BioNJ’s Patient Advocacy Summit

Trenton, NJ (September 30, 2016) — BioNJ has announced its inaugural Patient Advocacy Summit scheduled for Friday, November 4 at Celgene Corporation, Summit, NJ. The Summit will bring together New Jersey’s Patient Advocacy community with industry and government for a conference intended to Educate, Engage and Empower Patients and Patient Advocates on how they can impact the advancement of therapies and cures. Participants will learn effective ways to work with biopharmaceutical companies during the drug discovery process and have their voice heard to become more successful advocates.


Because Patients Can’t WaitSM, BioNJ is proud to present our first Patient Advocacy Summit,” said BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart. “BioNJ’s mission is to help our Members help Patients and what better way to do so than by bringing the community together for an open and educational conversation on critical topics, including the drug development process and the invaluable role of the Patient; the importance of clinical trials; understanding the regulatory, corporate and legislative process to advance an organization’s goals; and how to work with State officials to increase disease awareness and drive change.”


A highlight of the day will include a Luncheon Keynote by Martin Naley, Founder of Cure Forward, on “How Patients Can Take Control of Their Precision Cancer Care by Assessing Their Own Data.” During his talk, Mr. Naley will detail how science, policy and technology are converging to make it possible for Patients to find all their care options, including clinical trials.


The diverse list of speakers, offering important perspectives and experience, include:

  • Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, Executive Director, Hyacinth Foundation
  • Zina Cary, Founder & Principal, Cary Collaborative Strategies
  • Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Chair, Assembly Health Committee
  • Anne Cropp, Pharm.D., Vice President, Clinical Excellence Head Clinical Development, Global Product Development Group, Pfizer
  • John Crowley, Chairman & CEO, Amicus Therapeutics
  • Deloris Dockery, MPH, Director of Community Organizing & New Jersey Women’s Advocacy, Hyacinth Foundation
  • Pat Furlong, Founding President & CEO, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
  • Jayne Gershkowitz, Chief Patient Advocate, Amicus Therapeutics
  • Debbie Hart, President & CEO, BioNJ
  • Carol Kivler, Mental Health Speaker and Author
  • Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz, Member, Assembly Health Committee
  • Richard Murray, M.D., Deputy Chief Patient Officer, Merck & Co.
  • Martin Naley, Founder, Cure Forward
  • Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro, Strategic Planning, State & Federal Payment Agencies, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • John Whyte, M.D., Director, Professional Affairs & Stakeholder Engagement, FDA

John Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics and father of two children diagnosed with Pompe disease — a severe and often fatal neuromuscular disorder — will close the day with an empowering Keynote. Mr. Crowley will share his journey from anger to action to passion for a cure as he shares valuable insight and guidance from his personal chronicle on how to advocate for and partner with key stakeholders in an effort to find therapies and hope for those you hold dear.

About BioNJ

BioNJ, The Gateway to Health, is a network of more than 400 Members representing research-based life sciences companies and stakeholders dedicated to propelling a vibrant ecosystem where Science is Supported, Companies are Created, Drugs are Developed and Patients are Paramount. Because Patients Can’t WaitSM, BioNJ supports its Members in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies and cures that save and improve lives and lessen the burden of illness and disease to society by driving capital formation, fostering entrepreneurship, advocating for public policies that advance medical innovation, providing access to talent and education and offering a cost-saving array of critical commercial resources. For more information about BioNJ, please visit



Randi Bromberg

Vice President, Communications and Marketing

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