How Should I Introduce CARRA Members to My Activity?
  • Establishing Personal Contact

    Establish personal contact with the CARRA members who are participating in your activity. This will foster an open dialogue, promote understanding, and maximize the value of advocate participation.

    Please keep in mind that some CARRA members have already participated in activities similar to yours and others may be new to your type of activity. It may also be either the first time any advocate has been involved in a particular program or project, or may be the first time that you have directly involved an advocate in your work.

    For CARRA members new to an activity, please keep in mind that it can be both exciting and intimidating to be involved in a national activity and participate with prominent scientists on the cutting edge of cancer or other research. You will find, however, that CARRA members are very dedicated to "giving back", and are willing to put effort into making a contribution to your activity.

    Their knowledge will most often be in other fields, yet because of their cancer-related experiences, they also may have developed considerable knowledge about basic and applied science issues. Their role as a CARRA member is to represent the collective viewpoint of those who have been affected by cancer, particularly in the focus area of your activity. It is not their role to be another scientist on the team. However, their own knowledge will help provide a foundation for their making a meaningful contribution.

    Calling the CARRA members who are participating in your activity will provide an important forum for

    • Learning more about their background and knowledge of cancer issues
    • Addressing questions
    • Identifying any special needs that they may have

    If you think the CARRA member may need additional assistance, you can contact us to request a CARRA mentor. Mentors are other CARRA members. They do not need to be traveled to your activity, but can provide valuable insights and support to the participating CARRA member, either by phone or email.

  • Conducting the Orientation

    When you provide an activity orientation to CARRA members, it is important to provide a clear roadmap of the issues CARRA member participants may expect throughout your specific activity. Please share with them

    • Specific information about travel logistics, needed computer access, and required paperwork, such as conflict of interest forms
    • Information about
      • Their specific role representing the perspective of people affected by cancer
      • Their first assignment or task as a participant
      • Any background material they will need to review in preparation for the activity
      • The overall timeframe for the activity
      • Your contact information - as you will serve as their Activity Contact
      • Unique attention being focused on the activity by NCI, Congress, or the public
      • Unusual procedures and approaches being used for the activity