Giving voice to patients: the Patient Advocacy Program was held at SDA Bocconi Roma


SDA Bocconi and the Global Heart Hub are partnering together once again with an executive education program focused on patient advocacy, leveraging on the “Patient Impact” program that took place in 2022. The course aimed to provide management tools and techniques to understand and become more aware of the opportunities in patient advocacy.


The Global Heart Hub is the first non-profit organization and alliance of organizations of patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. The three-day course was delivered under the supervision of Rosanna Tarricone, Associate Dean of the Government, Health and Not for Profit Division of SDA Bocconi, Monica Otto, Director of the Executive Education in Government, Health and Not for Profit and Neil Johnson, GHH Founder and Executive Director. A class of 33 patients from 16 different countries participated in the course on the SDA Bocconi Roma campus from September 18th to 20th


"This is one of the most relevant courses organized at SDA Bocconi on healthcare" said Rosanna Tarricone. "Knowing the sector and knowing healthcare decision-making processes and stakeholders is indispensable for patient communities. Until now, almost all decision makers have had only good things to say about the centrality of patients, and no one has ever really cared about them and their needs before."


Ultimately, the goal is to give a voice to patients by developing an effective communication strategy that is consistent with the advocacy goals and values of patient associations. The topics addressed in the course include Patient Engagement & Involvement in HTA, Tools and Techniques for Advocacy, and Strategic Communication.


“Through the knowledge of the sector, the relevant methods for effective advocacy combined with a strategic communication plan, patient associations can voice their needs and bring a different and more innovative vision to the table that can help improve the system,” said Monica Otto. 


Patients and patient organizations aren’t knowledgeable enough to be an active part of decision making in the healthcare system, said Tarricone. "We want to make patients stronger and more aware of their possibilities and of the inherent power they have that just needs to be made explicit," she added. These reflections sparked the creation of a course tailored to the needs of patients and one that would give them the opportunity to be protagonists of their own health and within the industry.


“Huge thanks to SDA Bocconi School of Management for an excellent 3-Day patient advocacy capacity building program in HTA, Advocacy and Communications,” said Neil Johnson, reflecting on the success of the course. “It has been an excellent experience at SDABocconi Roma - stunning location, outstanding faculty, great networking opportunity and valuable take home insights and learnings.”


SDA Bocconi School of Management




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