Ask someone who works in the Patient Advocacy function within a biotech or pharma company how they landed that position and there will be a plethora of responses.
The sectors are so diverse (social services, health, non-profit, communications etc.) it can be akin to being a liberal arts major, which is personally fine with me! That is one of the primary reasons that Professional Patient Advocates in Life Sciences (PPALS) was established; to be a point of reference for those with diverse backgrounds yet at the end of the day, share the common responsibility to bring the face of the patient and patient organization to the company.
Armed with a strong mission, the laundry list of goals and objectives began to grow exponentially including the vision to bring a certification program to life. How wonderful would it be have a series of lectures providing resources within an educational forum where Patient Advocates can gain the knowledge and skills to be better in their profession? Even better would be to have the lecturers be our colleagues who have ‘been there and done that’, speaking from personal and professional experiences. Did I mention the networking opportunities that would naturally occur within such a casual and intimate environment?
A fair question may be what sets this course of study apart from what is currently being offered? The learning continues with each attendee taking an aspect of what they have learned and applying it to their everyday work life with a Capstone Project along with the assistance of a mentor. Who does that? We do!
Needless to say, lots of thought went into the concept of the curriculum. Fortunately, this concept was validated as being important and essential when Sanford Research agreed to partner with PPALS on this inaugural program. We are extremely appreciative of their encouragement, support and collaboration to bring to fruition this Patient Advocacy Curriculum Training (PACT).
And so we are off…to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where we are excited to launch this uncharted curriculum and explore new opportunities for this unique and amazing profession of Patient Advocates in life sciences!