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  • Writer's pictureTim Dougherty

Fighting for Health Equity: Interview with inspiring doctor & COVID vaccine expert Jayne Morgan, MD

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

Welcome to the podcast writeup for the Life Science and Biotech CEO stories podcast.

In this episode we chat with Dr. Jayne Morgan who is the Director of the Covid Task Force at the Piedmont Healthcare Corporation in Atlanta, GA, a cardiologist, and a Covid vaccine expert. Dr. Morgan manages communications in a public health crisis for the entire state of Georgia – and a politically-charged one at that! We discuss Dr. Morgan’s efforts to educate the public about the Covid vaccine as an outstanding example of health equity in today’s age.

What is health equity?

Let’s start with a few definitions.

What is health equity?

Health equity is defined as giving everyone the same chance to be healthy, regardless of race, social status, gender, or any other circumstances within that person’s state of being.

According to the CDC:

Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.” Health inequities are reflected in differences in length of life; quality of life; rates of disease, disability, and death; severity of disease; and access to treatment.

Health equity and taking action!

Here's where inspirational physicians and Covid vaccine experts like Dr. Morgan play a key role in health equity. With modern technology and artificial intelligence, there are large parts of medicine that are moving directly to the consumer, and are given to the consumer’s hands. You can monitor your own heart rate, for example, using a wearable device. You can participate in clinical trials about diseases that affect people like yourself. For example, Dr. Morgan’s passion is increasing minority recruitment into clinical trials.

There is a huge opportunity for members of the community – whether they be physicians, medical experts, community leaders, and community members themselves – to exert their influence over others and encourage them to participate in these health equity initiatives for the betterment of not just their own health but that of others.

A stunning health equity example

Dr. Morgan, a big proponent of health equity, started her “Stairwell Chronicles” to educate the population about Covid vaccinations, and is especially valuable to the African-American community where there is some reluctance to participate. She felt that she had a responsibility to society to explain the vaccine because of her deep background in this area. She is a physician and also came from R&D within the pharmaceutical industry. She used to develop vaccines for years prior to becoming a Covid vaccine expert. She is one of the few Covid vaccine experts who understood every aspect of the process, even up to the point of administering the shot.

She started filming herself discussing the Covid vaccine from the stairs of her house, and had no idea the legs that it would take on – at first, she thought it was just going to be a few episodes. It turned into an entire series. Her goal was to combat the misinformation and the intentional disinformation about the Covid campaigns. In many of her videos she addresses questions posed on social media about the Covid vaccine.

Her biggest challenge was in the fourth surge (the Delta variant) when disinformation was driving a lot of chaos in the minds of the public. She took on this nonsense hocus pocus (mostly from social media) in her Stairwell Chronicles. She took it head on and encouraged other doctors and Covid experts to address it as well.

The reason Dr. Morgan’s efforts are a great example of health equity in action is because of how they were done. Her educational snippets about the vaccine are filmed from the stairs of her home, and her communication style is clear, relatable, and to the point. She distributed them over social media and made it easy for people to access them. Not the typical clinical-sounding video of a doctor in a lab coat preaching about medical tips.

Those looking to improve health equity in their community could take a page from Dr. Morgan’s book. Knowledge is empowering and it’s even more easily received if you can talk to people on their level and focus on making complicated subjects comfortable and understandable.

Listen to the podcast!

We hope that you’ll listen to the podcast with inspiring doctor and Covid expert Dr. Jayne Morgan. If not, the full transcript of the podcast is printed below.

Podcast transcript

0:00:00.2 TIM DOUGHERTY: Welcome to the biotech and life sciences podcast, where we focus on inspirational CEO stories. I'm your host, Tim. Thank you for joining us on the Inaugural edition of the podcast, focusing on exciting personalities in the life sciences and biotech field. Today we're privileged to have with us Dr. Jayne Morgan, she's a cardiologist and the Executive Director of The Covid Task Force for the Piedmont Health System here in Atlanta, as well as for the Governor of the State of Georgia. She serves as an expert medical contributor at CNN, and is the owner and creator of the social media series the Stairwell Chronicles focused on Covid vaccines. Initially, Dr. Morgan came to the Piedmont System as the Director of Cardiovascular research, where she led Piedmont to the number one status worldwide in the tricuspid space, and the number one status nationally within the mitral space of trans-catheter valve technologies. Jayne, it's a pleasure to have you with us. And you currently work at the largest health care system in the state of Georgia and you grew up right here in Atlanta. So tell us, what was your finest memory about growing up in Atlanta?

