Translate page

The inaugural ERSAP Prize 2015 is awarded to Pat Garcia-Gonzalez reduc
Patricia Garcia-Gonzalez

CEO and co-founder of The Max Foundation

May 2015 - The iCMLf Directors and Scientific Advisors have awarded the inaugural ERSAP prize to Pat Garcia-Gonzalez not only for her role in leading The Max Foundation, but also to recognise the personal passion and motivation that she brings into her work aiming for dignity and hope for all in the face of cancer.

In 1997 Pat Garcia-Gonzalez co-founded The Max Foundation as a health non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing global access to treatment, care and support for people living with cancer.

Under her direction, for more than a decade, the organisation has played an active role in a public-private-partnership that has enabled unprecedented access to imatinib treatment for over 60,000 people in low-and-middle-income countries, most of them diagnosed with CML. Through its Max Access Solutions initiative, the organisation also works with other stakeholders making available a channel for access to diagnostics as well as to other TKIs. The Max Foundation works hand in hand with key opinion leaders as well as with 1,500 hematologists in more than 80 countries and is highly committed to improving the lives of people diagnosed with CML in emerging countries.

'Pat strongly believes that people living with CML have the right to access the best possible treatment and support, wherever they live. This is why she has been so determined to make new drugs for CML fully available to patients in emerging economic regions through access programs, education and global advocacy efforts' Tim Hughes iCMLf Chair.

For the past 10 years the organisation has partnered with patients in emerging countries. By working alongside their network of physicians, The Max Foundation’s team helped develop CML patient associations in targeted communities.  Today, their Max Global Network is now comprised of 68 organisations in 58 countries.

Building on their access platform, disease education is another key initiative of The Max Foundation, carried out by in-country team members, often in partnership with local patient associations.  Each year, The Max Foundation organises over 50 workshops providing information and emotional support in countries from India to Malaysia to Argentina and beyond.  Their workshops feature expert CML physicians who dedicate hours to answering questions, while breaking down patient-physician barriers.  In addition to their workshop series for patients, The Max Foundation organises regional conferences for CML patient leaders, such as CML Life Africa (for Africa), LA LMC (for Latin America) and Rising Sun (for Asia Pacific).  Lastly, the organisation facilitates physician training through meetings in Africa, and by supporting the creation of the Virtual Education Program in partnership with the iCMLf.

Pat has a Masters degree from the University of Washington and a technical degree in nursing.  She is a member of the Board of the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD) and of the CML Advocates Network and has recently been awarded the Global Cancer Humanitarian Award by the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Global Health.