Executive Vice President, Patient Advocacy, Patient Advocate Foundation
Represented: Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates
Former Panel Chair
Gwen Darien is a longtime patient advocate who has played leadership roles in some of the country’s preeminent nonprofit organizations. As Executive Vice President for Patient Advocacy at the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), she leads programs that link PAF’s patient service programs to National Patient Advocate Foundation initiatives, with the goal of improving access to affordable, quality health care.
As a three-time cancer survivor, Darien came into cancer advocacy expressly to change the experiences and outcomes for the patients who came after her and to change the public dialogue about cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. She started the first stand-alone advocacy entity in a professional cancer research organization at the American Association for Cancer Research, where she launched CR magazine. Later, she served as Executive Vice President of Programs and Services at the Cancer Support Community. In each role, she championed placing patients at the center of health system change, whether for research, public policy, or direct services.
Darien serves as the chair or on the board of a wide range of program committees and workshop faculties, including the Community Engagement in Genomics Working Group of the National Human Genome Research Institute. She also blogs about her experiences for US News & World Report. Darien is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she also served as an advisor for their Health Advocacy program.
Darien served as Chair and a member of the Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement from September 2018 to September 2021.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
As of March 30, 2018
- Patient Advocate Foundation, Employer
- National Patient Advocate Foundation, Employer
- Patients’ Experiences with Hereditary Cancer Risk or Cancer, Advisory Board Member
- University of Pennsylvania, Governance of Learning Healthcare Systems
- University of Wisconsin, Genetics Stakeholder Advisory Board, Co-Chair