Alira Health

Alira Health

Webinar on Advancing Patient Engagement in the Medical Device / MedTech Industry

Working Together to Amplify the Voice of the Patient
Published on:
May 26, 2023

Although the Medical Device / MedTech industry recognizes the importance of patient engagement, the practice is still ripe for expansion.

Watch this webinar hosted by CPALs designed to encourage patient advocacy leaders to broaden their investment in patient engagement processes for product development across all industries and sectors, including the Medical Device / MedTech industry.


Alissa Heizler-Mendoza, RD, CDCES

Senior Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs, Insulet Alissa is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist who has vast experience and expertise within the diabetes arena for over 25 years. She began her career at Montefiore Medical Center/Einstein College and now heads the Advocacy and Government Affairs team at Insulet Corporation. Alissa works collaboratively with many patient advocacy groups to identify mutually beneficial partnerships that address a need in the diabetes community. She also sits on the board of the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC), an organization that enhances the patient’s voice to ensure quality of and access to care, medications and devices for people living with diabetes. Alissa is a patient herself living with Crohn’s disease and is a Breast Cancer Survivor. Her work has been published in various journals and she has presented at hundreds of patient and professional meetings related to her clinical, scientific, educational and advocacy expertise in diabetes.
Amye Leong

Amye Leong, MBA

President & CEO, Healthy Motivation Amye Leong is an internationally recognized patient advocacy leader, health communications and policy strategist, and patient partner researcher. She is the President and CEO of Health Motivation, a health education and advocacy consulting firm in Santa Barbara, California. She has also advised the US Food & Drug Administration, Critical Path, the National Institutes of Health, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the Agency for Health Research & Quality on topics such as the integration of patient voice into research development and outcomes. She has also served as Director of Strategic Relations for the United Nations-endorsed Bone and Joint Decade, the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health where she led educational programs and facilitated collaborations among leaders worldwide to address the epidemic of musculoskeletal disabilities.
Annabel de Maria

Annabel de Maria

Chief Patient Officer, Alira Health An industry pioneer in patient engagement, Annabel started her career in 1998 as part of the communications team at Pharmacia & Upjohn that launched Celebrex, Detrusitol, and Xalatan in Spain.

Prior to joining Alira Health in 2020, Annabel was Head of Media Relations Europe at Nestlé Purina, and before that was Head of Corporate Communications at Almirall. Her previous experience includes Patient Brand Manager for Viagra at Pfizer and for Levitra at Bayer, external communications lead for Novartis Spain, and patient strategy consultant for Lucentis, Pradaxa (Global Brand Team), and Champix (European Brand Team).

Annabel teaches patient engagement at the University of Bocconi, and she is the patient representative for the EULAR working group on autoinflammatory diseases. She has published two posters at ISPOR on the involvement of patients in the HTA process and one at EAACI on unmet patient needs in type 2 inflammatory diseases.

Michelle Tarver, MD, PhD.

Deputy Director, Office of Strategic Partnerships & Technology Innovation, FDA Michelle Tarver, MD, PhD is the Deputy Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Technology Innovation where she helps provide leadership for all scientific collaborative and emerging technology-related activities at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). She provides leadership and oversight for CDRH in matters relating to public health emergency preparedness and response activities involving medical devices. Under her leadership, the office is advancing efforts to include diverse and underrepresented perspectives in the evaluation of medical devices through the Health of Women program and the Pediatric and Special Populations program. Not only does she assist in guiding work in standards development and implementation for medical device innovation and manufacturing, she also provides strategic vision for collecting, analyzing and integrating the patient perspective in the development, evaluation and surveillance of medical devices, including digital health technologies. In addition to her prior work as the Director of the Patient Science and Engagement Program, Dr Tarver has extensive experience in premarket and postmarket review of various medical devices, developing guidance documents and standards, and fostering internal and external collaborations. As the lead of CDRH’s Strategic Priority on Collaborative Communities, she guides and facilitates collaboration in fostering the development and evaluation of innovative medical devices that can address unmet public health needs.

Dr Tarver attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA where she received a BS in Biochemistry. She completed the M.D./Ph.D. program at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health (Ph.D. in clinical epidemiology) and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following her internal medicine internship, she completed a residency in ophthalmology with fellowship training in ocular inflammation (uveitis) both at the Wilmer Eye Institute (Johns Hopkins). As an epidemiologist and board-certified ophthalmologist, she has worked on longitudinal epidemiological studies, clinical trials, registries, developing patient-reported outcome measures as well as surveys to capture patient preferences. Her research has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications and published book chapters. As a dedicated clinician, she continues to evaluate and treat ophthalmology patients at Solomon Eye Associates in Bowie, MD.

Monica Parker, MD

Associate Professor of Neurology, Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Emory University Dr. Parker is a graduate of Fisk University and The University of Nebraska Medical Center. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at the University of Mississippi. She joined the Emory School of Medicine faculty in 1995 as medical director of the Emory Clinic of Social Circle. She has transitioned roles as a geriatric, primary care provider to that of clinical research investigator. At the Goizueta Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center of Emory University, one of 33 National Institutes of Health- National Institute of Aging funded Alzheimer’s Research Centers in the US, Dr. Parker is Director of both the Outreach, Recruitment and Education (ORE) and Minority Engagement Cores (MEC). She provides national service on the FDA’s Patient Engagement Advisory Committee (PEAC) and to the Commission on Continuing Professional Development for the American Academy of Family Physicians. A recipient of several honors, she was a 2021 Yellow Rose Awardee of the Georgia Legislature Women’s Caucus. Castle Connelly and Associates named her one of Atlanta’s Top Doctors, in Family/Geriatric Medicine 2009-2013, as published in the Atlanta Magazine.
Shannon Kjellsen

Shannon Kjellsen

Patient Advocacy Manager, Abiomed Shannon Kjellsen is the patient advocacy manager at Abiomed, a leading provider of groundbreaking medical technology that provides circulatory and oxygenation support. Shannon joined Abiomed in 2010 has since grown her career with one of the fastest growing medical device companies. Abiomed’s Patients First culture is a key contributor to the company’s success. Over the last decade, Shannon developed a robust patient advocacy program that continues to impact the company culture, patients, and customers.

Download now “A Playbook for Patient Engagement in MedTech in the U.S.” to discover actionable insights on how the MedTech industry can successfully incorporate patient engagement activities.

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