PAF Mourns the Loss of Founding Board Member, Dr. Bruce Avery

Patient Advocate Foundation and National Patient Advocate Foundation mourn the recent passing of one of our founding board members, Dr. Bruce Avery, after a courageous battle with cancer. As one of the first people to join our Boards in 1996, he served in multiple capacities over the years including Board President. He chaired multiple scientific initiatives addressed by our Board of Directors and hosted fundraisers for PAF in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Dr. Robert “Bruce” Avery (d. May 24, 2016)

Without his enduring support, particularly in the early stages of the organizations, PAF and NPAF may not be here today. Bruce addressed all issues we faced with a common- sense approach and often led our discussions to perfect solutions for complex issues. PAF’s Co-Founder, Nancy Davenport-Ennis, described Bruce as “a man of deep convictions for the rights of patients to access quality health care services in all settings including his dearly beloved rural Tennessee.” She added that his “moral compass guided many of our decisions of services to provide to patients, laws to be passed to enhance patient access to care and PAF’s commitment to see that our nation preserved our oncologists at all levels to assure cancer patients of care in their community.”

Other board members, both past and present, added these words of remembrance:

“His leadership, wisdom, kindness, and generosity leave an incredible legacy for us.”
Deborah Parham Hopson, PhD, RN, FAAN

“It is with great sorrow to learn of the passing of our good friend and a valuable asset to PAF and NPAF for so many years, beginning with its founding in 1996. I always looked to Bruce, and consulted with him when I served on our boards for the views of the rural medical oncologists and the problems his patients would face by some of the limits CMS and states tried to invoke to keep their costs down at the expense of the local oncologists and the rural patients. He and his voice – and his colorful attire — will be sorely missed.”
S. Sheldon Weinhaus

“What a shining light he was and what a difference he made in the lives of so many. We are blessed to have him in our lives. It makes me smile as I remember his humor and especially his flair in dress. Most of all, he gave of himself and for that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to know him.”
The Honorable Pat Dougherty and wife Bev

“One of the great fortunes of my life was service with PAF and NPAF, because the room was always filled with inspiring folks like Bruce Avery. When I was growing up, my parents taught me a simple lesson: strive to do good, and you will find yourself in the company of good people….I give special thanks for the life of Dr. Bruce Avery.”
“Woody” Connette, Esquire

The full obituary can be viewed here.