Women's Health Luncheon

Women's Health Luncheon

Women's Health Luncheon

Women’s Health Luncheon Presenters


Paula A. Johnson, MD, MPHPaula A. Johnson, MD, MPH, is the executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, chief of the Division of Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the Grayce A. Young Family Professor of Medicine in the Field of Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School, and professor of epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She is recognized internationally as an innovator, and brings a broad range of experience as a physician, researcher, and expert in public health and health policy to bear in the effort to transform the health of women.

Johnson founded the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology. Her vision for achieving sustainable improvement in women’s health is reflected in the Connors Center’s unique interdisciplinary approach to all aspects of health through the lifespan. This model encompasses discovering how disease is expressed differently in women and men, integrating leading-edge research about women’s health into the delivery of care, influencing health policy, addressing the health of women globally, and training the next generation of leaders in the field of women’s health.

Johnson was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, formerly the Institute of Medicine, the nation’s leading advisory organization providing expertise on issues relating to biomedical science, medicine and health.  Johnson is also featured as a national leader in medicine by the National Library of Medicine and is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing her contributions in women’s health and public health. Her 2013 TED talk, “His and Her Healthcare,” has had over a million viewers and has helped to raise awareness of the importance of sex differences to understanding women’s health. Johnson serves as commissioner and chair of the board of the Boston Public Health Commission, one of the nation’s leading departments of public health. She currently serves on several national and international boards and committees.

Johnson attended Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, received her MD and MPH degrees from Harvard, and trained in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine at BWH. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband and two children.


Elizabeth Loder, MD, MPHElizabeth Loder, MD, MPH, is the chief of the Division of Headache in the Department of Neurology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Loder joined BWH in 2006 following service as the director of the inpatient pain management and outpatient headache management programs at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. A professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, she serves as acting head of research for The British Medical Journal and associate editor of the journals Headache and Cephalalgia.

Loder earned an AB in biology from Harvard College, a medical degree from the University of North Dakota Medical School, and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She trained in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and did a headache fellowship at the Graham Headache Center in Boston. She is board certified in internal medicine and is certified in headache medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties.

Loder is the immediate past president of the American Headache Society, has served on the board of directors of the International Headache Society, and was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education. She serves on the headache medicine examination writing committee for the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties and has served as a clinical investigator in numerous trials of medications for the treatment of migraine and other headache disorders. Loder has published many articles, chapters, and editorials in peer-reviewed publications and books relating to clinical aspects of headache and pain evaluation and treatment. She speaks regularly at regional, national, and international medical meetings on topics related to pain, headaches, and publication practices and ethics.


Kristin Chreiber, MD, PhDKristin Schreiber, MD, PhD, is a pain neuroscientist and practicing clinical anesthesiologist in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School. She is one of the founder members of the Women’s Pain research Group, which brings together collaborators in diverse specialties to support research of pain disorders that disproportionately impact women, as well as gender differences in pain processing. Both areas have historically been overlooked and underfunded.

As a neuroscientist, Schreiber spends approximately 80 percent of her time on clinical pain research. With funding from the National Institutes for Health and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at BWH, her research focuses on how surgical injury leads to the development of chronic pain in some patients, but not others, and on finding ways to predict who will suffer this outcome. In particular, she is studying women who are undergoing lumpectomy or mastectomy surgery for breast cancer, assessing them for differences in pain processing before surgery, and following them throughout their postoperative course to understand, and ultimately predict, who is at highest risk for chronic post-mastectomy/lumpectomy pain. She also studies patients with fibromyalgia and chronic back pain, investigating differences in central pain processing using sensory testing and neuroimaging, and assessing the impact of yoga-based exercise on their levels of pain, stress, and sleep disturbance. Schreiber’s goal with her research is to offer novel preventive therapies to individuals who really need them.

As a clinical anesthesiologist specializing in regional anesthesia and pain management, she has focused on studying, optimizing, and increasing the accessibility of pre-surgical nerve blocks to decrease the activation of pain systems during surgery, decrease the need for systemic anesthetics, and thus reduce pain and speed recovery.


Gary R. Strichartz, PhD, MDiv, FRSMGary R. Strichartz, PhD, MDiv, FRSMis director of the Pain Research Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and professor of anaesthesia and pharmacology at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He received a BS in physics from Antioch College, a PhD in biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. Strichartz established the Pain Research Center in the Department of Anesthesiology at BWH in 1995 with a goal of understanding the anatomical and physiological changes that underlay pain during injury and disease, and using that knowledge to develop therapeutic approaches to preventing or reversing pain. His efforts have been supported by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute for Health (NIH).

Strichartz has authored or co-authored more than 180 original scientific papers and written more than 50 book chapters and reviews. Along with lecturing in medical pharmacology at HMS and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he served as chair of the NIH Scientific Review Group on Pain for three years.

In 2013, Strichartz formed the Women’s Pain Group, now under the aegis of the Connors Center for Women’s Health. The group includes more than 20 clinicians and researchers from different disciplines at BWH who seek to better understand how women experience pain differently than men, and what therapeutic models will provide better pain treatment for women.

Stemming from his experience in a pain and palliative care team in 2005, Strichartz became aware of suffering as a deep emotional component of the pain experience. That awareness led him to return to graduate school, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree. He currently works as a chaplain intern at BWH.