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Home > This Just In > Davenport-Ennis Announces New CEO of PAF and NPAF

Incoming CEO Announcement


Patient Advocate Foundation and National Patient Advocate Foundation Executive Board of Directors Name
Alan Balch, PhD, As Incoming CEO

Davenport-Ennis to Remain As Chairman of the Board of Directors and Focus on National Health Policy Initiatives
and Strategic Direction


After founding and leading the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) and National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) for more than 17 years, Nancy Davenport-Ennis announced her decision to step away from the day-to-day management position of Chief Executive Officer to focus on broader healthcare initiatives. The Executive Board of Directors for PAF and NPAF, chaired by Davenport-Ennis, named Dr. Alan Balch as successor. This unanimous decision between leadership of both organizations comes after an extensive, multi-year search by the boards’ search committees. Davenport-Ennis has chosen to remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors and focus her efforts on national policy initiatives and broad strategic direction of both Foundations.

Dr. Balch, who will begin his role as CEO in July 2013, brings a decade of executive-level leadership in the non-profit sector with an emphasis on consensus-building and collaboration. Since 2006, he has been the Vice President of the Preventive Health Partnership -- a nationwide health promotion collaboration among the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association.

“Alan Balch is a man of great passion for patients and the complexities they must endure to access quality care,” said Davenport-Ennis. “His collaborative leadership style in both policy and programmatic successes are assets to our staff, those whom we serve and national healthcare stakeholders with whom we work. I am personally pleased and honored to have Alan accept our CEO position.”

Dr. Balch also has extensive experience working with boards and senior executive staff to identify strategic priorities and coordinating implementation of mission-critical activities across multiple staff and departments including advocacy, policy, finance, development, legal, health promotions, science, and field operations. Dr. Balch has led numerous federal advocacy efforts on a range of issues both at the legislative and regulatory level over the years. For example, he helped to organize and lead a coalition that successfully fought for improvements in the regulatory process for the review of cancer drugs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He also contributed key concepts and statutory language to important provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

"As a member of the Executive Board of Directors of PAF and NPAF since 2007, I have developed a deep understanding and passion for the incredible work conducted by both organizations on behalf of patients across the country,” said Dr. Balch. “As CEO, I will work closely with the board and staff to continue expanding PAF as the nation's leading provider of co-pay assistance and case management services to patients struggling with financial or other issues while also expanding NPAF's complimentary role in promoting federal and state policies that improve the lives of patients."

Arguably the country’s leading patient assistance foundation for those faced with obstacles to accessing care, PAF was founded in 1996 by Davenport-Ennis in honor and memory of her friend, Cheryl Grimmel, a breast-cancer patient who was denied coverage for her treatment. Under Davenport-Ennis’ vision, leadership and guidance, to date the Patient Advocate Foundation has provided direct patient assistance to hundreds of thousands of patients with chronic, debilitating and life-threatening conditions by providing professional case management services to help resolve healthcare access, medical debt crisis and job retention issues.

PAF and NPAF were first defined in business plans drafted by Davenport-Ennis the evening of Cheryl Grimmel’s passing on December 31, 1994. After nearly two years of extensive research and planning, PAF and NPAF were incorporated and opened their doors April 4, 1996. Davenport-Ennis was joined by her husband Jack for full-time work at the Foundations in 2000, as did her two daughters, Beth and Fran.

“At that time, PAF had 12 employees and an annual budget of $1 million, serving approximately 1500 patients annually,” recalls Jack Ennis, Chief Corporate Development Officer and Co-Founder.

Through the leadership of the family who recruited, trained and developed a current staff of 176 full-time employees, PAF has grown to serve annually more than 100,000 patients and manage resources for patients that exceed $46 million per year. In recent years, Davenport-Ennis has focused substantial efforts in working with the transition committee of the executive board of directors to assure that the future leadership of the Foundations will maintain continued exponential growth and development.

“We set out to find the perfect candidate with the right balance of skills and vision to advance our mission,” said Beth Patterson, President of Mission Delivery for PAF. “I’m confident that our new leadership under Dr. Balch will help PAF reach even greater achievements in the years to come.”

“While we certainly possess great leaders internally, members of our Executive Board of Directors pursued the recruitment of an individual who could dedicate himself to the demands of the job – including the travel and increasing time requirement,” added Fran Castellow, President of Operations. “Dr. Balch is a leader who will focus his energies on taking our organization to the next level and we are thrilled to welcome him on board.”

“As we have throughout our history, PAF will continue to evolve and expand to meet the myriad challenges American patients face each day when trying to access healthcare,” said Dennis A. Gastineau, MD, President of PAF’s Board of Directors. “We are fortunate to have a detailed operational transition to Alan Balch, with continued participation of our Founder, Nancy Davenport-Ennis with the Board of Directors, providing mission and strategic continuity.”

Congressman Rob Whitman, who represents the first district of Virginia, recently submitted the following statement for the Congressional Record:

As a cancer survivor herself, Davenport-Ennis has openly discussed how this experience aided her in establishing a body of work that will continue to help millions of patients long past her retirement. Throughout her exemplary career as a leader in health care policy she has embodied the dignity and integrity of a true patient advocate. I join with my distinguished colleagues in expressing our utmost respect and admiration for her service to Virginians and all Americans.