Reaching Health Care Professionals:Constructive Criticism Necessary for Improvement

By Jennifer C. Fenton

Over the past 14 years, the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) has served more than 235,000 people through our toll-free Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC), conferences, seminars, teleconferences, webinars, and other cancer community activities and served countless others through our online resources.  Last summer, we assisted our 35,000th caller on the Telephone Assistance Line, while planning two Cancer Rights Conferences (one in Chicago and one in Los Angeles) that received over 530 registrations from individuals in 10 different states!

You could say the CLRC is a well-oiled machine at this point, but just because we are the only national, dedicated center for the provision of information and resources on all types of cancer-related legal issues, that does not mean we stop improving our services.  In order to truly meet the needs of the cancer community, growth and change are necessary.

The CLRC first received a grant from LIVESTRONG to develop The Manual: A Legal Resource Guide for People with Cancer in California.  Initially, we were thrilled with our accomplishment and were pleased with the feedback from the community, yet after several focus groups with health care professionals we soon recognized that the cancer community was in need of a guide that could be utilized on a national level by frontline oncology health care professionals to assist their patients.

We then received funding to publish The HCP Manual: A Legal Resource Guide for Oncology Health Care Professionals, which takes an in-depth look at Employment Rights, Taking Time Off Work, Disability Insurance, Health Care Options, Health Care Reform, Managing the Financial Aspects of Cancer, Genetics and Cancer, Estate Planning, and Legislative Advocacy.

Shortly after completing the HCP Manual, the feedback that we received was that the cancer community could greatly benefit from a manual specifically for survivors and caregivers.  As a result, we are currently working on guide for……you guessed it, survivors and caregivers

Receiving constructive feedback is essential to the success of the CLRC.  There are a number of ways in which we hope to receive feedback on our services and gain ideas about what else we could be doing to assist individuals in the cancer community navigate cancer-related legal issues.

Here are two ways for health care professionals to give us feedback:

  1. Complete our HCP Survey ( by June 30th and you will be entered into a quarterly opportunity drawing for a chance to win at $50 Visa gift card.
  1. Join us for a one-hour Focus Group on May 25th ( to provide us with your feedback and gain information to help you identify cancer-related legal issues and provide your patients will appropriate resources.

Recognizing opportunities to strengthen our program by ensuring that we are meeting the needs of health care professionals, survivors, and caregivers, allows the CLRC to stand out as an exemplary provider of cancer-related legal information and resources.

For more information about the Cancer Legal Resource Center:

Jennifer Fenton

For information about our 2011 Cancer Rights Conferences, free, all-day events that provide survivors, caregivers, advocates, navigators, and health care professionals with valuable information about cancer-related legal issues, visit: 


Jennifer Fenton is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Cancer Legal Resource Center. Mrs. Fenton graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Communications and received her J.D. at Loyola Law School, where she began her affiliation with the CLRC as a student extern. Since joining the staff in 2004, she has lectured widely on a variety of cancer-related legal issues relevant to patients, caregivers, and health care professionals. She has also worked extensively on the planning and execution of the Cancer Rights Conferences throughout the nation and The HCP Manual: A Legal Resource Guide for Oncology Health Care Professionals. Mrs. Fenton previously served on the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Los Angeles County Affiliate and is currently on the advisory council for Right Action for Women, The Christinia Appelgate Foundation, and an active board member of the Sheryl Weissberg Lymphoma Research Foundation.


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