Importance of Patient Advocacy in Improving Healthcare

Podcast, Videos


In this Fireside Chat, I was joined by Eva Villalba, Executive Director of the Quebec Cancer Coalition / Coalition Priorité Cancer au Québec. Among many other things, we discussed how the industry can help support people affected by cancer, the concept of “value-based healthcare,” and what needs to happen to make clinical trials truly patient-centric.

Here is a preview of our conversation:

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today? It sounds like a really exciting trajectory.

A: I was always in the non-profit world and volunteering, and I started working at a palliative home care organization. I think that’s where I also got involved with the Quebec Cancer Coalition. They saw how some people didn’t necessarily have a voice in terms of affecting public policy, like families or patients going through difficult times in their last months or years of life. They confronted challenges and there was very little advocacy at the time. So, at that time, I felt it was really important to advocate for palliative home care, palliative care in general, and for patients.

What I saw is that we live in a real democracy and when citizens mobilize and engage, we can actually make a difference. That’s really how I got into this field of patient advocacy and through seeing the massive impact that we can have when we rally with stakeholders, mobilize citizens, and when we actually get the opportunity to speak to the policymakers and make a change on behalf of the people we represent. In our case, it’s people affected by cancer like patients, survivors, and their caregivers…

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Eva Villalba, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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