Event Details

September 30, 2021

Giving Voice to the Often Voiceless: Advocate-led Research Creating Change
12:00pm-1:30pm (ET)


  • Alex Filicevas, Executive Director, World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition, President, All.Can International
  • Dr. Yasmin Ibrahim, Public Health Manager, Hepatitis B Foundation
  • Roxana Mehran, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FCCP, FESC, MSCAI
  • Michelle Weese, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, BMS

Session Description

COVID-19 has interrupted our global healthcare systems, creating issues with patient access, new medicines development and global advocacy initiatives, as more than half of the world's population was under some form of lockdown in 2020. It also illuminated racial and ethnic healthcare disparities that have run rampant for far too long. In the face of these profound challenges, many advocates and healthcare providers have a new understanding of the issues facing their communities. This session will feature global experts as they discuss the insights they’ve gained throughout the pandemic, and how they’ve given a voice to those who are often voiceless.

Speaker Bios

Alex Filicevas, Executive Director, World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition, President, All.Can International

Alex Filicevas is a passionate cancer patient advocate focused on driving meaningful change in cancer
research, policy and care. Alex is Executive Director of World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition, Global Cancer
Coalitions Network member, President of All.Can International and EUPATI fellow. He leads the efforts to
foster an international community of strong bladder cancer patient advocates and organisations around the
world, empowering patient voices across research and care continuum. Passionate about high-quality,
equitable cancer care for all, and the role of efficiency in achieving it, he champions evidence generation and
sharing, and multi-stakeholder collaboration. Prior to his current roles, he 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 healthcare 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.


Dr. Yasmin Ibrahim, Public Health Manager, Hepatitis B Foundation

Yasmin Ibrahim is a public health manager at Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF). In the past two years, Yasmin led the patient engagement program, through her role, she supports people living with hepatitis B from around the world. In addition to directly interacting with patients through over 2,500 email consults annually, the program systematically assesses Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) and Quality of Life (QoL) among people living with hepatitis B and liver cancer, to better understand the physical, social, and emotional impact of hepatitis B, and to inform and advocate for inclusion of PROs in liver disease management. The insights developed continue to inform the hepatitis B community partners, providers, regulators and the industry about patients’ challenges living with CHB and their hopes for, and perspectives on, new hepatitis B treatments.

Before joining the Hepatitis B Foundation, Yasmin spent most of her 20+ career working with policy makers, healthcare providers, patients, and patient organizations to improve quality of care, in different disease areas. Her focus has always been on low-resource communities.

Yasmin is a medical doctor, holds an MBA in healthcare, from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in health policy from Brandeis University. She thrives on positively influencing people’s lives, through knowledge transfer and education. She enjoys long walks, traveling, listening to music, watching documentaries about history and human behavior sciences, trying new food from different parts of the world and connecting with people from all over the world.


Roxana Mehran, Professor of Medicine in Cardiology and Population Health Science and Policy; Mount Sinai Professor in Cardiovascular Clinical Research and Outcomes; Director, The Center for Interventional Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Trials; The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Roxana Mehran, MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP, FESC, FAHA, MSCAI; Mount Sinai Professor in Cardiovascular Clinical Research and Outcomes; Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is an internationally renowned interventional cardiologist, and clinical research expert in the field of cardiovascular disease. She has built a globally-respected academic research center focused on developing randomized clinical trials and has served as principal investigator for numerous global studies, developed risk scores for bleeding and acute kidney injury, participates regularly in developing clinical guidelines, and has authored >1,000 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Mehran is a current member of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Board of Trustees and is a founder and Chief Scientific Officer of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF). She has been included for three consecutive years in Clarivate Analytics: “Most Cited Researchers – Top 1%” as well being included in “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” (Thomson Reuters). In 2019, she founded Women as One, dedicated to advancing opportunities for women in medicine.

Dr. Mehran is currently leading the Lancet Commission on Women’s Cardiovascular Diseases, which brings together leading female researchers from around the world who have clinical expertise in cardiovascular medicine to identify and bridge gaps in research and care for women with cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Mehran is a recipient of several awards including the 2016 American College of Cardiology Bernadine Healy Leadership in CV disease award, the 2018 Nanette Wenger Award from Women’s Heart for excellence in research and education, the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the 2019 ESC Silver Medal and Andreas Grüntzig Lecture plaque.


Michelle Weese, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, BMS

As Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Michelle Weese oversees the company’s initiatives to protect, promote and enhance the Bristol Myers Squibb brand and reputation through strategic communications, government relations and policy, corporate social responsibility and patient advocacy.

Michelle joins BMS from the global food and beverage company Danone, where she served for two years as General Secretary for North America and also led strategic corporate functions, including government and public affairs, communications, community affairs, scientific affairs and sustainable development for North America.

In 2009 she founded the private consulting firm, strat-igence, serving as its CEO and working with a range of clients from the biopharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods industries, including Johnson & Johnson, Church & Dwight, PepsiCo and Unilever, on issues such as crisis management, corporate affairs and corporate transformation. Prior to that, she held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in corporate affairs at Mars, Inc. including serving as Global Head of Communications.

“Our role as biopharma leader has never been more important,” says Michelle. “In an evolving global market, this is a critical time to ensure that the innovative and transformative work being done by the company across multiple fronts is being communicated to our patients, policymakers, colleagues and broader stakeholders.”

Michelle earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Georgia State University.