Writers' Perspective: Award Recognition
MicroMass has been named a finalist in the 2018 PM360 Trailblazer Awards for two programs that we created in collaboration with Lexicon Pharmaceuticals:
Lexicon STRIPES, a program developed to provide oncology professionals with the tools and resources needed to improve outcomes, address patient needs, and improve patient interactions, was named a finalist in the Healthcare Provider Education category.
And, the Lexicon “Find Food You Love” Cookbook, a patient centric resource for people living with NET Cancer and Carcinoid Syndrome, as well as recipes and nutritional information for daily living, was named a finalist in the Patient or Consumer Education category.
We spoke with Senior Behavioral Copywriter, Kellie Powell, about her input on these projects and the recognition they’re receiving.
Creating a Beacon for Rare Disease
Writers’ Block: What makes the Lexicon STRIPES program unique as a healthcare provider communication resource?
Kellie Powell: We know that Neuroendocrine Cancer and Carcinoid Syndrome are rare diseases. For a healthcare provider, it’s not necessarily something that you’re going to see every day, or even every month for that matter. There weren’t any resources available that gave healthcare providers reliable information to help them support patient challenges, like nutrition and symptoms. So we created one that did all that, and provided patient-centered communication strategies. We worked with Carcinoid Syndrome nutrition and oncology experts to create a resource that was credible and could fit into the busy schedules of healthcare providers.
Writers’ Block: What do you think the main challenge when patients and healthcare providers are communication about a rare disease, such as Carcinoid Syndrome?
Kellie Powell: A lot of factors that can get in the way of effective communication. Sometimes both the patient and healthcare provider are so limited in the amount of time they have together. People with Carcinoid Syndrome also have neuroendocrine tumors. So sometimes, even when patients are struggling with symptoms, they might not feel like they’re not worth mentioning or they may have learned to live with them. So it’s hard to get a complete picture of a person’s experience in a short appointment. For both the patient and the healthcare provider, it may not be clear what uncontrolled Carcinoid Syndrome looks like.
Putting Options Back on the Table
Writers’ Block: What was your main focus with the Lexicon “Find Food You Love” Cookbook?
Kellie Powell: We know that eating is a challenge for people with Neuroendocrine Tumors and Carcinoid Syndrome. There are nutrition resources out there, but they all focused on what these patients shouldn’t eat. We wanted to do more and include recipes and foods they can enjoy. With this disease state, it isn’t a one-size fits all type of thing. There are general nutritional considerations, but ultimately, everyone is different. We wanted to help patients explore their own nutritional needs. That’s why we included other information about their options for nutrition and the information behind our recommendations. We provided options to empower patients to choose foods that they love and that works for them.
Writers’ Block: How do you see this impacting a patient’s day-to-day experience?
Kellie Powell: I hope it will make eating a more enjoyable experience. It sounds simple, but consider the social and physical implications. Food plays such an important role in our lives. So when you’re having challenges with eating, it can be really debilitating. We just want to help people enjoy food again and empower them to make healthy choices. That’s really the biggest thing. We want to make their experience better, because we know it’s hard.
Kellie is one of our resident self-compassion experts. She uses her writing skills to share two or more, perspectives on the same experience, and is a pro at understanding the patient experience. You can learn more about Kellie’s perspective on The Writers’ Block.