When a Friend Gets a Cancer Diagnosis…


With Jessie Gruman, author of Aftershock

- Tuesday, April 17, 6:30-8:30pm

Friends and loved ones often turn to those of us who have experienced cancer when they get bad news.  How can we ensure that our responses are consistently helpful and supportive? 

This interactive workshop will be led by Jessie Gruman, 4-time cancer survivor and author of the book What to Do When You—or Someone You Love—Gets a Devastating Diagnosis and will draw on the experiences of participants and the results of interviews with hundreds of patients and caregivers. The aim is to prepare participants to respond to the news of others' cancer diagnoses with clarity, confidence, and generosity.


Jessie GrumanJessie Gruman is president of the Center for Advancing Health, a nonpartisan, Washington-based policy institute founded in 1992 and supported by foundations and individuals to work on patient engagement: people will not benefit from the health care available to them unless they can participate fully and competently in it. Dr. Gruman draws on her own experience of treatment for four cancer diagnoses, surveys, peer-reviewed research and interviews with patients and caregivers as the basis of her work to describe – and advocate for policies and practices to overcome – the challenges people face in finding good care and getting the most from it.

Dr. Gruman has worked on this same set of concerns in the private sector (AT&T), the public sector (National Cancer Institute) and the voluntary health sector (American Cancer Society). She holds a B.A. from Vassar College and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Columbia University and is a Professorial Lecturer in the School of Public Health and Health Services at The George Washington University. She serves on the board of trustees of the Center for Medical Technology Policy and the Technical Board of the Milbank Memorial Fund.

Dr. Gruman was honored by Research!America for her leadership in advocacy for health research and received honorary doctorates from Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Clark University, Georgetown University, New York University, Northeastern University, Salve Regina University, Syracuse University and Tulane University, and the Presidential Medal of The George Washington University. She is a fellow of the Society for Behavioral Medicine and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Gruman is the author of The Experience of the American Patient: Risk, Trust and Choice (Health Behavior Media, 2009); Behavior Matters (Health Behavior Media, 2008) and AfterShock: What to Do When the Doctor Gives You—or Someone You Love—a Devastating Diagnosis (Walker Publishing, second edition, 2010), as well as scientific papers, opinion essays, and articles.

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