The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has expanded the role of chief policy and advocacy officer Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D. Velleca, who has headed LLS' Office of Public Policy in Washington, D.C., since early 2012, will now oversee the newly integrated patient advocacy, policy and programs department.
Velleca will continue to oversee the strategy and implementation of LLS' growing legislative and regulatory policy initiatives. Additionally, he now will supervise the teams leading patient and professional education and patient advocacy and access. As part of this newly integrated group, LLS has created new regional and chapter-based mission positions to more effectively support patients gaining access to the best possible care.
"Our new structure is designed to bring even stronger patient services and advocacy programs to the chapters, and help us reach more patients and families with education and support," said LLS president and CEO John Walter. "Mark has shown strong leadership over the past year in advancing our goal of helping patients gain access to high quality, affordable and coordinated healthcare, and his expanded role will further enhance our ability to do what's best for patients."
Velleca, a scientist and board-certified physician, has experience in both academic research and clinical medicine as well as executive management in the private sector. He was the founder and senior vice president of CGI Pharmaceuticals, guiding CGI from its inception to bringing multiple drug candidates from research into clinical trials. Gilead Sciences acquired CGI in 2010, whereupon Velleca served as a senior advisor at Gilead until joining LLS in 2012. He also has served on the boards of directors and scientific advisory boards of several other biotech companies.