Sarah Louden is the visionary Founder and Executive Director of Total Health, the largest free oncology medical education provider in the United States. The company is dedicated to enhancing clinical practice and treatment outcomes for people living with and after cancer. Drawing on her extensive experience in cancer research and pharmaceutical and diagnostic sales, Sarah recognized the pressing need for a better approach to educate individuals involved in cancer care. In establishing Total Health, she utilized her expertise to design medical education programs that effectively reach diverse audiences.
Sarah’s career trajectory and the motivation behind her actions are deeply influenced by her family, upbringing, and cultural values. Her mother, a Trinidadian nurse who studied nursing in England before immigrating to the United States, and her father, an Irishman who pursued a medical career later in life, instilled in her the importance of being mission-focused and serving communities with limited resources. This entrepreneurial spirit drives Sarah to seek ways to improve and innovate.
Sarah’s journey took a personal turn five years ago when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. This experience shifted her focus from healthcare providers to empowering patients to have a voice in their care. Living with chronic pain, fatigue, and bone degeneration, Sarah understands firsthand the impact of chronic disease. She believes knowledge is power and strives to equip patients with the resources they need to make informed decisions and positively impact their quality of life.
Total Health intentionally designs programs that prioritize the patient’s voice and incorporate it into the programs they offer. According to Sarah, patients should understand that they have a seat at the table of their care and should take the time to be informed and ask questions about what is best for them.
Total Health’s innovative program, Empower, is designed to celebrate, and support breast cancer patients. Through this program, patients are provided with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who work together to give them the information they need to make informed decisions.
Additionally, plain language summaries are available on the Total Health website, which patients can print and discuss with their physicians and families to help them understand shared decision-making. Sarah emphasizes that Total Health is committed to providing reliable, data-driven, and trustworthy information to cut through the noise and empower patients with the right information.
She highlights the importance of balancing the urgency of providing information with the responsibility of how much information is put out to ensure that patients are not overwhelmed and can make informed decisions.
Although Sarah faces good and tough days, she feels blessed to wake up each day and views her disease as a catalyst for change. She draws inspiration from the cancer community, where people diagnosed with metastatic disease choose to serve others by forming foundations, advocacy organizations, and research initiatives.
Her goal is to give a voice to the invisible and address the disparities in care and access between demographics, especially communities of color. She envisions Total Health uniting various audiences, including expert voices, community oncologists and care teams, and patients themselves. In Sarah’s view, change can start in the home with informed conversations with children, and cancer education should begin earlier in screening and prevention.
She recognizes the crucial role that partnerships play in achieving their mission of enhancing clinical practice and treatment outcomes for cancer patients. Recently, Total Health produced a patient-centric podcast addressing concerns raised by a recent article on the necessity of colonoscopies, with participation from leaders at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Massachusetts Hospital.
With extensive patient resources, as well as momentum from the efforts of like-minded advocacy organizations such as Beyond Breast Cancer, Breastcancer.org, Zero Prostate Cancer, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Total Health offers a diverse range of resources to support cancer patients. The Total Health Conferencing website serves as a platform for patients to access these resources, allowing them to find the right contact to guide them toward their next steps.
Sarah encourages women to be mission-minded and let their experiences shape their path. She emphasizes the significance of growth and evolution and urges women to enjoy the journey while letting courage be their guide. Sarah believes that no matter the stage of life, whether living with a disease or years into a career, stepping forward and continuing to progress is crucial to success. Her words serve as a reminder to women everywhere to embrace their ideas and pursue them without giving up, with courage and determination leading the way, “Don’t ever stop. You have the idea. Take the first step. And once you take that first step, keep stepping. The map isn’t clear the destination isn’t marked. But enjoy the step-by-step evolution of who you will become when you let courage guide your idea.”
Leave a Reply