EUROPEAN PATIENTS’ RIGHTS DAY 2021

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The role of civic society and Patients Advocacy Groups for more resilient Health Care Systems. Lessons learned toward a European Health Union

  5th & 6th May 2021, from 10:00 to 12:00 CEST
Digital Conference

SPEAKERS’ LIST

Vytenis Andriukaitis
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Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis served as European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety in 2014-2019. He has been a practicing surgeon for more than 20 years. He is the co-author of Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, MP of the Republic of Lithuania for six mandates and led the Lithuanian delegation to the Convention on the Future of Europe. He has been the Minister for Health of Republic of Lithuania from 2012 to 2014.

Marco Annoni
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Researcher, author and science-communicator, Marco Annoni owns two PhDs, one in the philosophy of science and one in the theoretical foundations and ethics of the life sciences. Currently, he is a researcher in bioethics at the National Research Council (CNR), Coordinator of the Ethics Committee of Fondazione Umberto Veronesi and Editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal The Future of Science and Ethics.

Kathi Apostolidis
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Kathis is the President of the Hellenic Cancer Federation - ELLOK, a national umbrella organization of 40 cancer patient organizations, covering all cancers and a Board Member of ECPC, European Cancer Patient Coalition, after having served as President and Vice President from 2013 to 2020.
Kathi has been actively involved in cancer patient rights since 2005, and supported ACN and the efforts to institutionalize the European Charter of Patient Rights participating and presenting at past celebrations of the European Patients’ Rights Day. She has also initiated in Greece the first advocacy group on cancer patient rights in 2006.

Sebastian Arias
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Sebastian Arias is a Global Access Policy Leader in Oncology for Roche Pharma who is currently leading the company's response to Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. He joined Roche in 2015 and has worked in a number of key positions in Policy and Public Affairs including a Health System Strategy role where he was leading Roche’s engagement on Access Accelerated and City Cancer Challenge, two global public-private partnerships focused on fighting Cancer and NCDs. Before joining Roche, Sebastian worked for Janssen, the Pharmaceutical division of Johnson & Johnson, as the Communications and Public Affairs Manager for the Latin American North Subregion. Sebastian holds a Bachelor in Communications and Political Science and a Master in Humanitarian Rights.

Jennifer Baker
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Better known as Brusselsgeek, Jennifer has been a journalist in print, radio and television for 20 years, the last 10+ specialising in EU policy. She has worked across a wide range of media, from editing a national daily paper in Malta, to reporting on European affairs for Middle Eastern television, and has a wealth of experience in navigating the political quagmire of the EU. Regularly listed as one of the top influencers in the EU bubble, Jennifer was awarded #1 Tech Influencer 2019 by ZN, was listed by Politico as one of the Top 20 Women Shaping Brussels in 2017 , and was named by Onalytica as one of the world's Top 100 Influencers on Data Security 2016. She is also a GLG expert Council Member providing advice on EU Policy, and was an original member of the Expert Council of the Good Technology Collective. Jennifer regularly features as an EU expert on BBC radio, Euronews, SkyNews and others, and hosts Brussels’ must-watch weekly roundup show TOTW for Euractiv.

MEP Brando Benifei
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Brando Benifei, European Federalist, is from La Spezia, Italy, and is the Head of Delegation of the Italian S&D MEPs. His main areas of work are Internal Market and Consumers Protection, Employment and Social Affairs, and Constitutional Affairs. He is rapporteur for the Single Market Program and shadow rapporteur for the European Social Fund Plus. He is active on youth policies, digitalisation and rights of persons with disabilities.
In the previous term, he was responsible for the European Solidarity Corps, for the Post-Arab Spring in the MENA region and for key reports on the social inclusion and integration of refugees into the EU labour market, as well as youth employment policy such as the Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative. He was also co-chair of the Youth Intergroup and vice-chair of the Disability Intergroup.
In 2018, he received the MEP Award for his work on Employment and Social Affairs issues, for his work on youth unemployment. In 2016, Forbes included him in its annual 30 under-30 most influential in EU Politics list.

