This program was created by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) as an innovative and critical national effort to educate students in health professional programs on ovarian cancer. The goal is to increase the number of health care providers who recognize the symptoms of and risk factors for ovarian cancer so that the disease is detected earlier. It is available at no cost to the school and its students. The South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation has a certified facilitator and trained ovarian cancer survivors available to speak to health groups of all types. The feedback from students has been encouraging with many of them saying they will never forget what they learned about the risks of missing an opportunity of an early diagnosis.
The goal of Survivors Teaching Students® is for future physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and physician assistants to be able to diagnose the disease when it is in its earlier, most treatable stages. This program brings ovarian cancer survivors into the classroom, where they present their unique stories along with facts about the disease. Students are able to interact with and learn from actual patients.
Survivors Teaching Students® is offered in 259 healthcare programs, including medical schools, nursing programs, nurse practitioner programs, physician assistant programs and allied health programs. In the United States it reaches 34 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands; the program is also offered in the United Kingdom and Canada. In 2016, the program educated over 11,100 students through the work of 817 volunteers.