Last year was my first time attending the Michigan Cancer Consortium in East Lansing. I arrived after an early morning drive and was very impressed with the program and what was presented during the all-day annual meeting.

Although I had limited knowledge of the total focus of the consortium, the program booklet gave a wonderful overview of the day’s activities. But nothing could prepare me for the wealth of information that truly opened my eyes.

The Michigan Cancer Consortium is a statewide organization that provides a forum for collaboration to reduce the human and economic burden of cancer in the State of Michigan.

The annual Michigan Cancer Consortium meeting celebrates the work that has been accomplished to date: to LEARN about inclusive care and programs in Michigan, FOCUS on reducing health disparities and ENGAGEment in a successful future for the MCC.

The presentation “Providing Inclusive Care for LGBTQ Communities” was very informative and provided great insight into the face of this community and the issues that are encountered when seeking relevant medical care.

Additional concurrent sessions were: “Detroit Street Care,” an organization that provides medical care to the homeless in Detroit, “Liver Cancer – An Emerging Issue,” a discussion of the fastest growing cancer in the United States and “Improving Survivor Quality of Life Through Referrals to Community- Based Survivorship Services,” which provided knowledge about community-based survivorship services available for cancer survivors.

This wide-ranging program provided current and relevant information that medical professionals, various health care providers, caregivers, community support personnel and other partner organizations such as HealthLink can utilize in providing appropriate services.