11th Annual Healthcare Systems Engineering Symposium



Tuesday, February 20, 2024 from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM EST
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Snow date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023



Lehigh University - Mountain Top Campus 
Iacocca Hall Wood Dining Room
111 Research Dr
Bethlehem, PA 18015
Driving Directions 



Wendy Manarino, LVBCH 






Despite a rise in life expectancy over the past two decades, women spend more of their lives in poor health and with disability. This effects a woman’s ability to be present and productive at work and at home.

Until recently, women’s healthcare was considered more as “bikini” medicine (focusing on breast and reproductive tissue). To this day, many are surprised to learn that heart disease is the leading killer for women and lung cancer incidence surpassed breast cancer in 1987. 

What is women’s health? 
Today, women’s health more comprehensively includes health issues that are unique to women, such as menstruation and pregnancy, as well as conditions that may affect women differently, such as health disease and stroke. 

Why is there a health gap for women? 
Until about 25 years ago, essentially all health research was conducted on men. Applying male only research to females set a dangerous precedent that overlooked fundamental differences between women and men. To this day, researchers call misdiagnosis an urgent health problem. For example – While heart disease is the number one killer of women, women are still misdiagnosed at a higher rate than men when presenting with symptoms of a heart attack. 

Women and job-based health
The majority of working-aged women obtain health care coverage through employer-based plans. According to a Deloitte Report, women pay more dollars out-of-pocket than men and tend to get less coverage for every premium dollar spent. 

With the understanding that women utilize more health care than men and have a leading role in the majority of a families’ health care, more employers are beginning to address women’s health as part of their organizations’ overall strategy. 


LVBCH is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities.          



11:30 am Registration, Exhibit Hall with Sponsors, Lunch & Networking
12:15 pm Welcome & Opening Remarks 
12:30 pm Women's Health: From Hire to Retire 
  1:00 pm Updates on Legal Protections for Women in the Workplace
  1:30 pm Support for Women's Resiliency
  2:00 pm Employer Perspectives and Women's Health Programs   
  2:30 pm Audience Q&A 

All are invited to attend additional networking following the event.  



By understanding and addressing the unique health needs and challenges for women across the lifespan, companies can stand out as inclusive work places supporting recruitment, retention, and best outcomes from their employees.

By attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 

  • Discuss the needs and challenges for reproductive care for women
  • List women's healthcare needs and concerns across the lifespan
  • Suggest ways that employers can address women's healthcare needs 

The number of hours employees spend working is at an all-time high. Women are disproportionately impacted as they experience a near daily conflict between work-family expectations and obligations. As companies struggle to maintain their workforce, a better understanding of local, state and federal laws providing protections to women in the workforce is critical in creating an environment where women can pursue a sustainable career path and thrive.  

By attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 

  • Describe new laws relating to women in the workplace 
  • Review existing laws created to protect women in the workplace 
  • Discuss steps employers can take to offer women tolls to achieve better work-family balance 

It is widely known that stress is a significant risk factor for poor health, disease, and disability over the lifecourse. Along these lines, maternal stress has been implicated as a key contributor to long-term adverse maternal and child health outcomes. Maternal resilience, a set of protective characteristics and resources that women may draw upon, may help them address or reduce their exposure to stressors. This presentation will discuss how the workplace can serve as a critical resilience resource for helping women and their families acheive optimal health outcomes over the lifecourse. 

By attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 

  • Describe how stress is a significant risk factor for adverse health outcomes among women
  • Define resilience in the context of women and family health
  • Discuss how the workplace can serve as a critical resilience resource for improving women and family health 

Women's health, historically considered a niche subset of healthcare, is expected to be a $18 billion world-wide industry by the end of 2024. With the understanding that women utilize more health care than men and have a leading role in the majority of a family's health care, more employers are beginning to target women's health as part of their organizations' overall strategies. 

