Flattening The Next Curve - Mental Health During & After COVID-19

Date/Time: Thursday, May 14th - 12:00 PM EDT

Thank you for your interest in registering for the Finn Partners webinar, “Flattening the Next Curve - Mental Health During & After COVID-19”! 

Finn Partners has teamed up with WebMD during Mental Health Month to host a virtual roundtable on how mental health – and the experiences of patients, caregivers and providers – is being shaped by COVID-19. This webinar will be moderated by John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer at WebMD, and will feature leaders from across healthcare organizations including Alkermes, Meharry Medical College, Avalere Health and Mental Health America.   

The moderated discussion will cover topics such as access to care in minority and underserved communities, the industry’s response to COVID-19 and the evolution of telehealth and telepsychiatry, as leaders across the mental health ecosystem work to deliver the best care possible and combat what is projected to be our nation’s next healthcare crisis.   




JOHN WHYTE, MD, MPH – Chief Medical Officer, WebMD

John Whyte, MD, MPH, is a popular physician and writer who has been communicating to the public about health issues for nearly two decades. Whyte is the Chief Medical Officer, WebMD. In this role, Whyte leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues. Prior to WebMD, Whyte served as the director of professional affairs and stakeholder engagement at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Whyte worked with health care professionals, patients, and patient advocates, providing them with a focal point for advocacy, enhanced two-way communication, and collaboration, assisting them in navigating the FDA on issues concerning drug development, review, and drug safety. He also developed numerous initiatives to address diversity in clinical trials. Prior to this, Whyte worked for nearly a decade as the chief medical expert and vice president, health and medical education, at Discovery Channel, the leading nonfiction television network. In this role, Whyte developed, designed, and delivered educational programming that appealed to both a medical and lay audience. This included television shows as well as online content that won over 50 awards including numerous Tellys, CINE Golden Eagle, and Freddies. Whyte is a board-certified internist. He completed an internal medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center as well as earned a Master of Public Health in health policy and management at Harvard University School of Public Health. Prior to arriving in Washington, Whyte was a health services research fellow at Stanford and attending physician in the department of medicine. He has written extensively in the medical and lay press. He continues to see patients in Washington, DC, and Maryland.

LLOYDA BROOMES WILLIAMSON, MD, DFAPA – Chair and Professor, Psychiatry, Meharry Medical College

Lloyda Broomes Williamson, MD, DFAPA., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Acting Residency Training Director for the Psychiatry Residency and Executive Director for the Lloyd C. Elam Mental Health Center, all at Meharry Medical College. She obtained a B.S. in Natural Sciences from Oakwood College, (now known as Oakwood University), in Huntsville, AL, before going on to obtain her Doctor of Medicine degree from Meharry Medical College. Dr. Williamson completed a Psychiatry Residency and a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Emory University and is board certified in both specialties. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. For over 25 years Dr. Williamson has provided clinical services to children, adolescents and adults in multiple settings including community mental health centers, a residential treatment center for children and adolescents, private practice in Newnan and Peachtree City, GA, as well as Tuscaloosa, AL. She worked as a consultant to psychiatrists for an adolescent unit at Bryce Hospital and to a specialized education and treatment program for girls in juvenile detention. She has been a telepsychiatry provider in Alabama and Tennessee. She has clinical teaching experience with medical students, family medicine residents, nurse practitioner students, and lectures to undergraduate students in social work. She has worked break down silos in mental health education by working collaboratively with graduate students in Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Williamson’s scholarly activity includes publications regarding psychiatry training of Family Medicine residents, telepsychiatry and children with co-morbid ADHD and enuresis. Additional interests include spirituality in medicine and cultural psychiatry. Dr. Williamson has a core belief that God created each individual with a purpose. She believes her purpose is as follows: 1) to provide mental health care to those with health disparities, 2) to educate health care professionals regarding the importance of mental health and providing treatment for mental illness as a part of treating the whole person and 3) to engage in community efforts to educate others about mental health and decrease the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders.

DANA MACHER – Practice Director, Avalere Health

Dana Macher leads the Commercialization & Regulatory Practice at Avalere health, advising clients on integrated market access strategies, product commercialization plans, and public and private payer engagement strategies. With more than 20 years in the life sciences industry, she successfully launched several oncology products. Dana has extensive knowledge of hospital inpatient and outpatient settings as well as physician office reimbursement systems by effectively positioning novel drugs with payers. She is deeply involved with Avalere’s policy team assessing the impact of payment reform, especially in oncology. She also leads a cross-practice behavioral health effort at Avalere. Prior to joining Avalere, Dana was a senior consultant at DK Pierce & Associates, supporting clients in all aspects of coverage, coding, and payment strategies. She led all marketing research efforts, including advisory boards, qualitative interviews, and quick turnaround surveys with payers, KOLs, and practice administrators. Prior, Dana worked for Chiron Therapeutics, a Bay-area biotechnology company where she launched a novel chemotherapeutic agent and provided strategic direction to oncology business units, highlighted by the orchestration of a significant inpatient DRG payment increase with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dana earned a BS in chemical engineering from Mississippi State University and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business.

Paul Gionfriddo – President & Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health America (MHA)

Paul Gionfriddo has been President and CEO of Mental Health America since 2014. He was a member of the Connecticut State Legislature from 1978-1990 and has worked in a variety of health and mental-health related positions in the nonprofit sector during a career spanning nearly forty years. He recently completed a four-and-a-half-year term on the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services 12-member National Advisory Council. He is the author of Losing Tim: How Our Health and Education Systems Failed My Son with Schizophrenia (Columbia University Press, 2014).

SARAH AKERMAN, MD – Senior Medical Director, Medical Affairs, Alkermes

Sarah Akerman, MD is a psychiatrist with experience in research and the clinical care of patients with substance use disorders and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Dr. Akerman joined Alkermes in 2016 and currently serves as a Senior Medical Director in the Medical Affairs department. In this position, she oversees the medical strategy and lifecycle management for the psychiatry franchise, provides expertise to cross-functional partners, and has experience building and strengthening relationships with thought leaders and organizations in the field of psychiatry. Dr. Akerman received a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine where she was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed a psychiatry residency, served as chief resident and completed both addiction clinical and research fellowships at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. Dr. Akerman is board certified in both general and addiction psychiatry. Following fellowship, she served as a faculty member establishing a treatment program for pregnant women with substance use disorders. Dr. Akerman received a number of research awards including the Dartmouth SYNERYGY career development award to study a translational model of reward responsiveness. Following transition to Alkermes, she has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine.