At the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, we empower our patients with knowledge about their disease and its treatment options so that they can participate in the decisions regarding their care. In 1997, the Breast Center leadership made a conscious decision to incorporate patient advocacy into its programs and services. The first step was to select a breast cancer survivor, Lillie Shockney, R.N., to become the administrative director of our Breast Center.
A patient’s family is also an integral part of her breast cancer treatment. We strive to educate everyone involved in the patient’s care, to reduce anxiety of the patient and her loved ones and create a supportive team here and at home.
Each person involved in a patient’s care is an advocate for that patient. Whether it be scheduling her operation, helping her make decisions about chemotherapy regimens, or making sure that she understands her pathology report, the Breast Center team works with each patient to ensure that her voice is heard.
Patient advocacy is so important that Lillie Shockney has become nationally known for her commitment to patient advocacy. She conducts regional and national seminars for nurses and doctors on how best to advocate for their patients and teach others to do the same.