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C3 Prize Alumni

The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize sparks innovative developments in cancer care, tackling challenges by awarding prizewinners with grants and connecting them with resources and support. Nurturing these developments has resulted in incredible impact over the years.

2019 Grand Prize Winner

Audrey Guth

Audrey Guth
Nanny Angel Network

Idea: Expand the reach and impact of Nanny Angel Network, which delivers free, specialized childcare for mothers with cancer.

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About the Winning Idea

Audrey Guth, a cancer survivor and mother of four, established the Nanny Angel Network in 2009 after she found a gap in healthcare and social services for mothers with cancer and their children. Audrey noticed that mothers must choose between looking after their children and going for treatment, and children often feel sad, scared, and anxious. The Nanny Angel Network aims to reduce the unequal burden of cancer care and focuses on tools and resources that reach underserved populations.

The Nanny Angel Network provides specialized training for “Nanny Angels,” who are professional nannies, nurses, teachers, and social workers who volunteer once a week throughout a mom’s illness and for one year following her death. Nanny Angels provide normalcy for children by maintaining routines and participating in fun, educational, and therapeutic play activities. They are also trained to respond to children’s questions about cancer and their mother’s diagnosis.

The Nanny Angel helps to give children the resources to cope with their mothers’ cancer and provides peace of mind for mothers, who know their children are being cared for by a vetted, highly trained, reliable volunteer Nanny Angel for the duration of her illness, recovery, and in some instances, for one year following her death.

How the C3 Prize Will Be Used

Nanny Angel Network will aim to increase the number of mothers it supports each year by enhancing its backstage technology and client management system so that it can scale its service delivery with efficiencies, develop a Family Advisory Committee so that mothers can provide feedback on the program, and increase outreach with oncology and social work departments at hospitals to increase referrals. For children, the Nanny Angel Network will develop grief and bereavement coping kits, purchase a medical teaching doll to help explain how medical interventions are undertaken, and establish a program to pay for these children to attend summer camp. They will also recruit and provide additional training for volunteers.

2019 Innovation Prize Winners

Daniella Koren

Daniella Koren
Arches Technology

Idea: Expand the digital patient education and engagement program MyCareCompass, which provides relevant information and evidence-based education to people impacted by cancer throughout their treatment journey.

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About the Winning Idea

Processing a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan can be very difficult, overwhelming, and emotionally draining for patients and their families. It’s also a challenge for healthcare institutions to provide the right information at the right time. After analyzing millions of data points from people living with cancer, along with insights from oncology nurses, oncologists, and patients, Arches Technology identified serious gaps in the way cancer care centers provide cancer education. Arches Technology aims to improve the oncology journey through automation of personalized, relevant information every step of the way.

Arches Technology developed MyCareCompass, a digital patient education and engagement program, to help people impacted by cancer navigate everyday care by providing relevant information and evidence-based education in an easy-to-understand format, one step at a time.

MyCareCompass syncs with electronic doctors’ records—known as electronic health records (EHR)—to share resources with patients based on their individual needs, from their specific diagnosis to appointment timing and treatment milestones. This integration establishes a clear, continuous line of patient communication without adding extra tasks for the patient or medical staff. Patients can receive timely educational content and information about each step of cancer treatment via email, text messages, and automated phone calls. The visuals and animations are more effective and easier to understand than a typical paper pamphlet—and patients have reported that MyCareCompass has had a positive impact on their experiences.

Arches Technology has already implemented MyCareCompass at Kettering Health Network in Dayton, Ohio, for patients undergoing infusion chemotherapy and immunotherapy, with other modules in development.

How the C3 Prize Will Be Used

Arches Technology will expand the reach of MyCareCompass to serve more cancer institutions throughout the United States and abroad. Additionally, Arches Technology will develop new content specific to other therapy types (in addition to infusion chemotherapy and immunotherapy). Arches Technology will connect with cancer centers and nonprofit organizations that advocate for underprivileged populations that need more cancer support services.

Leslie Schover

Leslie Schover
Will2Love

Idea: Optimize care for cancer-related problems with sex and fertility, including online self-help tools for men and women, online training and support for oncology health professionals, and consulting to hospitals on how to structure a reproductive health program.

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About the Winning Idea

Living with cancer or as a cancer survivor comes with challenges and concerns that are rarely discussed, including sexual and reproductive health. Clinical psychologist Leslie Schover, PhD, who is internationally recognized as an expert on sexual problems and infertility related to cancer treatment and other chronic illnesses, founded Will2Love to help cancer survivors prevent or overcome sexual or fertility problems. Will2Love strives to empower cancer survivors with online patient interventions for both men and women as well as an online training manual for oncology professionals.

Each new survivor or partner using a Will2Love self-help program completes questions about his or her type of cancer and treatment, specific sexual problems, desire for help with fertility and parenthood, and relationship and dating issues, in order to create a personalized homepage with links to the most relevant content in the program. Will2Love guides people in choosing top goals for the program and tailors content accordingly, providing links to readings or exercises, and potential barriers and strategies to overcome them. After 12 weeks, people have the ability to review their progress and create a plan for the next 12 weeks.

Will2Love’s tool for healthcare professionals teaches them to use the self-help programs with patients, including how to discuss sex and fertility comfortably, conduct assessments, and combine the self-help exercises with medical options to treat sexual problems or infertility.

How the C3 Prize Will Be Used

Will2Love will create specialized versions of its patient self-help programs for specific groups of people, including a version for younger survivors (diagnosed with cancer from birth to age 40), and LGBTQ-specific content. In addition, it will translate its website into Spanish, given the need in the US and in other Spanish-speaking countries for a resource like Will2Love.

2019 Emerging Ideas Prize Winner

Abby Westerman

Abby Westerman
b-present Foundation

Idea: Extend the reach of b-there, a web-based patient and supporter connection tool to lower the barrier for young adults with cancer to stay connected with friends, offering a quick, easy, low-stress way to control visits, convey status updates, and request needed items.

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About the Winning Idea

For young people with cancer, it can be challenging to get the social support they need, which can affect their treatment and recovery. b-present Foundation is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization inspired by and founded in memory of Abby Westerman’s daughter, 20-year-old Kirsten Westerman, who lost her fight with leukemia in 2016. Kirsten yearned for the support of her friends and peers, but many of them struggled to stay in touch when she needed their presence the most. Kirsten experienced isolation and feelings of being forgotten, which impacted her quality of life and her will to keep going.

b-there is a web-based patient and supporter connection tool that is designed to provide patients with a quick, easy, low-stress way to control visits, convey status updates, and request needed items. The b-there dashboard conveys a snapshot of the patient’s status, mood, desire for visits/communication, schedule/availability, and a wish list that includes and links to needed items. To respect patient privacy, only invited supporters have access to view the patient dashboard and respond to a patient’s requests.

Currently, b-present Foundation has a prototype b-there tool that is ready for community input. b-present Foundation is collaborating with hospitals and universities to find volunteer evaluators. The current version is a prototype because it has all the intended functionality but has not been used by the target community.

How the C3 Prize Will Be Used

b-present Foundation will use the C3 Prize to improve the reach of b-there and ensure it is meeting broad and diverse community needs and that the impact of b-present is relevant and palpable in homes and hospitals across the country. b-present Foundation also will extend its reach beyond California, create national awareness, and facilitate the opportunity to make the tool available to a larger group of target users.

2018 Winners

Ebele Mbanugo

Grand Prize Winner
Ebele Mbanugo | Run For a Cure Africa (RFCA)

Idea: Produce timely, culturally relevant, relatable information via a first-of-its-kind digital audio series with local actors that addresses common barriers and myths to breast cancer treatment, which are of value to patients in Nigeria.

Do Hyun Kim

Support Tools Winner
Do Hyun Kim, Olga Romanova, Emily Dahl, Calvin Marambo, Anna Raheem

Idea: Outpatient wearable device designed to take body temperature readings of pediatric cancer patients at specific time intervals and inform them about the severity of their condition via an LED and sound feedback system to help decrease rates of infection-caused mortality in low- and middle-income countries.

