Becca Sharman

Becca Sharman

Head of Business Development at Cognitant

I’m Becca Sharman, Head of Business Development at Cognitant, a company specialising in patient engagement. I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group in 2019, fuelled by a passion to connect with others that wanted to improve how patient engagement is delivered across our industry, and began leading the group in 2022, alongside my talented co-Chair Christine Buggle. 

Throughout my time in the group, we’ve been able to deliver numerous events, both face to face and virtually, to connect people across the industry, share best practice and keep up to date with the future of patient engagement. In addition, working with thought leading individuals, we’ve delivered some really insightful content that can be found in the Patient Engagement Interest Group area of the PM Society website.

Christine Buggle

Christine Buggle

Senior Direct, TransPerfect Life Sciences

I’m Christine Buggle, a Senior Director in TransPerfect’s Life Sciences division we provide language and technology solutions to help content get to patients faster. I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group in 2021 as soon as I got exposed to the great work that the group was doing. I get the chance to work on patient facing content in my day-to-day role and wanted to get more involved in the industry directly. At the beginning of 2023 I was asked to Co-Chair the group with the fabulous Becca Sharman.

I love that the group is filled with open, engaging people who really want to make a difference in supporting patients. We have delivered some wonderful events, brought new content to the industry and allowed for meaningful connections across our network. I’m so excited at where this group can go and the difference they can make!

Maša Švent

Maša Švent

Medical Writer at Oxford PharmaGenesis

I’m Maša Švent, a Medical Writer in the Patient Engagement Team at Oxford PharmaGenesis. I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group to connect with other people who are passionate about patient engagement becoming an integral part of the drug development process. Together, we work on initiatives that help raise awareness of the importance of working with patients and promote best practices.

During my time with the Patient Engagement Interest Group, I’ve had the opportunity to shape an interview series about the changing nature of patient engagement, taking an in-depth look at different perspectives of various stakeholders. In the future,  I look forward to continuing working with the group members to raise awareness of the importance of patient engagement in the pharmaceutical industry.

 Katerina Kelesidi

Katerina Kelesidi

Independent healthcare consultant at BeSci Lab

My name is Katerina Kelesidi, and I am an independent healthcare consultant at BeSci Lab. I’m an advocate of behavioural science and change, and I spent many years in academia before entering the pharmaceutical world, applying the expertise in every programme I led.

I have always believed that patient centric thinking and communications design is the only way that both purpose and commercial viability can co-exist in harmony within the pharmaceutical world. Truly understanding patients’ needs, behaviours and their disease journey is key to unlocking and enabling the success of a new treatment, meanwhile collaborating and co-creating with patients is integral to delivering impactful communication and the only way that these initiatives are of added value. 

I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group (PEIG) a few years ago to advance my learnings in the field, exchange ideas with peers, and contribute to the promotion of this thinking across the sector, through events and content that members of PM Society can benefit from. 

As a member of the PEIG, a passionate, multidisciplinary group, I’ve had the opportunity to meet peers and colleagues, continue learning and expand my knowledge as well as support events that brought true value to members, with the strong belief that each of these actions will bring about the necessary change.

Silvana Bardelli

Silvana Bardelli

Scientific Director, Medical Communications at Open Health Group

I’m Silvana Bardelli, I am a PhD in human molecular genetics specialised in clinical development of advanced therapies for patients with rare disease, a sector that has become my passion for the past 15 years. I am currently Scientific Director, Medical Communications at Open Health Group.

I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group back in 2007, and I am proudly one of the longest serving members of the group. I originally joined because I felt I was truly missing the patient aspect within my daily job activities. With a background in clinical development, I was accustomed to working at healthcare institutes and having direct contact with patients. That experience made me realise how crucial patient insights are to help advance and optimise activities related to the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industry, and just how much their input and voice is yet to be clearly heard. 

By being part of the group I have had the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded people who genuinely care for promoting examples of optimal patient collaboration within our sector. As a group, we bring together our experiences to help move the sector forward in a concerted effort. There is clearly so much still to do and so much that each and everyone of us can contribute to elevate the patient voice, in particular for patients with rare disease, who are mostly underserved.

Charlotte Griffin

Charlotte Griffin

Lead Behavioural Strategist at Hamell Communications

I’m Charlotte Griffin, Lead Behavioural Strategist at Hamell Communications, a full-service health communications agency, which specialises in conducting behavioural research to understand patients needs, beliefs and experiences and develop solutions that change outcomes for better.

