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Bucks residents honored for patient advocacy work


At the second annual #WeThePatients Fly-In in Washington, D.C., June 12-13, two Bucks County residents won awards for their work in advocacy, representing the chronically ill, rare and ultra-rare patients and patient families.

The annual Fly-In, hosted by Patients Rising, educates advocates in support of legislation that focuses on access and affordability of healthcare. The annual Fly-In had 100 patients and advocates who participated in 65 meetings with lawmakers and their staff.

Caryl Harris, co-founder and executive director of Avery’s Hope, a nonprofit based in New Hope, won the Fierce Advocate Award for her work with the rare disease community. The organization raises money and awareness for rare, ultra-rare and undiagnosed pediatric GI patients and patient families assisting with their out-of-pocket and insurance denied expenses.

Michael Riotto, another Bucks County resident, won a Fierce Advocate Award for his advocacy on behalf of those patients and patient families who cannot advocate for themselves. A Myeloma patient, himself, Riotto understands the need to raise his voice to make a difference and improve the current health care system.

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