Woodridge, IL

Administrative Assistant, Delta Sonic Carwash

Represented: Patients, Caregivers, and Patient Advocates

After receiving a vague diagnosis, Melissa Hicks went to the internet to learn what she could, and find some support. What she found was very little information related to her condition. In 2013, she began blogging about her experience as a patient in an effort to make more information and support available online to people who shared her “non-diagnosis.” That was the start of her patient advocacy experience. Since then, she has become very active on social media and online patient communities, and her focus has expanded beyond her original diagnosis to include chronic pain and illness in general, and improving patient experience and outcomes. That interest in patient experience and outcomes has led her to participate in conferences, travel to Washington DC to meet with her members of congress, and serve as a patient peer reviewer for The BMJ and PCORI. She is also a Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar. She finds all of her advocacy work very rewarding, and thinks of it as “making lemons into lemonade,” taking an unpleasant situation and making it into something positive.

Hicks previously served as a member of the Advisory Panel on Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options.

Hicks served as a member of the Advisory Panel on Clinical Effectiveness Decision Science from August 2017 to August 2020.

Conflicts of Interest

As of February 27, 2017

  • Society for Participatory Medicine, member
  • The BMJ, peer reviewer
  • Arthritis Foundation/Arthritis Introspective, participant/advocate
  • WEGO Health Experts, member 

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