By attending this presentation, participants will be able to: 

  • Identify women's health solution(s) currently avaliable to employers 
  • Discuss implementation of these solutions
  • Describe potential benefits for employers and employees of addressing women's health through employer-sponsored initiatives 



Amanda Flicker, MD
Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Chief Medical Executive, Women's Health Service Line
Lehigh Valley Health Network 


Amanda Flicker, MD, FACOG is the Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) since July 2020 and also the Chief Medical Executive of the Women’s Health Service Line.  Born and raised in Berks County, PA, she completed her undergraduate studies at Villanova University, then medical education at Pennsylvania State University and obstetrics and gynecology residency training at Pennsylvania Hospital.  Dr. Flicker joined LVHN in 2006 to practice obstetrics and gynecology with Lehigh Valley Physician’s Group.  Relevant to her passion for medical education and mentorship, she has served various roles in the educational realm for both undergraduate and graduate medical education. Additionally, Dr Flicker has demonstrated her commitment to quality and patient safety in roles such as the Chief of Obstetrics and Vice-chair for Quality in obstetrics and gynecology at LVHN. Dr. Flicker has been engaged in leadership in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists since residency and serves on the Pennsylvania section executive council where priorities include advocacy and health policy for women’s health. 


Loren Speziale, JD
Attorney, Deputy Managing Partner
Gross McGinley, LLC


Deputy Managing Partner Attorney Loren L. Speziale regularly provides legal counsel to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations in all aspects of their operations.  Whether it relates to general corporate issues, employment matters, or financial transactions, Loren is a partner to her clients in navigating their day-to-day as well as long-term strategies.  She currently serves on the board of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Rodale Institute Board of Directors. As a practicing attorney and a community leader, Loren has won numerous awards, including her selection as a Lehigh Valley Business 2018 Women of Influence and being named to the PA Super Lawyers Lists 2021-2023 and the Lehigh Valley Business Power List in Law in 2022 and 2023.


Fathima Wakeel, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor of Community and Population Health 
Lehigh University, College of Health 

Dr. Fathima Wakeel is an associate professor with over 20 years of academic and research training in the maternal and child health field. Her research agenda is to produce knowledge that will help reduce racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in adverse maternal and child health outcomes. Though previous work largely focused on identifying the differential prenatal risks (e.g. maternal stress) underlying these disparities, her research concerns the differential development of protective factors - i.e. personal capital - over the life course. Dr. Wakeel is one of the first researchers to conceptualize and operationalize the construct of personal capital and examine its relationships with stress and adverse obstetric outcomes. She aims to contribute to the College of Health’s research landscape by conducting quantitative, mixed-methods, and community-based participatory research to explore the measurement of personal capital, specifically among different racial/ethnic groups of women, and how it develops over the life course. Her other research projects focus on the physical and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic within the community and nationally as well as ways in which we can better prepare healthcare providers to address the salient needs of individuals with autism as they transition to adulthood. Dr. Wakeel has over nine years experience teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, curriculum and program development, and interdisciplinary community coalition development. Dr. Wakeel received her PhD in Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles and her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at the University of South Florida. Her postdoctoral training includes the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality Health Services Research and Healthcare Quality Improvement Program Fellowship and the Health Disparities Research Scholars Program Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.  




Juliet Vestal
Corporate Vice-President of Total Rewards
B Braun Medical 

Juliet Vestal is Corporate Vice-President of Total Rewards for B. Braun Medical.  Over the past 5 years she had several roles of increasing responsibility at B. Braun.  In this current role she manages benefits, compensation, payroll, HR Systems and Workers’ Compensation.  Her strategic focus is ensuring the overall employee pay and benefits package remains competitive.  She has 30 years of experience working in a variety of industries including energy, management consulting, gaming and medical device.  Juliet received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration, Master of Public Administration and Master of Gerontology all from USC.



Brent Atkins
Senior Vice President Business Development 


As Senior Vice President of Business Development at Progyny, Brent Atkins is responsible for leading sales in the eastern half of the US. Brent and his team cultivate relationships with large employers and consultants, transforming employer sponsored fertility and family building solutions. Prior to joining Progyny, Brent spent over two decades working for Aetna, UnitedHealthCare, and Empire BCBS in various sales, strategy, and management capacities. Brent is a graduate of Providence College in Rhode Island.