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Patient Advocate Foundation
Phone: (800) 532-5274
Fax: (757) 873-8999
Home > Meet PAF > Our History & Mission

Our History & Mission

Nancy Davenport-Ennis, Founder of Patient Advocate Foundation personally became involved in legislative reform on behalf of cancer patients while a dear friend of hers, Cheryl Grimmel, was battling breast cancer and her insurance company. As Cheryl valiantly fought her fight, Nancy volunteered with the Virginia Task Force for Insurance Reform by sharing the previously underrepresented patient’s perspective and fought to reform insurance coverage for cancer patients. Victory for the task force came with the passage of Virginia House Bill 240 sponsored by Delegate Mary Christian in 1994.

Cheryl lost her battle with breast cancer in December 1994, and on the night of her funeral, as the rest of the world was ringing in the New Year, Nancy and Jack Ennis wrote business plans for two complementary nonprofit organizations geared towards solving the issues faced by patients like their friend Cheryl. National Patient Advocate Foundation and Patient Advocate Foundation were born in concept that night and became a reality shortly thereafter.

Cheryl's strength in the face of her battle serves as an inspiration to those at Patient Advocate Foundation as they work and interact with patients in need. Our case managers advocate and mediate on behalf of patients to provide avenues of access for evolving therapies, therapeutic agents and devices deemed medically efficacious by the medical and scientific communities while working to find sources of reimbursement to pay for care.

In the summer of 2013, after founding and leading PAF and NPAF for more than 17 years, Nancy Davenport-Ennis stepped away from the day-to-day management of both organizations, remaining as Chair Emerita. In July 2013, Dr. Alan Balch was named Chief Executive Officer, and is responsible for the operation and leadership of both PAF and NPAF.

Today, Both NPAF and PAF are national leaders on the forefront of important issues within patient-focused healthcare and serve as the voice of patients in need. At the helm are an Executive Board, Scientific Board, and Honorary Board, all made possible by support from our Partners in Progress and generous community donors.

View the PAF Mission in Action

Patient Advocate Foundation's Mission

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization which provides professional case management services to Americans with chronic, life threatening and debilitating illnesses. PAF case managers serve as active liaisons between the patient and their insurer, employer and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters as they relate to their diagnosis also assisted by doctors and healthcare attorneys. Patient Advocate Foundation seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability.