Leadership

Andrea G. Seiden Charles N. Aswad  David Okun  Beth Heslowitz  Ellen Wasserman Efy Leonardi

Andrea G. Seiden, MS: Founder and Managing Director
In 2006, Andrea founded JumpStart, a woman-owned small business, to create and deliver effective educational and communication programs to accelerate awareness and understanding of relevant scientific discoveries for healthcare professionals. Andrea’s keen strategic thinking is based on years of leadership in needs-based medical education activities addressing a wide variety of clinical topics.  Andrea’s commitment to knowledge transfer education programs that inform healthcare professionals’ decision making reflects JumpStart’s goal of improving patient care and shared communication. As Managing Director, Andrea conceptualizes and supervises the development of comprehensive print, electronic, and tele/web educational programs for multi-disciplinary audiences (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals). Andrea fosters relationships with Subject Matter Experts, medical associations, and many other healthcare professional organizations to ensure that JumpStart’s programs are evidence-informed and based on thorough Formative Research. 

Andrea is an avid runner and has participated in several marathons and races in the NY area.  Andrea recently led a grass roots capital campaign for a large non-profit organization in Westchester County, New York, and regularly volunteers her time to several local community groups.  Andrea is working on her second masters degree, in Public Health, at New York University.

Charles N. Aswad: MD Medical Director
Dr. Aswad is the Emeritus Executive Vice President and CEO of the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY).  He served as President of the MSSNY, speaker of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and chairman of the American Medical Association’s Task Force on the Medical Workforce, and he was a member of the American Medical Association’s Council on Long Range Planning and Development.

Dr. Aswad has been a consultant and advisor for physicians and dentists and for major corporations. He developed the Smoking Cessation Program for MSSNY which included training programs for physicians and patients. He consults in areas such as clinical-trials planning; healthcare communications regarding AIDS, hepatitis C, influenza, diabetes, cancer, childhood and adult obesity; and physician involvement in anti-terrorism efforts.  In addition, he developed a post 9/11 program for treating diseases caused by biological warfare agents.  He collaborated with multiple health agencies in federal and state government agencies, as well as NGOs, such as the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and others, in developing communication programs. Dr. Aswad was Chairman of the New York State Continuing Medical Education affiliate of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, which certified most CME programs in New York State.

David Okun, MBA, PMP: Chief Operating Officer                                                                      BACK TO TOP
David has extensive experience leading large-scale programs and projects to drive organizational productivity and performance across diverse industries. He has demonstrated experience in relationship management, engaging key stakeholders on all aspects of program design through to implementation. David has proven expertise at allocating resources to deliver projects within established budgets and timelines. He is a dynamic leader, skilled at building and motivating high-performance teams forward to excellence. Prior to joining JumpStart, David spent over 10 years at JPMorgan Chase, working across a range of business units, including the Investment Bank and Global Technology Operations.

David is a cyclist who participates in local and national charity rides.  David also puts his organizational expertise to work for a large non-profit organization in Westchester, and is an active volunteer for his daughter’s traveling soccer team.

Beth Heslowitz, MPA:  Director of Business Development
Beth spearheads business development efforts at JumpStart.  She identifies and develops relationships with new business partners, professional associations, and healthcare organizations.  Beth works closely with Subject Matter Experts (e.g. healthcare professionals, public health experts) to understand specific needs in healthcare education and to shape programs that address those needs.  Beth has developed and implemented numerous educational programs for healthcare professionals in a variety of therapeutic areas and is skilled in translating complex scientific medical concepts into evidence-based programs. In addition to her work in healthcare communications, Beth has led the grant writing efforts for organizations in Westchester County, New York, uncovering opportunities and identifying funding partners including New York State government and national foundations.

Beth is a dedicated United Way volunteer focusing on improving educational opportunities for inner-city youth. In her spare time, Beth is a film buff and enjoys attending international film festivals.

Ellen Wasserman: Account Director
Ellen Wasserman is a seasoned executive with many years of experience in healthcare communications. Ellen oversees all program activities, including scientific, educational, and creative services. Ellen’s experience includes evaluating educational and informational needs of healthcare professional audiences; developing and implementing communication plans to meet these needs; and disseminating scientific information through a variety of channels, including online peer-to-peer programs, newsletter series, monthly social media postings and other interactive educational formats. Ellen has developed interactive training programs and accompanying materials regarding healthcare compliance, and she teaches college-level communications classes.  She supervises teams responsible for implementing communication programs, including project staff, scientific writers, editorial staff, and graphic designers.

Ellen is a volunteer tutor in the Writing Center at Westchester Community College and works with students with disabilities to facilitate testing accommodations.  Ellen skippers for her husband on his amateur auto racing jaunts and enjoys watching historic car races and touring historic homes.

Efy Leonardi, PhD:  Scientific Writer                                                                                                  BACK TO TOP
Dr. Leonardi has a broad range of therapeutic and tactical experience. She has provided a knowledge base for all types of live, print, and digital communications.  Some of Dr. Leonardi’s specialty areas include neurology, acute and chronic pain, oncology, type 2 diabetes, obesity, endocrinology, urology, women’s health, infectious disease, autoimmune diseases, ophthalmology, cardiovascular medicine, organ transplantation, and hematology.

Kate Friedman, MBA: Chief Financial Officer
As JumpStart’s Chief Financial Officer, Kate maintains fiscal accountability for all client programs, handles all Accounts Receivables and Account Payables, and negotiates corporate contracts and certifications. Prior to joining JumpStart, Kate worked at Smith Barney and Drexel Burnham Lambert. Kate graduated from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business with a concentration in finance.