Why It Matters

Duke Cancer Institute's Oncology Patient Advisory Council serves to improve the cancer experience for patients and their families.

Sharing Knowledge


Valarie Worthy"I am honored to be a member of OPAC. Enhancing the patient experience is paramount to OPAC membership. I don’t take my seat at the table lightly. OPAC provides me opportunities as a cancer survivor and health professional to advocate for the community and underserved populations."

Valarie Worthy, MSN, RN
Manger, Patient Navigation, OPAC Member

Arif Kamal

“Members of the OPAC are critical and trusted advisors to our digital health research.  They have been instrumental in bringing the voice of those who would benefit from our research – patients and caregivers – and helped shape the final tools into more than we could have imagined.  We absolutely believe that OPAC members input is the “secret sauce” in creating and implementing cutting-edge interventions that are acceptable, feasible, and impactful.” 

Arif Kamal, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine & Population Health Sciences
                                              Core Faculty, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
                                              Member, Duke Clinical Research Institute & Duke Cancer Institute

Cat Wood"I joined OPAC at 28 years old, about six months after my cancer treatment ended. I thought by joining I was doing something for other people, what I've found is that it's really helping me as I navigate survivorship. 
I love that at Duke, they give a space for patients to share personal values, experiences, and opinions. I feel valuable and credible in a unique way, just by having had cancer.
There is no "perfect" when it comes to cancer treatment, but to be able to contribute in a way that might make a future patient's experience better, has been so rewarding."

                                                Cat Wood, OPAC Member

Jennifer Kennedy StovallOPAC’s input was invaluable as we began our Rapid Access initiative. The group helped center us on what was really going to improve the access process for new patients and not just what would look good on paper. As a result of their feedback, we changed the scripting we use to offer rapid access appointments and decided to focus on a subset of new patients to begin with. These changes allowed us to roll out this initiative successfully.”

Jennifer Kennedy-Stovall
Director, DCI Patient Access