Dorothy Leone-Glasser, RN, HHC, has lived with systemic lupus for over forty-five years. As a result, she has overcome two forms of cancer, disabling arthritis, kidney failure, seizures, coma, heart attack, and strokes. During this time, she graduated from a wheelchair to crutches to ultimately walking with her own two feet. Between the ages of 20 and 37, Dorothy received three death sentences imposed by her doctors. From receiving the National Arthritis Foundation Hero Award to her advocacy initiatives, she is alive and paving the way to the future of wellness as Executive Director of the Advocates for Responsible Care (ARxC), a non-profit wellness and advocacy organization. ARxC’s mission is to help empower individuals to achieve their maximum wellness with a strong voice as health advocates effectively reducing cultural incompetency and health care delivery disparities.
As Dorothy drove her wheelchair, she also drove her career. Dorothy’s philosophy, “Illness lives in the mind, plays out in the body, and comes to a place of peace in the spirit where wellness survives” was the compelling energy behind her success. Empowering others with her personal philosophy and raising a strong voice of advocacy, Dorothy has taught countless others how to “live wise and live well” and raise their voices.
She was a thirty-eight-year member of the Board of Directors at the Arthritis Foundation, GA (AF), serving as the GA Advocacy Chair on the Leadership Council for the SE Region. Dorothy provides advocacy consulting to numerous organizations, societies, and patient groups. She facilitates an ongoing patient group ARxC STARS that empowers its members to promote wellness and prevention practices along with being active healthcare advocates. She has published countless materials educating patients about wellness power and advocacy. Dorothy is frequently seen and heard on TV, radio, and print media and testifies before congressional committees and local government Boards on health care advocacy issues. She has been recognized by the National Association of Professional Women as ‘Woman of the Year 2012’. Dorothy received the 2013 “Latino Health Excellence Award” from the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia and in 2016 received the Arthritis Foundation GA “Outstanding Service Award” for her advocacy work. In 2020, ARxC received the Atlanta Business Chronicle Community Outreach Health Care Hero Award for distributing PPE, meals, laptops and supplies to first responders, Georgia hospitals and communities in need. May 2022, Dorothy and ARxC received the Center for Global Health Innovation (GA Bio) Golden Helix Community Award.
Dorothy was asked to speak with President George W. Bush to a crowd of 4,200 citizens, legislators, and community and civic leaders at the Atlanta Civic Center, in Atlanta. They discussed Dorothy’s experiences and insights educating people on the new Medicare benefits and enrollment for Part D prescription drug coverage.
The Advocates for Responsible Care have always advocated for full access to medications and treatments with an emphasis on reducing health disparities. In 2011 ARxC, along with Georgia Bio, took the lead to organize the Rx in Reach GA Coalition (Rx in Reach GA) consisting of 41 health and physician organizations who promote legislative policies that ensure patient protections and complete and affordable access to life-saving prescription drugs and treatments. She has led this coalition to passing Biosimilar legislation, Step Therapy Reform and PBM Oversight, Physician Prior Authorization Transparency and Vaccine Authorization legislation in Georgia and Mental Health Parity. ARxC has partnered with Compassionate Atlanta to create the Georgia Coalition for Safe Communities (GCSC); believing gun violence is a public health crisis and advocates for federal, state and private funding for gun violence research gun violence effects on the health of our communities. The GCSC lead the support and successful passing of the Hate Crimes Bill and Citizen’s Arrest Repeal in Georgia. GCSC informs, educates and mobilizes Georgians to promote common sense gun policies that prevent violence.
As the legal representative and medical director of the patients of the Grady Dialysis Crisis, ARxC led the negotiations for long-term treatments and continues to work toward a permanent solution to their care.. In December 2010 Dorothy received the Mundo Hispanico Award, Amigo de los Hispanos, for her work in advocating for dialysis patients who were in jeopardy of dying without dialysis treatment. ARxC is a partner of the Coalition for Responsible Kidney Care, a group of concerned medical professionals working to change CMS rule to include uninsured and undocumented patients of ESRD, to ensure their dialysis treatment.
In 2021, she accepted the position of Chair of the Center for Global Health Innovation (CGHI) formerly GA Bio, Patient Advocacy Alliance, leading the collaboration and partnership of patient advocacy community and life sciences leaders creating opportunities for expanding access to our treatment landscape while sharing strategies and actions on critical health policy issues.
(Click here to download a copy of Dorothy's full biography.)