The University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute wants to make Cincinnati the smartest city in the world when it comes to cancer, and institute director William Barrett, M.D., believes that daunting endeavor begins with engaging the city’s youth.
To meet the challenge, UC Cancer Institute structured its June 24 annual retreat for research as a multi-generational, collaborative event. Local grade school, junior high, high school, college and medical students participated in discussion groups with physicians and scientists at various career stages for the purpose of generating new ideas to improve cancer research, prevention, treatment and recovery.
Northlich president Kathy Selker and vice president Liz Phillips were honored to participate in the retreat. Serving in key roles as discussion-group facilitators, Kathy and Liz helped the multi-generational teams come together during two-hour work sessions to align on a strategy for addressing a specific cancer-related need.
The two Northlich volunteers worked to ensure that all team members — regardless of age and experience — were able to contribute and have a voice in the process as they aided groups in framing their thinking so that by the end of the work sessions, teams were able to deliver five-minute presentations illuminating new ideas for fighting cancer in the Cincinnati region.
Liz was impressed by her team’s forward-thinking session. “It was inspiring to see engaged minds across generations working together with varied perspectives to solve a problem that impacts so many aspects of our community,” she said.
In keeping with the goal of making Cincinnati the smartest city in the world about cancer, the retreat is intended to stimulate interest in cancer-oriented careers, and participants were charged with going back to their parts of the community and spreading their newfound perspectives.