Patient & Family Advisory Board provides opportunity for input at the U-M Cancer Center

Laura Galunas and Anne Marshall meet with Karen Hammelef.

Laura Galunas and Anne Marshall meet with Karen Hammelef about the Patient & Family Advisory Board.

On the day of her first appointment at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Anne Marshall remembers pulling into the parking lot, nervous and afraid. She had been to the center many times before with her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006; but pulling into the circle drive felt different when the breast cancer diagnosis was her own.

 

Then she met Cleon Abrams, a longtime parking attendant at the Cancer Center.

“I was surprised he remembered me,” said Marshall, who is a social worker. “He just had this perfect smile and said, ‘Be encouraged.'”

Those two words made all the difference to Marshall. Not only did they give her the boost she needed at that moment, but it led her to become more engaged in the Cancer Center and its efforts to provide the ideal patient care experience.

Recently, Marshall was a member of a task force to establish bylaws for the Cancer Center’s new Patient & Family Advisory Board. The board is designed to offer patients and families a formal role in providing input into the institution’s initiatives and operations. Continue reading