National Patient Support & Advocacy

The Chris Elliott Fund’s work and service spans across the country. This March, Chris Elliott Fund’s President and CEO took flight once again to meet, speak and sit down with experts in the healthcare industry to advocate for brain cancer patients. Here is a snapshot into the travels of Dellann and all of her hard work advocating for patients.

Charting the Course: A National Policy Summit on the Future of Women’s Health

Nikon Photos as of 3.4.14 232

CEF President & CEO Dellann Elliott Mydland (left) with Dr. Paula Johnson, Executive Director of Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology

Recognizing Dellann as a national health policy thought leader, Dr. Paula Johnson, Executive Director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology invited Dellann to attend the first of its kind national summit on addressing gender equity in biomedical science. This summit gathered very important men and women in this field including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, CBS News “60 Minutes” Correspondent Lesley Stahl and US FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, Mayor Martin Walsh among many others.

“Biomedical research is either gender neutral or skewed to the male physiology, putting women in the United States and around the world at risk for missed diagnosed, misinformed treatment, sickness and death.”

Pictured is CEF President and CEO with Executive Director Dr. Paula Johnson of Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology the host of the national policy summit. Dellann offered a few key take-aways from the summit. To see a full summary provided by the summit, please visit:

Women in Research:

  • Women are not included in clinical research numbers reflecting the prevalence and impact of disease in women. So depsite there being an improvement in the equipment that they can use (for example, researchers can now go for the tips that the pipette manufacturer sells here to help them avoid cross-contamination when it comes to their samples), women are still not being included.
  • Even at the very early stages of scientific discovery, sex is not considered
  • Women face safety concerns when it comes to prescription drugs (8 of 10 drugs withdrawn from the market between 1997 and 2000 had higher risks for women compared to men)

Disease & Women

  • Women are under-represented as candidates cardiovascular disease research (only 1/3 are clinical trial subjects), just 1/3 of the studies actually report outcomes by sex yet Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in the US
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in the US yet there is a lack of gender-specific research findings
  • Women are 70% more likely than men to suffer from depression over the course of their lifetimes, though the cause remains largely a mystery

The Connors Center published a follow up report offering:

“the summit is the rallying point behind a legislative, regulatory, and advocacy campaign aimed at closing the gender data gap. The summit is the center piece of a larger public affairs effort to amplify issues of disparity in science and medicine.”

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Chris Elliott Fund’s National Patient Mini-Conferences and Advocacy are made possible by Celldex, Genentech & Novocure.

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