2 Minutes With … Laura Mizrahi, CCO of H4B Chelsea

On how AI is creating innovative solutions to close gaps in healthcare

With 30 years experience in advertising, Laura Mizrahi is currently chief creative officer at H4B Chelsea, a flagship agency of the Havas Health & You network. Prior to HH&Y, Laura was EVP, ECD at FCB Health, New York, and she previously led the N.Y. creative department at Razorfish Health. She began her career as a copywriter in consumer advertising.

We spent two minutes with Laura to learn more about her background, her creative inspirations and recent work she's admired.

Laura, tell us …

Where you grew up, and where you live now.

I grew up in Spring Valley, NY, which is in Rockland County. I've lived in my Manhattan apartment for 25 years, longer than I spent in my childhood home. So you could say I grew up here, too.

How you first got interested in health.

My family is full of physicians. My father was a pioneer in the field of medical genetics, my sister and her husband are doctors, and my nephew graduated medical school last year. So, healthcare is literally in my blood. Nevertheless, my writing skills landed me in consumer advertising right after college. After I had my second daughter, I took a hiatus for a few years to be a full-time mom. I dipped my toe back into the business with a freelance job on a healthcare brand and I was hooked. It sounds corny, but I knew I had found my calling.

One of your favorite projects you've ever worked on.

In 2017, I was tapped to work on an initiative for U.N. Women to bring awareness to the 23 percent global gender pay gap. We saw the gap as nothing short of robbery, so we named the campaign #stoptherobbery. We filmed a social experiment which drove users to a website where they could opt-in to be "robbed" of 23 percent of their Twitter posts to bring awareness to this pay gap. It was a thrill to see the campaign launched at the U.N. General Assembly and to see it receive industry recognition as well as engagement from all over the world.

A recent project you're proud of.

I participated in a panel at Cannes on the evolving landscape of menopause. I'm extremely proud to lend my voice to this conversation in service of advancing healthcare quality, equity and access for all women. I look forward to doing even more important work around this topic.

One thing about how health is evolving that you're excited about. 

There's been a lot of debate about AI and emerging technology and whether they will replace the human element in healthcare and health communications. For me, it's exciting to think about how personalized approaches and innovative solutions can close some of the significant healthcare gaps that exist today. 

Someone else's work, in health or beyond, that you admired lately.

Apple’s "The Greatest." It is just that. Everything—the craft, the music and especially the message—is perfection. Accessibility is essential for creating a more inclusive society. I have a daughter with a disability, so this is an issue that is near and dear to my heart.

A book, movie, TV show, or podcast you recently found inspiring.

This is tough but I'm going to go out on a limb and say Ted Lasso. Its (and Ted's) unrelenting optimism was something I didn't even know I needed. Perhaps because it was the perfect counterpoint to my usual lineup of true-crime shows. The character development was brilliant, and the finale was a fine example of staying true to a premise right through to the end. 

A visual artist or band/musician you admire.

I'm going to take liberty here and say my daughter, Sabrina. Her poetry is some of the most searingly beautiful writing I've ever read.

Your favorite fictional character.

I love complex characters, especially the ones you love to hate. For this reason, Saul Berenson from Better Call Saul is a favorite, for sure.

Someone worth following on social media.

I love Bobby Parish, his daughter Rose and his wife Dessi from @FlavCity. They share a mix of ideas for healthy living, design inspiration and parenting tips and are just generally delightful. Another Instagram account I love is @jakeandshelbyofficial, a young musical duo.

Your main strength as a marketer/creative

I like to think of myself as forever a student. I'm open to learning in all its forms, and this leads to great moments of discovery, some of them self-discovery, which never get old. This means I'm not afraid to admit if there's something I don't know and I live by the belief that everyone I encounter has something to teach me.

Your biggest weakness.

I think this is true of a lot of creative people: I am my own worst critic. I'm harder on myself than anyone else, but I try to remember to give myself some grace and that even mistakes are lessons. 

One thing that always makes you happy.

Two things: My spectacular daughters!

One thing that always makes you sad.

Intolerance. I know first hand how damaging it can be and I've shed many tears over it.

Something people would find surprising about you.

I'm ambidextrous. It's a pretty useless skill at this point in my life, but I like to think it keeps me balanced.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in health.

I've always been a writer at heart. I tend to record my experiences, especially the ones that have shifted my perspective in some way. I've written short stories, poems, essays, blogs, a short film, a sitcom pilot and the occasional love letter. I consider myself lucky that my work in health has allowed me to keep those muscles toned. But if that wasn't an option, rest assured I'd be writing something.

2 Minutes With is our regular interview series where we chat with creatives about their backgrounds, creative inspirations, work they admire and more. For more about 2 Minutes With, or to be considered for the series, please get in touch.

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