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Bonus encore: Stop the Kick-backs! with Dr. Marion Mass

Dr. Marion Mass is a practicing pediatrician who is also a physician advocate and healthcare activist. She is driven to take back medicine for patients and the medical profession. The COVID-19 pandemic threw a spotlight on dangerous deficiencies within the US healthcare industry. At the center of these deficiencies are Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs) and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), which are healthcare intermediaries that increase costs and create drug and supply shortages. Although GPOs and PBMs don’t produce or distribute a single product or provide direct care to a single patient, they control nearly 90% of the pharmaceutical supply chain. These middlemen amass huge profits because they enjoy government-mandated safe harbor protections at the expense of physician practice needs, sound medical decision-making, and patient choice. 

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The Former Executive: David Balat, MBA

David Balat is currently the Director of the Right on Healthcare initiative with Texas Public Policy Foundation. He has a broad base of experience throughout the healthcare spectrum with special expertise in healthcare finance. He is a former seasoned hospital executive and CEO with more than 20 years of healthcare industry leadership and executive management experience.

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The Author: Jennifer George

Jennifer George is an author, speaker, podcaster, and compassion-focused physiotherapist with vast experience in the private and public sectors of care. At the onset of her career, she became a caregiver to her chronically ill father. Her personal experiences helped shape her professional practice and led to writing her award-winning book, Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Strategies to Guide Patient Healing (2019). She is a mentor to future and
current health providers on discovering their purpose, achieving fulfillment, and creating empowered patient experiences.

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The Game-Changer: Russell Greenfield, MD

Russell H. Greenfield, M.D. serves as Sr. Director of Employee Whole Health for the Whole Health Institute. He is responsible for partnering with individual employers in the strategic development of Whole Health programming and
associated data analysis to capture and communicate impacts on employees and operating costs. Most recently, he was the medical director of Integrative Medicine for Novant Health, with headquarters in Charlotte and Winston-Salem, N.C.

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The Replacement: Niran Al-Agba, MD

Niran S. Al-Agba, MD is a third-generation primary care physician practicing for 20 years in her hometown. She began working in her father’s medical office on Saturdays when she was 9 and has done every job in a medical office that there is including receptionist, medical assistant, janitor, and all the way to physician owner. After graduating from Michigan State University with a BS in Lyman Briggs Physiology and History of Health and Humanities, she attended University of Washington School of Medicine, graduating in 1999. She completed internship and residency at Denver Childrens Hospital/University of Colorado SOM and returned home to work in her father’s practice in 2001 for a few months and then permanently in 2002.

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The Mindful Doc: Dael Waxman, MD

Dael Waxman, M.D. is a Professor of Family Medicine at Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC. Previously Interim Chair and Vice-Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, he continues on the faculty there as well as serves as the Medical Director of Physician Well-being for Medical Education for Atrium Health and Medical Director of Patient-Centered Programming at Atrium CMC-Mercy. In addition to his medical background, he has received training in and has been integrating family therapy, clinical hypnosis, mind/body medicine, mindfulness, and leadership coaching into teaching, practice, and faculty development for over 25 years. He has taught regionally, nationally, and internationally on: physician burnout and well-being, mindfulness in medicine, developing a patient and family-centered culture, family influences on health, physician-patient communication, and collaboration between mental health and primary care.

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The Author: Rajani Katta, MD

Dr. Rajani Katta is a nationally recognized expert in dermatology and allergic contact dermatitis, she has extensively researched how diet can affect the skin and the body’s overall health. Her advice on skin care and diet has been published in many magazines and newspapers, including the Oprah Magazine, Prevention, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, and the Dr. Oz magazine. She has been interviewed as a dermatology expert on the ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox networks, as well as NPR and multiple radio stations.

Committed to furthering the understanding of skin disease, Dr. Katta has authored over 70 scientific articles and chapters in prestigious publications, including the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. She has also been honored to serve on the Review Panels for the Archives of Dermatology, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, and American Family Physician. She is an accomplished speaker, and has lectured frequently at national meetings of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Contact Dermatitis Society. She has also spoken at such institutions as the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Southern California.

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The Sage: Courtney Chambers, MD, FACS

Dr. Courtney Chambers has enjoyed a diverse practice as a board-certified general surgeon for 23 years. His body of work has included general and vascular surgery, as well as wound care and hyperbaric medicine, covering both coasts from Connecticut to California. His distinctive bedside manner has been enjoyed by patients and their families alike, which is reflected in numerous accolades from patient satisfaction surveys such as Press Ganey and others. Over the years he practiced in various practice models, including single-specialty group practice, solo practice, and multi-specialty group practice. Dr. Chambers also enjoyed non-clinical roles in healthcare. Most recently, he was the medical director for outpatient surgery for his multi-specialty group and was a founding member of the Network Operating Council, the governing body for the group’s ambulatory services. In that role he was co-chair of the group’s quality improvement (QI) section and directly contributed to the group being awarded the Ronald P. Bangasser Award for QI improvement in California, one of only eight organizations awarded annually.

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The Visionary: Desmond Bell, DPM, CWS

Dr. Desmond Bell is the Founder and President of “The Save A Leg, Save A Life” Foundation, a multi-disciplinary non-profit organization dedicated to the reduction in lower extremity amputations and improving wound healing outcomes through education, evidence-based methodology and community outreach. His private practice in Jacksonville, FL, specializes in wound management and is dedicated to lower-extremity preservation. He also serves as Chief Medical Officer of Omeza, an evidence-based medical technology company and consumer healthcare products company initially focused on healing chronic wounds and preventing their recurrence.

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