Singapore, August 15, 2022 – The APPIS Initiative, organized and funded by Novartis APMA, today announced ICanServe Foundation and Psoriasis Philippines as winners of the 2022 APPIS Innovator Program.

The two winners will receive support to help them scale and improve their existing programs in the form of mentoring, networking opportunities, funding, and coaching.

The APPIS Initiative launched the Innovator Program this year with the aim of supporting patient organizations that have found innovative ways to elevate and amplify patient voices. The Innovator Program partners with patient organizations to take their programs to the next level, to improve outcomes for healthcare consumers.

Twenty-three patient organizations entered under the categories of ‘Patient Education’ and ‘Health Policy Shaping’, representing 11 countries and territories from across APMA.

An esteemed expert panel of judges, consisting of Mei Ching Ong, region head for Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia from The Max Foundation, Professor John C W Lim, executive director of the Duke-NUS Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE), Singapore and Tiantian (Stanley) Li, chairman and founder of DXY (the largest physician social network in China) selected the winners from a shortlist of five finalists based on their impact, innovation, sustainability and scalability.

The ICanServe Foundation, an advocacy organization for breast cancer, and Psoriasis Philippines, which advocates for people living with psoriasis, were announced as the inaugural winners – ahead of three other finalists from Egypt and India.

Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, founding president of ICanServe Foundation said, “We have always wanted to build a data and digital infrastructure that would allow us to measure the effectiveness of our programs and to make data-driven decisions. Finding partners that believe in our mission, like the APPIS Innovator Program, will enable us to take our breast cancer control programs in local government to the next level and to scale.”

Paul Mendoza, president of Psoriasis Philippines, and lead of ‘Weekends with PsorPhil’ commented, “I believe that patient organizations can do much more than provide patient support. We are also key players in improving patient education and health literacy. With the support of APPIS, Novartis, and our network of patient organizations and health alliances, Psoriasis Philippines will expand the ‘Weekends with PsorPhil’ online program to a more inclusive show entitled ‘Wellness Weekends Philippines’, which will cover other diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease.”

Ruth Kuguru, executive director, Communications & Engagement, Novartis Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, said, “We are proud to support the Alliance and Partnerships of Patient Innovation and Solutions (APPIS) initiative and work alongside this year’s APPIS Innovator Program winners to help them fulfill their ambitions. Novartis recognizes the integral role that patient organizations play in the healthcare system. We remain steadfast in our commitment to support and collaborate with patient organizations across the world to improve and extend patients’ lives in the communities that we serve.”

In addition to ICanServe Foundation and Psoriasis Philippines, the other three APPIS Innovator Program finalists include Blue Circle Diabetes Foundation (India), Stroke Support Alliance (India) and the Egyptian Society of Hematology and Research (Egypt).

About Novartis

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at



Through a consistent annual program, the Alliance and Partnerships for Patient Innovation and Solutions (APPIS) drives better outcomes for healthcare consumers across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa by bringing together patient communities and other key stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem to identify key challenges and prioritize actionable solutions. The APPIS Initiative is organized and funded by Novartis APMA. Find out more at

About the APPIS Innovator Program

The APPIS Innovator Program assists patient organizations from across Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa to grow and scale existing programs. Winners receive financial support, networking opportunities and mentorship.

About ICanServe Foundation

The ICanServe Foundation, formerly Information on Breast Cancer and Other Services, was founded in 1999 by four breast cancer survivors to provide hope and help to women with breast cancer. It promotes and conducts early breast cancer detection programs in local communities and provides sustained access to accurate diagnosis, timely treatment, and patient navigation, including the ‘Ating Dibdibin’ (Take Your Breast Care to Heart) program, the only comprehensive cancer control program in the Philippines.

About Psoriasis Philippines

Psoriasis Philippines, a support group that represents and advocates for the rights of 1.8 million Filipinos living with psoriasis, aims to broaden their weekly online show for people living with psoriasis, to include other diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease amongst others. The popular program, which has gained over 1.3 million views in 2021, helps patients access accurate and scientific information to initiate meaningful discussions with their physicians.


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