Diversifying Patient Advocacy: The Visionary Approach of Elevate Advocacy

Diversifying Patient Advocacy: The Visionary Approach of Elevate Advocacy
Photo Credit: Elevate Advocacy

In the dynamic landscape of healthcare, patient advocacy plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between scientific and clinical understanding and the individuals and communities who will rely on those discoveries. Devra Densmore is the visionary founder and principal consultant at Elevate Advocacy. With an illustrious career spanning two decades, Devra has been instrumental in reshaping patient advocacy and engagement, particularly through a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Elevate Advocacy stands out as a boutique consulting firm dedicated to authentic and differentiated engagement with diverse patients, caregivers, and advocate leaders. The firm’s approach, rooted in deep industry experience, is not only strategic but also authentic, adding immediate value to teams involved in clinical research, commercialization of products, and community engagement. 

Diversifying Patient Advocacy: The Visionary Approach of Elevate Advocacy
Photo Credit: Elevate Advocacy

Devra’s journey into advocacy began at the age of nine, spurred by an evening news feature on Ryan White and the misinformation and stigmatization around HIV/AIDS. Curiosity led her to question the irrational fear surrounding HIV and ignited a passion for understanding and addressing healthcare disparities. Later work in Lesotho, Africa and Chennai, India laid the foundation for her commitment to creating patient-focused strategies with a DEI lens.

“Our strategic yet authentic approach to patient advocacy adds value immediately to program teams with deep experience in clinical research and community engagement,” emphasizes Devra. Elevate Advocacy goes beyond traditional advocacy practices by ensuring DEI is foundational to every advocacy strategy. In doing so, the firm ensures that all patients, especially those disproportionately affected by illness and disease, are actively engaged in the healthcare journey.

A distinctive feature of Elevate Advocacy is its commitment to sustainability. The firm actively involves cross-functional program teams in the creation of Diversity Action Plans (DAPs), providing guidance for intentional and integrated approaches. This collaborative approach ensures the DAP has buy-in at every level of clinical development and empowers teams to write integrated DAPs for future programs, fostering a culture of inclusivity and purpose-driven action.

“No matter how extensive our support of a sponsor is, our end goal is always to ensure our clients can sustain authentic and meaningful engagement beyond the DAP and beyond our consultancy. Whether we lead the Diversity Action Plan process ourselves or guide teams, we teach our clients the how and why behind DEI engagement in clinical research. Everything is all about setting up the sponsor and the communities they serve for long-term success together,” affirms Devra.

Elevate Advocacy’s impact extends beyond only the advocacy function. The firm actively counsels clients on how to optimize their clinical trials for both rare and common disorders, organizes virtual and in-person speaker series with leading advocacy and healthcare experts, and drives health literacy and education initiatives throughout a product’s lifecycle. By centering diverse patient insights, Devra and her team contribute to creating a more inclusive and patient-centric healthcare ecosystem.

“People work best when they are purpose-driven; the more you can tie to the people behind the data points, the more that purpose becomes clear, relevant, and actionable. We instill this type of culture into every industry partner we work with to help it fulfill its ambitions of being scientifically and commercially successful and patient-centric,” explains Devra.

As Elevate Advocacy continues to carve a niche in the healthcare industry, it stands as a beacon for organizations seeking not just strategic guidance but a genuine commitment to patient welfare. Devra Densmore’s relentless pursuit of a healthcare landscape that values diversity and inclusion makes Elevate Advocacy a driving force in shaping the future of patient engagement.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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