The hidden role informal caregivers play in health care

Modern health systems would cease to function without the crucial role played by caregivers.

About the talk

Once a cared-for patient and now a caregiver himself, Scott Williams highlights the invaluable role of informal caregivers - those friends and relatives who, out of love, go the extra mile for patients in need. From personal care to advocacy to emotional support, unpaid caregivers form the invisible backbone of health and social systems all over the world, Williams says - and without them, these systems would crumble. "How can we make sure that their value to patients and society is recognized?" he asks.

About the speaker

Scott Williams · Patient advocate

Scott Williams is currently Vice President, Head of Global Patient Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. He has long been active in health advocacy, working in the past, among others, for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, and for the Men’s Health Network. He studied Political Science at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and obtained a Masters in Public Administration from American University in Washington, DC. During a particularly difficult time in his life, he had significant health issues, his eyes were opened to the importance of the role of caregivers in our health systems, and how that role is often not recognised. With support from our companies leadership, he has been working on the development of “Embracing Carers” a global movement that recognises the pivotal role of caregivers in the healthcare ecosystem.