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Center for Advancing Health Announces Two New Awards to Honor Jessie Gruman


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The Board of Trustees of the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH) is pleased to announce that two new awards honoring the late Jessie Gruman’s exemplary leadership in the field of patient engagement have been established at the following distinguished organizations: the Society for Public Health Education, Inc. (SOPHE) and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS). A third organization, the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), received additional funding from CFAH to extend its Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement, which was established in 2014. The SBM award recognizes pivotal and extensive contributions to research, practice and/or policies that have advanced the understanding of patient engagement.

Financial support for the two new awards and the extension of the existing SBM award was made available from contributions to the Jessie Gruman Memorial Fund and general funds of CFAH prior to its closing in December 2014.

Descriptions of the new awards from SOPHE and NCCS are provided below.

SOPHE Student Fellowship in Patient Engagement

The SOPHE one-year student fellowship in patient engagement honors Dr. Jessie Gruman, founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health until her death in July 2014. This fellowship is designed to recognize, assist and train masters or doctoral students to advance the research and practice of patient-centered health care from the perspective of health education or the behavioral sciences. Projects may focus on enhancing patient/family education, health literacy, health communication, cultural humility, shared decision-making or other variables that impact patient/caregiver interaction and promote respectful and ethical patient engagement. The competitive fellowship includes a stipend of $2,000 to support the project, SOPHE membership, and an opportunity to present the findings at a SOPHE annual meeting and/or publication in one of SOPHE’s peer-reviewed journals. More information about the first fellowship opportunity in 2015 will be available at

“SOPHE is honored to build upon Jessie Gruman’s legacy of patient engagement by establishing this graduate student fellowship in her memory,” says M. Elaine Auld, MPH, MCHES, SOPHE Chief Executive Officer. “This fellowship will expand the evidence base for meaningful patient-centered health care and inspire activism for future policies and practices that restore the human experience to health and healing.”

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship Jessie Gruman Patient Engagement Award

NCCS created the Jessie Gruman Patient Engagement Award to recognize an individual or group of individuals – researcher, patient, physician, policy maker or advocate – who embodies the same spirit and tireless drive as Jessie did, and who have made exceptional contributions in promoting evidence-based decision-making and advancing individuals' active participation in their cancer care.

“NCCS especially wanted to highlight Jessie’s passion to ‘change the conversation’ between health care providers and their patients,” said Shelley Fuld Nasso, CEO of NCCS. “Her persistent and effective insistence to educate, engage and empower patients over the years, and to educate the provider community about the benefits of patient involvement, helped to shape a future for patient engagement that deserved recognition.”

NCCS will present the Jessie Gruman Patient Engagement Award to individuals who have advanced patient engagement for individuals with cancer, whether through improving public policies, enhancing patient and provider communications and involvement, encouraging shared treatment decision-making, incorporating better symptom management or ensuring the consideration of a patient’s values and needs when balancing one’s quality of life with treatment options.

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Patient Engagement   Jessie Gruman Memorial  

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