MOCA’s Survivors Teaching Students program aimed at earlier detection of ovarian cancer

Survivors Teaching Students is helping educate health care professionals about ovarian cancer

A look at how the Survivors Teaching Students program is helping with the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Three women who’ve survived ovarian cancer spent time sharing their story with future physician assistant students this summer at St. Scholastica.

It’s part of MOCA’s Survivors Teaching Students program.

Kris Greer, a 22 year survivor, told the group, “Hope is crucial. Hope and the belief you are going to make it. Sit next to the patient, don’t stand. Lean in.”

In partnership with OCRA, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, the Survivors Teaching Students is a powerful and memorable way to educate future health care professionals.

The STS® program began at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, back in 2018. Since then, MOCA has educated more than 180 students at CSS alone, who go on to care for women with an increased knowledge of ovarian cancer.

Carolyn Jahr is a physician assistant and professor at Scholastica. “It’s incredibly and heartwarming and exciting. This is our 6th cohort to go through.”

This is personal for her, since her mom Lise died from ovarian cancer. “When my mom was going through treatment and eventually hospice, it was her desire to get her story out there. So this is one way I can bring my mom into the classroom and make sure she lives on. And her story doesn’t get lost. These students can carry that forward into practice and acumen,” Jahr added.

In total, more than 6600 health care professionals have gone through the program.

Greer added, “After speaking I feel so hopeful. To get the word out there to dozens of providers. Spreading the word and saving lives.”

There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer.

Symptoms include:

  1. Bloating 2) Pelvic or abdominal pain 3) Feeling full quickly 4) Urinary symptoms.

Some women, like Greer, don’t have any symptoms at all.

Our phone banks are coming up on Tuesday, at 5, 6, and 10pm.

To donate now to MOCA:

For more info about MOCA: