DIA today announced its Class of 2013 Patient Advocate Fellows, awarding scholarships to 19 nationally recognized patient organizations. The program, in its third year, saw its largest application pool to date, having received over 75 submissions.
Through their inspiring work with patient organizations, the fellows play a key role in DIA’s overall mission of education and knowledge transfer and will be a focus of the program at the DIA 2013 49th Annual Meeting, to be held June 23-27 in Boston.
“We are ramping up our work with patient advocates to educate them on how to most effectively work on behalf of their organizations. The patient voice is vital and DIA continues to teach advocates how to use theirs,” said Donna Mayer, manager of stakeholder engagement at DIA.
While at the annual meeting, fellows will be educated on every aspect of the discovery, development and life cycle management of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and related products. In addition, fellows will have opportunities to develop, strengthen and support collaborations with policymakers, health professionals, industry representatives and those in academia.
Colleen Zak, patient advocate fellow in the class of 2012, said, “Being part of the DIA Patient Fellowship Program far exceeded my expectations. It provided me with incredible networking opportunities for the rare conditions I represent – autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease and congenital hepatic fibrosis. I was given access to a wealth of enlightening educational sessions that offered distinctive new perspectives from industry and drug companies, and from policymakers and regulators. I was exposed to fascinating information about research positioning, study designs and precision medicine. I found myself involved in one roundtable discussion with industry, and in another with DIA leaders, academia and the FDA.”
This year’s fellows are:
- Carmelita Austin-Schreher, African-American Community Health Group for the Central Coast, Santa Cruz, Calif.
- Valerie Guild, AIM at Melanoma, Richmond, Calif.
- Deborah Cornwall, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Marshfield Hills, Mass.
- Amy Akers, Angioma Alliance, Durham, N.C.
- Debra Madden, Ann’s Place: the Home of I CAN, Newtown, Conn.
- Teresa Barnes, Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, Memphis, Tenn.
- Jan Teller, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, Cary, N.C.
- Michael Ninburg, Hepatitis Education Project, Seattle
- Donna Appell, Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network, Oyster Bay, N.Y.
- Lynne Graziano Morin, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Natick, Mass.
- Wendy Chaite, Lymphatic Research Foundation, Glen Cove, N.Y.
- Cristy Balcells, MitoAction, Boston
- Kristin Voorhees, National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Ambler, Pa.
- Henry Brehm, The NephCure Foundation, Berwyn, Penn.
- Mary Grimm, PMP Pals, Harvard, Mass.
- Nelson Atehortua, Program in Personalized Medicine & Targeted Therapeutics, Philadelphia
- Jennifer Woo, Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Foundation, Washington, D.C.
- J. Stephen Mikita, Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, Salt Lake City
- Lona Vincent, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, New York
ABOUT DIA: DIA is the global connector in the life sciences product development process. Our association of more than 18,000 members builds productive relationships by bringing together regulators, innovators and influencers to exchange knowledge and collaborate in an impartial setting. DIA’s network creates unparalleled opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and has the interdisciplinary experience to prepare for future developments. The dedicated efforts of DIA staff, members and speakers enable DIA to provide a comprehensive catalogue of conferences, workshops, training courses, scientific publications and educational materials. DIA is a global community representing thousands of stakeholders working together to bring safe and effective products to patients. DIA is an independent, nonprofit organization with its global center in Washington, D.C., USA; regional offices covering North and South America (Horsham, Penn., USA); Europe, North Africa and the Middle East (Basel, Switzerland); and Japan (Tokyo), India (Mumbai) and China (Beijing). For more information, visit www.diahome.org.