The recipient of MedtechWOMEN’s Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award embodies persistence, passion, dedication to innovation and patients, and commitment to mentoring others and advancing diversity in our field. The award was established in 2015. Ferolyn Powell, a leader in the medical device industry and a mentor to young entrepreneurs, was recognized with the first award posthumously, which was also named in her honor.

Submit Nominations for 2024

Award Winners

Julie Tyler


President, Vascular
Senior Vice President, Abbott

Julie’s leadership over her 27+ year career at Abbott has been marked by driving sales growth, an unrelenting focus on education, and a belief that leaders must always focus on developing people. Her unstoppable positive energy and deeply respected work ethic drives extreme loyalty and some of the highest performing teams. With a background in the medical devices and pharmaceutical industries, she has extensive expertise in sales & marketing, training, strategy development, and team building. In her current role as President of Abbott’s $2.7B vascular business, Julie and her team are driving research and innovation of new medical technologies for the treatment of coronary and peripheral vascular diseases. Julie is deeply committed to improving patient lives and is actively driving Abbott’s mission to live life to the fullest.

Julie is personally committed to improving access to education and unlocking opportunities for first generation children attending college; this is evident by her funding of an annual scholarship at Jackson State University in memory of her daughter who was born with a congenital heart condition. She is a passionate public speaker, giving talks around the world about the risks of heart disease in women and the simple preventative actions that move people from awareness to action. Her leadership and advocacy for education initiatives are inspiring and make her a compelling thought leader and in-demand speaker. Because of her very personal experience with heart disease and the knowledge that cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly half of non-communicable disease deaths globally, she has made eliminating the burden of heart disease her life’s work.

Alongside other outstanding executives, entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders, Julie was named one of the 100 outstanding Silicon Valley professionals selected by the Silicon Valley Business Journal to be in the 2020 class of Women of Influence. That same year, she also received the from BlackDoctors.org, which honors some of the nation’s most accomplished healthcare administrators whose work, often behind the scenes, has created access to healthcare for many African Americans living in underserved communities.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Jackson State University in Mississippi and a master’s degree in broadcast management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Mira Sahney


Mira Sahney brings over 25 years of executive leadership experience in the successful development and commercialization of innovation driven and customer-centric products. Currently, she serves as the global President of the Pelvic Health operating unit at Medtronic, which includes the InterStimTM product portfolio. She is an active member of the MedTech community and has served as a mentor, investor, and board member for multiple start-ups.

Previously, she was the President and CEO of Hyalex Orthopaedics, an award-winning, venture-backed synthetic cartilage company. Earlier in her career she served as the SVP and General Manager of the ENT and Gynecology divisions at Smith + Nephew, leading two high-growth businesses with global P&L responsibility. She also co-founded and led Myomo Inc. a neuro-robotics company that is now public on the NYSE.

Mira graduated from the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program with an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and an MS degree in mechanical engineering. Additionally, she holds an MS from Stanford University and a BSE from the University of Michigan.

When she is not working, she enjoys skiing, biking, hiking, and doing her best to keep up with her husband and three children.

Lisa Earnhardt


Lisa Earnhardt is executive vice president, medical devices, at Abbott. In her role at Abbott, Earnhardt leads the cardiovascular and diabetes care businesses, with combined sales of more than $10 billion and 30,000 employees. Prior to joining Abbott, Earnhardt served as Intersect ENT’s president and CEO, where she led the company from early clinical stage to the commercialization of several products, an initial public offering, and over $100 million in revenue. Previously, Earnhardt led divisions of Boston Scientific and Guidant Corporation. She currently serves on the board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), and on the advisory board of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


Surbhi Sarna


Surbhi brings a decade of experience in bringing medical devices from concept to market, and as a teenager, personally experienced the negative impact of the lack of definitive diagnostic tools for women’s health. This fueled her passion for developing innovative devices to assist women in making informed treatment decisions. In 2011, Surbhi founded nVision to mobilize her commitment in addressing this unmet need in women’s healthcare. The company was acquired by Boston Scientific in April 2018 in a deal worth $275 million.

Surbhi Sarna's speaking after receiving the Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award at the MedtechVision 2018 conference in Menlo Park, California.


MedtechWOMEN announced that K. Angela Macfarlane, managing member and CEO of ForSight Labs, has been named the recipient of the third annual Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award at the organization’s MedtechVision 2017 conference. Angela brings broad experience in early stage company development to create a community of innovation focused on improving the lives of the visually impaired. Over the past 12 years, ForSight has incubated six vision companies, including Transcend Medical, Inc. (acquired by Alcon), ForSight Newco II (acquired by QLT), NexisVision (out-licensed), ForSight VISION4, (acquired by Roche), ForSight VISION5 (acquired by Allergan) and ForSight VISION6 (private).

K. Angela Macfarlane receiving the Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award at the MedtechVision 2017 conference in Menlo Park, CA.


We are very pleased to announce Kim Popovits as the winner of 2016’s Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award. “Kim is one of those rare leaders who sets standards in multiple arenas – and the rest of us try to follow them, not because we have to, but because we want to,” said Deborah Kilpatrick, Ph.D., MedtechWOMEN co-founder and CEO of Evidation Health. “The fact that she is this kind of leader – the kind that others emulate – is exactly why Kim is receiving the Ferolyn Powell award this year.” For the past 30 years Kim Popovits has worked on improving the health and lives of men and women worldwide through her career in the biopharmaceutical industry. She currently serves as Genomic Health’s chairman of the Board, chief executive officer, and president, leading a company revolutionizing the treatment of cancer through genomic-based diagnostic tests for breast, colon and prostate cancers. The company’s Oncotype DX tests address the overtreatment and optimal treatment of early-stage cancer, one of the greatest issues in healthcare today. She has also held leadership roles at Genentech as Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, and American Critical Care, a Division of American Hospital Supply. In addition to her community service working with several non-profit organizations, Kim serves on the Boards of multiple organizations including the California Life Sciences Association, the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and the American Clinical Laboratory Association. Kim is also the President of The Coalition for 21st Century Medicine, and serves as an Advisor to the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA). She is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Kim Popovits receiving the Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award at the MedtechVision 2016 conference in Menlo Park, CA.


Ferolyn Powell made an indelible impression not only as an individual in her San Francisco community, but also globally, as a business leader and innovator. She is best known as president and CEO of Evalve, Inc., a start-up medical device company founded in 1999. Ferolyn oversaw the development and commercialization of the MitraClip® System, a breakthrough technology to repair the leaky heart valves of patients with mitral regurgitation, a common heart condition, without invasive open-heart surgery. At the helm of Evalve, Ferolyn successfully led the effort to take the MitraClip device from concept to product, and through multiple rounds of venture-financing that led to the final acquisition by Abbott Laboratories. Ferolyn was thrilled to have shared this accomplishment with her sister Liz McDermott, who led the clinical and regulatory teams at the company. Ferolyn then joined Abbott as divisional vice president and general manager of a newly-formed structural heart unit where she began a four-year quest to gain FDA approval to make the MitraClip device available to U.S. patients. The MitraClip device was approved by the FDA in 2013. Today, the MitraClip therapy remains the only minimally invasive therapy available for treatment of mitral regurgitation in the United States. One of a handful of women CEOs, Ferolyn was generous with her time, mentoring young entrepreneurs through the Stanford Biodesign Program.

First annual Ferolyn Powell Leadership Award announcement at the MedtechVision 2015 conference in Palo Alto, CA.
Select a Year