Newswise — PHILADELPHIA – The Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN) honored the Patient Education Team from Penn Medicine’s OncoLink with the 2018 Excellence in Patient Education Award. The award recognizes individuals or programs that use creative approaches to develop and circulate cancer education to patients and health care professionals. The OncoLink team received the award Friday during the CPEN annual meeting in Atlanta.

Launched in 1994, OncoLink was the first cancer information website on the internet and remains one of the largest, with a mission to support patients, caregivers, and practitioners with up-to-date information on all aspects of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

The award honors the OncoLink educational content team, which includes managing editor Carolyn Vachani, MSN, RN, oncology content specialist Karen Arnold-Korzeniowski, BSN, RN, and psychosocial oncology content editor Christina Bach, MBE, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C.

OncoLink’s information covers all types of cancer, treatment options, risk factors, prevention strategies, and survivorship concerns, with the intent to help patients and families make educated treatment decisions and become active participants in their care. Other features include a section to help newly diagnosed patients navigate their cancer experience.

OncoLink also provides tools and educational materials to support the practice of busy practitioners, including on treatment education, psychosocial support and survivorship care plans. These create a one-stop shop for patient education, enabling more impactful patient interactions, improving patient-provider communication and satisfaction. 

Among its accomplishments, the team has produced a survivorship care-plan builder. The resulting care plans aim to ease common concerns expressed by cancer survivors. This tool has been used to create over 80,000 individualized care plans, which have received overwhelmingly positive feedback. The team continues to refine the tool based on the needs of cancer survivors and care providers. The team also regularly expands and updates OncoLink’s library of resources, including articles, videos, and blogs. Its work reaches millions of patients via the website as well as syndication and licensing partners.


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $7.8 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $405 million awarded in the 2017 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, a leading provider of highly skilled and compassionate behavioral healthcare.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2017, Penn Medicine provided more than $500 million to benefit our community.