Partnering for cures

Pediatrician and breast cancer survivor, Janet Sollod, gives a touching Time=Lives talk, “Approaching the Abyss.”

LRG staff members, Michelle Durborow and Erin Kristoff attended the Partnering for Cures 8th Annual Meeting hosted by FasterCures on November 13-15 in NYC.

Partnering for Cures is a gathering designed to bring together innovators from patient groups, pharma, academia, government and industry with the common goal of improving the health and future of the American people, reducing the cost of disease to society, and developing ways to get new and better treatments to patients faster.

Of special interest in this year’s conference was the focus on how to navigate the transition with a new administration in office, while remaining dedicated to the concept of patient-centered solutions.
Partnering for Cures provides an unprecedented opportunity for networking and the potential for collaborative ventures with other organizations focused on similar goals.

One of the major themes centered on patient engagement, and ways in which organizations and researchers can better meet patient needs. Although many organizations have been talking about this for years, implementing patient perspectives into practice isn’t easy. Culture change is necessary, especially around the information collected from patient registries. This confirms what the LRG has recognized: the power of patient data as a tool not only for research purposes, but also for patient engagement.

The importance of patient data, and the process involved in not only collecting data efficiently, but turning it into “smart data” was a major part of the panel discussions as well. This provided an opportunity for discussing our new initiatives, especially GIST/PRIME, our expanded interactive patient registry.

Interspersed with the innovative panels were inspiring talks such as Janet Sollod’s presentation, Time=Lives Talk on “Optimistically Approaching the Abyss.” A breast cancer survivor and a pediatrician, she had to face the challenges being a cancer patient undergoes, seeing life from a new perspective. It was a reminder to never forget the patient story while providing treatment.

Having the opportunity to learn about innovative approaches, explore creative, patient-centered solutions, while also being able to engage in the discussion of how the Life Raft Group can contribute to making a difference was a valuable experience. We came away with the potential to collaborate with movers and shakers in the industry to accomplish what the LRG continues to strive for – increasing patient survival.