Finalist Detail 2023

Joan DSouza

  • Switzerland
  • Brief Description about yourself? How do you describe your personality?
  • I consider myself to be an extremely perseverant, diligent, self-driven, disciplined, and focused individual that continually seeks out ways to advance both myself and those around me. I’ve always firmly believed in "not giving up." I currently wear many hats such as a mother of two beautiful girls, supportive spouse, pharmacovigilance physician/consultant for Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, UK, and Ireland, professional lawyer (JD certified to practice law in the state of Minnesota, US), medical reviewer, and a regulatory writer. I am extremely passionate about learning and gaining new knowledge, so at the University of Cincinnati (US), where I finished a post-baccalaureate in clinical research program I was named to the Deans List for academic distinction. Leaders always make a difference, so I am grateful to the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP) to bestow me as a Chapter head of ISoP Switzerland and Austria Chapters. Learning and imparting knowledge is my passion, so I participate actively in a number of ISoP special interest groups (SIGs) including Risk Communication (secretary), Medical Devices, Geriatric Pharmacovigilance, Vaccination, Medication Error, and Ecopharmacovigilance. I love my profession; patient protection, healing, and litigation is therapeutic and a holy profession. My guiding principle is to have a plan of action to succeed and to eventually change the world, not merely to think about it.

  • Describe your Achievements?
  • • A strong proponent of patient safety, I have spoken about pharmacovigilance, safety reports, and drug-device combinations at numerous conferences, including DIA Europe, SOPICON-All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), The International Society of Pharmacovigilance, Global Pharmacovigilance Society, American Medical Writers Association, European Medical Writers Association, PVpharm-Spain, and Pharma International Conferences in Europe. Along with my passion to speak I am also quite passionate about writing: I routinely write for both the International Society of Pharmacovigilance Drug Safety Journal and the European Medical Writers Association Journal for drugs, devices, and drug device combinations. In fact, on my way to Mrs. India contest, I will be speaking both in Mumbai and Delhi about pharmacovigilance and patient protection. • I completed my Juris Doctorate (JD) in law when my kids were very little: age 9 and 3; when I entered my program in Clinical Research my older one was just 9 months old. Thanks to the support of my husband and my family. • I won the “Mrs. International” award for Mrs. India “I Am Beautiful” pageant in 2019, and I was one of the finalists for Mrs. Singapore ERM pageant in 2020- unfortunately, the pageant was postponed because of Covid and then we moved from Singapore, so I did not receive an opportunity to participate further. • I co-chaired India booth at the international fair at Singapore American School in 2019, and lead 3 teams; silent auction, cultural, and merchandise and was also the treasurer. We raised close to 7,000 SGD; one of the highest gatherings in many years. • I am a founder of “VInspireU,” a platform to Empower Moms and High Schoolers. Currently, we learn together German, Chinese, and we also have book club where we read various books. • I worked as FLIP (Friends of Litigant in Person), in the Singapore Supreme Court to provide assistance to indigenous/poor litigants, • I have also volunteered at Crosswalk at Singapore American School where I helped the kids to cross the road. • I volunteered at “Beautiful People” an organization totally devoted to rehabilitate children from dysfunctional families. • I am active in various reputed Toastmasters club where I continuously undertake various challenging role such as Vice President role to promote club growth. I won many awards including 2nd place at the Division S, District 80, 2022 speech contest and 1st place Area 3, Division E, District 109, 2021 speech contest. • I want to fulfill all my dreams and integrate well into various cultures so, currently, I am learning three foreign languages German, French, and Mandarin. Also, I am passionate about music, so I learn Hindustani music and piano. Passionate about sharing my knowledge, I have started teaching German through a non- profit organization called in Switzerland for refugees from Ukraine and Burgundy to help them settle.

