Difficult Conversations Podcast

Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician

Episode 190 | October 31, 2023

Support Changes Outcomes and the Working with Cancer Pledge

Gina Jacobson

Program Director, Working with Cancer Publicist Group

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In this episode, host Liz Poret-Christ along with Dr. Orsini, welcome guest Gina Jacobson, who discusses the Working with Cancer initiative. The initiative, born out of a heartfelt response to the need for better workplace support for employees facing cancer and chronic illnesses, aims to create a safe and positive environment for disclosing health conditions at the workplace. Gina, a survivor of stage four colon cancer, shares her passion for the initiative and her belief in the power of workplace support. The initiative has garnered support from major companies, including Yahoo, Disney, Walmart, SAP, Adobe, as well as The Orsini Way, all dedicated to fostering more inclusive and supportive workplaces, regardless of the company's size. Gina’s own experience surviving Stage 4 colon cancer and her belief in the power of workplace support have driven her commitment to this initiative.

Gina explains how companies can become involved in the initiative, emphasizing flexibility, and providing a framework with five commitment pillars. The conversation underscores the significance of teaching people how to support colleagues facing cancer and the need for a safe space for difficult conversations at work. The discussion also explores the challenges of sustaining the Working with Cancer initiative and ensuring continuous training. Gina discusses the importance of ongoing training, teaching people how to speak to and support their colleagues facing cancer. She emphasizes the need to provide a safe space for individuals and caregivers to have difficult conversations at work, how personal experiences and emotions play a role in advocating for the initiative’s global change, and its integration into inclusive manager training. Cohort sessions for managers are introduced as a way to offer intensive, real-time support. Gina highlights the initiative as a catalyst for promoting empathetic and compassionate communication in various challenging situations, extending beyond cancer. For more information, check out the Working with Cancer Pledge website and connect with Gina for more information. Hit the subscribe button now!

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