MPN Hero: Jeff Bushnell
The Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) is proud to congratulate and honor our dedicated and passionate Network Manager Jeff Bushnell, who is being recognized as an outstanding patient advocate. Jeff’s passion and enthusiasm for helping patients and caregivers navigate their cancer journeys exemplifies PEN’s mission of fortifying 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 outcomes. We are proud of our growing team of Network Managers and grateful for their engagement in the PEN community.
Jeff Bushnell, recognized for his advocacy through the PEN Network Manager program, has been named a Voices of MPN 2021 MPN Hero. The MPN Hero award is given to those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to making a difference in the lives of people with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Jeff, whose wife Summer is living with myelofibrosis (MF), has accompanied and supported Summer on her MPN journey and has helped thousands of patients through the Network Manager Program. Jeff and Summer serve as a duo of Network Managers who reach out to patients in the MPN community through e-newsletters, program development, and support groups. Jeff makes connections to others through advocacy and humor presented via videos.
“My goal is to help the caregiver and the patient understand that the caregiver’s a significant portion of the team. We thought we’d try to tell our story to anybody who was listening. We make videos every month about different things. We try to make them informative and humorous and little stories, telling about the challenges that myelofibrosis presents. I’m trying to get the word across that it’s important to support these folks that have myelofibrosis. You have to listen to your patient. What does that person need? Some need significant physical help. Others just need reassurance, emotional reassurance. But at the same time the patient needs to ensure that the caregiver is taken care of and has their time. Summer gives me the time to pursue my photography interests. She understands that I’m recharged when I go to these natural places. I never thought of what I was doing as anything other than what needed to be done. Because I think if you’re involved with somebody you care about that you should do the best you can to support them.” – Quoted from Jeff’s Voices of MPN Hero Award. See full video here:
The PEN Network Manager program is a volunteer group of patient empowerment ambassadors from around the U.S. Designed to further enhance health literacy, the program was launched in March 2020 and has grown exponentially. The volunteers engage with PEN’s network of cancer patients and families with the goal of providing support and navigation on their path to empowerment. Learn how you can get involved here.