Ms. Gwen Darien characterizes her approach to her work as building bridges among multiple stakeholders so they can work together towards a common goal. As the Public Trustee for USP’s 2020-2025 cycle, her common goal will be to help empower a healthier tomorrow. Having spent 22+ years in health advocacy, her dedication to improving access to affordable, equitable quality healthcare aligns with the goals of USP and with the work she has done as an advocate.
Ms. Darien has played leadership roles in some of the country’s preeminent nonprofit organizations. As executive vice president for both the Patient Advocate Foundation and the National Patient Advocate Foundation, Ms. Darien links education and patient service programs with advocacy and engagement initiatives, with the goal of improving access to affordable, equitable quality health care.
As a three-time cancer survivor, Ms. Darien became involved with 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. With these goals in mind, she started the first standalone advocacy entity in a professional cancer research organization at the American Association for Cancer Research. She also served as Executive Director of the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation; Director of The Pathways Project; and Executive Vice President of programs and services at the Cancer Support Community. In each role, Ms. Darien championed placing patients at the center of health system change, whether for research, public policy, or direct services.
Ms. Darien serves on a wide range of program committees and workshop faculties. She is the Chair of Community Engagement in Genomics Working Group of the National Human Genome Research Institute and Co-Chair of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s Patient Engagement Advisory Panel. She is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum, National Academy of Medicine. Ms. Darien also writes about her experiences as an advocate and cancer survivor.