0:01:30.7 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Oh my gosh. My fondest memory, so many memories, I obviously grew... I did grow up here, was born here, was born at a hospital called Hughes Spalding Hospital downtown, not there anymore, it's been converted, but at the time it was the only hospital where any people of color could be born. So that's where I was born. Small hospital called Hughes Spalding. I remember growing up here a couple of things, Delta Airlines was here, and locally, we call Delta Airlines the Blue Bird, and there used to be a huge billboard right at the intersection of I-20 and 75, 85, a giant billboard shaped like a blue bird, and it simply said, …fly the Blue Bird. And everybody knows what that was, and whenever I would see that sign, I knew that I was getting close to my grandmother's house, 'cause we would have to turn on to 75, 85... I didn't know the names of the highways, but when we got to the Blue Bird, that was where we were getting close to my grandmother's house. Of course, at the time, I didn't know that the whole world didn't know that Delta was the blue bird, that was all that I knew it for...

0:02:45.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: But the entire billboard was made like bird and it lit up at night, it was all blue, and so I always liked that memory, I always liked the memory as well of... my first job was at Six Flags over Georgia. To this day is probably still my best job ever working at Six Flags, when 14 years old, I sold ice cream, in fact, I didn't even sell ice cream when I first got there, I gave the girls who worked the ice cream carts their brakes, so I circled the park giving people 15-minute breaks, 30-minute breaks, so that they could go and eat, and so I went all over the park working ice cream carts, and then later they awarded me with my own cart, and then I had my own cart on somebody else was the break girl.

0:03:36.2 TIM DOUGHERTY: A great... those are only jobs. We were young or some of the best memories.

0:03:42.5 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Absolutely. You've got freedom, you have money, all the money that you need because you really don't need any... Somebody else is taking care of you. It seems like so much money...

0:03:43.2 TIM DOUGHERTY: Right. You never knew you needed money until you had some. So the common thread throughout your bio and just in getting to know you, is that you have a wonderful ability to communicate and make complicated subjects eminently understandable, and your expression of that quality in the Stairwell Chronicles about Covid is just an extraordinary example of that quality. What motivated you to start the Stairwell Chronicles?

0:04:33.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: We thank you so much, Tim, for that. I appreciate that. I was motivated to start. I really got my first covid shot. And it was clear to me, and certainly in African-American community, that there was a lot of reticence. And I could also see in other areas, I was working at the hospital, even staff really were unsure about this vaccine, so I decided to record myself getting vaccinated and then talk about it. And literally when I got ready to talk about it, I just sat down on the stairs of my porch initially, I was going to do it outdoors on my front steps and sit outside, and the day I got ready to do it, it was kind of overcast and we couldn't get a clear picture, so I moved indoors. So if you ever see the very first one that I've done where I'm sitting on my stairs, I'm actually wearing a coat because I was outside, it was in January, but I couldn't get good light, and so I started talking from the stairs there. And the reason it’s called the Stairwell Chronicles is really hokey. I literally couldn't think of a creative fun apt name, so I named it exactly what it was: the stairwell, chronicles, I'm going to talk from the stairs, it was just literally I didn't have enough imagination to come up with something like the Blue Bird, I actually...

0:06:07.9 TIM DOUGHERTY: I think it took a lot of imagination. I wish I had thought of it myself with this, but managing communications in a public health crisis for an entire state has to be just a daunting task, especially with a subject as politically charged as Covid’s been. How did you come to accept that responsibility and what was your kind of vision when you went in and how did it sort of progress as we went through the pandemic?

