Research Advocacy Training and Support Program

Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Research Advocacy Training and Support (RATS) program trains colorectal cancer advocates to become the most educated patient voice at the research table.

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Through this program, participants learn all about colorectal cancer research, from prevention and cancer biology to treatment, survivorship, and palliative care.

After completing training, research advocates work in partnership with both academic institutions and cancer partners to improve the scientific field by lending their experience and expertise to the research process. Various panels research advocates serve on currently include: 

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Local Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)
  • State Cancer Coalitions

RATS graduates are well-versed, highly-skilled, and caring people who are lifelong learners and contributors to the research process. They’re committed to promoting achievement within the research community from bench science to community participatory research programs.

Meet Fight CRC's Current RATS Program Members

Jennifer Ratner

Research Advocate

Mary Curtin Creaser

Research Advocate

Frank Salvi

Research Advocate

Joe Mahaffey

Research Advocate

Joann Simms

Research Advocate

Kellie Hoffman

Research Advocate

Kimberley Bush-Klinefelter

Research Advocate

Anita Mitchell Isler

Research Advocate

Elizabeth Dennis

Research Advocate

Wendy Lewis

Research Advocate

Karen Wehling

Research Advocate

Gina Benedetti

Research Advocate

Paige Niewerth

Research Advocate

Lera Chitwood

Research Advocate, Retired

Lara Lambert

Research Advocate

Kimberly Schoolcraft

Research Advocate

Kim Houston

Research Advocate

Julie Krause

Research Advocate

Julie Barreau

Research Advocate

Wenora Johnson

Research Advocate

Heidi Jurgens

Research Advocate

Danielle Murray

Research Advocate

Ben White

Research Advocate

Annie Delores

Research Advocate

Anna Rappaport

Research Advocate

Allison Rosen

Research Advocate

Lee Jones

Research Advocate

Yasmeem Watson

Research Advocate

Elaine Newcomb

Research Advocate

Curt Pesmen

Research Advocate

Join the Research Advocacy Training and Support Program

The RATS program is open to anyone who has been impacted by colorectal cancer (survivors, caregivers, and loved ones). This is a unique program focused on the interests and needs of colorectal cancer patients and advocates. The program is limited (based on funding), but we select applicants who represent diverse backgrounds and interests, and are committed to dedicating at least two years to the program (a 24-month commitment is required).

Qualifications

All our research advocates need to have or be willing to develop the skills listed:

  • Flexible and ability to work in teams
  • Communicate effectively and listen actively
  • Be comfortable speaking in front of groups of people
  • Travel overnight several times during the project
  • Computer proficiency using programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and PDF documents
  • Ability to take initiative and seek opportunities 

To be contacted when applications open and express your interest in becoming a research advocate, please complete the form below. Let us know why you’re interested in joining our RATS program.












“A person who serves as a link between patients and scientific researchers. Research advocates help patients understand scientific information and research findings that may help them. They may also bring a patient perspective on research activities to scientific advisory boards and committees.”

The National Cancer Institute

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