Founded in 2009, Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working on behalf of cancer patients and care partners. For more than a decade, we’ve been improving treatment outcomes and health equity for cancer patients and care partners at every step of their journey. PEN was founded by a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patient, and over time we’ve dramatically expanded the cancer types for which we provide resources and support. Here’s a closer look at our origins, mission, programs, and goals for the future.
Origins and Vision of PEN
Unfortunately, a cancer diagnosis can overwhelm both patients and their loved ones. The need to take control after cancer diagnosis provided the seed, and the idea for PEN was born. With patients and their families in mind, we embarked on a path toward empowering them to ask the right questions at the right time for improved care. With this empowerment, patients and care partners built their health literacy to make informed choices in shared decision-making along with their care team.
With that vision in mind, we penned the mission statement to guide the work ahead. Our mission is to fortify cancer patients and care partners with the knowledge and tools to boost their confidence, put them in control of their healthcare journey, and assist them in receiving the best, most personalized care available to ensure they have the best possible outcome.
How PEN Is Different
So how does PEN differ from other cancer advocacy organizations? At PEN, we take patient education a step further; we educate, then ACTIVATE cancer patients and their care partners to become shared-decision makers with their healthcare teams. By insisting on the most current and personalized care available, empowered patients achieve better treatment and health outcomes.
With a wide array of content, our programs enhance patient health literacy to enable shared decision-making and to provide informational and educational resources to empower patients and care partners at every step of their cancer journey.
In 2020, we adopted the Path to Empowerment Framework to guide us in empowering patients and care partners along this journey. We know not everyone’s experience with cancer is the same, there are commonalities. Based on the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Experience Map, we have outline six commonalities. Within the framework’s six categories, you’ll find easy-to-understand and reliable information.
Path to Empowerment Framework
- Newly Diagnosed
- Treatment and Clinical Trials
- Access and Affordability
- Whole Patient Support
- What’s Next
The Future of PEN
We are on track to serve over 200,000 patients and care partners in 2021. And in the future ahead, we aim to continue empowering patients and their families with knowledge to improve their treatment and health outcomes; build key strategic partnerships to expand into additional disease areas, expand the reach and visibility of PEN content; and locate and build additional funding resources. With these goals in mind, PEN can continue fortifying a sustainable future of serving and empowering patients and care partners toward optimal care and health outcomes for all.