0:06:42.9 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: And so I felt I had a responsibility to society to explain the vaccine, and I understood that I was really uniquely positioned to do that because I came out of industry, I came out of pharma and devices, R and D. The vaccine development was exactly what I used to do for years, I understood all the phases, I understood what the decision-making processes were, understood what that recruitment of patients were at [the] Atlanta study site. And so from stem to stern, that was probably one of the few people who actually understood the whole process, who literally had worked at every stage of the process, all the way to the end user of where you're giving it to the patient. And so I decided, let me sit and began to talk with people, because the other thing that was concerning even to doctors was this messenger RNA... Most people have no idea what messenger RNA is. That sounds like DNA, sounds like RNA was the difference. And even doctors, after we get out of medical school, unless we're in research or doing something, we're not really steeped in messenger RNA, and so you have... For doctors, it was sort of a wake-up, like, Oh, we're going back to messenger RNA, and so I really started as an opportunity to begin to explain it...

0:08:00.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Naively thinking we would get to the end of it. Let me sit on the stairs two or three times and explain this, we can just wrap this up, I think people just don't understand, just explain it and then they're real mean then of course more and more information, more and more information, more and more information. So then it started to be a routine and then people started to like it and started to anticipate what my next question was that I was going to be addressing and started to be affected, and obviously, as you know, the roll-out was more complicated than we anticipated, the getting vaccines into arms was more complicated than we anticipated, all of the political atmosphere, and so it started to be really a big issue, but literally, I started just to demonstrate, hey, I got the vaccine, look, I don't have four heads, I didn't grow three legs, look at me, I'm fine. And let me ask you answer a couple of questions, I didn't have a great imagination of sitting on the stairs, I was gonna chronicle it, so I just called her Stairwell Chronicles, and I had no idea the legs that it would take on when I started it, and certainly I didn't know that this pandemic would move on for two years, did not have that in mind either, so I thought this was all short-term, but it wasn't, and I didn't understand the power of social media and how people were really going to be steeped in misinformation, and intentional disinformation campaigns, fear tactics, all of that, I initially had to continue to address in my Stairwell Chronicles that I had no inkling that that was coming when I started, so truly altruistic as a societal venture to just reach out and help humanity understand messenger RNA, the vaccine development process, hospitals, that type of thing.

0:10:05.7 TIM DOUGHERTY: And that sort of grace to take on that sort of responsibility is something that I found so compelling as I've met people in the healthcare field, there's this complete disregard in a sense for the importance of money, which is what my field is all about, I talk money. And when you get to meet people who are really involved in healthcare, you find that that's the furthest thing from their mind, they may be wearing two different socks, but they just don't care about it, it's the science, or it's the particular disease that they may have some personal involvement with some member of their family or something like that, and it's really, really compelling. And I don't think people understand it. What do you think was the biggest challenge you had? And how did you resolve it?

0:11:22.2 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: I think probably the biggest challenge that I had was, I think in the fourth surge, when it really was clear that disinformation was driving a lot of the chaos behind the scenes, and in that surge that was with the Delta variant, that was the first time that I really took on disinformation campaigns in my stairwell Chronicle, so all the nonsense that I was seeing on social media, I would actually take that and address that issue, on my Stairwell Chronicles. I know you've heard about X, let me explain to you why that's not true. And then I would take that and really that was probably the most challenging because to me, from a scientific perspective, it was all hocus pocus and nonsense, so I was surprised that people were taking it so seriously, it took me to the fourth sirge to say, Oh my gosh, people really believe that. It never occurred to me that people would believe it, and so in the fourth surge with the Delta variant, I literally stopped and began to focus on all of these things that I had sort of poopooed that... Oh, that's not important. Nobody's going to believe that.

0:12:41.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Let me focus on the important things, let me just focus on getting this information out where really the disinformation was undermining all of not only my efforts, everybody like me, every scientist, every position, everybody was trying to get out in front and talk with patients and talk with people, it was undermining our efforts, and so it was really at that surge, which was late, that was the Delta area, the fourth period that I really had to stop and say, Oh my gosh, I'm gonna have to address this head-on, not just me. Other doctors as well. And so the veracity of this disinformation throughout all of social media was just astonishing to me, and it took me a long time to understand how powerful and relevant it was.

