Published March 17, 2020.
In 2019, Stevie Danihel joined PKD Foundation as its new Director of Strategic Partnerships. As she settles into her new role, we had the chance to sit down and learn more about her vision for the future.
PKD Foundation (PKDF): Can you tell us about the Director of Strategic Partnerships role and what that means to PKD Foundation?
Stevie: The role of Director of Strategic Partnerships is a new position for the PKD Foundation. In this role, I will be working with strategic industry partners across the healthcare spectrum on funding opportunities with the Foundation. The PKD Foundation wants to build a solid pipeline of younger companies getting into the PKD space, and I’m constantly looking for opportunities to build new relationships for our patients in the kidney space.
This necessitates staying up to date about what’s happening for the patients and staying on top of the research. By knowing what’s underway with current research, we’ll be on the lookout for new drugs coming down the pipeline in a couple of years. There are so many opportunities for collaboration and funding.
PKDF: Please tell us a little about your background.
Stevie: I come from academia and healthcare organizations like Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. This is my first time in the kidney space. I continue to be so impressed at how involved and passionate PKD patients are about research and patient care. They really work to take ownership of their own healthcare. Patients are always asking questions and are informed on the latest PKD research taking place. This is a group of people who have a hand in their health. They have papers in hand and are ready. I believe if more patients were like this, we would have a dramatically different healthcare system.
PKDF: Why have you chosen to work with PKD Foundation?
Stevie: Healthcare companies’ ability to provide funding fits well in this space, and I really like the team and the research happening in the patient community. It’s important to me to be somewhere I can professionally help further patient care and research. I sincerely appreciate that Andy, our CEO, has a very clear idea of where he wants the PKD Foundation to go and that really resonates with my own philosophies on patient care and research.
PKDF: What are your goals in the coming year?
Stevie: A big goal of mine is to get a robust Industry Alliance going to bring together supporting organizations, patient advocates, and key opinion leaders in the kidney space. The Industry Alliance is a group of companies that are our key supporters in the corporate space. We currently have collaborations with a variety of companies in the Health & Wellness, Specialty Pharmacy, Diagnostics, Imaging and Medical Devices, Genetics, and Pharmaceuticals. I also have plans to grow the collaboration options for companies with the ADPKD Registry and I also can’t wait to see PKDCON grow. These are both important opportunities to directly impact our patients, and I want to make the most of each to create a robust place for patients to get information.
PKDF: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the PKD community?
Stevie: Please don’t be afraid to reach out to me with corporate giving information or if you know of people or organizations who might be a good supporter(s) of the PKD community. I am also excited about working with patients and seeing what they can bring to the table. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.