Last week (November 12-14, 2017), I Thrive Beyond Breast Cancer’s Jodi MacLeod attended the 14th Annual International Conference of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO). The SIO is a multidisciplinary professional organization whose mission is to “advance evidence-based, comprehensive, integrated healthcare to improve the lives of people affected by cancer”. Attended by healthcare professionals (oncologists, nutritionists, acupuncturists,etc.), researchers, students and patient advocates, the conference featured updates on clinical research into the microbiome, natural products, and many other subjects in the context of integrative oncology. The theme of this year’s conference was “Person-Centered Care in Integrative Oncology”, and the conference hashtag was #SIO2017. An international organization, the SIO Conference attendees included health professionals from China, South Korea, Brazil, and Canada.
On the first evening of the conference, Unitech Medical supported an oncology community advocate networking dinner. This was followed by breakfast roundtables the next two mornings, where SIO Patient Advocacy Task Force Chair, Betsy Glosik (Cofounder, Destination Hope) and Secretary Jodi MacLeod (write4wellness blogger), and other task force members led discussions about goals and challenges in advocacy.
Tuesday morning, Betsy and Jodi also hosted a Patient Perspective Workshop, focusing on takeaways from their cancer experiences with emotional distress and patient-provider communication. Stimulating panel discussions took place with Dr. Joseph Greer, Dr. Shruti Jolly, and Laura Pole, MSN, Chef. Research shows integrative oncology therapies can reduce distress, improve treatment side effects, and boost quality of life; these interventions are best delivered through a strong therapeutic alliance and effective communication between patient and provider. This workshop was well-received by both audience and panel members, who declared the presentation “compelling”. Betsy Glosik and Jodi MacLeod are both active members of SIO and are passionate about improving oncology patient experience and well-being through research, collaboration and advocacy.
Next year’s SIO Conference will be held October 27-29, 2018, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Save the dates and join us! Queries may be directed to the SIO office at firstname.lastname@example.org (518-694-5543). Hope to see you there!
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