Shari Berman and David Andrews met through national projects that brought patient advisors together to discuss how to make healthcare more patient-centered. Both have been long time patients and believe the patient voice is critical to improving the patient experience. This blog is a way for them and other patient advocates to share their thoughts, advice, and experience with a wider audience. They believe that patients are key to driving and demanding the change needed in health care.
Shari Berman is a two-time cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at age 25, days after returning from her honeymoon and a second time with breast cancer 8 years later.
Shari graduated from Cornell University and worked as a Human Resources Manager in the financial services industry for 15 years. After losing her mother to lung cancer she decided to spend her time advocating for patients and lending her perspective and expertise as patient, long-term survivor, caregiver and business professional.
Shari is a former co-chair of the Dana Farber Adult Patient Family Advisory Council where she effectively led an effort to restructure the Council and strengthen its role within the institution. She also served on Dana Farber’s quality committees and is currently a member of the Quality and Patient Safety Committee of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.
Shari has spoken on behalf of Dana Farber at many fund raising events and presentations on survivorship and patient care. Her talks have focused on a variety of topics including her personal experience with cancer, survivorship issues, patient centered care and how to develop and sustain an effective Patient and Family Advisory Council. Shari has also been asked to consult on a variety of projects with organizations such as the National Academies of Medicine, (formally Institute of Medicine), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) and Livestrong.
Shari started a blog called Life According To Somebody in 2015 and writes about a variety of issues through the lens of a cancer survivor.
David Andrews has a rare chronic neurological disease, had prostate cancer and a long colorful and quite varied medical history. He was a patient advisor at Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents Medical Center) for over 10 years. During that period he was been a member of many Patient and Family Advisory Councils, quality committees and quality improvement projects. He has frequently been involved in training (both in Georgia and at other hospitals) people from other facilities who are interested in learning how to do Patient and Family Centered Care, and has done presentations at many conferences, from the local to the international. He is currently a patient advisor for the Georgia Hospital Association and with many other national organizations and projects. He spends part of each year in Maine and has done training and presentations as well as working with several organizations there. Before retirement, he was a college professor in New Hampshire.
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