Organization: Patients Rising
Executive Director: Terry Wilcox
Outreach: United States
The focus of Patients Rising is broad. We support all patients in their search for access to affordable healthcare. We provide tools for self-advocacy and help people step into the field of patient advocacy with training and support. In all things we do, we attempt to elevate the patient’s voice in all policy and healthcare discussions.
A passionate advocate for patients with cancer and other serious diseases, Terry Wilcox is Executive Director of Patients Rising, a non-profit patient education and advocacy organization that helps patients get access to essential diagnostics and the treatments they need. Inspired by Selma Schimmel, considered by many as the “original” young adult survivor advocate, Terry left a career in Los Angeles in the entertainment industry to join Vital Options International (VOI), a cancer communication, education and advocacy organization Selma launched in 1983 to facilitate a global dialogue on cancer. From 2008 to Selma’s death in May 2014, Terry worked alongside her mentor as creative director of VOI and the supervising producer of a video program called The Group Room that featured discussions with the world’s leading oncologists and cancer researchers. After Selma’s death, Terry continued to advance Selma’s legacy as VOI’s ExecutiveDirector until August 2015, when she moved to Washington, DC and co-founded Patients Rising with her husband. Now Terry and her team engage the patient community, along with physicians, health policy experts and allied healthcare professions, to develop realistic, solution-oriented discussions so those with life-threatening and chronic diseases will have a voice in shaping policies that will improve access to quality care.
The Patients Rising Concierge service [ https://patientsrising.org/patients-rising-concierge/ ] provides an email and phone number for people to use who need help. We don’t limit our services just to healthcare, because issues like housing and food insecurity can jump in front of a person’s need to access healthcare – addressing one may make it possible to access the other. The Patients Rising Concierge also comes with an online navigation tool that helps patients find local services and programs that move them closer to their healthcare goals. With it they can find things like transportation services to medical settings, financial support for caregivers, charitable meal delivery programs, mental healthcare services, and so much more.