Patient Empowerment Program


Often patients feel a loss of control during serious illnesses and it is our intention to help facilitate the ease of their recovery by offering them materials that will not only educate them regarding their condition but also assist them in attaining a sense of autonomy and influence in their healing process. OpenLab, in partnership with the York-UHN Nursing Academy and ELLICSR, has created the Patient Empowerment Program (PEP). PEP uses comedy, storytelling and performing arts to help patients confront serious illnesses and empower them on their healing journeys.

Under PEP’s portfolio is Norm vs Cancer: A Terminally Funny One Man Show produced by Robert Hawke, a cancer survivor. This groundbreaking show has been performed to international audiences and has proven to be important in facilitating patient centered care conversations amongst professionals and patients. PEP also supported the creation of The Hope Workshop which encourages patients to tell their stories, laugh and share resources to help each other on their journey with cancer.

Another PEP project uses performing and visual arts to help cancer survivors express their inner experience, and share that with family, friends, and health care providers. Showcasing these works creates a community of shared experience and facilitates a deeper discussion and understanding of these issues within the patient, supporter, and health care provider community.

Hope Workshop Video:


OpenLab project members:
Nadine Cross (project lead), Rob Hawke (project lead)

ELLICSR, York-UHN Nursing Academy

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone