Longtime healthcare PR advocate Lisa Stockman Mauriello passed away on August 4 at her home in Summit, New Jersey, surrounded by her loved ones. She was 52.
Up until her death, caused by ALS, she maintained her career-long commitment to healthcare communications. She brought national attention to ALS, having been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of the disease in January.
“Within PR, she found the healthcare aspect very meaningful, affecting patient outcome, patient advocacy and awareness of treatments, whether pharmaceutical or other,” said her husband, Bob Mauriello. “Healthcare made it extra special because she felt she was impacting people’s lives.”
Stockman Mauriello sought access to Biogen’s Tofersen, a drug designed to treat her condition. She had received her diagnosis too late to participate in the clinical trials. The company denied access to the medication, stating their process was in place to allow fair access among patients. Biogen’s expanded access or compassionate use program would allow investigational treatment, after the clinical trials were completed.
Stockman Mauriello had also sought access through the 2018 Right to Try bill, under which patients unable to participate in clinical trials can request experimental drugs. The ALS community has recognized her efforts in raising awareness about the fatal disease.
Even after her diagnosis, Stockman Mauriello continued her push to establish a healthcare communications program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She had received her B.A. and M.A. from the university.
The Mauriellos donated $100,000, and an anonymous donor is matching that amount up to $200,000. Now, $750,000 has been raised in cash and pledges with the goal of reaching $1 million, according to UNC. The school is continuing to accept donations.
The certificate program for undergrads is on track to launch in the spring of 2022.
Stockman Mauriello started her career in 1991 at Ruder Finn in New York City. After two years, she moved to Burson-Marsteller (now BCW), where she handled big pharma accounts. When senior leaders founded their own PR agency, she joined them as their first employee at Chandler Chicco agency, which focused on healthcare PR.
She came to Syneos Health as president of public relations and medical communications in June 2014. In her last position, she was the president of diversified communications services.
Syneos provided the following statement on her death: “We’re heartbroken that Lisa Stockman Mauriello has lost her battle with ALS. Being boldly Lisa, she was courageous and championed access to innovation for herself and the broader ALS community.”
The company added, “Syneos Health will continue Lisa’s legacy with support of the University of North Carolina Undergraduate Health Communication certificate program. Her impact was profound, and it will endure, always.”
Stockman Mauriello had been named one of CNN’s 50 most powerful people in healthcare, a Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Rising Star in 2005 and an HBA Luminary. She was elected to PRWeek’s Hall of Femme 2021 and the MM+M Hall of Femme 2021.
She is predeceased by her mother, Maryanne Stockman and survived by, in addition to her husband, Bob Mauriello, her sons Scott (22), Luke (19) and Dean (15), her sister Julie Stockman and her father Dennis Stockman.