The SPORE Program recognizes the value of the patient's perspective on the direction and outcome of research endeavors in head and neck cancer. The University of Michigan Head and Neck SPORE program has included patient advocacy as an important part of our program. Patient advocates ensure that while the focus of our basic research is at the molecular level, the potential results of this research on the clinical care of the patient are always considered when making decisions about the direction of the clinical research program. Our advocates provide input on issues regarding human subjects in research and informed consent, and on the development of clinical trials. Attendance at monthly Operation Committee meetings provides opportunity for our advocates to interact directly and collaborate with our investigators. Our advocates are also included as members of our External Advisory Committee, which allows them to provide input to the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center on the overall effectiveness and progress of our program, the future direction of research, and on the evaluation of proposals submitted for developmental funding. In addition to these activities, our advocates are involved in patient outreach activities and assist in spreading awareness of this SPORE through speaking engagements at other institutions and at professional conferences. Attendance of our advocates at the annual SPORE Workshop promotes interaction with advocates from other SPORE programs.
Chuck Coté has been an advocate for our program since its inception and has been involved by attending monthly meetings, our 1st Annual Retreat, and the annual SPORE Workshop sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. He has promoted our SPORE through interviews that have been published in local newspapers and broadcast on radio programs. With sponsorship provided by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and our SPORE Program, he attended a course offered by Harvard University focusing on the mind/body connection in medical care and has since been included as a Consultant on a mind/body research proposal submitted by investigators at the University of Michigan to the National Institutes of Health.
Peter Cordes has served as an advocate for our SPORE Program since January, 2004. He attends our monthly Operations Committee meetings and also attended the 12th SPORE Investigators' Workshop in Baltimore this past summer. He will be serving as a member of our External Review Committee and will be participating in the patient advocates' presentation being given as part of our SPORE Seminar Series this December.
Peter was born in Traverse City, Michigan on October 15, 1940, and grew up in Leland, Michigan. His family owned the Leland Mercantile Store where he worked throughout high school and college. Peter graduated from St. Louis University in 1966 in Aeronautical Engineering and his employment has included Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, General Motors, Amoco Oil, and Eaton Corporation. He currently owns GWI Engineering in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which designs and manufactures automation equipment for the metalforming industry and employs approximately 60 people. He has been married to Carol Cordes for 40 years and together they have two sons, Christopher and Evan, and two grandsons, Ethan (3) and Eliot (10 months).
Peter came to the University of Michigan in November, 1999, to be treated for adenoid cystic carcinoma of the trachea. He underwent a total laryngectomy under the care of Dr. Gregory Wolf.