Fall 2020 | Volume 9 | Number 4
In Every Issue
Feature Articles
In Upcoming Issues
Gratitude - Resilience and Healing for Clinicians During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Code Blue: Racial Justice in the Corporate Workplace 
Opportunities within “Adaptive Recovery”
Quick Links
Editor's Letter
It has been almost a year since the entry of the novel coronavirus into our collective global lives. It first appeared on the scene in China in November 2019. The degree of disruption it has caused has been at an expansive scale and makes it unlikely things will ever return to the way they used to be. That reality presents the opportunity to build on the transformational changes which have already been manifest and to make the investments necessary to create a sustainable future.

COVID-19 has laid bare a broad and extensive array of inequities which have existed for a very long time. Between the disproportionate burden borne by people of color relative to the complications and lethality of the coronavirus, the global response to the murder of George Floyd, the tens of millions who are unemployed (many of whom who have also lost their job-based healthcare coverage as a result), the number of small businesses which have been shuttered permanently, and the massive food insecurity which has resulted in miles-long lines for food pantry boxes, all while the stock market remains strong and massive tax cuts are enjoyed by the top 1%, the rapidly increasing wealth and opportunity gap has been exposed in a way that has been experienced viscerally by much of the populace. 

Caregivers, (with care recipients from infants to the elderly) have been challenged like never before to be stewards of the health, well-being, growth and development of their loved ones and clients in an environment of uncertainty, new routines and precautions, and needs for which they were not prepared nor trained. There has been greater recognition and appreciation for front-line workers who put their lives at risk every day to keep some semblance of the old world on track for those of us who have the ability and luxury of being able to work from home. 

The healthcare sector has proven it can move nimbly and creatively. Medical professionals have adjusted quickly as the virus continues to morph over time. They have learned to be much more attuned to the possibility of both zebras as well as horses. Care delivery modalities and reimbursement methodologies have flexed, resulting in the accelerated growth of telemedicine and remote monitoring. And the benefits of living as healthy a lifestyle as possible, managing chronic conditions, and being proactive about preventive care have been even further clarified.

The future is uncertain, especially in an election year. However, COVID-19 has taught us we are much more dependent on each other than we may have realized. It has left no doubt that life is better for a greater number of people when we work together. We are facing lost dreams, grief and mourning, the exacerbation of mental health and substance use disorders, rising rates of stress/anxiety/PTSD/depresssion/suicide, lost savings and financial insecurity, educational experiences which fall short of expectations and which may threaten the quality of both teaching and learning, and so much more.

We must each value the lives of others as much as our own if we are to survive, much less thrive. Otherwise, the long-term and collective trauma of the virus, about which we still have much to learn, will be even more damaging, and people will literally die and lives will be lost that could have been saved.


Managing Editor
Contact Colette at: [email protected]



In Every Issue
The President's Desk
Contributor: Maria Whitman, WG’05

2020 has thus far tested the very fabric of our world: personally, professionally, societally, globally. It is an under-statement to say that it has been a hard year for many – in fact, for many it has been life changing. We have experienced an unprecedented global pandemic, economic and health uncertainty, and a global demonstration spurred by the violent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others to combat systemic issues of racism and inequality. Unequivocally, Black Lives Matter; these individuals matter. 

These events have exposed deep cracks in aspects of our society that we as individuals, as humans, cannot ignore. They have also started to unite us together in the call to action, and in doing so we stand on a real opportunity for change. But that change requires ongoing commitment to action and real advancement of the issues before us. 

The WHCMAA Board has been working diligently to prioritize and drive action and connection in areas of greatest need in these recent months and will continue to do so in service to this mission and our role as leaders in global health. Read more.
The Philosopher’s Corner
This eclectic standing column features insightful musings, words of wisdom, life lessons, and stepping stones to business success. This month's philosopher is Edward Chan, WG'11, a Principal at 1315 Capital, a Philadelphia-based firm that provides expansion and growth capital to healthcare companies. Read more.
Affidavit: Healthcare and the Law - Would COVID-19 Data Help Medical Device Manufacturers Accelerate the FDA Approval Process?    