0:13:36.8 TIM DOUGHERTY: The juxtaposition of that disinformation with the positive information coming out of healthcare with all its issues at the CDC, et cetera. Is just a mess.

0:13:55.1 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Just amazing, right. And you know, and I always keep my Stairwell Chronicles positive, so if anybody's listening or is like, Oh my gosh, this probably this angry vignette and it’s not... It's always very positive. It's very short, it's only 60 seconds. So you know, I'm not there on a soapbox, I take 60 seconds to answer this question and close it out, and the point is really for people to take just one leaf, not to drive you towards getting a vaccine, but just to take one leaf of information place that leaf on a branch, and keep coming back and listening to me talking these one-minute segments and you kind of flesh out this branch and eventually you have a tree and that’s sort of a tree of knowledge that hopefully can sustain you through all of the disinformation so it's a process, and I think people, I have gotten so many comments where people followed me over time and then said, you know, I finally got the vaccine today, I've been following you for three or four months, and today I did it, and so that's really it. Not hitting you over the head with a hammer, but giving you pearls and pieces of information of science, demystifying science.

0:15:05.2 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Just that everybody can understand what it is that we're talking about.

0:15:10.0 TIM DOUGHERTY: It's so interesting because I think that the thing that I've learned as a non-scientist, the thing that I've learned from the pandemic was that with all the faults, CDC, et cetera, that everyone in that system, regardless of mistakes, did their best, and the way that that is separated from the disinformation that's out there and the vitriol and just... it's just amazing.

0:15:50.3 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: You know, I think by and large is true. Certainly, we had outliers and it was so unfortunate to see people with physician credentials using them for ill will, and I hated to see that, but by and large, unfortunately, those voices generally had a big platform for whatever reason, including in the government, but... You're right, the understanding of the medical and scientific community as a whole, those outliers, not withstanding was absolutely in concert, and we understood the importance of this, and we were the ones on the front lines, and we were also the ones accepting the risk of... The consequences of your inaction became our risk...

0:16:39.6 TIM DOUGHERTY: Right.... And understanding that for example, Dr. Fauci must have felt like a president sending troops into war, but in terms of just its effect on the medical community and that sort of thing, and the responsibility, the happy burden of that on him has to be understood, empathetically, by the people that he was trying to help, which is all of us.

0:17:20.0 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Absolutely, and it was... At times, a thankless job. At times, a hostile environment. He's certainly... I mean, it was no secret, he came on he was receiving death threats his families receiving death threats just untenable, that this is the atmosphere in which a top notch scientist like Dr. Fauci and I would consider myself way further down on the notch, and a lower level scientist like myself are working in these types of environments, and certainly he was the face of it, and that vitriol was undeservingly directed at someone whose job is to protect the health of the public.

0:18:06.5 TIM DOUGHERTY: Right, right. Jane, can we talk for a few minutes about a couple of topics that I think are captivating everyone's attention now, artificial intelligence, genetics, and then how they fit together in terms of health equity, one of the ways that I think AI has an opportunity to affect so many lives is in the area of cardiology. We're all familiar now with the feature on the Apple watch that can identify irregular heart rhythms, but now I'm reading about efforts at Mayo to use AI to sift through mounds of ECG data and try and identify those with the greatest proclivity to heart disease. And a group of companies, including Illumina and [unintelligible] among them, kinda just came together to form a group espousing the benefits of genetic testing for a sudden cardiac arrest, which affects 100000 people a year in America. So one of the designations you have as the director of the Covid Task Force is health equity, and as a cost and the opportunity for health benefits collide here, how do we pay for it, and how do we make all that equitable?

0:19:42.1 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: And so I think one of the things that's incredibly important about what you just said is there are large parts of medicine that are moving directly to the consumer... In the consumer's hands, right, you can monitor your own heart rate, you can monitor your own rhythm, you can determine when you need to go to the doctor, when you need to alert them, and so I think that's incredibly important and that whole area of wearables, if you will, will continue, continue to grow as we continue to try to make certain that people have the absolute best information that they possibly can at the time to make those decision, you know... Artificial intelligence is here to stay in some ways, we've had it for a long time, we're now naming it, or a few years ago we named it, but this allows us... This is very much like research, it allows us to collate and get large groups of data and then draw conclusions about the data that can help society, we've always been doing that. We are now applying it in a clinical way, and I think that that's going to be very helpful... Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women.

