Lea Ann Biafora

Our Founder

Lea Ann Biafora, MS, RN, OCN, CCM

CEO/ Founder

With 30 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, Lea Ann has a unique combination of experience as a certified oncology nurse and as an accomplished leader within the health care business sector. Lea Ann has devoted her career to assisting cancer patients in acute care settings, academic medical centers, and community settings. She understands the growing complexities and inter-connectedness associated with cancer care thanks to her experience in:

  • Specialization in oncology nursing (infusion, clinical trials, in-patient/out-patient settings) with patients with all cancer disease states in a variety of healthcare settings in the eastern part of the U.S. at Mount Sinai in Miami, FL; Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA; Boston City Hospital, Mass General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA; Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC.
  • As a hospital administrator, she managed 50 -100 cancer cases daily BWH focusing on reducing access barriers to care, and she attended night school to complete her master’s in healthcare administration. Understanding the systemic challenges within our current healthcare system, she had a keen interest in the power of a measured approach to demonstrate the systemic impact. She was fortunate to intern with national thought-leaders within healthcare quality at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, where her knowledge deepened. As a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she led multiple quality improvement initiatives to improve the quality and safety of cancer care delivery.
  • It was when she was recruited away to join an insurer to create an innovative breast cancer case management program for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts that she gained a better understanding of the complexities and challenges of the healthcare system. Lea Ann learned the value of population health through claims analytics as she helped to develop and manage chronic disease management programs. Her problem solving continued as she led a case management department at Group Health Incorporated (GHI) in New York and later helped to develop provider-focused cancer coordination value-based programs while working as an oncology clinical strategist for Humana, Inc.

Lea Ann understands the importance of patient advocacy, and she recognizes the widened systemic gaps in cancer care. After years of witnessing her family, friends, and patients struggle through the frustrating inadequacies within the healthcare system, Lea Ann created a concierge care management model that treats individuals living with cancer holistically – as an individual person, not as a patient.

Building upon her strong relationships with doctors and insurance companies, she navigates the healthcare delivery system and the science of cancer care with ease, eliminating barriers to care in the process. Her approach helps to create transparency in communication to promote shared and informed decision-making while strengthening the physician and patient relationship.

In addition to these applied experiences, Lea Ann has extensive academic training as a cancer patient advocate and business leader:

  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN®)
  • Certified Case Manager (CCM®)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ)
  • Certificate in Hospital Patient Advocacy from the Professional Patient Advocate Institute

Lea Ann is a member of the following professional organizations:

  • Oncology Nursing Society
  • National Association of Healthcare Advocacy (NAHAC)
    • Lea Ann has served on the Board of Directors of the NAHAC and was instrumental in creating the first standards & best practices document that serves as guiding principles within the field of private patient advocacy.
  • Alliance of Professional Health Advocates (APHA)
  • Massachusetts Health Care Advocates (MAHCA)
  • Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC)
  • National Care Planning Council
  • Greater National Advocates

This combined experience has proven to be a trustworthy resource as she advocates for patients. Now, Lea Ann’s nurse-led approach helps to create transparency to promote shared and informed decision-making while strengthening the physician and patient relationship. She has gathered a specialized and experienced team of oncology nurses who listen and address patients’ needs and wants so they can receive the best cancer care available.

Our Team

Our team of experienced and seasoned ‘oncology and healthcare system insiders’ are ready to guide and advocate for you; below are a few of our team members and consultants. You will be assigned an oncology nurse (RN-OCN) and a social worker (SW) who will provide you guidance and support. You will have confidence that each of the Beacon Advocates’ nursing-specialists maintains professional certification in oncology and active licensure in the state(s) in which they work. Additionally, Beacon Health Advocates has a rigorous process for screening all its employees.

SueEllen Glover

SueEllen Glover, MSN, RN, OCN

Nurse Advocate

Sheryl Riley

Sheryl Riley, RN, OCN, CMCN

Nurse Advocate

Cristina Verela

Cristina Verela, BS

Social Media and Community Engagement Manager

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Roxanna Fall, MSW

Social Worker Advocate

Chris Jowsey

Chris Jowsey

Chief Information Officer (CIO)