Daiva Brogienė
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Dr Daiva Brogienė works as a gynecologist-obstetrician at Vilnius Maternity Hospital but also as a lecturer at Vilnius University. She graduated from the Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine in 1981 and from the Vilnius University Faculty of Law in 2003. In 2010, she defended her thesis in biomedical science on “Patient’s rights to quality in health care and health damage compensation” for a public health doctorate degree. Dr Brogienė is a member of the Lithuanian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a chairwoman of Legal, Ethics and Competence evaluation commission. She has also been a member of the Lithuanian Medical Association since 1989 and representing them to CPME as a board member and the head of delegation since 2014. Moreover, Dr Brogienė has worked in the Ministry of Health of Lithuania and is still a board member of the Lithuanian Bioethics Committee under the Ministry of Health.

Ana Castellanos
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Ana Castellanos currently works as a project manager for the Plataforma de Organizaciones de Pacientes (Spanish Patients’ Platform). She holds a Master of Science (MSc.) degree in Business Administration with a major in international marketing from Jönköping University (Sweden). She has more than 15 years of experience in project management, consultancy, marketing and communications in fields ranging from agriculture, food, culture, environment, or tourism to health. She has collaborated actively in international and national projects for multiple public institutions and the private sector.

Alina Constantin
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Alina Constantin is a patient advocate for people living with obesity, member of the Ligue contre l'obésité, a nationwide organization which regroups various players in the field of obesity: medical, scientific and research professionals, patient organizations. She is a member of the patients’ council and coordinates international collaborations with European and world organizations.
She is a spokesperson in the media (TV, radio, magazines, etc.) and collaborates with the HAS (Haute Autorité de Santé) for the new obesity guidelines. Her volunteer involvement started with the presidency of an ONG in Bordeaux which provides regular physical activity and support for patients. She also intervenes in education programs in medical facilities, nursing and sport coaching schools, represents patients in weight bias research, collaborates with governmental and non-governmental institutions. She also lives with obesity and type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years.

Pierre Delsaux
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Pierre Delsaux is Deputy Director General at the European Commission, Directorate General for Health (DG SANTE) since 01/12/2020. After studying Law at the University of Liège, he obtained his Master of Law at the Northwestern University, Chicago. He was Legal Secretary at the European Court of Justice. He worked in the private sector before joining the European Commission in 1991. He started his career within the European Commission in the Directorate General for Competition. In 2007, he was appointed Director responsible for regulating the financial services. In 2011, he was appointed Deputy Director General with responsibilities for the Single Market in the EU. From November 2015, he was in charge of Space Policy and Defence. On 01/01/2020 he was appointed Deputy Director General at the European Commission Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS).

Paul De Raeve
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Paul De Raeve has been a registered nurse since 1984. He obtained a master’s degree in nursing science at the Free University of Brussels, a Master degree in Statistics from the Catholic University of Brussels, and a PhD degree from the Kings College University of London. Paul holds an Adjunct Professorship at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore (US) since 2018. On Work experience, Paul was appointed as staff manager at the Free University hospital of Brussels, part-time delegated to the Belgium Ministry of Health and Environment. He was responsible for developing a national comparable data warehouse for nursing, introducing qualitative indicators within the hospital financing system and providing data for the political decision-making process. In 2002, Paul De Raeve was appointed as General Secretary of the European Federation of Nurses Associations (EFN) and in 2015 EFN members asked him to establish and develop the European Nursing Research Foundation (ENRF).

Roberto Faccincani
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Roberto Faccincani is the Chairman of the Advisory Council (Executive Board member) of the Disaster and Military Surgery Section of ESTES (European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery), Member of the Board of SICUT (Italian Society for Trauma and Urgency Surgery) and Member of the Board of FIMEUC (Italian Federation for Emergency and Urgency Medicine and Catastrophes). He is also an Adjunct professor at School of Medicine and School of Nursing, Vita e Salute San Raffaele University. He worked also in remote zones and difficult environment as India, Syria, Armenia, etc. Author and co-author of many publications in International Scientific Journals on the topic of Disaster Medicine and a Reviewer for many International Scientific Journals on the topic of Disaster Medicine and Trauma Management Experience of work in low-resources/hostile environment with International Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations.

Alex Filicevas
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Alex Filicevas is the Executive Director of the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition (WBCPC), where he leads the work of the organisation to foster an international community of strong bladder cancer patient advocates. Alex also serves as the President of the All.Can International – an organisation focused on reducing in efficiency in cancer worldwide whilst focusing on what matters to patients. Prior to joining the World Bladder Cancer Patient Organisation, Alex was leading EU affairs work at Europe’s largest cancer patient umbrella organisation, where he focused on advocacy activities, capacity building and policy initiatives with a particular focus on overarching issues faced by cancer patients and their carers in Europe. As a consultant, Alex has supported a number of private and non-governmental organisations in successful advocacy efforts at the EU level on a range of disease areas and issue-specific public health challenges.

