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National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Monday, January 31, 2005

NCI Press Office

NCI and Director’s Consumer Liaison Group Launch NCI Listens and Learns Web Forum

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the NCI Director’s Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG) launched a Web site forum today to increase NCI’s communication and collaboration with the cancer advocacy community and the general public. The NCI Listens and Learns Web site, http://ncilistens.cancer.gov, will enable structured and transparent dialogue among the cancer advocacy community, the public, and NCI on a series of cancer-related issues.

“This is a groundbreaking effort to create an accessible mechanism to further improve communication,” said NCI Director Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. “We want to promote an open dialogue among the cancer advocacy community and NCI — and also with the general public.”

DCLG Chairperson Douglas Ulman, director of survivorship at the Lance Armstrong Foundation and three-time cancer survivor, added: “NCI’s work is vitally important to the community, and NCI Listens and Learns will allow NCI to solicit opinions on important topics. The DCLG will monitor the process, reviewing all of the comments and alerting NCI to important themes and issues of concern to the broad cancer advocacy community and the general public.”

NCI and DCLG will pose questions and discussion topics on a monthly basis, in order to get timely feedback. All participants will have four weeks to comment on the topic. Advocacy groups seeking to participate in the NCI Listens and Learns forum will register with the Web site and designate a representative to submit comments on the organization’s behalf. All members of the advocacy community and the public will be able to see the discussion as it occurs, providing broad range of concerns and opinions. NCI will then summarize comments made by the registered cancer advocacy organizations and provide that summary to NCI program staff.

“We hope that NCI Listens and Learns, with its feedback component from NCI, will become a model for engagement across NIH and the federal government,” said DCLG Executive Secretary Nancy Caliman.

While NCI staff is formulating a response to the summarized comments, registered cancer advocacy organizations and the public will be able to comment on the summary to ensure that the dialogue process is completely open and transparent. To conclude the dialogue, NCI will post a response to the comments received, indicating what will be done with the feedback.

NCI Listens and Learns will operate as a one-year pilot project. The DCLG is developing an evaluation process to determine if the following goals of the Web forum initiative are met:

  • Increase the amount of high-quality input received from advocacy organizations and the public on NCI's strategic plans, initiatives, or questions in various stages of development
  • Increase the number and diversity of advocacy organizations providing input, including identifying areas of converging and diverging opinions
  • Improve NCI's plans and programs based on input received
  • Enhance the collaborations between NCI and the communities it serves.

To participate in NCI Listens and Learns, go to http://ncilistens.cancer.gov.

For more information about the NCI Director's Consumer Liaison Group, go to http://la.cancer.gov/dclg.html.

For more information about cancer, visit the NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

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