARF focuses on preserving tribes’ sovereignty — their political status and legal rights as governments”. 

Protect tribal natural resources

“The political and economic self-determination and self-sufficiency of most tribes depend on maintaining their land and natural resources. Much of NARF’s work under this priority involves helping tribes to safeguard their land rights; water rights; hunting, fishing, and gathering rights; resource rights; and environmental rights.”

Promote Native American human rights

“NARF concentrates on enforcing laws regarding rights to equal protection and to be free from discrimination in voting, education, incarceration, and religion. NARF also helps develop laws that provide unique protections for Native collective rights, traditions, culture, and property such as sacred places, peyote, eagle feathers, burial remains, and funerary objects. NARF’s human rights work includes international forums like the United Nations and the Organization of American States.”

Hold governments accountable to Native Americans

“Non-tribal governments often threaten to eliminate or compromise the hard-fought-for or bargained-for political status and legal rights of tribes. NARF strives to hold governments at all levels accountable for the broad range of laws that protect tribal sovereignty and Native rights. The United States, in particular, must be responsible to tribes for its legal promises, moral obligations, and past detrimental policies.”

Develop Native American law and educate the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues

“NARF [plays] a key role in developing a body of federal law pertaining to tribal sovereignty, tribal land, and natural resources, human rights, and the accountability of governments to Native people.” 

You can donate to the NARF here.

Image Credit: Native American Rights Fund



A Proclamation on National Native American Heritage Month, 2021

Native American Heritage Month | About

A collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

Native American Heritage Month | Images


By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (September 25, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

Volunteer Day at SanovaWorks was Friday, September 22nd.

SanovaWorks was closed on this day so team members were free to participate.

A Tradition of Helping Others

On Volunteer Day Team Sanova once again rallied and worked to support several different organizations and causes including, Afghani refugees, cleaning up our environment, ending hunger among children in Latin America, and helping record and edit news stories for those with vision loss. We wanted to make sure that our team was supported in their efforts to volunteer following COVID safety guidelines. We provided all the recommended reminders: “if you decide to volunteer in-person, please stay safe by wearing a mask, social distancing by 6 feet where possible, and washing your hands thoroughly and regularly.”

Our team reported back on how they participated in deeply inspiring, and safe, ways.

SanovaWorks Volunteer Day 2021

I’m so excited to help SIV and Parolee refugees from Afghanistan. My area will be welcoming 250 refugees. They need gift cards, for groceries, Uber, etc. They need clothing, toys, household items, toiletries. Yesterday, I collected donations. Today, I joined the weekly zoom meeting. Ongoing, I’ll be helping with the volunteer and ambassador items. Learn more at

“I’m headed back to the beach to clean up. Fire Island National Seashore is a national park that I’ve helped clean up last the last two years. Cleaning up garbage, single-use plastics, and balloons is an ongoing effort and I love that we get to participate every year!  Visit for more information.” 

I drove to Philly and my dad and I went for a walk in the woods and cleared 4 miles of trash along the way. We found all sorts of yucky waste – beer bottles, wrappers, cardboard, socks and bras!”

I spent all morning at Feed My Starving Children packing meals for kids and families in Latin America. I was part of a group of 10 other volunteers and we were able to pack 26 boxes (5,616 meals)!”

“A group of us got together to volunteer through the River Fund to pack and distribute groceries to those in need. It was such an honor to be able to serve those in need.”

I volunteered remotely by recording and editing news stories for a local radio station that specializes in reading out all of the local newspapers for those that have vision loss.”

“We participated in the NICU Strong Walk, an important cause that is so near and dear to our hearts. We wanted to show appreciation to all the nurses and doctors for their tireless work in such a difficult time! If you would like to donate, please visit this link. 

“I was happy to help prepare and clean for an event that raises $400k plus annually for local charities:

Thanks to Team Sanova, and everyone who takes time to give back in meaningful ways.


Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations


By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (September 16, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

Over the last 20 years, we have seen life-changing advances for girls’ education and agency in Afghanistan. Sadly that progress is now at risk.

SanovaWorks stands in solidarity with Afghan women and girls here in the United States, in Afghanistan, and around the world. We firmly believe that every woman and girl has the right to education, safety, autonomy, and equality. 

SanovaWorks has made a donation to the organization, VOICE. WomanKind and Malala Fund are also offering support for Afghan women, girls, and refugees.


Womankind stands in firm solidarity with the Afghan people here in the United States, in Afghanistan, and around the world.

“As the world continues to watch the humanitarian crisis unfold, we are heartbroken for those who had to flee under life-threatening circumstances, for those who are currently still trying to escape, and for those who are left behind, especially women and children. 

It is often women and children who are the first to experience violence during conflict, and this trauma can last lifetimes. Every day, Womankind sees firsthand how gender-based violence and intergenerational trauma can affect survivors. It can be hard to undo. Add to that being a refugee and living through war, and now, the trauma is three-fold and compounded.

