As Ohio receives and begins to administer its first wave of vaccines to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, many of our region’s businesses (particularly small business employers) are looking for facts and information to help guide future decision-making that will directly impact their operations and workforce.  To help, COSE, the small business division of the Greater Cleveland Partnership has developed a webinar that will get you the facst and information you need to make informed decisions.  We will be joined by experts from the medical, legal, and corporate communities. 

  • Our medical expert Dr. Book Watts, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Community & Public Health at MetroHealth will share what employers can expect in terms of the timing of vaccine rollouts in the coming weeks or months, who is eligible for a vaccine today and once eligible, how one can request and receive a vaccine.

  • Our legal expert Richik Sarkar, Partner at Dinsmore & Shohl LLP will discuss if employers in Ohio can require workers to get a coronavirus vaccine as a condition of employment, if there are exceptions, and can or should employers persuade, incentivize, or mandate vaccinations.

  • Our representative from the corporate community Martha Lanning, Director - Health & Welfare Plans at The Sherwin-Williams Company will present what businesses are doing today to plan for the rollout of Ohio’s vaccines and how employers are handling questions about vaccines once they become more widely available. 

Each of our panelists will present information based on their area of expertise and we will then open the conversation up to allow them to address your questions and concerns. 


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Martha Lanning is Director, Health and Welfare Plans for The Sherwin-Williams Company. At Sherwin-Williams, Martha is responsible for the strategy development and leadership of global health, wellbeing, workers’ compensation, life and disability programs, with total annual program expenditures of over $450 million. 

Prior to joining Sherwin-Williams in 2006, Martha worked for fifteen years in key health care, workers’ compensation and retirement plan management roles for the Council of Smaller Enterprises (“COSE”). As Senior Director, HR/Employee Benefits Policy & Strategy, Martha was responsible for policy development, strategic direction, and new initiatives in employee benefit programs. She developed the organization’s group-rated workers’ compensation program, group retirement program and HR Answer Center. 

Martha also actively participated in the development of a national health reform proposal for the National Small Business Association (NSBA), and worked closely with U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee staff and the Ohio legislature on small business health plan and workers’ compensation legislation. Martha serves on the board of directors of the Health Action Council Ohio, an organization of large and mid-sized employers dedicated to affordable, high-quality medical care. Martha was chair of HAC Ohio’s board from 2008 to 2013. Martha also serves on the board of the Health Quality Forum of Ohio, is a founding trustee of the COSE Health and Wellness MEWA Trust, and serves on the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland finance committee.

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Richik Sarkar is

 a courtroom advocate, boardroom strategist and collaborative leader. He directs commercial, consumer and cybersecurity litigation for clients of all sizes and is a nationally recognized class action and commercial litigation and cybersecurity expert.  Setting Richik apart from other attorneys is his willingness to challenge assumptions and employ creative and strategic thinking to resolve immediate and underlying business and governance issues and disputes.


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Dr. Watts joined The MetroHealth System executive leadership team in January 2018 as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Community & Public Health.  In this capacity, she is responsible for quality, safety, and patient experience throughout The MetroHealth System.  She holds academic appointments as Professor in both the Department of Medicine and Quantitative Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics.

She completed her M.D. from The University of Alabama, her Internal Medicine residency and chief residency at The University of Michigan, advanced training in quality improvement through the Veterans Affairs Quality Scholars Fellowship, and a master’s degree in Health Policy from Case Western Reserve University.  She is a member of the editorial board for the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, has served as principal investigator on numerous grants, and has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in quality and safety.