2013 Award Judges

We are grateful to our panel of experts who bring specialized knowledge and experience in innovation, healthcare and advocacy to our awards process.

Lauren Barnes, MHS Senior Vice President, Reimbursement  –  Avalere Health

Lauren Barnes is the Senior Vice President of Reimbursement for Avalere Health, providing strategic payer planning and public policy expertise to clients to assist in the successful commercialization of their products. She advises clients in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Ms. Barnes was Director of the Payment and Coverage Group at Amgen, where she worked for six years. While at Amgen, Ms. Barnes held a series of leadership roles within its reimbursement and policy arenas. She led Amgen’s internal payment policy and analysis team as well as Amgen’s Medicaid and Medicare field teams. Ms. Barnes began her career at Amgen in its Washington, DC Government Affairs office. Immediately prior to her time with Amgen, she worked for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly HCFA) where she developed Medicare drug coverage policies within the Coverage and Analysis Group. In addition, Ms. Barnes is a board member of the Cancer Support Community. Ms. Barnes holds a BA in Public Health and an MHS in Health Care Policy from The Johns Hopkins University.


Valerie Fleishman, MBA Executive Director – NEHI

Valerie Fleishman provides strategic and operational direction for NEHI. As Executive Director, she oversees the institute’s policy research, programs, operations, fundraising and communications. Under her leadership, NEHI’s programs seek to improve chronic illness care, promote disease prevention and wellness, and speed the adoption of valuable innovations across the health care system. She has authored numerous reports, articles and briefs on a wide range of health policy issues.

Ms. Fleishman joined NEHI at its founding in 2002, and has over fifteen years’ experience in health care, health policy, technology and innovation. Prior to joining NEHI, Ms. Fleishman was a director in Health and Wellness at Scient Corporation, where she led strategic consulting engagements with leading biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical clients in areas such as telemedicine, disease management, health information technology, clinical trials, and sales and marketing strategies. Previously, Ms. Fleishman was a manager in Arthur D. Little’s Global Strategy Practice. Ms. Fleishman also worked in product management and brand marketing at Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Consumer Products. Ms. Fleishman received her BA, cum laude, from Harvard University and her MBA from the Harvard Business School. In 2008, she was honored as one of Boston’s “40 under 40″ by the Boston Business Journal.


Paul Howard, PhD Director, Center for Medical Progress – Manhattan Institute for Policy Research

Paul Howard, PhD, is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow and director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress. Dr. Howard is the managing editor of Medical Progress Today, a blog providing a forum for economists, scientists, and policy experts to explore the scientific, regulatory, and market frameworks that will best support twenty-first century medical innovation. Dr. Howard has written on a wide variety of medical policy issues, including FDA reform, biopharmaceutical innovation, consumer-driven health care, Medicare and Medicaid policy, and health care reform. His columns and essays have appeared in national publications, including Bloomberg View, The Wall Street Journal, National Affairs, USA Today, Real Clear Politics, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Health Affairs, and FoxNews.com.

Dr. Howard is also a member of the Manhattan Institute’s Project FDA, a committee of physician-scientists, economists, medical ethicists, and policy experts. Their purpose is to show how twenty-first-century technologies can help better inform FDA regulations and accelerate the drug-development and drug-approval process while maintaining drug safety. In 2012, he served on the Health Care Policy Advisory Group for the presidential campaign of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Dr. Howard joined the Manhattan Institute in 2000, working as deputy director of the Center for Legal Policy where he edited research papers, managed legal policy analyses, and organized conferences. Howard received his PhD in political science from Fordham University in 2003, and is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.


Kathy LaTour, Editor at Large – CURE magazine 

Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 1986, Kathy LaTour had a mastectomy and chemotherapy and has been active in the national survivor community, speaking to survivor, medical and lay audiences about the need for psychosocial support. Ms. LaTour experienced a second diagnosis of breast cancer resulting in a second mastectomy in fall 2007. Her book, The Breast Cancer Companion, was published by William Morrow and Co. in 1993.

In 2001 she cofounded CURE magazine with Dr. Vinay Jain. Today she is editor-at-large of the publication, which is the largest direct to patient cancer magazine in the country. For her writing on cancer she has received numerous awards, including a first place from the Association of Health Care Journalists in 2011 for her article The Cost of Living, which looked at the late effects of radiation for long-term survivors.

In 2004 she debuted her one-woman show “One Mutant Cell,” a humorous and poignant account of her journey through breast cancer, which she has performed more than 50 times for a variety of cancer events around the country. She served for four years on the board of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, and helped found Gilda’s Club North Texas, now known as Cancer Support Community North Texas.  She was also instrumental in founding The Bridge Breast Network in Dallas, a unique coalition of breast cancer survivors and area health care professionals who are providing diagnosis and treatment to uninsured women who may have breast cancer.


Mark Alles Executive Vice President, Global Head of Hematology and Oncology Celgene Corporation

Mark Alles became the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Hematology and Oncology in December of 2012 following his promotion to Chief Commercial Officer of Celgene Corporation in January 2012. Mr. Alles joined Celgene in April 2004 and served as Vice President, Global Marketing until March 2009 when he became President of the Americas Region. Responsibility for operations in Japan and Asia Pacific Region was added in July 2011. Mr. Alles previously served as Vice President for the US Oncology Business Unit of Aventis Pharmaceuticals and in other commercial sales and marketing management roles over an 11 year period. After earning his BS degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and serving as a Captain in the United State Marine Corps, he started his twenty-six year career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bayer and worked at Centocor before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Alles currently serves as a non-paid Director for Gilda’s Club NYC and is on the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey’s Board of Trustees.


“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

–  Peter F. Drucker, Author and management consultant