Womankind is certain that among the many refugees coming from Afghanistan, there will be those who have experienced all three traumas. And we stand ready with services and support to help them and their children build a path to healing.

Here is a list of different ways to support the Afghan community during this time. We will continue to update, so please check back often.”

Malala Fund

“Over the last 20 years, advances in girls’ education in Afghanistan have meant that more young women have been able to go to school and realize their ambitions for the future. But that progress — and those dreams — are now at risk.

The Taliban are back in control in Afghanistan. Thousands of girls may now be forced to marry or take on domestic labor. Young women who resist may be met with violent retribution.

We face new challenges in the fight to see every girl in school, but Malala Fund’s commitment to girls’ education remains the same. In Afghanistan and around the world: Every girl has the right to learn. Every girl has the right to safety and protection.”

Learn more about Malala Fund’s work for girls’ education in Afghanistan.

“Malala Fund is working to ensure the safety and security of our grantees in Afghanistan. Since 2017, we have invested close to $1.9 million in local Afghan organizations focused on addressing a nationwide shortage of female teachers and improving the quality of girls’ education. We are doing everything in our power to aid our partners and the thousands of girls they support — and remain steadfast in our mission to advance girls’ education in Afghanistan.

We are also focusing our efforts on advocating for leaders to open borders for Afghan civilians, increase humanitarian aid, and track and investigate violations of the rights of women and girls.

Malala Fund’s work is more important than ever.  

READ Malala’s article on Assembly about amplifying the voices of Afghan girls and women.


By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (April 16, 2021) –  Caroline Barrett, SanovaWorks Vice President of Operations

Environmental Awareness Month

April 22  is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was observed in 1970, and since then the collective awakening to the threat of climate change has increased decade by decade, year by year.

April is Environmental Awareness Month at SanovaWorks and to demonstrate our commitment to Mother Earth and environmental justice we created initiatives that inspire eco-conscious living:

Yearly Corporate Donation

As we do every year, we will make a corporate donation to a non-profit dedicated to environmental protection and/or restoration. We make this a companywide initiative by asking for suggestions from Team Sanova. As you can see, we have supported wonderful organizations dedicated to preserving the environment.

  • In 2016 we partnered with American Forests, as a Sequoia Circle member
  • In 2017 we donated to both the Natural Resources Defense Council and American Forests
  • In 2018 we donated to Ocean Conservancy
  • In 2019 we donated to the Natural Resources Defense Council
  • In 2020 given the pandemic outbreak, we decided to donate instead to initiatives supportive of those most affected by COVID-19, including The Bowery Mission NYC and GetUsPPE
  • What will it be in 2021? [stay tuned for a future blog post announcement!]

Think Green & Get Some Green

We are also holding a friendly competition, Think Green & Get Some Green, where Team members can share their environmentally conscious and energy-saving tips and resolutions. The posts with the most “likes” will win eGiftcards! [check back for some great eco-tips in a future blog post!]

Environmentally Conscious Home Upgrades Stipend

And finally, our newest initiative – in the coming weeks we will be launching a stipend for employees that make environmentally-conscious investments to their home: e.g. installing solar panels, sourcing clean energy for electricity, installing a rainwater collector, installing a composter, etc.  We are excited to see what Team Sanova can do to dramatically reduce their carbon footprint.

With sunny regards,



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,


By | SanovaWorks

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

Februarys for me usually roll-around with a dreariness and overall somberness. The New Year is a little less shiny and new, a little less promising. The winter overcast hangs low, with no break in the sky to even lend a glimmer of hope for spring. And of course, February commemorates Black History Month, the very need for which solemnly recognizes the stain of slavery and enduring discrimination, disenfranchisement, and systemic and institutionalized racism, which has disadvantaged African Americans for generations.

And yet, as I sit here on this February 1st, watching a blizzard descend on New York City, the vacant streets seem almost to signal a time of reflection. In this moment, as I pause, breathe, and reflect, I am filled with optimism — and more than that, I am filled with an eagerness for action. Harnessing the hope and perseverance of the African American women and men whom we commemorate this month, I choose not to wallow in the bleakness but rather to commit to an agenda for change. 

At SanovaWorks, we are guided by integrity, heart, and ethics — all qualities we’ve seen shine in this past year. But we have work to do. We are committing ourselves, our business to hold equity and inclusion at the core of the work we do:

  • Equity in patients’ access to qualified dermatology healthcare providers
  • Inclusive and diverse education on dermatologic diseases in all skin tones
  • Equity in dermatology healthcare providers’ access to leadership and career advancement opportunities
  • Inclusive recruitment of employees, contractors, and vendors
  • Embracing equity and inclusion into our company vision and mission and fostering it as a core value

Black History Month is not just a celebration of accomplishments by African American women and men, but an acknowledgment of the adversity they faced — to make all Americans aware of their struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.

May you be encouraged this month to educate yourself and your family on African Americans’ accomplishments and be inspired by them — and most importantly, to be moved to change. Take this moment to commit yourself to a yearlong, nay lifelong commitment to dismantling racism in your life, family, community, and country.

