Dawn Halkuff is chief commercial officer of Therapeutics MD.

What would you do if you didn’t work in healthcare?

I’m not sure I will ever be fully out of healthcare. I’ve spent the majority of my career in healthcare across wellness and pharmaceuticals, but always with a focus on helping women live healthier lives. I love being associated with making women’s lives better in both big and small ways and have found that working in healthcare lets me do that. While some people define healthcare as just interventions, I can see it in a company that combines wellness and treatment options, as both are important for a healthy mind, body and spirit.

Last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment?

When I found out a friend was in remission from cancer. It was such a rush and reminded me how grateful we should be for the wonderful people in our lives.

When was the last time you endured an “agony of defeat”?

I won’t admit to “agony of defeat.” Defeat is not in my DNA. But I have definitely encountered challenges that have led to growth. After working for a very large multinational company, I moved to smaller company environment two and a half years ago. The change in structure and culture has challenged me tremendously, but it has also been such an amazing growth experience. The challenges I’ve taken on in this very different environment have reminded me to stay focused on my strengths so I can stretch into new experiences and approaches to helping the team achieve.

How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?

I take time out all the time. My company is headquartered in Florida. This has allowed me to be in an environment where I can be at the beach daily. It allows for daily recharge. I highly recommend it.

What do you find frustrating about working in healthcare marketing?

Healthcare has become unnecessarily convoluted for patients and prescribers when it should be straightforward enough to support good decisions for better care. I hope we call all work together to create change for a more easily navigable healthcare system for consumers and health providers alike. 

To ensure pay parity and career advancement for women, I will…

Continue to coach, mentor and sponsor women for new opportunities. It has been one of the great privileges of my career.

What are your words to live by?

Leverage your strengths and don’t be humble about them. It will take you far. 

What is one thing you would tell young women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Keep your customer and what they need top of mind always. Doing so will help you make good decisions. The rest will come if that is your center. 

Favorite drink?

Piña colada, on a beach.