0:20:59.0 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: It is not breast cancer for women, it is heart disease, and so I think these are all going to be important, and when you talk about health equity, I mean such a big ocean to boil... Where do we start there? So if we just wanna talk about artificial intelligence with regard to health equity, many opportunities to identify where we can start to put those pieces together, including at your doctor's visit with your doctor, identifying patients, beginning to ask questions, social history questions. Because we understand now that your health outside of the hospital is what's driving your illness inside of the hospital, and so we've got to be able to connect those two together.

0:21:45.6 TIM DOUGHERTY: One of the subjects that you've been talking about recently has been... And this, again, I guess, goes back to health equity or clinical trials. I saw a study that came out of Tulane and was published in The Oncologist recently, and it was the first time that a prostate cancer trial had been run and included and focused on black males, in spite of the fact that a black male with the same low level of prostate cancer disease has a significantly higher chance of dying from a disease, than a white male, that study pointed out that of 72 global trials for prostate cancer, 810 of 84000 participants, 96% of a global trial were white males. How does that happen?

0:22:58.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: And that's such an excellent point, and obviously, you're right at the heart of the fire inside of me that drives me... One of my passions is increasing the awareness of the dearth of Minority Recruitment into trials, and one it's important, and you just hit the hammer on that, you hit the nail on the head. Prostate cancer is a great example, this is a cancer that disproportionately impacts black males, and yet the therapeutics that we develop to treat prostate cancer don't have the participants by and large, who will mostly be the benefactors of it in the trial. And so the first time people are receiving any of these therapeutics is when it's already been FDA-approved and it's out in your doctor's office or your hospital, that's the first time maybe you are aware of any side effects, so you needed it to be in the trial such that we can make sure these therapeutics that are developed or relevant not only to you, but are relevant to all populations. When I say not you, I'm saying, I'm not saying only black males should be in the trial because black males have the highest degree of prostate cancer, I'm saying they should be a part of the trial.

0:24:14.2 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: prostrate cancer impacts everybody throughout the world, and certainly what we wanna see with clinical trials now, we actually want to see a reflection of enrollment based on the prevalence of the disease in different groups, so you may see then different trials with different rates of enrollment of different types of people, and depending on how it has impacts those people... And so that is just a great example. I do a lot of work in this area, a service, an advisor for Moderna on this area, serve an advisor for Novartis, and it's really something that we dig into, I have a lot of passion for it, as you probably know... I am published in this area. So there is much work to be done here in the ground work, and I am hoping to continue to move in this direction as we at some point get to the other side of Covid and begin to really move more and more into health equity with the Piedmont Healthcare system.

0:25:14.7 TIM DOUGHERTY: So I noticed that you're doing a live version of Stairwell Chronicles soon focused on clinical trials, and unfortunately, this podcast won't air before that live episode, but my guess is that there will be a tape version available somewhere, maybe you can tell us how to access

0:25:37.7 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: That, so a couple of things. My next live one will be March 28th, and it will be focused on the secrets of clinical trials. That's what I'm going to talk about for 30 minutes. I do them every month. My next one will be April 25th, part two, and it's also going to be on clinical trials focused on minority recruitment and the importance of that in clinical trials, so I'll be doing two Stairwell Chronicle lives. It's the last Monday of every month, 7 o'clock PM. You can follow me on Instagram or Twitter at Dr. Jane Morgan, J-A-Y-N-E doctor, just Dr. Dr. Jane Morgan Instagram or Twitter, and you can always find any link to register for any of these 30-minute segments. Eventually, what I'm going to do is put up a website where all of these 30-minute segments will be housed, and you can access them on demand. Currently, my general Stairwell Chronicles, you can find them anywhere, any of my social media, go on there, follow me, access whichever one you'd like, and listen to me talk for 60 seconds, you'll see what the question is, and you can decide if you wanna hear the answer and move on to the next, I've probably done over 100 of them by now.

