For more than twenty years, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) had the privilege of adapting our friend and colleague, Jessie Gruman’s important work into the development of the cancer policy work that we engage in. Jessie’s vision of patient engagement was always ahead of its time, and her books and blogs and participation in numerous conversations in our community over the years contributed enormously to the evidence we now have about the engaged/empowered patient.
The Jessie Gruman Award for Patient Engagement was established with a grant from the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH) to honor the legacy of Dr. Gruman, a tireless advocate and leader in patient empowerment.The inaugural Jessie Gruman Award for Patient Engagement was presented to Ellen Goodman on October 21,2015 in Washington, DC. Ms. Goodman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, author, and the founder of The Conversation Project, a national public health campaign and suite of tools developed to change the way people talk about and prepare for their end-of-life care. As part of our celebration of Jessie’s life and the presentation of the Jessie Gruman Award for Patient Engagement, Jessie’s husband, Dr. Richard Sloan, and her colleague, Dr. Julia Rowland, recently spoke to us about Jessie’s driven personality and the influence of her work. We would like to share this special tribute with our readers, and extend our gratitude to Dr. Sloan and Dr. Rowland for their support.