CHAPEL HILL, N.C., April 7, 2008 Patient advocates gathered from across the country April 1-3, 2008 on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the 6th annual Patient Advocacy Leaders Summit (PALS), sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and developed by a national Advisory Board of patient advocates. Dolores Magro, Director of Patient Advocacy & Conference Development for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, was one of the 75 patient advocates recruited to attend this leaders' conference, designed for individuals who are proven leaders in the advocacy community.
The two day event focused on the theme "PALs for a Healthier America: Through Prevention, Intervention and Innovation," and featured keynote speakers Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health & Human Services and Governor of Wisconsin, and Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, Healthcare Expert and Conservative Leader.
Advocates from 27 states and 66 different advocacy organizations were able to dialogue with key healthcare leaders and issue experts to share best practices, refine advocacy skills, and discuss health policy issues related to prevention, intervention, and innovation.
Rising healthcare costs rank high on the list of concerns for most Americans. Though chronic diseases are increasingly preventable and largely treatable, they account for the vast majority of healthcare spending. Little attention is directed at curbing healthcare costs by addressing chronic disease itself. It is critical that reform efforts be refocused on how best to limit the growth and burden of chronic disease. Through PALS, patient advocates from across the country hope to carry forward this message to help change the debate and hopefully fuel meaningful changes in the thinking of patients, providers, policymakers, and payers.
According to Amye Leong, Chair of the PALS Advisory Board, PALS Emcee and internationally recognized arthritis health advocate, "PALS is an amazing concept because it brings together a diverse group of leaders under a common cause of improving the delivery of healthcare in this country through policy development and collaboration."
Since 2002, close to 5,000 leaders representing over 2,000 organizations in 49 countries have participated in over 60 GSK-hosted PALS events around the world. An international meeting of 400 advocates from 26 countries and 38 States was held in the US in 2004. Meetings have also been held in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and The Netherlands.
A number of Regional PALS events and ePALS virtual events are being planned for 2008. To learn more about PALS, visit the PALS Community website at http://www.palscommunity.com/.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition