Scott Harrison was the primary caregiver for his wife, Barbara Blaine Kinne, who was battling endometrial cancer.
Despite over 30 years of working in the life sciences, it took “all of his intellectual capacity” to understand his wife’s needs, available services and treatments, and how to navigate the health care system. Along with that, it took a physical and mental toll on him, as he took Barbara to Pennsylvania hospitals in State College, Hershey, Philadelphia and eventually UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh.
“I often asked myself how others with less technical knowledge and financial independence managed. I observed a similar pattern with Barbara’s father, in which the various elements of the medical system did not communicate; it was left to the family to sort through treatment options with little guidance from any of the various specialists involved who did not act in a coordinated and cohesive fashion,” said Harrison, a State College resident.
Kinne died in 2018 after a two-year battle with the rare cancer. However, after the loss and after serving as a resource and observer during Kinne’s parents’ final days, Harrison talked to other caregivers about their experiences. His concerns came with merit.