WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is pleased to announce an expanded role for Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D. Velleca, who has headed LLS's Office of Public Policy in Washington, D.C., since early 2012, will now oversee the newly integrated patient advocacy, policy and programs department.
Velleca will continue to oversee the strategy and implementation of LLS's growing legislative and regulatory policy initiatives. Additionally, he will now supervise the teams leading patient and professional education and patient advocacy and access. As part of this newly integrated group, LLS has created new regional and chapter-based mission positions to more effectively support patients gaining access to the best possible care.
"Our new structure is designed to bring even stronger patient services and advocacy programs to the chapters, and help us reach more patients and families with education and support," said LLS President and Chief Executive Officer John Walter. "Mark has shown strong leadership over the past year in advancing our goal of helping patients gain access to high quality, affordable and coordinated health care, and his expanded role will further enhance our ability to do what's best for patients."
Velleca, a scientist and board-certified physician, has experience in both academic research and clinical medicine as well as executive management in the private sector. He was the founder and senior vice president of CGI Pharmaceuticals, guiding CGI from its inception through its establishment as a drug discovery company that brought multiple drug candidates from research into clinical trials. Gilead Sciences acquired CGI in 2010, whereupon Velleca served as a senior advisor at Gilead until joining LLS in 2012. He has also served on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards of several other biotech companies.
Earlier in his career, Velleca was an attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital and on the clinical faculty at Yale Medical School. He earned a B.S. cum laude from Yale University and an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org or contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
SOURCE The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society