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Part 2: Building Blocks of Patient Advocacy Hiring

Many of us in the patient advocacy space have had the experience of either trying to fill a position or being asked for a referral by someone who is trying to fill a position. Why is it so hard to hire in our field?

Please join us for a fireside chat with Wendy Erler, Vice President, Global Head Patient Experience, STAR and Patient Advocacy at Alexion and Sara Den Besten, Senior Vice President, Head of Human Services at Generation Bio, to explore this conundrum. Moderated by Gabriella Salvatore, Partner, Vantage Partners, this hour-long session will uncover the skill sets needed and the pathways required for finding that one needle in the haystack of a candidate!

Wendy Erler

Wendy Erler

Vice President of Patient Experience, STAR and Advocacy at Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Wendy has built her patient advocacy career in many rare disease communities and oncology. Wendy Erler is the Vice President of Patient Experience, STAR and Advocacy at Alexion Pharmaceuticals where she is responsible for leading the enterprise innovation model to gather and incorporate patient insights throughout the drug development and commercialization processes. She built and leads the Global Patient Advocacy function and has responsibility the advocacy team. Previously, Ms. Erler was on the executive leadership team at Wave Life Sciences where she led Patient Advocacy and Commercial.

Wendy graduated from Miami University and earned her MBA from St. Joseph’s University.

Sara Den Bensten

Sara Den Bensten

Senior Vice President, Head of Human Services at Generation Bio

Sara has nearly 20 years’ experience managing human resource and patient advocacy functions in the biotech industry, both from within companies and as an independent consultant and coach. She has a life-long passion for unleashing the best in people and catalyzing their collective excellence within organizations. While working at companies such as Genzyme Corporation, Sara drove leadership and organization development strategy from design to implementation. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Bucknell University. She completed the Greater Boston Executive Program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and holds a professional coaching certification at New Ventures West.

Maggie Bryant | Sr. EA
m: (203) 444-2868

Gabriella Salvatore

Gabriella Salvatore

Partner, Vantage Partners

Gabriella Salvatore returned to Vantage Partners in 2019 after ten years in the biopharma industry and brings with her a passion for enhancing collaboration among individuals, teams, and companies. Her work focuses on the human side of business: change management, organizational culture, leadership team effectiveness, and soft-skills training.

Gabriella was Head of Organizational Development for Sanofi’s Diabetes & Cardiovascular business unit and served as Senior Director, Global Leadership & Organizational Development for the Sanofi Genzyme business unit prior to that. She also held roles in Patient Advocacy at both Sanofi Genzyme and Takeda Oncology.

Prior to her role at Sanofi, Gabriella worked at Vantage Partners for ten years, designing and facilitating leadership and team development programs as well as training initiatives focused on leadership, teamwork, change management, and collaboration. She has served clients around the world, in a variety of industries, with a focus on biopharmaceuticals, healthcare, and professional services.

Gabriella is a frequent presenter at industry and professional conferences in the human resources, learning and development, leadership, and patient advocacy fields. She has been a guest faculty member at Babson College, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, Harvard Law School’s Advanced Program on Negotiation, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Gabriella holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Cornell University and received her Master’s in Organizational Psychology from Lesley University.

Selected Publications