Pascal Garel
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Pascal Garel is since September 2005 Chief Executive of HOPE, the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation. Mr. Garel has been actively involved in mechanisms of decision in the hospital sector on various issues including research, hospital management, quality and patient safety development for more than twenty years, at hospital level, in national, European and international contexts. His main professional background is healthcare management, with a 12 experience in France in two Teaching Hospital Centres, Nantes and Rouen. Previous posts also include director of the European and International Department of the French Hospital Federation and responsibilities for Central and Eastern Europe at the French Ministry of Health. Associated lecturer at the University Paris Dauphine, he also teaches at the French National School of Public Health and Sciences Po Paris. Educated in political science (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, 1986) and European law (University of Rennes, 1992), he became Hospital Manager in 1989 with the diploma of the French National School of Public Health.

Antonio Gaudioso
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Antonio graduated in Political Science and is the President of Cittadinanzattiva. He has been working for 20 years to promote and protect the rights of citizens and consumers, in Italy and in Europe. He took part to the drafting of the European Charter of Patients’ Rights and he is engaged in the process of adoption of the first law about pain. He is Vice President of the Health City Institute, member of the foundation for the personalized medicine, he is a spokesperson of the scientific technical committee about vaccines of ECDC (European Centre for disease prevention and control), member of the scientific foundation Italia in Salute and member of the Scientific committee for Fondazione Cannavò. From January 2020, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the National Institute of Health in order to support the Strategic Committee coordinator of SNLG (Guide line national system). In May 2020, he was appointed by the Minister of Health, as a member of LEA committee (Essential Levels of Assistance). He is also a Member of the Scientific Committee on Post-Marketing Surveillance on Covid Vaccines at AIFA – Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco.

Dorejd Kastrati
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Dr. Dorejd Kastrati received his medical degree in 2004 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He completed his doctoral thesis in the field of oncology and holds an MBA from INSEAD, France. Dorejd has been working in the pharmaceutical industry since 2005 when he joined Novartis Pharma. Among multiple positions in commercial functions, Dorejd led the German marketing team for the transplantation portfolio and several primary care sales teams. In 2016 Dorejd headed the German sales team for oncology at Merck Biopharma. Since 2017, he has been working at the Corporate offices of Boehringer Ingelheim, starting as a Senior Brand Manager in Diabetes and, most recently, as Global Head of Scientific Affairs within the CardioMetabolism and Respiratory Department.

Brian Maguire
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Brussels-based journalist, producer, broadcaster, and events moderator, Brian Maguire, hosts live radio and television debates with European Commissioners, Ambassadors, Members of the European Parliament and independent experts. A EURONEWS and Irish television contributor, he also presents the EURACTIV digital technology series ‘The Presidency’ and the political interview series ‘Over A Coffee’. He specialises in European politics and business, producing short documentary films and news reports exploring Europe’s competing policy dimensions, including the digital economy, the Green Deal, human rights, and the rule of law. A graduate in Government and Law, he is currently completing a Master in Laws specialising in Tech, Media and Telecoms, at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS), Queen Mary University of London, in Paris. He has worked across a broad range of publications, especially within the business-to-business sector. A specialist in corporate and political communications, his clients include start-ups, SMEs, blue chip companies, European Union institutions, and NGOs with a human rights focus. 

Neda Milevska-Kostova
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Prim Dr Neda Milevska-Kostova is a Vice-chair of the Governing Board of the International Alliance of Patients Organisations (IAPO), UK, an umbrella in official relations with the WHO, representing 300 patient organisations in over 70 countries. Neda is also a Vice-president of Health First Europe, an umbrella organization based in Belgium working on improving access to innovative health technologies in Europe. She has over 20 years experience in health research, policy and patient advocacy. She holds a MSc in functional pharmaceutics (University of Tokyo), MA in public policy (University of Pittsburgh, USA), and a PhD in public health (University of Sheffield, UK). In 2018, she was awarded the title Primarius by the Minister of Health for exceptional and long-term commitment to the advancement of health system and population health in Macedonia.

