With hands-on learning and an interest in serving the community, UF students helped Findlay’s Cancer Patient Services (CPS) by conducting research throughout the fall semester.
CPS strives to provide support to all cancer patients with a variety of services at no cost. Their services include financial assistance, providing needed equipment, support groups and more.
Under the instruction of Shiv K. Gupta, DBA, professor of marketing and economics, students volunteered to research the satisfaction and expectations of CPS patients.
“We conducted research for CPS. They are a partner of United Way and are hoping to gain more grants,” said Kimberly Deane, an MBA student. “CPS helps everyone with cancer in the community through financial, emotional and physical assistance. They also give wigs and help with education about cancer materials.”
In collaboration with CPS, Gupta’s MBA and undergraduate students sent surveys to 60 randomly selected participants in Findlay, Ohio. They also hosted a focus group with 10 cancer patients who have utilized services from CPS.
“CPS was requested to invite 10 to 15 participants who have used their services,” said Ragini Kanikanti, MBA and Health Care Management student. “We met in October with the participants and recorded their responses.”
The research showed overall satisfaction from the participants, but also found that CPS lacks much needed publicity. Respondents suggested longer office hours and praised CPS’ rehabilitation services.
“We gained from the participants how their life changes once they are diagnosed with cancer. It was an eye opener,” said Kanikanti. “We also learned how to do a research project and how to identify the perceptions and attitudes towards a service or product.”
The students prepared a report with the responses and presented the results to fellow students and the director of CPS.
“This is a great partnership between the University and non-profit organizations. The information was very useful,” said Carol Metzger, director of CPS. “We have two staff members and wouldn’t be able to conduct these surveys on our own.”
CPS has submitted a grant to implement a visibility campaign since receiving the survey results.
“I learned a lot about the importance of research to non-profit organizations,” said Deane. “This was a project that would have cost thousands of dollars for the company to have done on their own or hired out on their own.”
By conducting research, the students gathered information to benefit CPS and also created a better resource for the cancer patients of Hancock County.
Written by Sarah Foltz