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Lillie Shockney    

Director of the Cancer Survivorship Programs at Johns Hopkins & Breast Cancer Survivor; Author & Speaker on Navigating Cancer

Lillie D. Shockney served as John Hopkin's administrative director of breast center and director of cancer survivorship programs until 2018, at which time she retired from her hospital leadership roles. She continues to serve on the faculty in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and also as the co-developer of Work Stride - Managing Cancer at Work, an employee benefit developed for Hopkins employees that now is being utilized by businesses and corporations nationally.

In 2008, the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees appointed Lillie to a physician chair as a University Distinguished Service Assistant Professor of Breast Cancer. It was the first time in the history of the institution that a hospital nurse has been appointed to a distinguished service designation. Since then she has climbed the physician academic ladder to the top and became a full professor of surgery and oncology in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2016. She has received 46 national and 6 state awards, including being chosen by Johnson & Johnson as the Most Amazing Nurse in America.

A 2-time breast cancer survivor, Lillie has worked tirelessly to improve the care of patients with breast cancer around the world. Her experiences led her to volunteer at the Johns Hopkins Breast Center, counseling newly diagnosed patients. That soon turned into a full-time job.

Shockney’s work led her to realize that hospitals were more focused on treating the cancer than the person with it. “I got weary of saying, ‘I’m so sorry you’re not going to be here for your daughter’s wedding. She’s only 9 years old,’” she says. “That doesn’t fix anything. What can I do to help?”

Shockney helped by creating three-day retreats for women with metastatic breast cancer. At these events, she encourages women to make written and video messages for their children and talk about impossibly uncomfortable subjects, including their final days.

“We give them hope that the thing they fear most is nothing to be feared,” she says. She’s also written 16 books and gives about 30 talks a year offering advice to people navigating a cancer diagnosis.

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Lillie Shockney is administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center and the director of Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship Programs. She is a two-time ...

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