The road most recently traveled
I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Breast Care Center where I later worked as a researcher contributing to the design, implementation, and evaluation of the very same program that provided me decision support when I was first diagnosed. The road from patient to researcher took me on a journey through community college and culminated with a Master’s of Education from San Francisco State University (SFSU). My experience with “chemobrain” left me more than a little bit worried I couldn’t compete with students less than half my age, but my intellectual abilities were not completely trashed as I won enough scholarship money to attend SFSU full time and graduated summa cum laude from the Interdisciplinary Social Science undergraduate program. My Master thesis, “Student Perceptions of Group Projects,” consisted of web-based survey research focused on understanding the discrepancies between research touting the effectiveness of collaborative learning and the negative experiences described by undergraduate student participants.
While in school I began my work in the world of patient advocacy, volunteering at the UCSF Cancer Resource Center as a Peer Counselor and working as research assistant on a joint UCSF and SFSU study. The “Quality of Life Among Breast Cancer Survivors from Diverse Populations” study collected qualitative and quantitative data from Bay Area minority breast cancer survivors assessing how being a breast cancer survivor affected the trajectory of quality of life in different race/ethnic groups, and how that relationship was modified by social support, depression, and spirituality. For this project I conducted tape-recorded structured interviews and facilitated survivors’ completion of a battery of psychological assessment measures, provided principal investigators interview transcriptions and personal field notes. I interviewed 25 Asian, African-American, Latina and White participants who lived in the city of San Francisco every six months over a two-year period.
I am co-author on several papers that discuss insights from ten years of integrating shared decision making into routine practice, including several presentations at the International Shared Decision Making conference this summer. Between 2005 and 2015, Decision Services, now known as the Patient Support Corps, delivered over 3700 Decision Aids and provided over 1400 coaching sessions to patients, making the program one of the oldest and largest implementations of shared decision making in the world. This approach to shared decision making implementation is being replicated in other academic and community settings, both nationally and internationally.
I currently teach an online course for UC Berkeley Extension Professional Program in Health Advocacy “Evaluating Health Information for Health Care Communication and Decision-Making.” This 15-hour continuous enrollment program is a one unit requirement for certification in the program.
Live well, laugh often and love with all of your heart!
Have you ever wondered about how the lyrics of popular music intersect with YOUR life? Does popular music reflect current thinking or does it really formulate current thinking? What about the music/lyrics of your parents' generation? Your children's generation? What musical messages have you internalized? I don't know about you but I spent years waiting for "the man I loved" and am still convinced that Tuesday is the most magical time in the universe because "one day he'll come along ... maybe Tuesday will be my good news day." Share your experiences with music and lyrics on the"Lyrics of my life" blog.
This website is still under development!
Click the "Publications" and the "Student Research Projects" tabs to learn more about my professional research. You are invited to comment on the "Lyrics of my life" blog or contact me directly by completing the form below: