How the patient education review committee gives back

April 25, 2018
In September of 2016, applications were distributed to seek volunteers for a new group at the Swedish Cancer Institute, The Patient Education Review Committee (PERC). The idea for the committee was developed by the Patient Experience Improvement Group. The group allows people who have been treated for cancer to provide input on materials developed with patient education in mind. There was a terrific response and the committee launched with 10 members. PERC had its first meeting the following January.

The flagship committee members were Angela Burnside, Angie Allen, Debra Fromholzer, Dorian Delagrange, Fran Falkenberry, James Knight, Kellie Craine, Paul Ivaska and Shelly Hughes. This year Tracey Hilton, Debbie McKenzie, Vikki Knopf, Stacey Williams, Julie Adams and Kate Jiggins will join the continuing members. 

Shelly Hughes is a participant and volunteer chairperson. Her motivation for joining this group is, “ I knew that I wanted to give back to SCI by helping others through what I learned during my journey.” 

Staff coordinators include Carisa Almquist, Health Education Specialist; Jenny Lamharzi, manager of the Medical Treatment Center and Innovative Therapeutics Unit; and Meridithe Mendelsohn, manager for Cancer Survivorship. 

The range of materials reviewed in 2017 spanned from webpages to suggested check-in and waiting room improvements. Upcoming topics scheduled for review include chemotherapy informational handouts, research study descriptions and webpage reviews. 

Every month, the PERC members receive an item for review and provide feedback on an online survey. The material developer then receives the feedback and has guidance on the patient perspective. PERC members also meet quarterly to discuss various topics and sometimes a guest speaker is invited. 

The responses provided by PERC members are extremely helpful to those developing materials at the Swedish Cancer Institute. Our goal is to provide useful and easy-to- understand materials, and PERC members help us to reach this goal. 

For more information about PERC, please email Meridithe Mendelsohn or call 206-215-1743.

Topics: Cancer, Services