I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group (PEIG) in 2020, because I wanted the opportunity to learn from others enthusiastic about improving patient engagement and the experiences of patients involved in these activities, discuss solutions to the challenges the industry faces and contribute to this vital movement.  I am particularly passionate in addressing health inequalities through patient engagement, to ensure that health literacy, socioeconomic and cultural needs are addressed and all voices are represented.

Chris Wade

Chris Wade

AVP Strategic Solutions at Exeevo

I’m Chris Wade, AVP Strategic Solutions at Exeevo. We’re focused on bringing next-generation customer solutions to life sciences that help companies scale their patient programs in a compliant and cost-effective manner, but also support patients and their communities with personalised advice and resources across digital and physical channels. Prior to Exeevo I worked for Across Health, Dendrite, Doctors.net.uk, IMS Health, PwC Consulting and Veeva.

I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group in 2021 to learn more about what made patient programs tick and since then I’ve never come away from a PEIG meeting not having learnt something new! I bring a perspective on how our industry can make itself more central to patient support through advances like AI and integrated cloud solution through over 25 years’ experience in helping life sciences improve their HCP solutions & digital services. I’ve also been part of the PM Society’s Digital Interest Group since 2008.

Interest Groups like PEIG play a valuable role in providing a forum for those motivated to play a part in shaping the conversations that lead to new ideas and better solutions – I’m proud to be part of it!

Joshua Vine-Lott

Joshua Vine-Lott

Senior Account Manager at Aurora Healthcare Communications

I’m Joshua Vine-Lott, a Senior Account Manager at Aurora Healthcare Communications, focused on patient engagement and advocacy, particularly within rare diseases. I work tirelessly to help patients to share their stories to influence healthcare decisions and drive positive change.

I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group (PEIG) to connect with industry leaders and advance best practices in patient-first communications. Through the PEIG, I’ve learned from some of the best minds in the patient engagement space, and every conversation we have is insightful! It’s a genuine pleasure to work with such a like-minded group of people, who truly want to make a difference to the way our industry engages and involves patients from all walks of life.

Participating in the PEIG has been invaluable. We’ve delivered impactful webinars, facilitated best practice sharing in written articles, and digital events. It’s also given me a platform to share my experiences and help others and brought learnings back to Aurora to enrich my clients’ campaigns. The group is genuinely committed to ensuring patients are partners in healthcare, not just participants, and I am buzzing to see the impact this fantastic team can bring to the industry!

Sarah Ings

Sarah Ings

Client Services Director at MJL

I’m Sarah Ings, Client Services Director at MJL, an independent communications agency dedicated to healthcare. We generate thought-provoking, creative solutions that help our clients (and their brands) add value at a time when HCPs, patients and healthcare systems need it most. We believe, as an integral stakeholder, the patient perspective is essential for providing and understanding insight, highlighting key opportunities for care/support to be improved and for the co-creation of communication materials. I joined the Patient Engagement Interest Group to work with like-minded people who are striving to elevate the patient voice and support Pharma in having the confidence to engage with patients in a way that benefits all.

The industry has come a long way over the years in valuing the role of the patient in the drug development process and communications landscape.  There are many fantastic best practice examples and this group is a fantastic way to generate conversation, learning and initiatives that push the patient engagement agenda even further.

DR Sumira Riaz

DR Sumira Riaz

Centre of Excellence Lead Patient Engagement OPEN Health

My name is Sumira Riaz and I’m a Chartered Health Psychologist & Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, for the last 15 years and working as a Patient Engagement Lead at OPEN Health for the last 7 years. I joined the patient engagement interest group (PEIG) 5 years ago and am so proud of all the great work the group have and are doing in this space.

Working in this space has provided me with ample opportunities to demonstrate effective cross collaborations and partnerships with industry and advocacy. Patient engagement has been evolving over the years and the importance of engaging with patients/patient groups has been elevated significantly.

My interest and passion has focused on behaviour science and how attribute modelling using health psychology models can further enhance our knowledge on how to support patients/caregivers more effectively- personalising support based on patient preferences Vs a top-down approach.

I look forward to connecting with others in this space and learning more.

Join Us

Would you be interested in assisting with this Best Practice Sharing Initiative?

Please contact us if you would be interested in helping to shape and deliver this important initiative and have best practice examples that you could share. We will liaise with you to discuss the confidentiality of your example and to organize the best way to capture your experiences.

If you have a particular question related to Patient Engagement or would like to submit a topic for us to consider please contact us.

Latest videos

The Value of Patient Insights to Industry

Emma Sutcliffe, Global Patient Officer at Ipsen and Mark Bradley, CEO at PeopleWith, joined patient engagement interest group member and AVP, Strategic Solutions at Exeevo, Chris Wade, to discuss the value of patient insights and how they are used in industry.

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