WECAN - The Workgroup of European Cancer Patient Advocacy Networks was established in 2015 when 15 umbrella cancer patient advocacy organizations came together to initiate the informal network. WECAN was born out of the true need for the cancer patient community to share experiences and work together. SPAGN is one of the current over 20 umbrella cancer patient advocacy organizations active in Europe.
One of WECAN's aims is to provide education and resources for the cancer patient community. After almost three years of virtual training, the leading capacity-building event for cancer patient advocates - The WECAN Academy - returned to a face-to-face event in July 2023.
The WECAN Academy was initiated in 2019 when two leading capacity-building programs in patient advocacy were combined, the WECAN SmartStart for new and novice patient advocates and WECAN Masterclass for expert patient advocates.
The WECAN Academy offers training for advocates in all skill sets in the three knowledge pillars:
- “Advocacy Tools & Skills”
- “Healthcare Systems
- "Policy and Access,” and “Research and Data”.
Within these pillars and the 4 days of training in July 2023 around 100 patient advocates were trained.