The Malaysian Society of Hematology’s annual meeting, held earlier this year, took on special significance as it was the first face-to-face conference since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairperson, Dr. Gan Gin Gin underscored the two-year gap in his message to participants, adding that the meeting’s theme “making sense of new therapies and technology” was chosen to reflect the many novel therapies and technologies now available for hematological diseases emphasizing that even with limited resources, the aim of improving a patient’s quality of life and survival was universal.

Four Max representatives along with patient leaders from Max Family Society Malaysia, a CML patient support group, attended and actively participated in the conference. Reflecting Max’s goal of amplifying patients’ voices, the Max Foundation representatives in their discussions with doctors and nurses, highlighted the value programs such as Max Schooling and Last Mile/Malaysia bring to patient care and quality of life. “We took this opportunity – our first in two years to have in-person discussions with health care professionals – to emphasize our core Social Determinants of Health programs and the critical role they play in patients’ lives and importantly, the state of their health”, said Nur Izzati Mohd Rodzi

Max Schooling (hyperlink to site) which provides educational assistance for patients’ children and Last Mile Services (hyperlink to site) which helps cover the cost of transportation to and from hospital visits are core to the Max Foundation’s efforts to address the influence of factors such as the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live and age on patients’ health outcomes. 

“A key aim of participating in this event was to re-establish our relationships (following the pandemic) with doctors and nurses. We learnt a lot in our conversations, from hearing about the challenges patients face to how Max’s programs are positively impacting patients here in Malaysia.  Overall, an extremely productive engagement for all of us here”, said Nur Izzati Mohd Rodzi.