Douglas Oliver, MSW
Doug is a writer, editorial contributor, and patient advocate from Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of New England and has specialized in work on health care policy, compliance, and clinical case advocacy.
After years suffering with legal blindness caused by macular degeneration, Doug’s vision was restored in 2015, when he received stem cell treatments for his damaged retinas. He received his driver’s license five months later. Doug’s story has reached millions through both U.S. and international broadcasts, and he has been featured in People, Forbes, Fox News, and has been shared with Pope Francis.
In early 2016, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander and Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., engaged Doug in helping to craft key legislation aimed at speeding access to regenerative medicine technology and therapies, and due in part to his successful efforts, the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act passed and was signed into law.
Doug is a regular contributor to The Hill and other national news media. His current policy work has broadened further, being recently appointed by Senator Alexander to the Foundation of State Medical Boards’ stem cell policy and ethics workgroup, undertaking academic efforts in informed consent, patient engagement, and a framework for stem cell counseling.
In January 2019, Doug was awarded the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine "Action" Award at the 14th World Stem Cell Summit, joining the ranks of notable recipients like Vice President Joe and Dr. Jill Biden, Michael J. Fox, and The Christopher Reeve Foundation.