We Remember Ellen Stovall, Visionary Cancer Survivorship Advocate

Ellen Stovall, one of the most respected and knowledgeable cancer survivorship advocates in the United States died yesterday. The cause of death was a heart attack brought on by cardiac complications related to her cancer treatments.

From 1992 to 2008 Ellen was President and CEO of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), the oldest survivor-led organization advocating for quality health care for all Americans. A 45-year survivor of three bouts with cancer, she was Senior Health Policy Advisor to NCCS at the time of her death. She worked tirelessly on behalf of cancer patients, advocating for comprehensive written care plans that reflect the continuum of cancer care, including treatment summaries and follow-up care plans.

As the number of cancer survivors increased, so did Ellen’s influence. As a speaker, she gave voice to the concerns and needs of patients along the cancer care continuum. She was an eloquent spokesperson, especially for those who were too stunned by a cancer diagnosis or too overwhelmed by the complexity of the health care system to speak up for themselves.

A founding member of the National Cancer Policy Board of the prestigious Institute of Medicine and its successor, the National Cancer Policy Forum, Ellen co-chaired the influential Institute of Medicine report “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition.” That report highlighted the challenges, uncertainties and fears facing cancer patients as they complete their active treatment and change to survivorship status.

After her passing, NCCS Chairman of the Board Sandy Welton stated: “To many of us—likely thousands—she was a trustworthy friend, a mentor, a collaborator, a visionary. Ellen was all of this and more, and always with a generous heart, a keen mind, a quick wit, and unswerving ethics.”

CancerForward founder, Beth Sanders Moore added: “Ellen molded the concept and tenets of life-sustaining cancer survivorship care as we know it. She looked into the future and met it. She was a kind and generous mentor to patients, survivors, physicians and policy makers. I was fortunate to have been acquainted with her.”

The NCCS has posted information on the Ellen Stovall Memorial Fund on its web site: www.canceradvocacy.org

Category: Cancer

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