Even though she is cancer free, Laurie Hyndman is still talking to doctors. Today, she is in a different role as a hospital volunteer — giving back to help other patients.

She chairs the Patient & Family Advisory Council at Maine Medical Center, which is a partnership of patients, families, staff and healthcare providers who are dedicated to improving hospital programs and processes. The council collaborates with caregivers and administration to champion the “patient experience” and ensure that the expectations of patients and families are met across the spectrum of experiences at the hospital.

Laurie said the council is a way for her to provide perspective and share experiences from her own journey and to improve the journeys of current and former patients. She wants other breast cancer patients to know about survivorship. “From active treatment and healing to learning about nutrition and mental health support, there’s a lot of information to retain,” Laurie said.

She credits access to other survivors, community support, and the team of specialists at the Breast Care Center in her recovery. Through the council and oncology service line, she offers feedback and presents opportunities to help patients, not only with cancer, but other illnesses. “Sometimes when you leave the hospital, the healing process just begins,” she added. Laurie wants to help improve communication between patients and their care team. Volunteering for the council supports her mission.

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