  • How do you define True beauty?
  • A simple woman who simply radiates, joy, compassion, empathy, and encouragement within her immediate surroundings, and yet is consistently resilient in all adversities. Reinforces positivity in her immediate surrounding and a nurturing atmosphere. Someone who stands up for herself yet maintains a positive self-image; treats everyone with the utmost respect, making everyone feel valuable and important. Has a healthy self-esteem; who loves herself because unless you love yourself you cannot love people around you and eventually spread happiness. Someone who is self-disciplined, has faith in herself that she is capable of doing anything. In conclusion, a beautiful soul makes a person automatically look beautiful.

  • How do you define a healthy and happy family?
  • Families, where love reigns higher than being “consistently right.” Where love is patient and kind. Members continuously practice love, joy, respect, compassion, and empathy for each other, and tremendous forgiveness. Family members continuously practice respect for each other, gratitude, and thank each other for small deeds. Finally, none of our families are perfect, but it’s important to look at each others strengths than weaknesses. Each family member has an obligation to maintain a cohesive and a nurturing atmosphere.

  • Where there is Favourite idea of holiday?
  • Serving in my dad’s school in India. My dad used to run a very poor school in Mumbai India for over 50 years for the underprivileged. The kids are actually picked from slums, and are given not only books but also school uniforms and food. We love to work there during holidays. It gives us a tremendous sense of fulfilment. We also take out kids to remote villages in India and actually show them the standard of living. It develops not only a sense of gratitude, but also compassion and humility. All these places add to our purposeful learning.

  • Why do you want to participate in Mrs India Queen of Substance?
  • To spread the word of patient safety through various platforms. Currently, I run a platform called VInspireU. We learn together various foreign languages, read together, and we motivate each other. During Covid, we tried to showcase various Moms, brought them in limelight in order to make their strengths visible. The goal is to inspire all the "Mothers" to come out of their comfort zone and grow to their maximum potential. Also, the platform is an opportunity for all women especially "Mom" entrepreneurs to grow. A title of Mrs India Queen of Substance will empower me to influence many more “Mothers” to be the best version of themselves; to uplift many mothers and help them to stay constantly optimistic and resilient in all adversities. As the title will provide a lot of authority, I can be a voice to million other mothers.

  • What bothers you most about what is happening in the country today?
  • There are many issues that bother me, such as growing greenhouse gas emissions, displacing citizens from their own homelands, such as the Ukrainian War, Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, or the Yezidis from Iraq. However, I still hold gender inequality issue closest to my heart as it affects women of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities. Worldwide statistics show that women are disrespected and abused every 3 mins. These are just reported incidences. So, then we wonder how many cases go unreported. So, should we say that women are abused each and every minute or even each and every second? A woman is the power house of the family and deserves complete respect. As a founder of VInspireU foundation, I would like to empower each and every woman to that they can take active steps to stop both visible/invisible abuse against women be it themselves or their sisters. Even a simple eve teasing should not be tolerated. We need a safe place to move around. We have to envision a society where there is absolute gender equality.

  • Why do you want to be a Charity Ambassadors?
  • I am involved in many associations, such as the International Society of Pharmacovigilance, the European Medical Writers Association, VInspireU for Moms and Kids, Toastmasters, Friends of Litigant in person etc. My purpose is to make sure that each and every mother can find meaning and purpose in her life. A mother is the essence of a family. If a mother is happy, the entire family is happy and the world is a happy place to live in. Even if I am able to stabilise one mother, I have automatically stabilised more people, not only in this generation, but also in the future generation. Furthermore, having lived overseas for many years, I have the capacity to reach out to many absolutely diverse multicultural women internationally and inspire them.

  • What is your Favourite Quote?
  • There will never be another now- I’ll make the most of today. There will never be another me- I’ll make the most of myself.

  • What do you think is true Sportsmanship?
  • In a game, you will have an opponent and someone will loose and someone will win, so its important to keep the team spirit. To take win or loss with equal strides; it doesn't matter who wins or losses. It’s rather important to learn from our mistakes and keep working on our strengths. Failures are inevitable, but it’s important to get up, be more empowered, and start running again. To stay focussed and to give our best shot at each and every step of a game, but at the same time respecting our opponents’ boundaries. I would rather loose with dignity than win by manipulating; take responsibility of my actions rather than blame others for my misfortune.