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Ellyn Specker Charap, MSc.

Ellyn is a medical and linguistic anthropologist with over 15 years of experience in doctor-patient conversation dynamics, behavioral health research, social epidemiology and classic ethnography. Her research spans multiple therapeutic areas within oncology, and focuses on the nexus between communication dynamics, cultural models and health behavior.

Her expertise in behavioral oncology research spans the patient journey from decision making at diagnosis to cross-cultural coping skills about treatment to improving your health care team to patient communication through survivorship. Other projects include cultural differences in decision making about genetic testing (Armstrong et al, 2005); the development and testing of an online communication tool for improved education about cancer clinical trials (Meropol et al, 2008; Fleisher et al, 2008); culturally-informed, positive coping strategies among African American breast cancer survivors (Barsevick et al, 2012); the role of symptoms ideation in decision making about use of differing anti-cancer therapy approaches (Buzaglo et al, 2014), and gaps in doctor-patient conversations about binge eating disorder (Kornstein et al, 2014).

She has conducted research across marketing research, academic research, health care policy, and patient programming settings, and her work appears in such journals as Cancer, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and publications such as Wall Street Journal. She holds an MSc. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied medical and linguistic anthropology.

Mitch Golant , PhD

Mitch is a health psychologist. He along with Dr. Harold Benjamin, The Wellness Community’s founder, traveled throughout the world introducing CSC’s Patient Active Concept to international thought leaders and psychosocial oncologists. He has been with CSC for nearly 26 years where he supervised and trained CSC’s professional clinical staff. He has facilitated more than 4,500 support groups for people with cancer and trained over 350 professionals nationally and internationally in CSC's Patient Active Support Group model.

Dr. Golant is widely recognized as a pioneer in the use of information technology in cancer education and support through the delivery of online support groups. He was central to the launch of the award-winning One Cancer Support Community in both English and Spanish and Group Loop: Teens. Talk. Cancer. Online. He has presented globally on CSC’s Patient Active programs and evidence-based research.

He is the contributing editor to the Essentials of Psychosocial Oncology Handbook (2006) and contributing editor to the Quick Reference for Pediatric Oncology Clinicians (2009). In the fall 2005, Dr. Golant, along with two colleagues from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Calvary Hospital/Hospice, were selected to train 40 psychologists and psychiatrists from Poland’s National Psychosocial Oncology Society. He served for four years on the Board of Directors for the American Psychosocial Oncology Society. He is also the co-author of seven books including The Total Cancer Wellness Guide: Reclaiming Your Life After Diagnosis (BenBella 2007) and What To Do When Someone You Love is Depressed (Holt—updated and expanded 2007).

Clare Karten, MS

Clare is the founder of CTK Consults and focuses on creating collaborations among stakeholders in cancer care; contributing to patient-reported data instruments, analysis and dissemination; and patient and professional education. Clare’s experience and interests include hematology/oncology content, cancer clinical trials, patient data, patient-clinician communications around treatment decision making and side effects management; and coalition building. She has been consulting for the Cancer Support Community’s Research and Training Institute since October 2014.

Ms. Karten has co-authored articles and abstracts about cancer-patient reported data, psychosocial distress screening, shared cared for cancer survivors and easy-to-read patient content development. Prior to founding CTK Consults, Clare was part of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) national staff for more than a decade, where she led multi-stakeholder initiatives about treatment decision-making, clinical trials, shared care for cancer survivors, health literacy and patient reported data. She also directed LLS’s annual compilation of hematologic cancers facts and statistics, and LLS’s highly-regarded catalog of more than 100 patient education publications, professional education symposia and web-based patient education programs.

She has also worked for the March of Dimes national office, the Women’s Infants and Children’s program and worked in the healthcare software development industry. She has a B A. in English from Syracuse University and an M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Bridgeport.

Melissa Miller, PhD, MPH

Melissa has a doctoral degree in International Health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a Masters of Public Health degree in Quantitative Methods from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Miller has extensive experience with research, data management and data analysis in the areas of epidemiology, nutrition and cancer survivorship.

Dr. Miller completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute and is currently working as a research consultant to the Cancer Support Community.

Julia Taylor

Julie has worked with the Cancer Support Community as a Project Consultant since 2006. She has been engaged in numerous initiatives, including development and dissemination of Cancer Transitions: Moving Beyond Treatment®, a community-based education and support program for cancer survivors, CancerSupportSource®, and Open to Options decision support pilot project and the Cancer Experience Registry.

Her other work includes facilitation of the Alliance of Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care, a coalition of organizations committed to integrating psychosocial services into the standard of cancer care based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report, Cancer Care for the Whole Patient. Ms. Taylor has also worked as a consultant with the Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy and the Alliance for Childhood Cancer. Prior to her work with CSC, Ms. Taylor was Director of Cancer Policy for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and served in similar roles with the American Society of Cell Biology and the American Society for Microbiology.

She received a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia.