YAAS! Offers Cancer Advocacy Training for Professional Stakeholders

The University of Illinois Cancer Center’s Young And A Survivor (YAAS!) Program invites clinicians, scientists and students to join its virtual Leadership in Cancer Advocacy Training on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Participants attending the two-part multi-disciplinary workshop will learn about the various ways advocates can engage, build their own advocacy story and connect with others who share their dedication to improving cancer care. The training includes updates on key cancer-related legal issues and community resources that can be shared with other stakeholders.
The impetus for the workshop came from the Cancer Center’s survivorship group’s interactions with individuals throughout the entire spectrum of cancer care, from those working to uncover the molecular structures of cancer, to the investigation of new treatments, to those delivering – and receiving – cancer care, said Tamara Hamlish, PhD, YAAS! principal investigator/project director.
“The barriers to improving cancer care for individuals and improving cancer outcomes in communities are systemic, meaning we must work together to advocate for system change,”  Hamlish said. “We saw this as an opportunity to bring people together to connect their stories, recognize how they fit into the larger system, and use their experiences to advocate for change to improve the system.”
The event is open to physicians, nurses, social workers, scientists, genetic counselors, navigators, caregivers, and patients. Faculty, fellows, post-docs, and graduate students engaged in cancer research are also welcome.
“When people hear the word ‘advocacy,’ they often think of legislation,” Hamlish added. “Our goal in this workshop is to expand the vision of participants to think of advocacy not only as legislation but also advocating for individuals, families and communities, for organizational and institutional change, and of course, legislative barriers to the delivery of high-quality cancer care.”
The first session, on Dec. 7, is titled “Building Advocacy Skills.” The following week’s session is titled Sharing YOUR Story.” For further questions, contact Talia Holzman Castellands, MPH, program manager, at talia@uic.eduRegister here

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