Karmanos Cancer Advocacy Program

Karmanos Cancer Advocacy Program

Mission and Goals

The Karmanos Cancer Advocacy Program (KCAP) at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in conjunction with Wayne State University is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer. Our goal is to develop and promote a formal means for active patient advocacy; to facilitate cancer clinical trials awareness and accrual throughout local and state communities; and to provide a forum for cancer education about the state of cancer prevention screening, treatment, research, clinical trials and survivorship.


KCAP advocates are a diverse group of individuals of patients and/or caregivers who feel that they meet the criteria below.


  • Patient, family member or caregiver with personal experience with the effects of a cancer diagnosis
  • Preferably one year beyond treatment
  • Consistent with time commitments
  • Computer access with an active email account
  • Have demonstrated effectiveness in interacting with groups as a leader or active participant
  • Willingness to embrace a broad perspective of cancer research and training

Time Commitment

  • Serve for a minimum of one year as a member of KCAP
  • Attend and participate in KCAP meetings (generally monthly)
  • Participate in KCAP sponsored training (online)
  • Participate in additional small groups specific to cancer type (time commitment to be determined by the group)
  • Review research grant abstracts/ideas for Karmanos researchers
  • Have the opportunity to participate in travel to national meetings to represent our advocacy group
  • Potentially serve as a grant reviewer for internal and external funding agencies
  • Partner and engage with Karmanos researchers on grant applications

How to Get Involved

If you are interested in finding out more information, please contact Patient Community Education at 313-576-9288 or email communityed@karmanos.org.

If you are interested in becoming a KCAP advocate, please download the application.

Download the KCAP Advocate Application

Cindy Sulad, KCAP Advocate since 2018

My mother and I were treated at Karmanos for breast cancer, and we had positive outcomes thanks to the care, knowledge, and expertise of the Karmanos staff. I have volunteered in several capacities over the years at Karmanos, and am proud to be part of KCAP, a dedicated group of survivors, professionals and caregivers, who work toward the mission of cancer education, support and information for our community.

Coordinating Team


The Karmanos Cancer Advocacy Program (KCAP) began in 2018 under the leadership of Dr. Elisabeth Heath as a partnership between patients and the research community. KCAP in an extension of the Prostate Cancer Advocacy Group (PCAP) established in 2010. The successful PCAP advocacy model expanded to include all cancers.

KCAP trains survivors and their family members to help support Karmanos cancer research initiatives, review grant proposals for research studies, and become involved in volunteer led action groups that affect the future of cancer care. KCAP advocates have attended a year-long didactic training designed to promote survivor engagement in investigator driven research. The course was created for the advocates to be well prepared and empowered to engage with Karmanos Cancer Institute researchers and help direct future cancer research. Advocates develop grant-reviewing skills and began providing much needed feedback for internal and external grant review study sections.

KCAP advocates participate in panel discussions and seminars on issues affecting cancer research, join advocacy groups, meet with government officials to discuss issues impacting cancer care and more. KCAP advocates have participated in events with American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ASC-CAN) speaking with state legislators about issues influencing cancer in the state. KCAP Advocates are active in the Karmanos clinic areas and provide cancer awareness and education outreach to the community through presentations to community groups or education during health fairs and other outreach events.


KCAP hosts an educational cancer symposium that is free to the public. The goal is to bring together people from the community to learn about the latest treatment and research advancements related to cancer.

Previous topics have included, Progress in Cancer Care, Advocacy, and Survivorship, Addressing Common Cancer Concerns and Myths, and Then and Now: Embracing the Future of Cancer Care.

Watch: Karmanos Cancer Institute's 11th Annual All Cancer Symposium (2021) on YouTube | Full Video

Watch: Karmanos Cancer Institute's 12th Annual All Cancer Symposium (2022) on YouTube | Part One | Part Two


Heath EI, Nanus DM, Slovin S, et al. Prostate Cancer National Summit's Call to Action. Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2019;17(3):161-168. doi:10.1016/j.clgc.2019.04.002

Prostate Cancer National Summit's Call to Action

Past Accomplishments

Each spring KCAP collaborates with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ASC-CAN) to visit the Michigan State Capital to speak with legislatures about issues affecting cancer in the state.

In 2017, KCAP advocates attended the American Association for Cancer Research’s Disparities Conference in Atlanta, GA.

2017 AACR poster

In 2018, KCAP advocates attended the NYC Prostate Cancer Summit.

In 2019, KCAP advocates attended the American Association for Cancer Research’s Disparities Conference in San Francisco, CA.

2019 AACR poster

In 2021, a KCAP advocate was a panel presenter and KCAP advocates supported the discussion during the breakout sessions at the 11th Annual All Cancer Symposium.

In 2022, a KCAP advocate attended the Pan Prostate Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) Meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

Pictured: Frank Fields

Frank Fields, KCAP Advocate since 2012

Being a member of KCAP has broaden my view of the health disparities in people of color, and those who are medically underserved. The science of cancer is wide and varied. As a KCAP advocate, Karmanos and Wayne State University has invested in me the knowledge of evaluating clinical trials. The training has put KCAP advocates in place, not to make patients feel good, but to help patients feel better.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact Patient Community Education at 313-576-9288 or email communityed@karmanos.org.