Thursday, October 18, 2012

REV Forum - Interaction to Action

I admit it. I wasn't sure what to expect of today's REV forum, co-sponsored by Genentech and LIVESTRONG.   The theme: Interaction to Action.

As an IT Pharma/Medical Device Consultant, volunteer leader for LIVESTRONG and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, once-upon-a-time biochemist/tox lab rat, and a 3x cancer survivor (etc., etc.) --- this seemed like all my loves and passions rolled up into a one day forum. Wahoo!

It did not disappoint. Cures Rock, and the REV Forum rocked. Big time.

Today was inspiring, thought-provoking and overall, made me want to get up and should a few "Amen!"s (don't worry, I restrainted myself). :) The key topics included 3 main components:

1. Free the Data and Revolutionize Research
2. Voices of Cancer (patient advocates and patient stories)
3. Innovation in Collaboration


Siddhartha Mukherjee
The list of speakers and panel guests was off the charts inspiring.... see the agenda at the REV Forum web site: http://www.rev-forum.com/. Admittedly, I about fell off my chair to be siting 10 feet away from Pulitzer Prize winner, Siddhartha Mukherjee. If anyone can sit in a room like that filled with such great leaders and their calls to action and then *not* do anything, I'd be shocked. 

Sekou Andrews kicked us off with some poetic motivation, and then Andy Palmer, Joe Selby, Amy Abernathy and Robert Cohen provide insight on the revolution of research and data.  Dr. Jack West presented on the new interaction between patients and doctors (and the "third person" in the room....the Web/Dr. Google). 

Sandwiched right in the middle to make sure nobody forgot what's important in it all, was a panel of "Voices in Cancer" --- Ethan Zohn, Kathy LaTour, Josh Sommer and Lindsay Nohr Bech. True inspirations from cancer survivors that then turned into compellling advocates to give cancer a face, and to solve some critical issues.

Wrapping up the day was the panel on Innovation in Collaboration, with Margaret Foti, Lawrence Shulman, Andrew C. von Eschenback and Doug Ulman.  And, the closing keynote: Siddhartha Mukherjee.

You know the day is going to be unique and special when Heidi Adams of LIVESTRONG says, "This ain't your daddy's conference"...and she was right.  We all sat at tables and would break into lively discussions between panels about how we can collaborate, be innovative in our ideas...and come up with ways to make that happen. 

Our Collaboration Table (#5)
I found myself sitting at a table with some amazing (and wicked-smart) folks. Ken Ramirez (Gannett Healthcare), Nicole Bell (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), Bryce Tenbarge (Teva), Erik Pearson (LIVESTRONG volunteer Leader & Mgmt Consultant), Randall Broad (Cancer Survivor & Inspiration) and Raj Thadani (Genentech). They challenged my thinking...and we might have come out with more questions than answers at times...but at least we were talking about ideas and having some good conversation.

Artist Angela Canada Hopkins
At one of the breaks, I walked over to an artist's exhibit that was set up to the side of the room. It was gorgeous! Emotional. Artist Angela Canada Hopkins was there in person. I'll probably blog a separate post about her amazing artwork, so stay tuned. She has a Fine Arts degree, and during her last year of school, her father was diagnosed with cancer. She dealt with her tragedy by turning to the canvas and tries to capture the beauty of living beings in her abstract art. As she recreates the cancer cells in her art, she tries to breathe back life and healing into the design. Check it out at: www.CanadaHopkins.com

At the end of the day, we all took the time to commit to something we'd personally do to start acting on these discussion.  Which was hard to do, as after today, I probably have 20 solid, innovative ideas on how IT can transform things (where's a V.C. around when you need one!...j/k).

It was great day. Huge thanks to Genentech and LIVESTRONG.  Big thanks to "Table 5" for putting up with my overly enthusiastic and cheerleading personality today. I'd love to hear from others that attended or who viewed the live-stream.  Comment on this blog post, or send me a note!

CURES ROCK! (Cancer does not.)

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Lance Armstrong's "Tour de France" Dedication to Julie

A great reminder that I had armies of support beside me in my fight. (Thanks, Lance!) Even with the recent media, this video isn't about the bike...but the fight against cancer. LIVESTRONG!

Stage 2 Dedication: Julie Westcott -- powered by http://www.livestrong.com

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500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.

500 Miles. 17 days. 2 States. 1 Mission to Cure Cancer.
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