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National Webinar: Managing Stress and Promoting Well-Being in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recorded April 23, 2020

Managing stress is vital for people with autoimmune disease to maintain good health. This is especially important during the current health crisis, which threatens contagion, serious illness, and disruption of access to medicines, treatment and daily life. The Managing Stress and Promoting Well-Being in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic webinar is designed for those living with autoimmune disease to hear from experts that can help autoimmune patients and others manage their stress during this pandemic. 

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Featured Speakers

Robert Phillips, Ph. D.

Director of The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping, Hicksville, NY

Member, AARDA National Board of Directors

With Dr. Phillips as Founder and Director The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping recently celebrated its 35th anniversary and specializes in working with individuals and families who are looking to improve their ability to cope with medical illnesses, stress, family concerns, and other life problems. Dr. Phillips is a licensed psychologist who has been in private practice since 1975 and who has published and spoken widely on coping with physical ailments and other psychological topics.  

Dr. Phillips currently serves on the national Board of Directors and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the AARDA and has served on the Board of Directors of the national Lupus Foundation of America and the Nassau County (NY) Chapter of the American Heart Association. He is on medical advisory boards of, and is the psychologist for, several additional major local and national organizations.  Dr. Phillips is also the author of more than 40 books, including, most recently, “Newly Diagnosed? Now What? 153 Strategies to Help You Take Action and Cope After Your Medical Diagnosis” (CopingPress, 2018).

To contact The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping, email: [email protected] 

Dr. Neilanjan Nandi, MD, FACP

Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Penn Presbyterian Medical Center 

University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Nandi is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Nandi received his medical degree from Northwestern University and completed his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Miami with focus in the management of Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and refractory Clostridium difficile infection via Intestinal Microbiota Transplantation (IMT). 

Dr. Nandi’s fervor for clinical education has been recognized with several teaching awards. Dr. Nandi was honored as the 2019 Physician Hero by the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation at their annual Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis event for his work in wielding social media-based platforms to amplify outreach and advocacy in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 

Keep up with Dr. Nandi: @fitwitmd

Anna Legassie

Patient advocate and healthcare strategy and development professional

Anna Legassie is a patient advocate and healthcare strategy and development professional living and working in Boston. Diagnosed with systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) at age 11, Anna uses her expertise as a patient to consult with healthcare start-ups, pharmaceutical companies, and other healthcare organizations collaborating to incorporate the patient voice into healthcare design, technology, and policy reform. 

Currently Anna is on the Massachusetts Leadership Board of the Arthritis Foundation and also serves on the Foundation’s National Advocacy Committee. She is a member of the Tufts Medical Canter Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and is on the patient advisory board of Clara Health. 

You can follow Anna on Twitter and LinkedIn 



Lilly Stairs

Founder & Principal, Patient Authentic LLC

Lilly Stairs is recognized as a leading voice in the rapidly growing patient engagement field, having built award winning patient ambassador programs and powerful awareness campaigns that united patients and industry. She has served as an advocate for over a decade, transitioning into patient advocacy after she was diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases.

Lilly is the Founder & Principal at Patient Authentic where she helps healthcare companies authentically engage with patients and build movements to drive brand awareness and product adoption. Prior to founding Patient Authentic, Lilly served as the Head of Client Relations at  Savvy Cooperative and lead Patient Advocacy at Clara Health where she conceived and executed patient engagement strategy and ensured the patient voice remained firmly at the center of the company. She has served in communications and advocacy roles across industry from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to MassBio.

Lilly regularly shares her experience and expertise via speaking engagements from conferences to Capitol Hill and also serves as a Board Member for the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA). She is a Lead Patient Advisor for Clara Health, ZappRx, and Janssen.

Follow Lilly at


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