Project #20554

Improving Cancer Outcomes with Patient Education

by Global Oncology Inc.

First, we express our deepest gratitude to GO's committed supporters for helping us raise over $20,000 towards our Cancer Education Materials project since the start of this campaign in June 2015. Thank you for making this past Giving Tuesday a great success, generously giving over $7,500 towards further development of this work. Included in this sum is a contribution of $1,360 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in match dollars. We are grateful to those of you who timed your donations perfectly for the matches.

The Cancer Education Materials team continues to share our work and support healthcare groups around the world, refining our materials for particular needs. Currently, the booklets are being used and evaluated with patient populations in Haiti, Rwanda and Botswana. Thanks to your support, we can work with these groups, and others like them, to tailor artwork and content for optimal results with each population.

This fall, GO initiated conversations in Boston to start using the materials with Haitian Creole- and Spanish-speaking patients. This marks GO’s first domestic application of the Cancer Education Materials project. Funds raised on Global Giving will be used, in part, to support design and execution of studies on how the materials help local populations. The goal is to validate the materials for domestic use and then establish partnerships for widespread distribution.

Global Giving has enabled GO to pursue and develop the relationships above and many more. To complement the funds we have raised, GO has also submitted a proposal to develop the presently chemotherapy-focused materials for use in radiotherapy for cancer treatment.

As always, if you have a need for low-literacy education materials designed for patient, family and caregiver use, or you have a means of production and/or distribution, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Best wishes for happy and healthy holidays. We look forward to sharing more news in 2017.

With gratitude,

GO and the Cancer Education Materials Team

The last quarter has been exciting for Global Oncology (GO) and our Cancer Education Materials (CEM) project.  The materials are gaining traction and attention in a variety of ways. 

In July, the GO team – represented by Laurie Schleimer, Carlos Cardenas and Franklin Huang – presented the project at the Design Management Institute (DMI) Annual Conference, held in Boston, MA, as an example of design for social impact.  The team described the unique collaboration that brought together U.S.-based experts in cancer medicine and a professional design team with local in-country providers in low-resource settings to create innovative patient education materials.  The first academic paper describing the design process will be published in the DMI proceedings, with another paper describing the Haiti pilot in the works.

GO's cancer education materials are being delivered to new countries and soon will be adapted for new modalities.  Over the summer, booklets were translated to Setswana for use in Botswana, and further refined, with input from Rwandan colleagues, for use in a study in a Rwandan cancer hospital.  We look forward to sharing that work with you as it develops. 

Based on the success of the first "Cancer and You" booklets, the GO team is looking for funding to develop the materials for pediatric oncology and radiotherapy.  Please reach out to if you have any interest in adapting GO's booklets for your particular use or if you know of interested partners.

As always, thank you for your support!


The GO Cancer Education Materials (CEM) team is proud to announce it will be presenting this work at the Academic Design Management Conference of the Design Management Institute in Boston this July 28–29.  GO is honored to participate in this event whose purpose is to drive dramatic change as a result of partnerships across disciplines.

"Design for Social Impact" is a growing field, with research and education focused on the application of design skills, tools, and methods to contribute to the solutions of the most pressing social issues of our time – such as the disproportionate cancer burden in developing countries.  The successful use of CEM booklets with low-literate populations in need of cancer education is the perfect demonstration of a unique and effective collaboration of experts in medicine, public/global health and design, with the outcome of bettering lives and, possibly, saving lives.

The CEM team produced the attached paper for publication in design-focused journals.  The paper refers to "Patient Education Materials (PEM)", the project's original name.  The team, co-lead by GO volunteer and Harvard medical student, Laurie Schleimer, is developing an analogous paper for medical publications, as well.  Stay tuned!

More good news is that CEMs are being translated and refined for use in Botswana.  With your support, this work continues to grow and make a difference. Thank you!


