Welcome to Drew's

Medical & Health Humanities Symposium

Creating Cultures of Trust and Equity for People Living with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)

Copyright 2022 WEPSCF

The Space at the Ehinger Center or via Zoom 

Speaker Sessions

Welcome by Dr. Merel Visse,
Director, Medical & Health Humanities Program, Drew University


(1:00- 1:30) Keynote Speaker: Dr. Patrice Matchaba, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Novartis

Patrice Matchaba, MD is Head US Corporate Responsibility and President of the Novartis US Foundation. His previous role was the Novartis Group Head of Global Health & Corporate Responsibility. During the past year he has led the launch of the 10 year “Beacon of Hope” Program – a comprehensive multi-stakeholder partnership to address health inequity of African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities in the US, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program, like the Novartis Access Principles he helped integrate into the company places health equity at the center of Novartis Purpose and Strategy. The Novartis Access Principles launched in 2017  integrate early and affordable access to innovative medicines and healthcare solutions accessible to all, regardless of geography, income, or limitations of local health systems. Novartis aims to reach 50% more patients through these programs by 2025 and plans to increase the number of patients receiving its innovative medicines in LMICs. To further solidify the company’s commitment to making an impact, under Patrice’s leadership, Novartis issued an industry-first, sustainability-linked bond in 2020, bringing these targets into the core of its business operations. Patrice qualified and practiced as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist in Southern Africa, before joining Novartis in 2000. He completed the Harvard Business School Program of Management Development (PMD) in 2001.  Patrice sits on the Boards of Last Mile Health and The Capitals Coalition and is a member of the Novartis US Country Leadership Team.

(1:30- 2:00) Response: Kevin Poirer,
DMH Candidate, Medical & Health Humanities Program 

Kevin Poirier has been a member of the pharmaceutical industry for more than 30 years. During his tenure in the pharmaceutical industry it became more apparent that the patient’s story and a patient’s quality of life were just as important as relieving the symptoms of disease or an actual cure. His investigations explore the aspects of chronic pain and the narratives of patients who are many times not heard. His research involves the inequities in pain treatment and the commonalities of those who are afflicted with chronic pain.


(2:00- 2:30) Kadeem Gayle,
DMH Candidate, Medical & Health Humanities Program

Kadeem Gayle is a Patient Advocate and Poet. At three years old, Gayle was diagnosed with sickle cell disease (SCD), a rare genetic blood disorder that causes a severe range of health issues. Despite the challenges of living with SCD, Gayle has found positive ways to live and cope with his illness. Gayle is currently a doctoral candidate at Drew University studying Medical Humanities. Gayle started writing poetry at the age of 15 and has found writing to be a positive outlet that promotes healing and humanizes the SCD experience. Gayle has written for the Republican Newspaper of Springfield, MA. Gayle is a credentialed Independent Patient Advocate through the Sickle Cell Community Consortium. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Adelphi University and is also a third-year Cave Canem Fellow. In 2014, Gayle received the Donald Everett Axinn Award in poetry. In 2021 Gayle’s poems, “Narratives of a Sickle Cell Warrior,” was published in Anthropismos: Journal of Humanism. He has also written for Sick Cells. Gayle is currently a patient consultant and a health coach with CaRISMA, a nondrug trial for SCD to help patients living with SCD manage their pain. In the future Gayle hopes to produce various literature and creative publications such as a collection of poems and an anthology that spread awareness for SCD.


(2:30- 3:00) Dr. Karen Proudford,
President, The William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, Inc. 

Karen L. Proudford, Ph.D. is an academic whose teaching, research, writing and consulting interests include group and intergroup dynamics, leadership, diversity and conflict. She received her B.S. degree in Accounting summa cum laude from Florida A&M University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to beginning her career in academia, she held positions at Honeywell, Inc. and IBM. She was named by The Maryland Daily Record as one of the Top 100 Women in Maryland in 2009 and 2013; she was inducted into the Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence in 2015. In 2010, she was selected for inclusion in the inaugural edition of Who’s Who in Black Baltimore. In 2011, Dr. Proudford was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist Award to visit the prestigious Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. In addition, she was inducted into the School of Business and Industry Hall of Fame at her alma mater, Florida A&M University. Dr. Proudford is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross — Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region Blood Services Division.  She has served on the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum Board.

(3:00- 3:30) Dr. Deborah Padfield,
Senior Lecturer in Arts and Health Humanities and Director of Open Spaces, St. George’s, University of London 

Deborah Padfield is a visual artist specialising in lens based media and inter-disciplinary practice and research within Fine Art and Medicine.  She has collaborated extensively with clinicians and patients exploring the value of visual images to clinician-patient interactions and the communication of pain. Working closely with her subjects, she has evolved a collaborative process of co-creation as part of her Fine Art practice, reliant on the input of her subjects as much as herself.  In 2001 her collaboration with pain consultant, Dr Charles Pither and patients from Input Pain Mangement Unit, Thomas’ Hospital, led to an Arts Council funded touring exhibition, pilot study and book, Perceptions of Pain. Her recent collaboration with facial pain consultant, Professor Joanna Zakrzewska and facial pain clinicians and patients from University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) led to several exhibitions, symposia, artist’s films and the project Pain: speaking the threshold and associated publications including a series of essays in the Lancet and a multidisciplinary paper for MedHum BMJ. She lectures and exhibits nationally and internationally and is the recipient of a number of awards including, Sciart Research Award, UCL Arts in Health Award, the UCL Provosts Award for Public Engagement 2012, British Pain Society Artist of the Year 2012, a UCL Public Engagement Beacon Bursary 2015, was a winner in the Lancet Highlights Photography Competition 2017 and recently awarded Knowledge Exchange and Innovation funding through an HEIF Award for a pilot project exploring cross-cultural visualisations of pain with Indian collaborators.  She is a lecturer in Arts & Health Humanities at St George’s, University of London and a Teaching Fellow at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. 


(3:30- 4:00 pm) with Kadeem Gayle,
DMH Candidate, Medical & Health Humanities Program


(4:00- 5:00) Dr. Amy Eisenberg,
Health Communication Consultant

Amy Eisenberg (Doctor of Medical Humanities, Drew University) consults with multiple hospital systems with the goal of helping practitioners manage patient interactions more effectively. With her team, Dr. Eisenberg also trains health professionals in effective end-of-life conversations, including guiding ethical choices and communicating empathically. Eisenberg’s model first appeared in an article she co-authored, Medicine as a Performing Art: What We Can Learn about Empathic Communication from Theater Arts, Academic Medicine, 2015, which was based on her pilot work at Jersey Shore Medical Center/Meridian Health System and the Atlantic Health System. Dr. Eisenberg’s many years as a theatrical producer, director, and performer prepared her to integrate the essential performance elements of physician/patient interaction into her pedagogy. She has written and produced two plays: Anna’s Story, an adaptation of the Atlantic Health System short film of the same name, about the need for end-of-life decision making, and A Tear in the Universe, illustrating the emotional experience of third- and fourth-year medical students. Dr. Eisenberg developed It Couldn’t Happen to Me, a series of videos with a coordinated training program, targeted to high school students and sponsored by the American Medical Association, about the perils of prescription drug abuse. Her doctoral dissertation, Meaning, Message, and Medicine: Integration of Communication Studies in the Medical Humanities Curriculum, was recognized with distinction.

Closing by Dr. Gaetana Kopchinsky,
Affiliate Professor, Medical Health & Humanities Program, Drew University