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Chronic pain clinic takes “bold” approach to diversity and inclusion

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Cellen has been helping patients gain access to cannabis-based medicines throughout the pandemic
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Digital chronic pain clinic Cellen has been praised for its “bold” and “proactive” approach to tackling diversity in a niche sector.

Digital clinic Cellen, which provides solutions for patients living with chronic pain, has been listed as a ‘highly commended’ finalist by Tech Nation for its diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The Tech Nation Rising Stars Diversity & Inclusion – Leading the Way Award 2021 recognises innovative diversity and inclusion initiatives in early stage scaleups.

Cellen came ‘highly commended’ for its efforts tackling female representation in the sector, with a team of leading clinicians at its Leva Clinic who help patients find effective solutions and treatment for chronic pain, including cannabis based medicines.

The judges said: “Cellen were chosen for taking a bold and proactive approach in a niche sector which suffers from a severe lack of senior female representation”.

Cellen works with a range of people living with pain and disabilities on the production of its products, with clinical associate Sarrah Marten recruiting patients to provide feedback on its clinical services.

Meanwhile the Leva Clinic has recruited a number of women in senior roles, including Jane Shaw, Angela Stark, Dr Anna Ferguson, Clair Jacobs, Claire Campbell, Alice Morgan and researchers Jackie Walumbe and Sabeera Dar.

Throughout the pandemic, the team at Cellen has been working to address barriers to access for patients that require prescription cannabinoid-based medicines.

The MedCanHub platform was developed to increase the proficiency and confidence of doctors to prescribe, with the aim of making UK unlicensed cannabis based medical products prescriptions as transparent and accessible as possible.

Earlier this year it was showcased in the COVID-19 category at Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Medicine 2021, international conference on 7 – 8 January, 2021.

Social media influencer Ali Hemsley, who is patient inclusion advisor at Cellen said: “It has been such a pleasure to work with Cellen to amplify the voices of patients from a diverse range of backgrounds, ages and conditions.

“As someone living with disabilities it has been really fulfilling to work with a company that is dedicated to their mission,”

Cellen’s head of market development, Dr Mala Mawkin, who was previously listed in Forbes’ 30 under 30 and Vogue’s female rising stars, also helped organise the Women in Medical Cannabis Leadership group, alongside Sophie Thompson of Aurora Healthcare Communications.

The networking group of females working in the research industry in cannabis-based medicines, encourages collaboration and inclusion in the sector.

“This is an achievement that means such a great deal to us at Cellen,” said Dr Mawkin.

“Women in STEM and Women in Leadership initiatives are so important to me, and being able to work at a company where the founders actively encourage this makes me proud to be there.

“The chronic pain sector and research efforts in cannabis-based medicines lacks diverse representation at leadership levels. I hope that, collaboratively, we can move things forward.”

In its announcement, Tech Nations said: “We all know that diversity builds strong and innovative companies, and embedding D&I in company culture can be done – even at an early growth stage.

“This award showcases leadership in this area.”

Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister titles, Cannabis Wealth and Psychedelic Health.Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained.She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa.Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email sarah@handwmedia.co.uk / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag

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