Supporting Activist Patients with Brad Power

Posted by Mike Biselli on 8.2.2021

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Welcome to episode one hundred fifty-eight of Passionate Pioneers!

This episode’s Community Champion Sponsor is Catalyst. To virtually tour Catalyst and claim your space on campus, or host an upcoming event: CLICK HERE

Using his personal experience as a previously diagnosed cancer patient, our next guest has made it his goal and mission to help other patients amplify their voices and become active participants in their treatment.

Brad Power, the founder of CancerHacker Lab, joins us to discuss the power of his collaborative community of medical experts and patients that have rallied together to help others find their best next treatment option. 

Additionally, Brad shares with us the positive outcomes the organization is experiencing and where Brad sees the work of his community heading into the future.  

Join us to experience Brad’s passion for helping other patients and how you and your community can be a part of CancerHacker Lab as we continue to work together to move the health of our nation forward. Let’s go!

Episode Highlights:

  • How Brad found his calling by using his voice as a previous cancer patient
  • Collaborating with his friend, Bryce, to create hackathons for cancer patients
  • How his lab gives support to patients to be more active and engaged in their treatment process
  • Where Brad sees his community heading towards in the future 
  • How the healthcare community contribute to CancerHacker Lab’s goals

About our Guest: 

In 2018 Brad Power was a process innovation researcher and consultant with over 35 years experience and an author of over 75 articles for the Harvard Business Review when he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Brad went through a standard course of chemotherapy, which was successful, and he currently has no evidence of disease. While attending a conference on personalized medicine at Harvard Medical School, he spoke up to provide his experience as a patient and was told in the breaks afterward by many attendees that he had a voice. He felt this must be his calling, and he decided to focus his skills and experience on accelerating innovation in cancer treatment. Because of his experience in working with large, successful companies, he was skeptical that incumbents would drive the big, disruptive process changes as fast as patients need. He decided to do what he could to help (1) patients that actively engage in solving their problems and make them available to others, and (2) startups that are disrupting the health system to help patients get educated, navigate, and form community.

In late 2020 Brad was talking to his friend Bryce Olson, who said he had hit a wall in keeping his metastatic prostate cancer at bay. Brad suggested to Bryce that they could run a hackathon (a collaborative effort of a diverse crowd of experts) for him to find his best next treatment option, which they did from December 2020 to March 2021. Brad is currently hosting two hackathons: one for Linnea Olson, a lung cancer patient, and another for Kasey Altman, a young woman with a rare cancer. Brad hopes to make hackathons available to many more patients who are facing complex treatment decisions.

Brad is a founding member of Ennov1; an advisor to Blue Note Therapeutics, Rabble Health, and Cancer101.org; and is an active contributor to the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

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