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6 Women Represent Healthcare in Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women List


Forbes magazine recently came out with its list of the World’s100 Most Powerful Womenand among distinguished names from technology, media and business stand out the names of five women for their link to the healthcare industry.

At rank 24 stands Angela Braly, the former CEO of insurance giant WellPoint, who resigned in late August, presumably after the list was published. Braly was named to the position in 2007 and reportedly faced investor concern over her company’s financial performance. At the annual investor meeting, Braly’s speech was reportedly interrupted several times by protesters. In fact, after her resignation was announced by the company, the stock price jumped 4.1 percent on the news. It was under her leadership that WellPoint acquired health insurance firm Amerigroup for nearly $5 billion, according to Forbes. There is a Twitter handle under the name of Angela Braly, though it’s not clear whether it is the same person — there have been zero tweets under that name.

At rank 31 is Kathleeen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and a member of the cabinet of the Obama administration. Secretary Sebelius has the rather challenging task of implementing Obamacare and is responsible for a budget of $940 million, the lions share of which accounts for Medicare and Medicaid, according to Forbes. Recently federal investigators have found that she violated the Hatch Act by which civil servants are forbidden from political activity — Sebelius had made offhanded comments about the need to elect democrats at a Human Rights Campaign event in February. Prior to her being tapped for the cabinet position, Sebelius tweeted; her last tweet came on the eve of the 2008 elections

At rank 37 is Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization. Forbes notes that Chan had a challenging first term when she was forced to deal with the H1N1 bird flu crisis. But it appears that she was well prepared to deal with that pandemic. Chan was also Hong Kong’s first woman director of Hong Kong’s Department of Health, where she tackled bird flu and SARS. Chan is a big proponent of universal health coverage. She manages a budget of nearly $4 billion.

At rank 61, is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. A Harvard University-trained medical doctor, Hamburg has taken a tough stance on the tobacco industry and sent the industry 1,040 warning letters out of a total of 1,720 in 2011 for violations of the Tobacco Control Act signed in 2009. Hamburg doesn’t appear to tweet, but she does blog on a variety of topics including encouraging kids not to smoke, preventing counterfeit drugs from entering the global supply and managing prescription drug shortages.

At rank 80 is India’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, founder and CEO of Biocon, the 11th largest pharmaceutical company in India, by market cap according to Forbes. She founded the company when she was only 25. The company is also reportedly closing in on a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb by which the two will develop and commercialize an oral insulin product.

At rank 90, is Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is responsible for 800 grants amounting to $350 million annually that are awarded to improving health and healthcare. The foundation is currently helping states to implement the Affordable Care Act. Lavizzo-Mourey has more than 2,630 followers on Twitter and has tweeted on everything from how to reduce childhood obesity to payment reform, and healthcare innovation to tracking your own health data.

[Photo credit: J. Howard Miller, artist employed by Westinghouse, poster used by the War Production Co-ordinating Committee, via Wikimedia Commons]

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