Kathleen Coolidge

Member for
6 years 3 weeks

Kathleen Coolidge's picture
Title: Director, US Patient Advocacy-Rare DiseasesYear joined PA Group: 2007Year joined Genzyme: 1997

Description of your current role and typical activities/responsibilities

I am responsible for U.S. Patient Advocacy which means working with the many rare disease patient organizations, both large, small, well established and those just beginning! My typical activities and responsibilities are prioritizing issues and challenges on a daily basis and working together with the team to try to resolve them. Examples include communication, program planning, and managing the grant process for all the US patient organizations.

Previous roles/experience, at Genzyme or elsewhere

I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work (LICSW) and have worked in hospitals and health care my whole professional career. My first position was with OB/Gyn patients, particularly high risk and teenage pregnancies at the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle Washington. Then, I moved to Boston and worked for 11 years at the Tufts New England Medical Center with patients and families affected by Cystic Fibrosis. Using my social work skills and background, I then became a case manager at Genzyme working directly with Gaucher, Fabry, MPS and Pompe patients. Ultimately I became a manager for the Patient and Product Services group before transitioning to Genzyme Patient Advocacy.

What does patient advocacy at Genzyme mean to you?

My background working directly with patients in hospital settings and then as a case manager at Genzyme helped me evolve into my job in Patient Advocacy. I work less often directly with patients and, instead, with patient organizations, but, I hope that the impact is the same, if not greater. The Genzyme culture is dedicated to holding our relationships with patients and patient organizations as one of our most important values. Being a part of that culture is a great honor.

Tell us one or two things about yourself

When I talk to family, friends and other colleagues about my job at Genzyme, the usuaI response I hear is: “you’re the perfect person for that job”. I feel very lucky to be in this position!