0:26:54.0 TIM DOUGHERTY: You're also the president of the southeast Life Sciences Association.

0:26:59.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: I am the former president, we just changed over, we have a new President, so I was the very first co-president, so we just formed this organization, and I shared the presidency, and so we were the very first presidents of this organization, Southeast Life Sciences, so now we've moved to our second president.

0:27:19.8 TIM DOUGHERTY: So you and I are here in Atlanta, and we probably have a little better feel for the vibrancy of the healthcare field here in the South, than the average person thinks about Boston over San Francisco and San Diego, that sort of thing. But what about what's happening here in the Southeast, what do you think are the most exciting development in this region?

0:27:45.7 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Oh my goodness, I think the Chamber of Commerce is just doing a great job attracting all types of technology businesses and sectors to this area, and we're really leveraging all of the colleges and universities and all this talent that we have, not only... our colleges and universities here, we've got six HBCU schools, historically black colleges and universities with all this technology, and I will tell you I am a product of one, I'm a graduate of Spelman College, and it's our HBCU’s that have produced more than 80% of all the Black Scientists and physicians in the United States of America have all come out of HBCUs imagine that... Out of all of the HBCU schools in the entire country, 80% of every black physician or scientists went to an HBCU. Wow, so you think about that, including myself, and so these colleges are incredibly important, there's so much talent there, if I'm an example then please let me be an example, I'm a product of an HBCU, and so as we track these kinds of businesses here, since we can reach all this talent that we have here with all these universities, all this brain trust, I'm super excited as I see all of this technology development occur, all of these businesses setting up here, large businesses setting up ancillary services here, like Microsoft, Google are all moving offices here.

0:29:28.8 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: We've got to understand that's because we have the population that can support this type of technology, in this type of dynamic.

0:29:41.2 TIM DOUGHERTY: So as Covid wanes and you're taking the Stairwell Chronicles in this new direction what's next for Jane Morgan?

0:29:52.6 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: And so, you know, I am working with Piedmont to see where we want to start in our foray in the health equity space in our social responsibility space, and what does that look like? And I'm sure it's no secret that many of the other hospitals here in the area have chief health equity officers, so we are in the process of looking at that, of re-stabilizing in this lull, and I'm reticent to say that we are post-covid as... I see the numbers upticking in Europe, as I see our…samples increasing, so let's just say we're in this lull where we're able to kind of reset and regroup, and I will say to your audience, I don't know when this is being aired, this is the time to get vaccinated, if you haven't been vaccinated, get your booster, if you haven't gotten your booster make sure you have in 95 masks stock up on them, this is the time to stock up on your covid test, if you don't have them take advantage of this time to kinda take a deep breath and reset because we may not yet be out of this, in fact, I'm pretty confident that we're not...

0:31:02.3 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: We may not see the brutality of the previous surges, but we certainly have a very still high death rate, if you were to think about it, we are being fairly cavalier, but we still have a thousand people a day dying from Covid, and we are just numb to it, it's mind-boggling that 1000 people die a day from Covid. And we have people saying, I'm done with it, I'm not interested, well, Covid might not be done with you. So I want you to take this period of time and shore up, your defense is time to get vaccinated, time to get your maps, make sure you have a supply of test kits and prepare for the next thing. you know, those who don't learn from history are destined to repeat it.

0:32:19.4 TIM DOUGHERTY: That's really good advice, Jayne. In fact, I know that I'm approaching my 65th birthday, , July the 10th, and somewhere around July 11, I will get another shot. So I don't know that I'm looking forward to it. But it will happen. Right. So it's great advice. I'd like to thank you for being our guest here today.

0:32:25.4 DR. JAYNE MORGAN: Thank you for inviting me Tim... I'm thrilled, I appreciate this, thank you so much.

0:32:30.0 TIM DOUGHERTY: I wish you all the best on your trip to Switzerland. Thanks for tuning in to the life sciences and biotech podcast. We'll see you in the next episode.

