ELITE 2022 Patient Advocate Keri McDonough of Syneos Health

Keri McDonough

VP, Medical & Scientific Strategy Head, Patient Voice Consortium

Syneos Health

Giving Patients a Voice

The 20+ year career of Keri McDonough, MA has centered on reducing barriers to patient-focused drug development and commercialization and advancing personalized care. She partners regularly with patients, advocates, and large and small biopharmaceutical companies and is deeply invested in coaching her teams, colleagues, and customers.

In 2021, Keri established the Syneos Health Patient Voice Consortium, a function-agnostic hub that coalesces and maximizes the expertise, resources, and relationships needed to ensure consistent, strategic integration of patient needs and perspectives. This hub provides colleagues and customers with a forum for pressure-testing, problem-solving, and co-creating with each other, and, most importantly, with patients. The consortium aims to address disparities in care and representation for historically underserved patient populations, recognizing that equitable engagement is paramount to advancing inclusive medicine.

“With Keri at the helm, the Patient Voice Consortium is taking on mindset and structural barriers and paving new, more informed ways to build upon our long-standing Syneos Health commitment to partnering with patients across the lifecycle,” says Nick Kenny, Chief Scientific Officer, Syneos Health. “Together we are striving to ensure patient perspectives are always at the forefront, while meeting and beating regulator, payer, patient, and customer expectations.”

In addition to standing up the Consortium, Keri is particularly proud of spearheading three long-standing patient-focused initiatives: Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health, a seven-year initiative between Sunovion and six leading advocacy organizations; “Keeping Care Complete,” the first international caregiver/patient/provider survey on mental illness in partnership with Lilly; and Everyday Matters, a multi-year program leveraging positive psychology to provide tangible tools for navigating the unpredictability of multiple sclerosis in partnership with the National MS Society and Genzyme.

“Keri has devoted her life’s work to ensuring the patient voice is embedded throughout drug development,” says Sue Yeoh, Director, Communications at Syneos Health. “As a firm believer in the power of lived experience to inform, motivate, and activate stakeholders, Keri continues to educate colleagues across Syneos Health about the multi-dimensional aspects related to hearing and responding to what patients have to say.”


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