Medical device shortages and shortcomings during the COVID-19 pandemic have led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to many medical devices manufacturers. Were it not for these EUAs, these manufacturers would be unable to market their devices, as their FDA applications would still be pending. Once the present “emergency” ends, these EUAs will expire, and manufacturers will again be unable to market their devices for the indications cleared under the EUA. 

Still, the real-world evidence (RWE) gained about these devices while marketed under the EUA need not be lost with the passing of the pandemic. Once the pandemic ends, manu-facturers should be able to use the data collected to support their pending applications for market clearance and for new indications for already-cleared devices. Read more.
Downloading Success: Leadership of Telehealth Innovation for Healthcare Providers

While COVID-19 takes its toll on so many areas of our lives, within the world of health information technology it has rocketed healthcare providers into the future. Around telehealth – which includes video conferencing as well as remote patient monitoring and mobile health applications – organizations have resourced and ramped up initiatives that otherwise were moving along gradually. It is safe to say that the era of telehealth is here. But who should be leading the charge?   
CyberVitals: Connectivity in Healthcare Entrepreneurship 
Contributor: Vidya Murthy, WEMBA’42 

Healthcare is accused of a lot of things: being inefficient, slow to change, and ineffective in adopting technology. It seems like the perfect breeding ground for disruption and new ideas - but are we sufficiently considering cybersecurity as we innovate? Even in the midst of a pandemic, cybercriminals have exploited that connectivity by shutting down a testing facility in the Czech Republic, attacking vaccine testing facilities, and sending more than 18 million COVID-19 related scam emails on a daily basis.  Read more.
Feature Articles
The Hidden “Blessings” of COVID-19  

COVID-19 is a devastating virus. The U.S. has led the world for months, with 25 percent of confirmed cases as well as deaths. The future is uncertain, and it is unlikely things will ever go back to “normal” again. And therein lie the hidden “blessings” of COVID-19. The novel coronavirus is transformational, forcing us to change whether we want to do so or not. It’s moving at lightning speed, not caring one whit if we are ready.

For several years it has been difficult for me to imagine how the world and the human race would be able to dig out of the hole we created. I believed it would take an unprecedented and global event to save us from ourselves. Mother Nature seems to have given us a second chance and the opportunity to create a “new normal.” Let’s not blow it, people! Read more.
Learning from the Crisis 
Contributor: Barry Dornfeld, PhD

The COVID-19 crisis has created more turbulence and disruption for our healthcare system than any event in recent memory. While organizations intensely focus on their response to the urgency of the moment, there has been little time to look beyond what Forbes called “the innovation bubble” to the middle and longer-term horizons—to reflect on these urgent innovations and consider how they might help us prepare for the future. Read more
Open Wide: Tooth Decay - From Condition of Humanity to Consignment to Medical History? Part 3

Society has been saddled with narrow and outmoded doctrines, assumptions, and means for obtaining dental care, needlessly enduring the financial and morbidity costs of tooth decay. The science extending back over a century that led to the initial understanding of the bacterial nature of tooth decay, and then to its treatment with inexpensive, highly effective substances, since updated, has now laid the groundwork for new organizational models of care which lower cost as well as geographic, socioeconomic, cultural, and other barriers to care. Read more.
Wharton Around the Globe: Reimagining Healthcare in Nicaragua
Contributor: Minji Kim, WG’21

This past winter break, six members of the Wharton Global Health Volunteers (WGHV) traveled to Nicaragua to work with Pro Mujer on a comprehensive healthcare strategy focused on women. Founded in 1990, Pro Mujer has become one of Latin America’s leading organizations committed to the empowerment of women through finance, health, and educational services. With a long history of providing financial assistance through microloans to women, Pro Mujer sought out the assistance of WGHV to assess opportunities to expand their services to cover a critical healthcare gap in Latin America. Read more.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within are those of the authors and editors of the articles and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Wharton School and/or the University of Pennsylvania, and/or their respective organizations. Publication in this e-magazine should not be considered an endorsement. The Wharton Healthcare Quarterly and WHCMAA make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information in this e-magazine and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.