Making A Difference in Healthcare | Dellann Elliott Mydland | EndBrainCancer Initiative
Dellann Elliott Mydland
President & Chair
Dellann Elliott Mydland, President & Chair, End Brain Cancer Initiative (EBCI), is a dynamic competitor due to her experience taking down brain tumors, brain cancer, and metastasized disease to the brain. She is equally as passionate about creating immediate access to specialists, advanced treatments, diagnostics, clinical trials, and quick advancements to Standard of Care as she was 22 years ago when her late husband, Christopher Steward Elliott, was diagnosed. She understands how vital it is for one’s first brain tumor surgery/resection not only to be performed by a neurosurgeon that performs 200+ of these surgeries annually because she knows that the better and more successful one’s resection is, the more brain tissue the experienced neurosurgeon can safely remove, the better the chances for increased treatment options and survivorship.
Dellann intends and expects that she and her team will educate and empower enough Health Care Providers, patients/caregivers and family members that eventually, the current hospital revenue-driven practice of giving the patient ONLY 72-hrs from their “primary brain tumor” diagnosis from a CT or MRI Scan to surgery. Dellann doesn’t see or recognize anyone who does not believe in EBCI’s mission nor give their all to this cause; the words “give up” are not in her vocabulary, and she leads her team through her care for other brain tumor patients, caregivers, and families. She demonstrates this daily through her extreme passion and desire to see updates to Standard of Care for this patient population, including providing the Patient/Family more time to learn about and get a 2nd and 3rd opinion from experts before surgery.
Celebrating 2022 as the Founder and leader of this company for more than two decades, Dellann talks candidly about how many times she had almost given up and wanted to shut the whole company down. But she kept fighting, surging ahead. “I did everything I could do to keep the doors open and to keep my business and entrepreneurial spirit alive. I am providing support to other female business owners through providing example through my daily work ethic, tenacity, driven personality and through celebrating on behalf of patients our successes,” she says. “I am also providing support to female business owners by sharing my real struggles with my organization through my BLOG at http://www.endbraincancer.org/, where openly discussing my vision and when the financials don’t meet eye-to-eye and therefore, how it feels to stop me from achieving my clear and true vision BUT I hope that I also inspire by showing up every day as the best version of myself, ready to learn, listen and lead in order to make greater and more meaningful lasting IMPACT than if the EndBrainCancer Initiative organization was not around.”
Dellann hopes that she inspires other female business owners by continuing to think outside the box regarding how to “get to customers/patients .”An example of this is that in honor of their 20th Anniversary, the company is launching EBCI’s Disease Education mobile application, which can be downloaded from their website and will be available on the Apple Store and Google Play Store at the end of this August, are launching a disease education and support online Book Shop, are rebuilding their Board of Directors, and are continuing to form meaningful relationships with Health Care Providers, researchers, patients, industry, individual donors and foundations. “It is extremely exciting as well to see much of my and our team’s hard work paying off because now, more and more companies are seeking us out to help create their disease education programs, help craft their trial protocols, etc. Our “voice” is making lasting and improved change to healthcare, which is inspiring to all!” elucidates Dellann.
Thanking the Game Changers!
Being a steadfast leader, Dellann has noticed that in healthcare, women are the “game changers”! They are the ones that notice an unmet need, and then they think about it, discuss it with others, have a strong desire to improve the unmet need, and try to set out to bring attention to the unmet need as well as try to figure out the HOW to make lasting change to improve the unmet need.
As a female leader, Dellann is in this area of expertise and is extremely thankful that she is a woman running a successful business since often, women not only see the need but jump in immediately to tackle the problem. Some might say that using one’s emotions in business is not savvy. “I would disagree as I know and have seen many times how women use their “emotion” to create lasting change,” she explains. “I see that the emotion and compassionate advantage female business owners have as an extreme “edge” that if allowed, will auto kick in and, if used appropriately, can create an in-depth understanding of the unmet need or the change that needs to happen.”
According to the steadfast leader, women are not or should not be afraid of being perceived as weak when they utilize their emotions to increase their business impact/ROI and in making change. “I am grateful that I am a female and can convey, along with my emotions, the need for EBCI’s programs and services and the lasting change to healthcare that EBCI is making. I used my emotions when my late husband asked me “To Do Something About This Disease” to guide me in the early days of the creation of at that time, the Chris Elliott Fund, DBA the End Brain Cancer Initiative and am grateful that even today, I allow my emotions to speak for themselves on behalf of patients, caregivers, families, researchers, neuro-oncs, rad-oncs, neurosurgeons, pharma/device/diagnostic companies, FDA, Medicare & Health Insurance Companies.”
Dellann adds, “I am proud that as a female leader, I vowed to make lasting change and my emotions have helped many on numerous times to do just that. I would say to female business owners, don’t be afraid to allow your emotions to guide you – we as women do have that sixth sense – use it to build your companies and to build your company impact.”
