Binaytara Foundation: Advocate, Educate, Innovate to Improve Healthcare

Participate, Learn, and Advocate for Cancer Patients at the Northwest Cancer Patient Summit: A Free Cancer Education Program

Written with help from Kelsey Landies, Health Education Intern at the Binaytara Foundation.

On February 3rd, 2018, the Binaytara Foundation will be hosting the third Northwest Cancer Patient Summit at the health education center located at PeaceHealth St Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham, WA. The goal of this free cancer education event is to improve the lives of cancer patients through education, advocacy, and empowerment. The Northwest Cancer Patient Summit is open to cancer patients, cancer survivors, friends and family of cancer patients/survivors, and anyone who simply wants to learn more about cancer. Attendees of this free cancer education event will have the opportunity to interact with cancer care providers and learn about various topics related to cancer.

The financial burden of cancer is huge, even among individuals who have insurance. It is not uncommon for many cancer patients to end up with larger medical bill than expected.  Our goal is to educate cancer patients not only about their diseases but also about other aspects of lives that can affect their recovery. Erin Robertson, an oncology patient financial advocate at PeaceHealth, will be discussing how to navigate insurance benefits and understand what they mean for cancer care. Other panelists in this session will discuss various support services and community resources available to cancer patients and their families.

Several attendees of our previous Northwest Cancer Patient Summits had expressed interest in learning about alternative and complementary therapy in cancer; the upcoming free cancer education program on February 3, 2018 will address that topic. Dr. Maria Putney, a naturopathic doctor practicing in Bellingham, WA, will be discussing various complementary and alternative therapies that can be used to help alleviate pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and constipation related to cancer. Participants will have opportunities to ask questions and clarify their concerns related to these therapies and other topics discussed during this free cancer education program.

Dr. Binay Shah, co-founder of the Binaytara Foundation and a practicing oncologist, will discuss new updates in immunotherapy in cancer. This topic has been previously discussed during our free cancer patient education programs and is being included again due to the high level of interest and enthusiasm from participants. Immunotherapy and many other cancer treatments have saved many lives. But for many cancer patients, the cost of cancer care is so high that they have to choose between death and bankruptcy. The BTF aims to address this cost of cancer care issue with your help and participation.

The Binaytara Foundation is taking a lead to help improve the quality lives of cancer patients through advocacy, education, and innovation. Our latest effort to create a momentum to reduce cancer health disparities is through a face to face dialogue and education.  The 2018 Summit on National and Global Cancer Health Disparities (SCHD18) will bring together leaders in the field of healthcare to discuss and debate the issues related to rising costs of cancer care and what can be done to bring down the cost of cancer care. During this two-day summit, physician leaders, health economists, healthcare executives, lawmakers, pharmaceutical executives, and patients advocates will sit next to each other in two round-table debates to address questions and concerns related to the cost of cancer care.

We realize that making high quality cancer care accessible and affordable requires participation and cooperation from everyone involved in the spectrum of healthcare, including patients and community members. Therefore, we are asking you to participate and help reduce the disparities in cancer health. The SCHD18 sessions are open to all who are interested in minimizing cancer health disparities. Please join us in Seattle on April 28-29, 2018 to advocate for better access to cancer care. Learn more about SCHD18 here.

The official blog of the Binaytara Foundation (BTF)