Abby Westerman, b-present Foundation

Abby Westerman, b-present Foundation

2019 Emerging Ideas Winner

Idea: Extend the reach of b-there, a web-based patient and supporter connection tool to lower the barrier for young adults with cancer to stay connected with friends, offering a quick, easy, low-stress way to control visits, convey status updates and request needed items.

About the Winning Idea

For young people with cancer, it can be challenging to get the social support they need, which can affect their treatment and recovery. b-present Foundation is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization inspired by and founded in memory of Abby Westerman's daughter, 20-year-old Kirsten Westerman, who lost her battle with leukemia in 2016. Kirsten yearned for the support of her friends and peers, but many of them struggled to stay in touch when she needed their presence the most. Kirsten experienced isolation and feelings of being forgotten, which impacted her quality of life and her will to keep going.

b-there is a web-based patient and supporter connection tool that is designed to provide patients with a quick, easy, low-stress way to control visits, convey status updates and request needed items. The b-there dashboard conveys a snapshot of the patient's status, mood, desire for visits/communication, schedule/availability, and a wish list that includes and links to needed items. To respect patient privacy, only invited supporters have access to view the patient dashboard and respond to a patient's requests.

Currently, b-present Foundation has a prototype b-there tool that is ready for community input. b-present Foundation is collaborating with hospitals and universities to find volunteer evaluators. The current version is a prototype because it has all the intended functionality but has not been used by the target community.

How the C3 Prize Will Be Used

If selected for the C3 Prize, b-present will use the C3 Prize to improve the reach of b-there, ensure it is meeting broad and diverse community needs, and that the impact of b-present is relevant and palpable in homes and hospitals across the country. b-present Foundation also will extend its reach beyond California, create national awareness and facilitate the opportunity to make the tool available to a larger group of target users.

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