Recap of 2016!

Along with our continued dedication to providing age-appropriate, comprehensive survivorship care to adolescents and young adults with a history of cancer, 2016 brought an abundance of new collaborations, program team transitions and exciting opportunities to spread AYA cancer awareness.  Below is our annual recap.


New collaborations

Our most colorful collaboration emerged from our first Meet & Greet dinner which brought patients and members of the AYA Program team together to create squares that have been sewn together as a program quilt. A partial image of the squares is included here (at right) and serves as our Facebook banner.

Tufts Medical Center (MC) launched a new Cardio-Oncology Program that focuses on preventative cardiology, screening and management of therapy-induced heart dysfunction for individuals treated for cancer. Dr. Jenica Upshaw is the program’s medical director. She joins the AYA care team, on most clinic Mondays, providing AYAs with the convenience of having their AYA visit followed by their cardio-oncology visit in the same space.

Seven, talented and motivated young women joined the AYA team as Summer Scholars. They each worked on a research project and/or shadowed the care team in clinic to learn more about AYAs impacted by cancer. To date, their contributions have led to an accepted abstract at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Survivorship Symposium, a pilot study on Human Papillomavirus vaccination adherence, a poster at the American Society of Hematology Annual meeting and an award winning poster at the American Medical Association Research Symposium.

In March, Tufts MC announced a clinical affiliation with New England Cancer Specialists (NECS), the largest provider of cancer services in Maine. Soon thereafter the AYA Program team began working with NECS to scale and export Survivorship Care Plans. Now, thanks to the survivorship expertise and collective efforts of all involved, templates have been created to effectively provide individualized survivorship care to a large number of people.

Program team transitions

We said good-bye and good luck to two inaugural members or the AYA team, Dr. Erin Barthel and Program Coordinator, Tully Saunders. We welcomed Annmarie Conroy, PNP, who splits her time with the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Floating Hospital for Children. Rachel Murphy-Banks, our Education & Outreach Coordinator, incorporated Tully’s role and now welcomes AYAs in clinic and assists with scheduling and coordinating follow-up appointments.

Spreading AYA cancer & AYA Program awareness

Dr. Wendy Stock, of the University of Chicago Medicine, spoke at Tufts MC as our 3rd annual lecturer. She shared the incredible progress she and her adult and pediatric oncology colleagues have made in treating AYAs with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Two papers were published, Is the Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivor at risk for late effects? It depends on where you Look and Health-related quality of life in Hodgkin lymphoma: a systematic review reaching a broad medical and academic audience.

Building on talks our care team has given to medical provider audiences, Rachel expanded our scope to include Boston-area colleges and university undergraduates. She engaged professors who taught courses about the illness experience and was invited to speak about her own experience as a young adult cancer survivor, using it as a platform to emphasize young adults are not immune to cancer, cancer has physical, psychological and social impacts on the individual and those around them, and to introduce the concept of survivorship and the care provided by the AYA Program. Student feedback has been extraordinary.

We hope you enjoyed this summary of our program activities. Thank You for your continued support and interest!

One Response to “2016 Year in Review”

  1. Jeanne Zarrella

    Thank you all for all you do. My daughter Elise continues to thrive. See you again when she turns 21.


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