“Ovarian cancer is known as the disease that whispers, but it is NOT whispering. It IS SPEAKING to us, we just are not listening. And it’s time that we did.”
Kaile Zagger, an accomplished executive with expertise in commercial architecture, growth, transformation, profit and loss management and marketing for start-up and growth organizations, has long been involved in the transformation of healthcare. Her prime focus—women’s healthcare. Hailed by her peers as a warrior for women, she has been integral in the transformation of the prevention and diagnosis paradigm for ovarian cancer, one of the most lethal of cancers.
Spurred by her personal connection to this disease—her mother was diagnosed with late-stage disease at age 40 and sadly passed away only 6 years later—she has channelled her leadership expertise towards the mitigation of this devastating disease through her position as COO of Aspira Women’s Healthcare, Inc. As she emphasizes, “It’s time to bring significant efforts and energy to solving for this devastating disease, Aspira Women’s Health is the company to do just that.”
Kaile’s Six Sigma Black Belt coupled with deep training in lean methodology and change management and, strong 20+ year track record of transformative leadership has propelled her to strategically guide companies and business divisions through challenging times and drive them towards success. As a genuinely transformative leader, Kaile’s fundamental belief is that to transform a company, it’s imperative to hire people much stronger than the leader and then empower them for demonstrable success. At Aspira, she has done exactly this, as evidenced by her hire of eight senior leaders and her parallel lead of a transformative company restructure that has doubled its size. Aspira is now well-positioned to excel in operations, product delivery, and market penetration. “Hire people who are capable of more than they think they can do. Stretch them, test them, and help them be their best self. You will watch an evolutionary process of positive leadership unfold. Give them the path, the wings, and the energy they need to bring matters to the next level. Put a team of people together who are capable and inspired—that’s where magic is created,” advises Kaile.
Kaile’s teams and her peers have applauded her steadfast leadership marked by a willingness to be elastic and dynamic in organizational design approach. Together with her dynamic desire to stretch the normal limits and create a deployment model that is unique and creative has allowed her teams to successfully realize their full potential. She strongly believes in building a strategic plan that abandons the principles that have weighed growth down and then deploy innovative strategies that streamline processes, increase investment with a profound return, and propels the company to significant long-term lasting success.
“Transformation requires a willingness to be courageous, to make the decisions that require the organization to become elastic and dynamic and to inspire the team to levels of brilliance that it has never reached before. To do that, you must choose employees who are stronger than you, walk beside them, and give them wings to fly. Loyalty, trust, insight, speed, guts, and vision are the keys to a successful transformation,” she emphasizes.
“Women worldwide have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic—1 in 4 are considering leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers. Most especially affected are minority women and women in senior management. I believe that companies must revamp ‘business as usual in order to achieve gender parity in education, family planning, women’s health, and digital and financial inclusion. If we don’t, we risk a gender regression scenario that could impact GDP by almost one trillion dollars by 2030,” declares Kaile. “Now more than ever, women and girls need effective role models—and women in leadership positions can offer uniquely important mentorship. And that is truly transforming,” she concludes.
Just as companies can significantly benefit from transformational leadership, both Kaile and Aspira strongly believe that women’s healthcare can as well. Aspira is dedicated to discovering, developing, and utilizing novel high value diagnostic and bioanalytical solutions that help physicians diagnose, treat, and improve gynecologic health outcomes for women. The company is helping transform women’s health with the discovery, development, and utilization of innovative testing options and bioanalytical solutions that help physicians assess risk, optimize patient management and improve gynecologic health outcomes, especially in ovarian cancer.
Unfortunately, the first symptoms of this malignancy are usually dismissed, both by women and their healthcare providers, thus earning it the nickname of “the cancer that whispers.” The devastating result is that when it finally is detected, it has progressed to stage III or IV disease when five-year survival rates can be as low as 30%. “The average ovarian cancer patient sees 6 doctors over almost 2 years in efforts to identify the cause of the subtle symptoms of ovarian cancer. Most women—and their doctors—are unaware that the BRCA mutation increases ovarian cancer risk by at least a third or that this malignancy is more difficult to detect in non-caucasian women or that Ashkenazi Jewish women are at increased risk.”
Aspira’s transformative research seeks to radically change this dismal situation. “We at Aspira are fiercely committed to solving the problem of early detection of ovarian cancer. Aspira has developed a complete portfolio of solutions that can identify malignancies in all pelvic masses. Transformational leadership can lead to transformational results. This is especially important in women’s healthcare, and incredibly so in the realm of ovarian cancer,” notes Kaile.