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Social Media Summit Scholarship Essay - Jim Pantelas

Posted by @LeeAase in Just Want to Talk, Aug 5, 2011

Editor's Note: This is an entry in our Scholarship Contest for Patients and Caregivers to attend the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit Oct. 17-21 in Rochester, Minn. See this post

for more details on the contest, and please cast your votes by liking or commenting on the candidates you think would be best.

Here is Jim Pantelas' Essay:

My name is Jim Pantelas and, until six years ago, I knew little if anything about healthcare. Six years ago I began learning more than I wanted to. First I got diagnosed with a later stage lung cancer. Two months later my wife gave birth to our first daughter, Stella. While I was going through surgery, chemo and radiation treatments Stella was dealing with seizures, a brain bleed, and an extended stay at the Holden NICU at the University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital.

Today I am reasonably healthy, but Stella’s efforts to heal remain ongoing. Her overall diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy. As such, Stella is a frequent visitor to the Mott Children’s Hospital and its associated clinics and service facilities. She regularly sees specialists in PM&R, Gastroenterology, Ped’s Surgery, Neurology, Palliative Care, PT, OT, SLP and others.

As Stella’s care has broadened I have become involved in volunteer efforts at Mott. I volunteer under the auspices of their Patient and Family Care Council (PFCC) and sit on a Continuum of Care Committee, a Pediatric Ethics Committee, and now Mott’s Executive Committee, all as a community member. I sit on an Institutional Review Board for human research (and represent the interests of the Peds Ethics Committee there), and have been a guest speaker at U of M’s schools of nursing and social work. In each of these settings I represent the view of patients, caregivers and their families.

In my brief tenure on the committees in which I participate, the role of community members has become more than a token one. Community members are now an active and vibrant part of the Ethics Committee, are asked for opinions on a broad range of issues on the Executive Committee, and have worked on a number of PFCC-oriented policies in Continuum of Care. As community members we champion causes like Patient and Family Centered Rounding, community member involvement in Ethics cases and investigations, and generally speak to issues of how things feel or how policies are perceived by families, patients and caregivers.

I have attended conferences on my own time and at my own expense that I felt would add value to my involvement at Mott, and I have presented in Grand Rounds and other venues on topics I felt were of significance. I also speak regularly at cancer-oriented venues in support of my cancer treatment team at St. Joe’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, sit on the Planning Committee for the local branch of the Cancer Support Community and have spoken at American Cancer Society events.

So, why do I think I should be chosen to earn a scholarship to attend your Social Media conference? Simply put, because I’m so active. As a committee member and guest speaker my audience is broad and I’m a good and effective communicator. I am also a technologist by trade, but have not incorporated social media into my volunteer and advocacy roles. I would like to learn more about how to do so.

Am I a “better” choice than anyone else? From the people I have met in my efforts over the last few years I would say that I’m not unique. I’m Stella’s dad and I’ve survived cancer, but I’m really not that much different than most. The people I’ve met are as committed to their organizations and institutions, have similar experiences, and love their children as much as I do. Most are in every way as qualified or more so. I just happen to be good at telling stories, and getting people to work well together. And maybe I can get them to consider my side of an issue while also smiling.

Thank you for considering me for inclusion.

Jim Pantelas

Tags: Scholarship contest

estempky,, jraitt and 60 others like this

Posted by @javasea2635, Aug 6, 2011

I like it.

kjbarker likes this

Posted by @kellyp, Aug 8, 2011

Great essay---so involved in his and his daughter's communities. THis is the kind of guy that makes a difference.

kjbarker likes this

Posted by @lklaserner, Aug 8, 2011

Great essay! Good luck!

kjbarker likes this

Posted by @ellenleach, Aug 8, 2011

Life takes us to unexpected places, we have a choice about what to do when we get there. This is a great example of how to make a difference, I hope you get the scholarship and appreciate the love and leadership skills you are sharing.

kjbarker likes this

Posted by @carmelina, Aug 8, 2011

Jim, based on the experiences both you and Stella have had and the breadth of your involvement, I really hope you get the scholarship. What courage and mobilization in the face of the challenges you and your family have faced and continue to on your journeys to be well. God bless you.

kjbarker likes this

Posted by @danacook67, Aug 9, 2011

great article


Posted by @shadowriderhope, Aug 9, 2011

Wonderful article, Jim - I really hope you get this scholarship and are able to attend.


Posted by @scottn, Aug 9, 2011

Really loved this guy’s essay, I believe there is a real need for pro-active fathers to be involved in advocacy for their children; Jim seems to be one of them.

minerj likes this

Posted by Anonymous-a3f640ee, Aug 9, 2011

Jim is amazing. I have had the pleasure of hearing him speak in many venues and he is able to share his story in a very positive way. He goes above and beyond in his willingness to give back to the health care community so that we can all learn from his and Stella's experiences.


Posted by @gdmoore20247, Aug 10, 2011

You can find no better contributor to the conference than Jim Panteles. He is a highly effective communicator and his life experiences will enrich the experience for other participants.


Posted by @irvims, Aug 10, 2011

I''ve recently had the pleasure to meet Jim, and his enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience are truly remarkable. Jim would be an excelllent selection for one of your scholarships!


Posted by @healthspecialist, Aug 10, 2011

Jim a great person - only those that can endure get tested - good luck and best of wishes to a happy & healthy family - keep up the great work at Mott....


Posted by @jkopczyk, Aug 11, 2011

A great essay by Jim and what a great addition he would make to this conference!


Posted by @couchm, Aug 11, 2011

Jim's a great dad, best of luck with everything!


Posted by @bskory, Aug 11, 2011

I have worked with Jim in the technology section of his multi-faceted life. I can think of no one who would put Social Media knowledge to better use in his efforts toward contributing to his community.

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