The Second International Congress of Patient Empowerment was held on April 9-10 at the Polish Olympic Committee Center in Warsaw. The main goal of this initiative is to popularize the idea of a patient as a partner, support patients within healthcare system and elevate awareness of their rights. This year it was focused on the way patients would like to be educated and reinforced by institutions or patients’ organizations. Janssen partnered the Second International Congress of Patient Empowerment to begin discussion surrounding importance of knowledge and support in illness. The panel discussion, Knowledge, partnership, understanding. How to professionalize patients’ competences on the individual and systemic levels? How to establish cooperation locally and in Central and Eastern Europe?   

Janssen 4 Patients 

The debate commenced with the introduction speech given by Vlatka Radić (Patient Engagement & Advocacy Lead in Central & Eastern Europe, Janssen), who highlighted the importance of knowledge for better management of disease. Patients need reliable information to become a more knowledgeable and informed stakeholder, look out for their best interest and better partner with their doctors. 

She also emphasized that patient advocates need to be empowered with relevant knowledge which will help them to act as equal partners with other stakeholders in pursuing systemic solutions for better outcomes. 


“At Janssen, we have striven for a few decades now to improve patients’ quality of life, supporting enhancement of diagnostics, treatment process and patient care. These values are derived from our Credo, which sets the direction of all our activities. JANSSEN 4 PATIENTS is a response to current patients’ needs including their yearn for knowledge related not only to relevant therapeutic areas but also complexities of healthcare systems.” 

Because knowledge matters 

Next the floor was given to the representatives of patients’ organizations from the CEE region including Wojciech Wiśniewski, Spokesperson, Oncological Foundation Alivia (Poland), Mira Armour, MijelomCRO (Croatia), Jana Pelouchova, Diagnóza leukemie (Czechia) 

The speakers underlined the vital importance of knowledge and support in illness. A well-educated patient is able to better cooperate with the doctor, follows the guidelines more diligently and thus copes better with the illness. It is especially crucial in terms of chronic diseases such as schizophrenia, when knowledge largely impacts self-discipline and therapy efficacy. The same applies to cancer patients who usually have grave concerns about their illness and treatment. Additionally, the representatives of patients’ organizations stressed the fact that the ability to navigate the intricate healthcare system is becoming an important element in the illness process itself. 

Role of patients in healthcare system is growing

The panel discussion was summed up by Marek Posobkiewicz, minister and Chief Sanitary Inspector, who related his experience of cooperation with patients’ organizations and admitted that their role in healthcare system is growing in importance and significance.

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