Episode 7: Understanding Community, Collaboration and Caregiving with the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Translating Research Across Communities (TRAC) Paula Kim - PART II


Key highlights:

1. Taking PanCan global and multicultural insights on cancer

2. The art of translating a movement into a sustainable organization

3. Importance of doing the hard and obvious things

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About our guests

Paula Kim

As the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Translating Research Across Communities (TRAC), Paula Kim brings more than 30 years of executive and entrepreneurial leadership in business and not-for-profit ventures. Paula is recognized on the grassroots, national, and international levels for her consumer-focused leadership and innovation in communication and outreach for business, healthcare and advocacy strategies. Paula Kim's commitment to advocacy, advancing research, and helping patients and families came from personal reasons – her dad’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 1998 and untimely death only seventy-five days later.

Despite no prior experience in national advocacy, patient programs, or public policy, she jumped headfirst into a major transition from building homes to leading volunteers and building hope and programs for patients and researchers. In 1999, Paula co-founded the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) with Pam Acosta Marqhardt and Terry Lierman, the first national patient advocacy organisation for pancreatic cancer; and served as President, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer.  In 2004, she resigned from the organisation and moved forward to establish Paula Kim, Inc-TRAC.

Paula Kim’s vision and team-building style led PanCAN’s growth from a handful of online chat volunteers into a national resource for the pancreatic cancer research and patient communities, with pioneering programs for clinical trials matching, PALS-patient services, patient education symposia,survivor-caregiver networks, grassroots development, research mapping, and career development research grant funding. She also led PanCAN’s policy efforts, which yielded then, an unprecedented increase of over 350% in federal government investments in pancreatic cancer research.

Watch the video of our episode on YouTube

  • At 2 minutes

    Back in the early 2000s, I had a number of advocates from other countries that would reach out to me. And so I had a group of fabulous advocates from Japan, for example, that came over and shadowed me for days on end, and wanted to learn about building programs similar in their country. They wanted to learn about how to talk to policymakers. And so I created my consulting practice track translating research across communities, for that purpose to help globally.

  • At 10 minutes

    “To an extent that's why I want to congratulate you on the Manta Planner, because on one level, it seems very basic and very simple. And you say, well, why has nobody done this before? For this, I have a theory that sometimes people just don't want to put in the effort that it takes to do something.

  • At 18 minutes

    “There were so many people involved in the growth of pain in PanCan. Our very first staff members and the people that we hired, and the people who were willing to give their time and their resources to a little startup group that had no track record. And the many, many volunteers who poured their heart and soul into everything that we did.”

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