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Inspirational campaigner wins international patient advocacy award

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Trishna Bharadia, 38, from Buckinghamshire (UK) has won the inaugural Eyeforpharma Patient Advocate Award (Europe) 2018. She fended off competition from several pharmaceutical firms and a patient advocacy group to be awarded the accolade, which was open to nominations from across the world (excluding North America). It was presented to her at the annual Eyeforpharma Barcelona conference.

Trishna was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2008. She became involved in patient advocacy, first for MS and later for chronic illness in general, to improve the support and services out there for patients and carers, and to educate the wider community about what it’s like to live with a long-term condition. In addition, she educates stakeholders about the importance of patient engagement and why the patient voice needs to be heard. Despite having a full-time job as a translator for a business information company, Trishna spends many hours every week collaborating with multiple stakeholders, at a local, national and international level, including the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, clinicians, the third sector, and individual patients. She says: “I believe that to achieve better outcomes and experiences for people affected by chronic and/or serious illness, it’s necessary to bring all stakeholders together and to make ‘patient centricity’ more of a reality than a tick-box exercise.”

She blogs, vlogs, writes for a number of publications, is a regular media contributor on healthcare issues, she advises on projects and research proposals, is a sought-after speaker for conferences and events, and is particularly passionate about ensuring that stakeholders are engaging effectively with Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. She also helps develop services and information, as well as being involved in several campaigns affecting people with MS and chronic illness. She’s an Ambassador for MS Society UK and Sue Ryder, is a Patron for ParaDance UK and the Cambridge MS Therapy Centre, and also sits on the committee for national support group Asian MS.

On receiving the award, Trishna said: “For me winning this award is about having a platform to share what I do more widely and to hopefully show people what can be done despite living with chronic illness. The fact that the judging panel was composed mainly of industry representatives is particularly heartening because it shows that the industry is recognising the importance of the patient voice. If I see something that needs to be changed, I’ll do something to make it happen and that’s really why I’m so passionate about getting the patient voice heard. If I can help to improve the experience of just one person affected by chronic illness then I feel that it’s a job well done.”

Source: MS-UK 13/04/18

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