Our Team

Terry Wilcox

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Terry Wilcox helps patients find their voice and become advocates for their health care.As co-founder and executive director of Patients Rising, Terry manages the organization’s day-to-day operations to help every patient gain access to the right treatment. An expert in multimedia storytelling, Terry uses her background in entertainment to present powerful personal patient narratives. She has a track record of building coalitions with survivors, caregivers and medical professionals. A regular opinion writer on health policy and how it affects patients, she has been published in Fortune, the Boston Globe, The Hill, Morning Consult, Crains NY, Real Clear Health, American Thinker, Inside Sources and more.

Terry’s career in patient advocacy was inspired by her mentor Selma Schimmel, considered by many as the “original” young adult survivor advocate. As executive director for Vital Options International, Terry advanced Selma’s legacy at the nonprofit cancer communication, education and advocacy organization. From 2008 to 2014, Terry worked alongside Selma as creative director at Vital Options International and supervising producer for The Group Room.

Terry lives in Vienna, Virginia with her husband, Jonathan, and twin boys, Jackson and James. Recently, they refinished her basement to house her mother-in-law and a puppy named Harlow, making their home truly intergenerational.

Melanie Marconi

Chief Operating Officer

Melanie serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Patients Rising and oversees organizational operations, systems, and human resources. A seasoned nonprofit consultant, Melanie has worked on behalf of several national and local nonprofits to manage teams, direct growth and advise on partnering with the corporate sector. Melanie has long been an advocate for underserved voices throughout the county, and she is honored to work with an organization that is so committed to making patients voices heard.

Melanie grew up in a suburb of Las Vegas and is a proud graduate of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon (Go, Ducks!).

James Landfield

Chief Financial Officer

Jim Landfield is the owner of Business Help, Inc. which he has run since 1995. Prior to starting his own firm, he worked for smaller companies as well as Fortune 500 companies. His experience in these companies has included positions in their treasury, accounting, financial analysis and investments departments. He has worked for National Coffee Service Association, Steptoe and Johnson, Texaco, American Express and the World Bank. Jim has an MBA from Columbia University and earlier degrees from the University of Chicago, Brandeis University and the University of Salamanca, Spain.

Joe Keenan

Director of  Digital Product Development & Marketing

Joe directs the digital strategy, operations and marketing for Patients Rising.  He is responsible for developing and enhancing the organization’s digital assets, applications, and online content across its web properties, mobile, and social channels.  Joe has been working in healthcare marketing, communications and content development for 20 years, specifically in the areas of cancer, substance abuse, chronic illness, and patient advocacy.

Jim Sliney Jr.

Director of Patient Outreach 

As Director of Patient Content at Patients Rising, Jim works very closely with the people who have healthcare war stories to tell. As a Columbia University trained writing consultant Jim has worked closely with writers of all levels of skill to help them find and refine their voices. Jim is a writer, editor, author and medical assistant with over 20 years of experience in healthcare. He’s spent over two decades in clinical care and research at some of New York’s biggest health institutions doing hands-on nursing, education and advocacy for rare disease patients. He has worked with several non-profit patient support organizations doing outreach, advocacy and creating educational content. He lives in New York City with his wife and their cats…sooo many cats.

Joelle Sokolic

Director of Patient Advocacy

Joelle is an Executive Program Assistant with Patient Rising and a graduate of Stockton University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Growing up in Atlantic City, NJ Joelle always knew DC was supposed to be home. For as long as she can remember she has had a passion for the Public Policy Sector and advocating for better health resources for individuals. When she’s not trying to better the world we live in, she can be found spending time with friends and family or binge-watching Law and Order SVU with her oversized cat Misty.




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