Taren Grom, Editor
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If you are feeling downtrodden by the continuing barrage of negative news about our industry, then this issue is the cure for what ails you. This issue showcases dozens of individuals who exemplify the best of the best in terms of their commitment, passion, and conviction to improving the health of those in need and providing leadership for future generations. This call to action, this drive to help others and to play a role in the larger healthcare arena describes many of the voices in this month’s issue. By its very nature, the pharmaceutical industry plays a role in the public-health arena through the development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals. But the industry often goes well beyond its primary role of medicine manufacturer and strives to play a larger part in the public-health picture by providing medicines at cost or free throughout the developing world, by lending a hand in emergencies and crisis situations, such as following the 9/11 tragedy, hurricane Katrina, and the tsunami in Indonesia, and by partnering with organizations dedicated to humanitarian efforts. Donations from the industry, both in terms of monetary and medical donations, support humanitarian efforts at home and abroad. And leaders in the industry continue to strive to do more. The experts interviewed for this month’s Forum outline the ways in which the industry supports those in need, as well as ways pharmaceutical companies can continue to play a role in the public-health conversation. It’s not just our austere group of experts in the Forum who strive for the betterment of those in need, this year’s 2007 HBA Rising Stars also are playing an important role in the industry’s advancements in clinical research, marketing, analysis, and, most importantly, patient care. Not only do these extraordinary women provide inspiration to those around them, they are inspired by men, women, and in some cases, young adults. Amy Duda from Sudler & Hennessey, through a joint sponsorship with her company and parent company Y&R, ventured to Gulfport, Miss., to participate in hurricane recovery efforts. She drew inspiration from the volunteers, many of whom were inexperienced in matters of management, resource allocation, and operational strategies, yet who pulled off extreme feats and completed the rehab projects on time. Dedicated, relentless, committed, and focused are just a few of the adjectives used to describe the 2007 HBA Rising Stars. These 81 women are shining examples of the industry’s best and brightest. These women are being recognized by their organizations for not only a job well done but for excelling beyond expectations and blazing a path for future generations of healthcare leaders to follow. Having worked in various capacities with many of these women, as well as past Rising Star honorees, including our own Elisabeth Pena Villarroel, I am truly inspired by their desire to do more, go further, and be better. Taren Grom Editor PharmaVOICE is proud to be a corporate sponsor of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and to showcase the organization’s 81 Rising Stars for 2007.