Survivor Advocate Program Shapes Future Research

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Survivor Advocate Program Shapes Future Research

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LIVESTRONG uniquely provides survivor advocate voice at the 8th Biennial on Cancer Survivorship Research http://bit.ly/1RnLdGc
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 7:00am

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG Changing the Cancer Care System

CONTENT: Blog

The 8th Biennial on Cancer Survivorship Research took place last week and I can’t think of a more meaningful or impactful way for us to have kicked off this meeting than by convening a group of engaged survivor advocates! This is just what LIVESTRONG accomplished, in partnership and collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control.

Earlier this year survivor advocates from across the country applied to the Survivor Advocate program, held in concert with the Biennial. The response was overwhelming and after a rigorous review of almost 150 applications, 15 individuals were selected to receive a scholarship to attend the Biennial and participate in the Survivor Advocate program.

These women and men represented a diverse cross-section of the cancer survivor and patient advocate communities. They were provided the opportunity to meet with 5 incredible researchers in the areas of cancer survivorship research, including behavioral psychology, clinical epidemiology, patient navigation and psychosocial interventions among others. The Survivor Advocate program functions in a “speed dating” fashion allowing the advocates to move from table to table and interact with the researchers along with one or two fellow advocates.

I can honestly tell you that the discussions amongst the advocates and the researchers were fruitful, lively, focused and deeply significant. From my perspective, folks became acquainted with one another for the first time and it wouldn’t surprise me if these interactions evolve into professional and personal relationships that ultimately transform, enhance and improve the lives of cancer patients, survivors and caregivers here at home and abroad!

LIVESTRONG’s mission to meet cancer survivors where they are now is shared by the Biennial attendees who number close to 450, representing 7 countries, come from academic and clinical settings and understand the increasing number of cancer patients and survivors and the resulting need for more sophisticated research and interventions for the cancer survivorship communities. Now is not a knee-jerk reaction. Now is an evidence-based necessity that must be taken seriously.

The overarching theme of last week’s meeting was Innovation in a Rapidly Changing Landscape. Throughout the conference, the advocates had the opportunity to hear and respond to groundbreaking research and interventions presented in general and break-out sessions.

Survivor advocates often ask questions, make suggestions and raise concerns that improve research impact and outcomes. The participants in the Survivor Advocate program are an essential aspect of the Biennial make-up. They ensure that the researchers keep the face of cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at the forefront of all research proposal design, implementation and execution. And we know that the survivor advocate voice is the critical element that LIVESTRONG uniquely provides!

If anyone you know needs cancer support, please visit LIVESTRONG.org/WeCanHelp. For more information about our programs and services, please visit LIVESTRONG.org.

 

Keywords: Health & Healthcare | Advocacy | Cancer | Events, Media & Communications | Healthcare Innovation | LIVESTRONG | Wellness | survivor

CAMPAIGN: LIVESTRONG Changing the Cancer Care System

CONTENT: Blog

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