Survivor Empowerment Initiative
The Survivor Empowerment Initiative will launch in South Africa, Mexico and the Middle East over the next 18 months (in 2010–2011).
The overall goal of the Survivor Empowerment Initiative is to support at a country level a comprehensive, survivor-informed national call to action for organizations and individuals who are ready to participate. The long-term goal is that the Survivor Empowerment Initiative will contribute to efforts to address the burden of cancer at a national level in specific countries. As multiple countries engage in Survivor Empowerment Initiatives, our goal is for an international patient advocacy movement to emerge.
The concept of the Survivor Empowerment Initiative was inspired by the UICC Patient Forums and is largely informed by the evidence base illustrating their success. Bringing together decision makers, clinicians, media, advocates and patients into an environment that allows for open communication and places the patient at the core of the system shifts the discourse around the burden of cancer in a country. Eventually, this will redirect resources in the health system more toward patient needs. By utilizing a patient-centered approach to address critical cancer issues and combining supporting statistical data with patient stories (which give these statistics a human face), the forum model can effectively bring visibility to gaps in cancer control and highlight the need for cancer to be a stronger priority on a country's health agenda.
The Survivor Empowerment Initiative consists of a training component, and then the Survivor Forum. The initiative is designed to be led by local organizations in-country with support from LIVESTRONG and our co-collaborator, American Cancer Society.
The overarching outcome of the Survivor Empowerment Initiative will be a National Call to Action, which should heighten awareness for the need for improvements in cancer control, resources and access to care for patients at a national level. It should also serve as a catalyst for making progress in the fight against cancer nationally through galvanizing advocacy efforts.
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