About the Life Science and Biotech CEO Stories podcast

In the Life Science and Biotech CEO Stories podcast we’ll hear life science and biotech CEOs tell their stories about their experiences launching and growing a biotech firm. Be ready for motivating stories of grit and determination, along with practical tips, strategies, and guidance from some of the leading minds in the field. Hosted by investment advisor Tim Dougherty, episodes will be available on the third Wednesday of the month over Spotify.

About Tim Dougherty

Tim is an investment advisor representative in Atlanta, GA and the host of the Life Science and Biotech CEO stories podcast. He has been an active investor in the life sciences since the mid-1990’s. His interest originated with research coverage of a private equity investment of Cambridge, MA based Ariad Pharmaceuticals (acquired in 2017 by Takeda for $5.2 billion), while working at a small family office/hedge fund, during that period.

His enthusiasm grew in the years since the financial crisis, as easy monetary policy provided ample liquidity to fund biotechnology research at exactly the time when digital advances would accelerate the pace and efficacy of that research.

Tim resides in Atlanta, with his eight year old grandson, Oliver, where he also manages Asymmetric Capital Advisory. Tim earned a BA in Economics and History from Williams College and a Masters in Accounting from NYU Stern School of Business.

About Dr. Jayne Morgan

Jayne Morgan, M.D. is a Cardiologist and the Executive Director of the Covid Task Force at the Piedmont Healthcare Corporation in Atlanta, GA, the largest healthcare system in Georgia. Within this role she serves as the system Covid vaccine expert, analyzing the science and data from Piedmont and nationally, drives efforts at addressing vaccine hesitancy via education to internal staff, external stakeholders, media, and the greater external community. Dr. Morgan has been named to the Health Equity and Covid Task Force for the Governor of the state of Georgia and selected to support the Department of Health in its series of “Ask The Experts”. Additionally she serves as a CNN medical expert contributor and is the owner and creator of The Stairwell Chronicles - a social media series directed towards addressing questions surrounding Covid vaccines in a conversational format.

Previously, Dr. Morgan was the System Director of Innovation at Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. where she created the Piedmont Accelerator and secured the first ever licensing of a medical device developed entirely internally. This has allowed Piedmont to receive its first ever royalties. Further, she provided support to a second medical and biotech invention receiving a $23,000,000 outside investment.

Prior to this role, Dr. Morgan served as the System Director of Research and Innovation, also at Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. where she set the strategic growth of the Piedmont Research Institute and introduced the importance of increasing enrollment of minorities into clinical trials as a strategic initiative for the system.

Initially, Dr. Morgan came to Piedmont as the Director of Cardiovascular Research where she expanded research to other satellite hospital facilities and created the Feasibility Program. Both have been huge successes and have propelled Piedmont Healthcare, Inc. to #1 status worldwide in the tricuspid space and #1 nationally within the mitral space of transcatheter valve technologies. Further these efforts, as well as the focus on other strategic growth initiatives, realized steadily increasing revenue earnings that converted the Cardiovascular Research department from a cost center to a profit center.

Dr. Morgan is published in the areas of Congenital Heart Disease, Interventional Cardiology, and Covid19. Moreover, Dr. Morgan has served as the Chief Medical Officer of the American Chemistry Council (where she developed a new translational research program), CEO of Forty Million Beats, LLC - with clients such as Novartis, Abbott, and Moderna – the Cardiology advisor to the MitraClip Team at Abbott Labs, the World Wide Director of the Cardiorenal Drug Development program at Solvay Pharmaceuticals, and the Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Morgan currently serves as the President of the Southeast Life Sciences Association (single largest biotech association in the Southeast), an adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at The Morehouse School of Medicine, Co-Chair of the Health and Human Services Conference 2022, Board Member of the National Diversity and Inclusion team at the American Heart Association.


The information contained in this website and podcast are purely informational and not considered investment recommendations. Tim Dougherty’s participation in Biotech Insights is separate and apart from his role as an investment advisor representative. Nothing contained herein may be construed as a recommendation or endorsement of any of the companies discussed. Tim Dougherty has no financial affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this communication. Tim Dougherty makes no representation that the information conveyed in this material is accurate and is under no obligation to update this information as changes occur.

Podcast transcript is altered and may not reflect original recording

Music is Positive Fuse by French Fuse


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