Meet our Patient Engagement Advisory Committee
Last fall, Choosing Wisely assembled a distinguished group of patient advocates to advise the campaign about how best to continue educating and engaging patients, caregivers and the general public about overuse in health care. Here are brief bios of six of the 11 committee members; we will introduce the other members in our August newsletter.
Bill Adams, who hails from west central Minnesota and consults on public policy issues, including health care, has been active in local, regional and national initiatives to bring the patient voice to the table, increase patient-centered care and engage more citizens in the work of creating health and improving health care. Currently, he is co-chair of the Right Care Alliance Patient Council, a consumer member of PartnerSHIP 4 Health Community Health Board, a member of the Lake Region Healthcare Patient and Family Advisory Council, an Ambassador for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and a member of Baby Boomers for Balanced Health Care. He recently served on a CMS Technical Expert Panel, the planning committee for the 2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Moving Patient-Centered Care Forward” meeting and a patient panel at an American College of Cardiology national meeting. He has presented webinars and meetings on shared decision-making, community engagement, the patient experience and Choosing Wisely.
Grace Damio is Director of Research and Training at the Hispanic Health Council (HHC) in Hartford, CT. Since 1986, she has overseen many of HHC’s initiatives to reduce health disparities in health care access, chronic disease management, obesity prevention, food security, nutrition education, maternal and child health and cross cultural training. She has led HHC’s community health worker policy initiatives, including the convening of three symposia and the development, with a team of national experts, of the policy paper “Addressing Social Determinants of Health through Community Health Workers: A Call to Action.” From 2005-2011, she worked with numerous academic and clinical partners in her role as deputy director of the (NIH) Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos (CEHDL). CEHDL’s community-based participatory research on solutions to food insecurity led to the now operational Hartford Mobile Market. She has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, and serves on several local, statewide and national boards and committees that address health inequities.
Gwen Darien is Executive Vice President for Patient Advocacy and Engagement, National Patient Advocate Foundation and Patient Advocate Foundation, and leads programs that link PAF’s patient service programs to NPAF initiatives, with the goal of improving access to affordable, quality health care. As a three-time cancer survivor, she entered cancer advocacy to change the public dialogue about cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. In 2005, she started the first stand-alone advocacy entity in a professional cancer research organization at the American Association for Cancer Research. At AACR, she launched CR magazine – a magazine for people with cancer and those who care for them. She later served as the executive director of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, director of The Pathways Project, and executive vice president of programs and services at the Cancer Support Community. She currently serves on a wide range of program committees and workshop faculties, including the Community Engagement in Genomics Working Group of the National Human Genome Research Institute. She also blogs about her experiences for US News & World Report.
Dave Ellis is Founder of Dave Ellis Consulting, a group dedicated to providing quality strategic planning and community engagement services utilizing the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter. He has hosted discussions with groups ranging from 10 to 800 participants on topics from strategic planning for communities and nonprofits to community engagement with state and other agencies. A retiree of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Ellis was a Community Impact Partnership Manager at Greater Twin Cities United Way for more than five years, developing a community-driven, nine-county wide response to domestic violence and homelessness. He represented United Way on the Governor’s Visible Child Workgroup with a focus on creating a plan to address homeless children prenatal through 3 years of age and their families, the Minnesota Department of Health’s Prenatal to 3 Task force and its Diabetes Initiative. He also served as director of the state’s Racial Disparity Initiative – a participatory-methodology research project at the Council on Crime and Justice, looking at disparities in Minnesota’s criminal justice system. While there, he led the legislatively mandated Statewide Racial Profiling Study.
Melinda Karp is the Vice President for Consumer Centered Quality at Commonwealth Care Alliance in Boston, where she is responsible for consumer experience and engagement. She leads the development and implementation of CCA’s strategy to create authentic consumer partnerships in the design, delivery and evaluation of all CCA programs and services.
Sarah Krüg is CEO of CANCER 101, a patient advocacy organization whose mission is to help patients and caregivers navigate the cancer journey and partner with their health care team to make informed decisions. She is also the founder of the Health Collaboratory, a global innovation hub that paves the path for participatory co-design and collaboration in health care, and focuses on amplifying the voice of the patient and caregiver in the design, development and continuous improvement of innovations. She is the acting executive director and past president of the Society for Participatory Medicine, whose mission is to enable collaborative partnerships between patients and health care professionals, a board member of the National Organization for Rare Disorders and Research Chair of the Cancer Education Network. She previously held the position of Global Education Director in the Medical Education Group at Pfizer, where she established its Global Investigator Initiated Research Program. Before joining Pfizer, she spearheaded the development of the Pediatric Disease Management clinical pathways and conducted clinical research at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center.