 Richard Levenson

Technology Winner
Richard Levenson

Idea: Update the microscope to provide diagnostic-quality images, with enhanced information, directly and quickly from fresh or fixed tissue to relieve both the requirement to first have access to histology and the time-consuming and costly processes involved.

2017 Winners

 Hernâni Oliveira

Grand Prize Winner
Hernâni Oliveira | The Hope Project

Idea: An augmented reality app to help solve common issues faced by pediatric patients and their parents around both education and physical engagement.

Get to know Hernâni

Kevin Bambury

First Prize Winner
Kevin Bambury | ONCOassist

Idea: Kevin is the co-founder of ONCOassist, which has developed an interactive informational app designed to contain all of the tools oncology professionals need at point of care to help diagnose and manage treatment. ONCOassist aims to give professionals access to reliable and approved medical information to help them make the right decisions for patients in an increasingly complex oncology environment.

Howard Isenstein

First Prize Winner
Howard Isenstein | Care Progress

Idea: Howard is the founder of Care Progress, whose app, CarePrompter, aims to improve patient navigation, adherence, and care coordination by prompting patients to check in with their clinicians frequently on a wide range of topics. CarePrompter is designed to reduce inefficiencies in care delivery for patients and caregivers, while maintaining open channels of communication to ensure patient needs are being met.

Watch Howard’s application video

Cory Kidd | Catalia Health

First Prize Winner
Cory Kidd | Catalia Health

Idea: Cory is the CEO of Catalia Health, which has developed the Mabu Wellness Coach Platform featuring an AI-powered companion robot that incorporates psychology, evidence-based healthcare solutions, and artificial intelligence to help patients better manage their care. Catalia Health and Mabu provide an interactive companion to patients in order to increase long-term patient engagement.

Watch Cory’s application video

Charlotte Vander Stichele | MindBytes

First Prize Winner
Charlotte Vander Stichele | MindBytes

Idea: Charlotte is a graphic designer for MindBytes, whose Cancer Patient Decision Aid (CADA) would provide patients with a visually engaging and interactive scenario-based decision-support tool complete with information on disease burden, treatment impacts, and the various decision points during care. CADA is designed to allow patients to work with their doctors and feel more empowered over the course of their treatment.

Watch charlotte’s application video

2016 Winners

Diane Jooris | Oncomfort

Grand Prize Winner
Diane Jooris | Oncomfort™

Idea: Virtual reality systems to help patients by providing anxiety and pain self-management tools.

Get to know Diane

Mark Harrison | Australian Prostate Cancer Research

First Prize Winner
Mark Harrison | Australian Prostate Cancer Research

Idea: As CEO of Australian Prostate Cancer Research, Mark Harrison recognizes that for many men with prostate cancer—particularly those living in remote and rural communities—accessing appropriate support and clinical services can be challenging. This knowledge inspired him to develop PROSTMATE™, one of the world’s first interactive online systems designed to meet the needs of men with prostate cancer. A membership-based program, PROSTMATE provides a tailored experience to help men with prostate cancer get the information, support, and tools they need to manage their disease.

Watch Mark’s application video

Larry Pederson | The Litebook Company Ltd

First Prize Winner
Larry Pederson | The Litebook Company Ltd

Idea: As a longtime sufferer of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), Larry Pederson was driven to find a better solution for existing lightbox technology. In 2000, he founded The Litebook Company, a Canadian-based organization that invented a portable light therapy device called The Litebook®. The Litebook holds promise for cancer patients suffering from the profound fatigue often brought on by chemotherapy treatment—a symptom that is similar in many ways to the feeling that results from severe jet lag. In much the same way that the Litebook can reset a traveler’s internal body clock, the device has the potential to “reset” a patient’s body clock and help to improve energy, sleep, and overall quality of life.

Watch Larry’s application video

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