Staff member spotlight: Leena Patel, Director of Development

Leena at a canyon

Ms. Patel oversees donor relations and identifies new donor and fund opportunities. Prior to joining the PAN Foundation, Ms. Patel was a Health Policy Associate at Applied Policy, where she worked with clients to understand and navigate the complexities of health policy and reimbursement issues, and provided client-specific analyses of health care policies, rules, regulations, and guidances, with a focus on the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Ms. Patel has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from James Madison University, and a Master in Public Health degree with a concentration in Health Management and Policy, from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

1. What is your role at PAN, and how long have you worked here?

I am the Director of Development here at PAN, and joined the team in December 2015. In this role, my responsibilities are two-fold; I am responsible for managing the day-to-day contact with new and established donors to ensure continuity of fund availability for patients and providers. Additionally, I review and monitor market research to keep up-to-date with industry trends and developments in efforts to create new funds in disease areas that contribute to PAN’s mission.

2. As Director of Development, what do you hope to accomplish?

Foremost, in my role, I hope to ensure that as many underinsured patients as possible can receive financial assistance through the PAN Foundation, and can continue living their lives, without fear of being in financial insecurity, by working in collaboration with our stakeholders. As it currently stands, out of pocket costs are to continue to increase for both Medicare and commercially insured patients, and therefore it is vital that we continue to keep our primary focus in the forefront. I also hope to continue to work together as a team here at PAN to come up with innovative methods and strategies to keep our stakeholders abreast on issues necessary to make informed and educated decisions.

3. What do you find most rewarding about your job?

We receive cards, letters, emails, and social media posts from patients, caretakers, and health care providers daily, about the impact the work of PAN has on those we serve. Reading those messages and knowing we have made a change in so many lives, reinforces my goal to secure funding for every eligible patient, while also ensuring we are operating as efficiently as possible. To those in need, receiving a grant is truly invaluable, and being able to see the fruits of our labor come to fruition continues to drive all of us here to do the very best we can.

4. Share something that others may not know about you.

Healthcare has always been in my interests from a young age. At the age of two, I had a child safety cabinet lock lodged in my left eye. Thanks to the careful and meticulous care of my physicians, I walked away with simply a few stitches. We were informed that had the safety lock been even a centimeter deeper, I would have lost sight in my left eye. I am grateful for the work of my physicians to ensure that my quality of life was sustained. My personal experiences have forged the path for my interest in health care, health policy, and access issues.