About the Patient Activation Network

For Patients | By Patients | For Change

The Patient Activation Network was created by patients for patients to accomplish real change in healthcare. Our health is truly the only thing that connects us. Whatever your age, gender or background, health is the great equalizer.

What we have found is that people who are active in their health are more likely to have better outcomes. Active doesn't meaning climbing mountains or playing tennis every day, while eating a plant based diet. Not all of us can do that and that's OK.

So what does being active mean? Active means asking the right questions, following the plan of care and participating in your own recovery. Active means doing the best you can with what you've got.

The Patient Activation Network was created by patients for patients to accomplish real change in healthcare. Our health is truly the only thing that connects us. Whatever your age, gender or background, health is the great equalizer.

Our Mission

Being a patient is complex. It can also be lonely and isolating, especially if you are sick. That isolation actually makes us feel worse. The Patient Activation Network is a place to shake free of that isolation and share your story for the benefit of others going through where you have already been. 

By sharing stories, we support each other in our journeys. We also learn compensatory strategies for living well despite the hand we were dealt. Stories are the way we learn and health is what connects us. The Patient Activation Network is that connection point to turn stories into knowledge and power.

Our stories can also change the healthcare system. By looking at problems through the lens of the patient, healthcare stakeholders can better understand the challenges that people are faced with every day. 

Together, we will change healthcare.

Michael Becker writing A Walk With Purpose while getting chemo for head and neck cancer

About our Founder and Chief Empathy Officer

Matt Cavallo, MPH is a patient experience speaker, author, and podcaster who motivates audiences worldwide with his personal patient experience and genuine storytelling style.

At age twenty-eight, Matt was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Seemingly over night he went from a fully-functioning, healthy man to someone who was numb from the waist down and unable to walk. As a result of his diagnosis, Matt has dedicated his life to improving the patient experience.

Matt Cavallo is the founder and Chief Empathy Officer of the Patient Activation Network. He is a patient experience thought leader who has been a keynote speaker for healthcare events across the country. Matt has been named among the Top 10 Social HealthMakers by Sharecare and his blog was selected as one of Healthline’s top multiple sclerosis picks in 2015. His story of being diagnosed and overcoming the physical and emotional challenges associated with having a chronic disease can be read in his memoir, The Dog Story: A Journey into a New Life with Multiple Sclerosis.

Most importantly, however, Matt is the proud father of his two sons, Mason and Colby, the loving husband to his wife, Jocelyn, and the best friend to his dog, Teddy. Originally from the Boston suburbs, Matt currently works and lives with his family in Chandler, Arizona.


Do you have a story you want to share? Contact us today to join our Podcast

Dr. Susan Begelman on the Patient Activation Network

PAN57: Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Dr. Susan Begelman

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) is a rare disease that affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord. SMA may affect a person’s ability to eat, walk, or even, breathe. SMA is also the number one cause of death in infants. In this episode, Dr. Susan Begelman discusses what causes SMA, newborn screening and hope […]

Bullying in Healthcare with Phyllis S. Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC on the Patient Activation Network Podcast

PAN56: Bullying in Healthcare with Phyllis S. Quinlan, PhD, RN-BC

On this episode of the Patient Activation Network Podcast, we talk to Phyllis S. Quinlan, author and nurse entrepreneur, about bullying in healthcare. Phyllis has practiced in a variety of emergency services, acute care, subacute care and long term care settings. She holds national certifications in Critical Care, Emergency Nursing and Nursing Professional Development; and […]

PAN55: Share the Care with Sheila Warnock

Sheila Warnock had several profound experiences change her life. First, she became sole caregiver of her ill mother and an emotional crutch for her best friend, Susan, who was diagnosed with cancer. By undertaking this dual role, Sheila truly experienced the tremendous burden caregivers have to endure. In 1988, she became part of a group […]

PAN54: Vets to BSN Program at National University with Mary Beth Prendergast

“This program helps military vets get the credits they deserve,” said Mary Beth Prendergast about the Vets to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at National University in San Diego. During this episode, Mary Beth discusses this program and how the flexibility of the program allowed a student to spend time with his mom […]

PAN53: HIV, Needlesticks and the story of Karen Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN

“As I got on the elevator that final time, I realized that this was the end of my clinical career.” Karen Daley, RN reflected on what it felt to walk out of the Emergency Room for the last time after an accidental needle stick led to a diagnosis of HIV and Hep C. “I just […]

PAN52: Pushing the Limits with Dr. Shawna Pandya

Dr. Shawna Pandya dreamed of being a super hero as a little girl. As she grew, her dreams shifted to becoming an astronaut and medical doctor. While she may not done a cape to work, she is an every day hero who helps patients everyday and helps further our mission to explore this galaxy and […]

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