Wes Michael, President and Founder
Wes has been involved market research for more than 30 years. Wes earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania. He saw the need for rare patients to be included in market research and created Rare Patient Voice in 2013 to enable patients and caregivers to share their experiences with decision makers. Wes has been amazed at the great reception Rare Patient Voice has gained from both patients and the market research industry. Over the past three years, Wes has grown Rare Patient Voice by personally reaching out to patients across the country and by leading a team that provides excellent and personalized customer service to hundreds of research firms. As President, Wes hopes to see Rare Patient Voice panels grow to include 500 different disease/conditions by 2020. He hopes that what we do can improve the lives of patients who are able to participate in our studies, and of those who come after.
- Hobbies: Walking Ace (see below), piano, history, exercise
- Pets: Ace (mix of a Beagle and Brittany) and Stanley the chocolate Lab
- Likes: To hear from patients who have just enjoyed taking part in a study
- Dislikes: When no one qualifies for a study
- Fun Facts: Wes spent a year in Edinburgh, Scotland and ran cross country with the Hare & Hounds.
Pam Cusick, Vice President, Business Development
Pam is an experienced research professional with more 25 years of expertise in study design, implementation, and analysis. Her background in public health communications and research coupled with her passion for patient advocacy dovetail nicely with Rare Patient Voice’s mission and vision. Pam hopes to expand Rare Patient Voice’s panels to include every patient who wants to share their opinions and impact their disease category. Pam earned a BA in Psychology from Sweet Briar College, and a MA in Psychology from the New School for Social Research. Pam also serves as the Vice President of the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisor for the Horses and Human’s Research Foundation. As Vice President of Business Development at Rare Patient Voice, Pam focuses on developing client relationships and expanding patient panels.
- Hobbies: Horseback riding, biking, kayaking, yoga and reading
- Pets: Fergus the Border Collie
- Likes: Dark chocolate, beaches, Wizard of Oz
- Dislikes: Mean people and lying
- Fun Fact: Pam competed as part of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team at Sweet Briar College.
Ben Shedlock, Senior Project Manager
Ben earned a BA in Business Marketing from Towson University. He joined Rare Patient Voice in May of 2014 as the first Team Member. As Senior Project Manager, Ben works to connect patients with client’s who want to do opinion-based research. He also acts as the Team Leader in Project Management and is the Lead Contact with the Project Programming Department.
- Hobbies: Waiting for the 2nd half of Football Season for the Steelers to start playing, snowboarding (preferably West Coast snow), fine dining (as long as the portions are big enough)
- Pets: Zoe (the forever baby Pit)
- Likes: Tattoos, music, hockey, dogs, food, nice mountain view
- Dislikes: onions, mushrooms, men’s skinny jeans
- Fun Fact: I can only count to nine and a half on my fingers
David Minion, Project Manager
David earned a BA in Business Administration and a BA in Economics from Towson University. He joined Rare Patient Voice in December of 2014. As Project Manager, David works directly with clients and patients to ensure all his studies run smoothly and effectively for both the patients and our clients. David is an active member of the Little People community through Little People of America (LPA) and the Dwarf Athletic Association of America (DAAA). Being “rare” himself David brings a unique perspective to the Rare Patient Voice Team.
- Hobbies: All things Philadelphia sports, mainly the Philadelphia Flyers, skiing, ice skating, random adventures with Willow
- Pets: Willow the adorable mutt
- Likes: Philadelphia Flyers, Netflix, Reading, Reese’s, Spicy Food
- Dislikes: Slow drivers in the left lane, being bored, selfish people
- Fun Fact: David earned a Gold Medal with Team USA at the World Dwarf Games
Jayme Bergan, Project Manager
Jayme joined Rare Patient Voice as a Project Manager in December of 2016. Jayme brings to Rare Patient Voice a background in medical and advertising sales. In her medical sales career she worked with doctors and patients to find appropriate solutions to their medical needs. She has a passion for customer service and organization providing her the ability to successfully serve both our clients and patients in her current role. Jayme earned her BA in Psychology/Business Administration and a minor in Spanish Literature from The University of Miami.
- Hobbies: Running with my two dogs, volleyball and cooking
- Pets: Jack & Duke, the golden retrievers
- Likes: Beaches, Mexican food and Pinot Noir
- Fun Fact: Jayme became a vegetarian when I was 5 years old and never looked back
Michael Taylor, Project Manager
Michael joined Rare Patient Voice in June of 2015 as a Research Associate and currently works as a Project Manager. Michael earned a BA in Psychology from Chestnut Hill College. Prior to joining Rare Patient Voice Michael worked in the patient care field working in a group home for individuals with behavioral diagnosis. This experience has led him to being passionate about meeting and talking to people who have signed up with RPV at events and learning more about their journey with their diagnosis. Michael is also always quick to advocate that we make sure people who participate are always getting a fair amount for their time!
- Hobbies: Reading, fishing, Quoits, traveling
- Pets: Cluney (Black lab + golden retriever) and Zora (German Shepherd + cattle dog)
- Likes: trying new foods, Game of Thrones, outdoor activities
- Dislikes: technology when it isn’t working!
- Fun Fact: Michael is an active member of his local Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)
Kirk Munsch, Patient Advocacy Manager
Kirk comes to us from the ranks of the Multiple Sclerosis patient panel. Before becoming an employee of Rare Patient Voice, he and his wife participated in patient and caregiver surveys. With this experience, Kirk really is a patient advocate and can categorically relate to those who have RPV process questions and privacy concerns. He is highly qualified to provide the “yes, you really can get paid for your opinion” question lurking in the back of everyone’s minds. Kirk loves to attend walks, support groups, and education events, and to explore venues outside of the norm (fitness facilities, church functions, non-medical/disability specific health fairs). He has been known to recruit in parking lots and has a portable table he carries in his car. The joke (and it’s pretty close to reality) is where a few are gathered, Kirk will set up his table and start talking RPV because Kirk really likes to say, “There is no downside to Rare Patient Voice, join us today!”
- Hobbies: Fantasy golf and football, surfing the web, learning anything new and working out
- Likes: Traditional jelly beans, popsicles, fried baloney
- Dislikes: Hypocrisy, slackers, lateness
- Fun Fact: Kirk has experienced tornados, hurricanes and an earthquake.
- Best advice ever received (and heeded): No matter who you work for or what is promised always be prepared to lose your job tomorrow and never ever count on anyone else but yourself for your retirement.