PACB Forms JEDI Task Force – 2022


As part of the organization’s strategic initiatives, the Patient Advocate Certification Board recently announced the formation of a new task force to address Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity in patient and health care advocacy. While women represent the majority of professional patient and health care advocates, studies demonstrate that the female gender continues to be associated with poorer outcomes across many disease categories, under-representation in clinical trials, less access to the same therapies routinely offered to men, and are more likely to be dismissed by the health care system as a whole. In response, PACB has announced the formation of a Task Force to address Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity issues. According to PACB President, Heidi B. Kummer, MD, MPH, BCPA, ‘Part of our Strategic Framework is to increase Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) amongst Board Certified Patient Advocates and establish mutually beneficial partnerships with government agencies, professional organizations, or other stakeholder groups. This group will be tasked with helping PACB to identify ways to help make our BCPAs more aware and better prepare them for the challenges associated with advocating for women and gender equity, as well as justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for all patients…and the larger mission of identifying partnerships to help further that mission.’

The Board has appointed Heather Guidone, BCPA to lead the task force along with Dr. Malynnda Johnson, and Tiffany Matthews, BCPA from the PACB Board of Directors.


Heather Guidone Image

Heather Guidone, BCPA


Heather is the internationally recognized Program Director of the Center for Endometriosis Care. She has focused on ‘bench to beltway to bedside’ efforts in endometriosis advocacy, education, research, policy reform, patient-centered care and more for nearly thirty years, but more importantly, has also personally struggled with advanced endometriosis and infertility herself. She brings a unique perspective her professional works, driven by her lived experiences. A Board-Certified Advocate, her priority focus remains on reducing diagnostic delays and fighting for access to early and effective care; collaborative network building among multidisciplinary providers; and ensuring stakeholder representation in order to improve outcomes for future generations across the endometriosis and greater health communities.


Malynnda Johnson, PhD


Being an advocate means providing an ear to hear questions patients have, eyes to see concerns that one might not know how to express, and a voice to help all involved navigate the complex world of health. As a faculty member teaching and researching health communication my work has provided multiple opportunities to work closely with patients, medical providers, and health-focused organizations. My research focuses on difficult conversations surrounding health; including prevention and testing for sexually transmitted illness, mental health, and death and dying.


Heather Guidone Image

Tiffany Matthews, BCPA


Tiffany Matthews is a board certified patient advocate and owner & CEO of PACE – Patient Advocacy & Caregiver Empowerment. As a social worker in healthcare since 1998, she has seen how women have been treated in the healthcare system and hopes to improve their situation by empowering them to get the care they need through her Powerful Patient Partner Program Suite. Her personal experience with chronic illness, as a mother & caregiver by default, inform her work as a writer and educator advocating for better healthcare for women as patients & caregivers.


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.