Success can be defined in so many ways. About 5 years ago, Dellann began to think about what success looked like and started to put it down on paper in what she calls “My Success Plan.”At about the same time, she began to think about what does her success look like for EBCI (minus the paycheck) and began to understand that even if she stopped running EBCI today and even if EBCI no longer existed, they both have achieved extreme success through the many lives of patients they were able to help educate, get into specialists, get into advanced treatments/diagnostics/clinical trials, help to change Standard of Care for these patients and in giving HOPE to patients and their families too. “It was at that moment of realization and truth that I KNEW I had already achieved success.”
Dellann thinks that financial success is measured quite differently. “When I can hire the professional and experienced staff that I desperately need (about 12 new hires) in order to deliver our mission on a large scale and to ensure that more patients, researchers, corporations, pharma/device companies, etc. are finding us and in delivering our mission, we are advancing healthcare and updating Standard of Care for those that will be and are diagnosed with a brain tumor, brain cancer and/or metastasized disease to the brain and in doing so, we are advancing research and creating more treatment options as well,” elucidates Dellann. When the U.S. has 10 approved FDA treatment options for this disease and enrollment into a clinical trial as well as immediately being referred to a specialist (neuro-surgeon, radiation oncologist and neuro-oncologist) are part of the Standard of Care for these patient populations, Dellann will feel that they have achieved victory and HUGE SUCCESS.
She is also finding success because she has been able to create a new for-profit company, www.GreatPurposeProductions.com, from where she will run her speaking engagements, consulting services, disease education platforms, digital TV programs, etc. “I am thrilled that I am finally at a place in my career where I can give this company “lift-off” and attention,” she adds.
Building a Company
Today, the FDA, NCI/NIH, NCCN/WHO, and pharma/device/diagnostics industries have realized the benefit of capturing the “patient voice” through working with those disease Advocacy companies/organizations that have “direct and 1:1 interactions/engagement with patient/caregiver communities” to increase inclusion, diversity, access and enrollment into advanced treatments and into clinical trials, which increases data used to create additional treatment options and Standards of Care for everyone.
EBCI is constantly engaging with the patient/caregiver/family members, so they are always hearing the patient voice, sharing that voice, insisting that the patient voice be heard, developing, managing patient focus groups/roundtables, etc. to further hear and incorporate the patient voice into not only their work but also on behalf of pharma/device/diagnostic industries to help them do their job better as well as meet the patient need at the same time. “Contact mailto:WeCare@EndBrainCancer.orgif you’d like to hire our company to help you develop, implement, and manage a patient focus group/roundtable for your company in order to incorporate the patient voice into your work or to produce a disease educational online meeting/event for your product/clinical trial. This is one of our sweet spots and we’ve been doing this for years and do a great job at it!”. If you’d like to also support our mission and day-to-day work, please make a donation at http://www.endbraincancer.org/. EBCI is also seeking strategic investors and partners to help grow this effort and this impact.
One of EBCI’s earliest and most prominent achievements was supporting the research work that identified the genes that cause Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) brain cancer, supporting the prioritization of those genes and now, seeing how vitally important one’s genomics and next generation sequencing plays in the treatment of brain tumors and brain cancer and through our mission, programs & services, seeing how improvements to the access of specialists and treatment options by EBCI is a model for better healthcare, quality of life, increased survivorship for all rare diseases.
The company has also assisted the FDA and pharma companies in realizing the benefits of working directly with Advocacy organizations on behalf of current and future patients regarding disease educational materials and creating a clinical protocol that inserts the “patient voice” into the trial/study.
EBCI is looking forward to teaching others how to advocate for themselves, creating multiple national offices across the U.S. to increase patient and treatment access. They are also expanding their budget to 2M to expand their staff with 12 more professionals and larger office space, partnering with large employers and with health insurance companies to sign services contracts that will help them provide greater access for patients to specialists, additional treatment options/advanced treatments, including clinical trials, thereby, increasing investors ROI, research data and improving treatment options, making a personalized approach to this disease part of Standard of Care, thus, increasing HOPE, quality of life and increased survivorship.
The End Brain Cancer Initiative’s (EBCI’s) Board of Directors is growing and is currently seeking the following positions to join their Board:
1. 501 (c)3 non-profit attorney
2. Attorney that specializes in service contracts and contract negotiations
3. Philanthropist – make introductions to large donors who desire to financially support EBCI’s Mission
4. Development Director – develop/implement/executive/manage a Development/Donor Program
5. TV Media Specialist – advance mission/disease education via media appearances/speaking engagements
6. CEO of a large Health Insurance company and/or large U.S. employer
Please send Resume and Cover Letter directly to Dellann@EndBrainCancer.org if qualified and have a desire to serve and grow EBCI’s capacity, sustainability and IMPACT.