You can help us advance cancer patient interests by joining the growing CCAN pan-Canadian network of patient voice representatives.
Who are CCAN patient voice representatives?
A CCAN patent voice representative is an informed individual recruited by CCAN to speak on behalf of cancer patients in a wide variety of forums. A patient voice representative is most often a cancer survivor, or a person who has intimately accompanied someone on their cancer journey. In the interest of advancing patient interests, CCAN may also welcome a person who has first hand experience dealing with a cancer diagnosis to speak on behalf of patients across the cancer continuum.
What is expected of a patient voice representative?
- Lend an informed patient voice in support of efforts to see a more accountable and responsive cancer-system emerge
- Support coordinated efforts to represent the patient perspective
- Bring a unique patient viewpoint to discussions and initiatives that serve to address the changing pan-Canadian cancer control landscape
- Ensure the cancer system becomes more aware and responsive to the diverse needs of cancer patients and their families through effective dialogue
- Promote and articulate patient needs and priorities wherever possible
What are some of the key characteristics a patient voice representative should have?
- First-hand experience with (and understanding of) the cancer journey preferably from diagnosis through treatment and care.
- A good understanding of the committee/decision-making body on which the patient-voice is involved including its role in the broader cancer-system and the role envisioned.
- A clear understanding and appreciation of patient needs and priorities.
- An ability to acquire the information and adopt the skills needed to successfully negotiate important issues.
- A willingness to prepare for meetings ahead of time and read prepared materials, as well as an ability to absorb sometimes technical information.
- A general understanding of the cancer control community
- An overall understanding of patient issues and health care concerns that may impact cancer patient communities on a broader scale.
What are some of the preferred skills and abilities of a patient voice representative?
Ideally, patient voice representatives should possess:
- Strong communication skills with the confidence to fully participate to proactively cultivate or strengthen relationships with stakeholders.
- An ability to learn and manage intake of information; strong listening skills.
- An ability to adopt a broad perspective and, where applicable, to identify “where and when” to draw from or share personal experiences.
- An ability to focus and, where feasible, guide group discussion from a patient-voice perspective.