PACB Forms Ethics Committee – 2022


The Patient Advocate Certification Board recently announced the formation of an Ethics Committee, which will be tasked with reviewing ethics inquiries, writing relevant position papers, and periodic reviews and updates to the Code of Professional Responsibility for Board Certified Patient Advocates.

Heretofore, all ethics-related issues were handled either by the previously established Compliance Committee or by the Board of Directors at large. With the continued growth and development of PACB and by extension the number of Board Certified Patient Advocates, the governing board sought to establish a committee of volunteers with more formal training and experience in ethics.

‘PACB is fortunate to have such an experienced, talented, and diverse group of individuals to review and make recommendations about our ethics policies and procedures,’ said PACB President Heidi B. Kummer, MD, MPH, BCPA.

The Board has appointed the following individuals to the Ethics Committee:

  • Rebecca Barnett from Arizona
  • Deborah Batson from Colorado
  • Cindy Leyland from Missouri
  • Ladsine Taylor from North Carolina

The new members join Dr. Felix Davies, Lea Christo, and Devon Santoro from the PACB Board of Directors.

Rebecca Barnett, MHLP, BScB, BCPA, PACS


With a Master’s in Health Policy and Law, Rebecca currently works in compliance for a company specializing in mental health. Her interest focuses on addressing disparities for vulnerable populations including those with mental health disorders and the elderly. She supports accountability for ethical practice amongst patient and health care practitioners and also seeks to ensure advocates know how and where to obtain reliable guidance and information regarding ethical questions.


Deborah Batson, BCPA


After a successful career in research and clinical informatics at a pediatric hospital, Deborah now works as an independent patient advocate where she specializes in helping adults, adolescents and pediatric patients in the area of cancer and rare disease. Deborah’s experience will help to bring the voice of the patient, parent of critically ill and terminally ill children, and involvement in academic medical research to PACB ethics discussions. She is passionate about helping PACB in this vital area as the field of patient and health care advocacy grows.


Cindy Leyland, BCPA


Cindy currently serves as the Vice President of Operations & Fund Development at the Center for Practical Bioethics, one of only two free-standing bioethics centers in the USA. She also serves as project director and managing editor for the center’s chronic pain project. In addition to her vast knowledge and experience in bioethics, her expertise in project management, leadership, and communications will bring valued infrastructure and practical application to the Ethics committee.


Ladsine Taylor, MSN, GNP-BC, CDP, BCPA


Ladsine is a gerontological nursing practitioner (advanced practice provider) serving the Veterans Administration. She works with an interdisciplinary team providing a holistic approach to care for veterans with an array of chronic multiple complex medical issues. Their collaborative approach to care includes the family of Veterans in the development and implementation of their plan of care. Ladsine’s experience in chronic care management of older adults/Veterans will serve to enhance our discussions and decisions regarding ethics and policy for patient and health care advocates.


Board of Directors Representatives to the Ethics Committee

Lea Christo, MSW, LICSW, BCPA

As a licensed independent clinical social worker I have long been privileged to help patients and families successfully navigate the healthcare system and provide their supportive escort along life’s difficult journeys. Now as a faculty member and director of the Health Advocacy Program at Assumption College, I am eager to advance the expanding professional field of patient advocacy through the work of the PACB. Together we must advance best practices that respond to the dynamic challenges faced by healthcare consumers, and serve our communities through health promotion.

Felix Davies, PhD, BCPA

I hope to contribute to US, UK and international patient advocacy by providing an alternative perspective from another country, culture and health and social care system; to support the development of patient advocacy in the UK by promoting patient advocacy and the PACB across the UK and increasing the professionalization and governance of patient advocacy in the UK by promoting PACB values, ethical standards and competencies. And to support international patient advocacy cooperation and collaboration for the benefit of all participating countries by representing the voice of health advocates outside the USA.

Devon Santoro, CPXP, BCPA

Since graduating from the Health Advocacy Master’s Program at Sarah Lawrence College in 2016, she has worked in a hospital setting as a Patient Experience Advocate. Having been a caregiver for a family member she is acutely aware of the many challenges we face in caring for our loved ones. Joining the PACBoard is an incredible opportunity to help expand the patient advocacy profession and continue to focus on understanding experiences of health and advocating to uphold respect, dignity, autonomy, and compassion in those experiences.

About PACB

In order to maintain the credential, Patient Advocates who earn the BCPA must either retake the exam or complete 30 Continuing Education credits every three years. Certified advocates are listed on the PACB website. The exam is available two times a year. The next testing period is scheduled for fall 2022. Contact to be notified when registration becomes available. Learn more at The site also hosts news and developments about the organization and information related to exam registration and credential maintenance.

Patient Advocate Certification Board, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on the development and maintenance of certification for the profession of patient and health care advocacy.