The Board of Directors of the American Liver Foundation has named Donna R. Cryer, JD, as President and CEO. Cryer is the first patient to head the national organization and has vowed to use both her personal and professional experience to make sure all those facing living disease have the support they need. In making the announcement, Board Chair, Thomas Nealon said, “We are very fortunate to have someone with Donna’s experience, passion and leadership skills take over the reins of the American Liver Foundation. Donna has distinguished herself in many areas but none are more important to her than creating the type of world class organization that is focused on helping those with liver disease.”
Cryer has had a long affiliation with the American Liver Foundation having served on the Board of Directors since 2007 and most recently as chair of the national board. While a board member, Cryer chaired the Strategic Planning Committee. In accepting the position, Cryer said, “There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about people with liver disease needing the help of the American Liver Foundation. It is my goal to make the Foundation the go to place for all patients and their families to receive information and support. In addition I want to use my experience as a liver transplant survivor to raise awareness about liver disease and work toward the day when no one has to face the trauma of liver disease or a transplant.”
Donna’s almost two decades of diverse experiences have provided her with a 360 degree perspective on healthcare, spanning associations, hospital consulting, PR and clinical trial recruitment firms. Her journey as a patient advocate began with her own liver transplant and a desire to improve the healthcare system for other patients, first manifesting in a position as patient affairs specialist for the United Network for Organ Sharing helping evolve federal policy in transplantation. Donna subsequently worked with hospital C-suite and cancer center directors at the Advisory Board Company and Association for Community Cancer Centers. She brought the frontline care knowledge gained to positions rebuilding the healthcare practice at public relations powerhouse Hill & Knowlton’s Washington, DC office and the multicultural practice of clinical trial recruitment firm Matthews Media Group (now part of Ketchum). Donna has created successful patient education, outreach, and recruitment campaigns and coalitions in oncology, cardiology, neurology, and renal health.
Immediately prior to her appointment as president and CEO, Cryer was the CEO of CryerHealth, Donna and her team of medical and public health experts provided strategic counsel to top pharmaceutical, biotech, and diagnostic firms committed to meaningful partnerships with patients, patient advocacy organizations, and medical societies. Her blog, DCpatient – An Impatient Patient’s Perspective from Washington, DC, and twitter feed @DCpatient are listed as top resources for insights into emerging e-patients and patient advocates.
A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges and Georgetown University Law Center, Donna is a member of the Virginia State Bar. Donna is Treasurer of HarborPath, a patient assistance program for patients battling HIV/AIDS and HCV, a member of the Patient and Consumer Advisory Council for the Center for Medical Technology Policy, the Next Century Healthcare Leadership Council for the Adventist Health System, The Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Healthcare Industry Foundation, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Board Source, ASAE- The Center for Association Leadership, and is serving a five-year term as a patient representative to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Donna and her husband, Dennis R. Cryer, MD, FAHA, reside in Washington, DC.