Because to quote Ta-Nehisi Coates, “It was 150 years ago and it is right now.”  We’ve got work to do.



By | SanovaWorks

NEW YORK, (December 16, 2020) – Signe Pihlstrand, SanovaWorks Vice President

Things Turn Out Best for the People Who Make the Best of the Way Things Turn Out

No way around it: this has been a rough year. That hasn’t stopped us at SanovaWorks. Moving forward and making the most of our energy and resources, we produced results and work initiatives that make us proud; and look back at 2020 as a pretty amazing year. Much of our energy was based in response to COVID-19. We produced webinars and a remote worker series to help others transition into the new normal. We also started initiatives observing our commitment to diversity inclusion in our workplace and the world, helping voters get to the polls, and restoring our mental balance.  

Dermatology Webinars for the Changing Market

Realizing that like many companies, we faced potential revenue loss due to COVID-19 and not being able to have live conferences – we figured out how to make our own lemonade-stand if you will: showcasing and upping our game in the virtual and digital activities that we’d already been doing. When COVID hit, we launched a series of informational webinars within days, providing valuable material for healthcare providers to help them respond to the changing environment. That idea grew. We host many successful webinars with sponsors and esteemed faculty.

Visit Journal of Drugs in Dermatology Webinars 

Mental Health Days

We started offering Mental Health Days to encourage our employees to relax and de-stress during the craziness of coming to grips with COVID-19. The company closed, and no meetings were held. Team members were encouraged to engage in activities that restored their mental balance.


We established the Coalition for Diversity Inclusion and Change (CoDIAC). CoDIAC. CoDIAC is an in-house committee, which promotes awareness of matters surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion. We work as a group to identify specific areas for learning and change. CoDIAC then facilitates the adoption of change within the organization. 

Support for Parents During COVID-19

We are making an extra effort to support our employee parents, many of who are either home-schooling or juggling having kids home part-time, with ever-changing schedules. This includes supporting any schedule changes or workflow modifications that they need during the pandemic. 

Spreading (Desperately Needed) Remote Best Practice Tips

SanovaWorks has been operating fully-remote since 2012, realizing the many benefits of a remote workplace for both the company and staff. We were fortunate and able to take the time to prepare for the change, laying the groundwork, and having a pretty seamless transition. We’ve learned a lot about the best way to operate as a remote company. We have tons of tips and tapped into our team to share our wisdom of remote best practices.  This advice, during the hectic change-over that many companies went through, and are still experiencing, was greatly appreciated. 

Diary of a Remote Company 


This year we made Juneteenth one of our annual paid company holidays. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19. Juneteenth commemorates African Americans’ Independence Day. This pivotal year marks the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States in 1865.

Election Day Off 

SanovaWorks joined with other companies and gave our team the day off on Election Day. We encouraged everyone could get out and vote. Time To Vote is a nonpartisan movement, led by the business community, to contribute to the culture shift needed to increase voter participation in our nation’s elections. 

Virtual Conferences

Like every other conference provider, we lived through the should we?/will we have to?/yes, of course, we have to transition in conference planning this year. Our first SOCUV – Skin of Color Update Virtual 2020 was a smashing success. 

By offering a virtual conference, 900+ registrants, including new attendees, accessed our evidence-based research and practice pearls. Well on our way to the same success, ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic, and Surgical Conference; will be ODAC 2021 Virtual Learning Experience is this January. We have surpassed our registration goals and are excited to share that we will offer new virtual education opportunities, such as our Virtual Solution Rooms, which allow intimate gatherings where attendees can interact with faculty in small groups. 

Team Sanova Fitness Challenge

Understanding how important it is to move our bodies, we are starting a company-wide fitness challenge. The motivation is to inspire team members and the pandemic-weary to keep an active body to support their active minds. A group is testing out the app we will roll out soon to the rest of the company. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Our ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic, and Surgical Conference runs every year over MLK weekend in January, so most of us are usually working on this Monday. This year with our virtual conference offering last day being January 17th, we will be able to honor Martin Luther King by closing our company for this day in observation.

Virtual Volunteer Day

Every year we dedicate time to serve and give back by providing days off to participate in volunteer opportunities. Usually, a group of us around the NYC areas volunteer as a group, and staff members from elsewhere volunteer in their own communities. This year we had our first VVD – Virtual Volunteer Dayparticipating in virtual volunteer activities, such as writing letters to seniors or children in hospitals, making calls for fundraisers, and helping with census phonebank calls.

Continuous Publishing Model for

This year we moved to a continuous publishing model for of Drugs in Dermatology. With a lot of preparation and planning to put into place, our new model permits the faster publication and allows us to disseminate our cutting-edge content online as soon as it’s ready, to be followed by publication in print.

I have to agree that there is a lot about 2020 that we hope never to repeat. Hindsight is indeed 2020. Looking back, I am proud of our year and Team Sanova. Through all the challenges, we came together in support of each other and finished strong. 

We are looking forward to what 2021 brings!

Signe Pihlstrand, VP, SanovaWorks