Ella Balasa is a patient advocate and a person living with cystic fibrosis. Having a biology background, she is an advocate for the development of novel therapies for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections. She has spoken publicly about this issue as well as relaying the value of patient voice in research – most recently at the FDA and healthcare conferences. She believes in the importance of engaging patients to be active participants in healthcare by empowering and educating them to collaborate with stakeholders to improve disease outcomes. She has become a professional patient voice in research contributing to clinical trial development, research prioritization, developing patient engagement initiatives. Ella is also involved in the CF community through being a director of the US Adult CF Association and through her passion for writing. She writes about her research and healthcare experiences and introspectively about the hardships yet triumph that comes with living with a chronic illness. She has been published on numerous platforms including MedPage Today, HuffPost, and in Pulmonary Therapy Journal. Through opportunities working with healthcare organizations and sharing her journey through writing, she aims to affect the healthcare landscape to promote self-advocacy to patients and valuable insights to organizations
Through her advocacy work and partnering with different companies, Olive has gained expertise in public speaking, speaking about living with her condition and getting the emotion of the condition across to the audience. She also teaches researchers and partners about how to work with patients and involve them throughout the production/ research process. Olive has been a co-author on several articles and was also a co- author for the patient and public involvement module for the Clinical Trials Masters program at Edinburgh University. A lot of her time is spent converting academic writing into plain english to make it understandable for the reader but ensuring the correct information is still in the text.