ICanServe Foundation and AVON teamed up a second time to bring together 16 Philippines-based breast cancer patient groups for “Promoting Patient Power II”, held October 2, 2010 in Makati City.

The first Patient Power workshop (2005) and this year’s workshop share the same goal: to elevate the advocacy of the different breast cancer patient groups.

The keynote speaker, New York-based, Avon Foundation executive director Marc Hurlbert, talked about patient navigation—a crucial strategy for eliminating barriers to timely breast cancer screening, treatment and supportive care.

Dr. Noel Leyco, a health care financing and policy specialist talked about the importance of Philippine health care financing reform to improve access to health care by the poor. Such reform requires a more targeted government financing of health care programs focused on the top ten diseases, including cancer, in seriously depressed areas where most of the underserved and uninsured are.

“Promoting Patient Power” also featured Finola Chatamra, honorary advisor of the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer in Thailand. Chatamra and her husband, a leading Thai oncologist, Dr. Kris Chatamra, set up the breast cancer centre to serve most women especially the underprivileged. Finola initiated the first national breast cancer awareness campaign in Thailand. She is in charge of the outreach education, screening, and treatment programs for slum communities

Dr. Karen de la Cruz, a psychologist and organizational development consultant focused on group therapy, a concept more responsive to the Philippine setting. Dr. De La Cruz is a regular volunteer of ICanServe Foundation.

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