Philadelphia, PA – Nearly 70 speakers took the stage over two days to inspire the crowd at the Patient USA conference. Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the big stage and the patient feedback panel. That panel included patients and advocates charged with sharing context from real life and challenging speakers with tough questions from the perspective of real-life experience living with a health condition.

“Patients don’t want to be activated. ” – Patient advocate

“In our day to day jobs we get so busy doing what we’re doing that we don’t take time to just think…think creatively about new solutions” – Jean McCoy,  Health Perspectives Group

“Why haven’t we taken the time to thank people who’ve given their time and their bodily fluids to clinical research? I’m happy to say we do have thank you letters that go out to every participant to thank them for the impact they have for all the people they’ll impact.” – Cathryn Clary, Novartis

“We were a science-driven organization but it didn’t feel like patient-driven science. We needed to get more engaged with patients in our research organization.” – Dawn DiCandilo, AstraZeneca

“It starts at the top. If your C-suite does not believe in patient centricity, your corporate culture will not embrace it” – Elle Hamilton, INC Research/inVentiv Health

“How do you become patient centric when people are describing the pharmaceutical industry as evil? How do we develop trust? How can they trust that the information we’re given them is in their best interest? How can they put their health in our hands?” – Martin Collyer, Bioclinica

“Stop calling this a patient journey. This is not fun. I’m not on a journey.” – Patient advocate

“There’s one way to really make an impact. The most effective way to make a connection is human to human interaction.” – Andrea Heslin Smiley, VMS BioMarketing

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.