The Marfan Foundation Taps Health/Tech and Communication Executives as Advisors to its National Board

Backpack Health CEO James Cavan and Finn Partners Global Health Managing Partner Gil Bashe selected to advance Foundation efforts supporting people with genetic aortic conditions.

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., July 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Marfan Foundation, committed to improving the future for people with Marfan syndrome, Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Loeys Dietz syndrome and other genetic aortic conditions, today announced the appointment of two advisors to its board of directors: James Cavan, president, CEO and founder of Backpack Health, an innovative cloud-based medical data storage service for people with chronic and rare diseases, and Gil Bashe, managing partner, Global Health, Finn Partners, one of the world’s leading integrated communications agencies.

“These two health-sector leaders and their companies have shown tremendous commitment to improving the lives of people with genetic aortic conditions, giving generously of their time, insight and resources,” said Michael Weamer, president and CEO, The Marfan Foundation.  “James Cavan and Gil Bashe join as advisors to the board of directors, supporting industry and clinical leaders who have stepped forward to ensure that people with Marfan and related conditions have access to information and exceptional care that sustains and improves people’s lives.”

Addressing an unmet need in the rare disease community, James Cavan, a recognized leader in health software management systems, founded Backpack Health, a mobile and web-based multi-lingual digital platform, that provides people with chronic and rare diseases 24/7 sharable access to their medical records. The company creation was inspired by Mr. Cavan’s niece, who has Marfan syndrome, in order to enable the family to travel knowing that their medical records – life-saving information – were close at hand.

The platform, used by many people with Marfan and other rare conditions, enables people to advocate for their health needs, whether close to home or at a distance, by compiling medical records in one location. The secure and convenient app also enables people to track health needs between appointments, communicate with healthcare professionals and promote better care for themselves, loved ones and communities.

Backpack Health is also a platform for establishing patient registries for clinical trials and studies that can lead to new treatments and improve disease management. Mr. Cavan serves as a member of the GenTAC Alliance Business Plan Working to continue its important work of advancing research and treatment of genetically triggered aortic conditions.

Gil Bashe, Managing Partner, Global Health, Finn Partners, and Marfan Board Advisor

Gil Bashe, managing partner, Global Health, Finn Partners, is a long-time advocate for people with heart and other non-communicable diseases. He was honored by The Marfan Foundation with a 2018 Hero with Heart Award and served as chair of the American Heart Association (AHA) Founders Affiliate and New York City region, and on the National AHA Marketing Communications, Strategic Working Group, Get with the Guidelines and Stroke Committees. He has been selected by Medical Marketing & Media as “One of the Most Influential People in Healthcare,” a “Top 10 Innovation Catalyst” and PR News “Hall of Fame.” Bashe also serves as a member of the GenTAC Alliance.

About Marfan Syndrome and The Marfan Foundation
Marfan syndrome is a life-threatening genetic condition of the body’s connective tissue. It affects the heart and blood vessels, the bones and the eyes. Knowing the signs is the key to early and accurate diagnosis and life-saving treatment.

The Marfan Foundation creates a brighter future for everyone affected by Marfan syndrome, Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Loeys Dietz syndrome, and other genetic aortic conditions. It works tirelessly to advance research, serve as a resource for families and healthcare providers, and raise public awareness. Learn more and get involved at

Media Relations Contact for The Marfan Foundation:
Eileen Masciale, The Marfan Foundation, 561.670.2323,

About the author



Wherever healthcare marketing news happens, the HITMC News reporter is hungry for the story. Send me your news and I'll publish it

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment




The Healthcare and IT Marketing Community (HITMC) is an extension of the HITMC conference that is the first of its kind event that brings together marketing and PR professionals from throughout the health care community. We strive to provide amazing marketing and PR related content that helps HealthIT companies and healthcare organizations  stand out amidst all the noise of the industry. If you’re looking to market to hospital executives, doctors, practice managers, patients, or other healthcare professionals, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the HITMC community!