Lobna Salem
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Dr Lobna Salem, MD is the Regional Chief Medical Officer for Developed Markets at Viatris. She was a senior executive at Pfizer with more than 25 years of experience in bio pharmaceutical industry working across different cultures with experience spanning across global, region, and country experience. In addition, Lobna has held different cross-functional roles in medical affairs, clinical development, regulatory interactions and commercial functions. Under her leadership, Lobna together with her medical team has set the strategy and framework for NCD in Pfizer and works very closely with other stakeholders both internally in Pfizer and externally to decrease its burden. The NCD framework she developed links closely to the UN sustainable development goals and she works seamlessly across the different organization and with multiple governments for innovative strategies to decrease the diseases that contribute to its highest burden. Lobna has received multiple awards in recognition for her and her team’s efforts in improving patient outcome as well as recognized for driving innovation across Research and Development in Pfizer. Lobna is a hematologist by training; she received her Medical degree from Cairo University and has an MBA from Edinburgh business school UK and MSc from Hibernia Ireland.

Paola Testori Coggi
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Paola Testori Coggi is Special Advisor of the National Technological Cluster on Life Sciences Alisei. Under the current Italian Presidency of the G20, she is Chair of the T20 Task Force on Global health and Covid-19. She is Member of the Italian Delegation to Horizon Europe-Cluster Health Programme Committee. She has done her career within the European Commission where she has been Director General for Health and Consumer until 2014. Among her achievements, the legislation on cross-border healthcare and on cross-border health threats, the new regulations in the area of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, the promotion of health as an investment for growth, the creation of the European Food Safety Authority. After having returned to Italy, she has been President of the Price and Reimbursement Committee of the Italian Medicines Agency until September 2018, and Chair of the Technical Committee of the Valletta Declaration on Cooperation for Better Access to Medicines. She is a biologist with a Master degree in Ecotoxicology; she received a Doctor Honoris Causa in Veterinary Medicine and she was awarded the Cross of Merit of Official of the Italian Republic.

MEP Tomislav Sokol
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Tomislav Sokol was born in Zagreb in 1982. He obtained his first degree in law at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, in 2006, magna cum laude. He then obtained a Masters of Law (LL.M.) specialising in European Union Law at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL), Belgium, in 2009, magna cum laude. He defended his PhD at KUL, dealing with free movement of cross-border health care services in the EU and its impact on national health insurance systems in 2014. During his studies, in 2004, Tomislav Sokol became a Member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). He climbed the party ranks during the next decade, always emphasising on Christian Democratic values as the cornerstone of its identity. He was an Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Science and Education, after which he became a Member of the Croatian Parliament. He was a Member of the Croatian Parliament until July 2019, when he became a Member of the European Parliament. He is a Member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and a Substitute Member of the Committee on Regional Development. MEP since 2019.

Erick Tyssier
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Erick Tyssier has more than 15 years of experience in healthcare & life science policy and corporate advocacy, leading public affairs missions in the healthcare sector. He joined TEVA in 2013, to establish the European Government Affairs function handling Teva’s relationships with the EU institutions and coordinating policy and advocacy at national level. Previously he worked at Sanofi in several commercial related positions in Asia and in France before moving to Brussels in 2005. Erick is a Doctor in pharmacy, and has 2 master degrees: one in Regulatory Affairs and one in pharmaco-economics. Erick is a member of the European Corporate Affairs department led by Leslie McGibbon and since Dec 2020 he is coordinating Teva’s ESG agenda for the region in cooperation with the ESG Corporate function.

Stefania Vallone
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Stefania Vallone is currently a Member of the Board of WALCE (Women Against Lung Cancer in Europe), a lung cancer patient organization based in Italy with a wide network in Europe and she is the past President of LuCE (Lung Cancer Europe), a European umbrella Organization for Lung Cancer founded in 2013 and based in Switzerland. During these 14 years of experience in this area, she has been part of several Committees and Advisory Boards in Italy and Europe with the aim to improve patient education and engagement and patient support, access to diagnostics and care and in general the quality of life of people who live with lung cancer.


Mariano Votta
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Director of Active Citizenship Network and Responsible for European Affairs at Cittadinanzattiva. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field of the protection of citizens’ rights, stakeholder engagement, communication and civic information. His was the idea to encourage and promote the Member of the European Parliament Interest Group “European Patients' Rights & Cross-Border Healthcare” at the European Parliament during 2015.


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Last update: 4th May, 2021

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