Engaging Cancer Committee Members


Marketing Manager

Often our Cancer Program Consultants are asked by prospective clients how to increase involvement in the cancer committee. Our best advice is to answer with another question. “What makes you want to be involved in a committee at the hospital, in a civic organization, volunteer agency, church or school?” The most common answers are “I care about the cause.” “ I want to make an improvement.” “ I had an issue I wanted resolved.”

Our consultants recommend clients speak individually with the key committee members and learn what issues they are passionate about addressing. Though it may be difficult to hear, it is important to learn what are their complaints, their colleagues’ concerns, and what their patients talk about during an office visit. If a committee member feels he/she has a useful purpose to address as part of the committee, they are more apt to be attentive and productive. We recommend explaining the structure of the CoC standards and the opportunity to use the goals, studies or patient centered standards to address their areas of interest. Committee members who have a vested interest are those who remain involved.

No one wants to participate in a boring committee! Interaction and involvement by many members fosters a successful meeting. Think about yourself and your level of commitment to organizations and committees when your opinions are recognized, requested and respected.   What makes you want to remain an active member?   Lively discussion and a few laughs are always appreciated.

We have found when a Registry Partners Consultant joins the cancer committee they do not have any pre-conceived judgments or opinions.   They are genuinely seeking the members’ opinions. Our Consultants know the process and structure of CoC standards, but our clients know the heart and soul, the strengths and weaknesses of the programs.  The Consultant’s role is to help everyone recognize those discussion topics.

Often our approaches result in a greater sense of belonging to a committee. Of course, this doesn’t always result in better committee involvement, but more often than not members who have an issue to resolve and a clear definition of their purpose will be a more effective cancer committee member.

As with any organization, face to face individual conversations are more effective for renewed or initial membership than a request via email. Email is quick and efficient, but doesn’t give you the chance for dialogue!   Cancer committee involvement requires talking!!