In January, medical student and GO volunteer, Laurie Schleimer, completed her Haiti Project Report and Recommendations (attached) for taking the GO Cancer Education Materials to the next stage. The Haiti pilot was a deep study, providing much learning as well as a protocol for implementing this work anywhere cancer education is lacking. In the Report, specific refinements were recommended. The GO team met in February to discuss changes to certain text and drawings which were finalized by the end of the month. Booklet revisions are expected to occur in March, in plenty of time for printing and preparing for subsequent pilots this coming summer. Targeted sites are in: Guatemala, Rwanda, Malawi, and possiby Vietnam.

GO is proud to announce that the Cancer Education Materials project was accepted for presentation at the Symposium for Global Cancer Research on April 8th in San Francisco – an event co-hosted by GO. Congratulations to all involved: team members, funders, supporters!

Abstract highlights below (complete abstract attached):

Objectives: 1) Develop patient education materials culturally and literacy appropriate for Haiti, 2) Assess the effectiveness of written materials for cancer patient education in a low-resource setting.

Methods: We collaborated with non-profit Global Oncology and The MEME Design to adapt their low-literacy educational booklet for Haiti. Feedback from staff at PIH-affiliated Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM) was incorporated into the pilot materials. Patients were presented the booklet by the Oncology social worker, and pre- and post-counseling tests were administered.

Results: Patients across all levels of education increased their score on the knowledge test. Patients felt reassured by the booklet, especially by information about side effects of chemotherapy and precautions to take during treatment. Patients wanted more information about what causes cancer and whether cure is possible. The materials enhanced patient-provider conversations and prompted patients to ask questions. Many patients wanted to use the materials to teach family and caregivers about cancer, so they can also be a tool to disseminate information beyond the patient-provider encounter.

GO Team Consulting Via Telecon w/Malawian Partner
GO Team Consulting Via Telecon w/Malawian Partner
At GO, we continue to build upon the great work on our Cancer Education Materials (CEMs) accomplished last summer in Haiti under the leadership of GO volunteer and PIH employee, Laurie Schleimer. Laurie's efforts are now dedicated to analyses of data collected during the summer; in particular, the extent to which cancer patients improved their knowledge of the disease and its treatment. Interviews with Hatian patients have been transcribed and translated and will inform revisions to the Creole version of GO's CEMs, a process targeted to begin in the new year. GO extends its heartfelt thanks to Laurie for her dedication to pushing this wonderful work forward.

In the meantime, GO is expanding our work and our reach. Last month alone, The Global Cancer Project Map team presented the Map to audiences at the American Public Health Association's (APHA) annual meeting in Chicago, and at the International Conference of the African Organisation for Reseach and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) in Marrakech, Morocco. On a very exciting note, GO welcomes our first two employees to support the Map in the capacities of Project Manager and Project/Data Coordinator. The team heads into 2016 reaching out across the globe collecting cancer project data for inclusion in the Map. 

From within, we continue to develop our people and programs: 1) GO tumor boards with the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Malawi occur monthly, and the teachings are very well received by our physician partners at QECH; 2) The GO leadership also mentor GO volunteers through our internal mentorship program, which convened last Tuesday 12/1 with many in attendance; 3) In collaboration with CAMTech and the Massachusetts General Hospital, GO has organized a Hack-a-thon to be held on February 27 & 28 to imagine and create game-changing solutions in global cancer care. Did you know that GO's Global Cancer Project Map is an idea that emerged from a hack-a-thon?! Apply to participate in this unique event: 

Thank you, All, for your endless emotional, financial and creative support. With your help, we forge ahead, making a difference.
GO Team Demoing Global Cancer Project Map @ AORTIC
GO Team Demoing Global Cancer Project Map @ AORTIC
Why It Makes Sense To Support GO - Today.
Why It Makes Sense To Support GO - Today.
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Help us innovate in global cancer care - Apply Now
Volunteers seek global cancer work with GO mentors
Volunteers seek global cancer work with GO mentors



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Organization Information

Global Oncology Inc.

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Danna Remen
Brookline, MA United States
$18,734 raised of $25,000 goal
115 donations
$6,266 to go
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