Compassionate Conversations with Dr. Richard Deming

May 2021 Compassionate Conversations Blog Header

There are two common themes that resonate with patients, survivors, family members and friends after a conversation with Dr. Richard Deming, Medical Director of MercyOne Des Moines Cancer Center and Founder of Above + Beyond Cancer: joy and compassion.

Born from Collaboration

Slide explaining that content is made possible from the Iowa Cancer Consortium in partnership with Above + BeyondIn 2009, the MercyOne Cancer Education Series developed as a collaborative effort between MercyOne Des Moines Cancer Center and Above + Beyond Cancer. Dr. Deming hosts the weekly educational sessions, now held virtually due to the pandemic. A wide range of topics specific to living with cancer help participants learn about their disease. The topics also encourage living life fully with knowledge and joy. Amidst the change to a virtual environment arose new possibilities and expanded growth for the program. The Iowa Cancer Consortium became the third partner to the program in October 2020. They provided support to expand from a local to statewide reach.

In just seven months, the program has had more than 1,900 viewers from around the state and nationwide. A monthly newsletter announces the next month’s programming and requests suggestions for topics and speakers. Guest speakers from across the nation share their expertise and insights as they have conversations with Dr. Deming that are educational and inspiring.

The programming also closely aligns with the Iowa Cancer Plan Priorities of prevention, screening, treatment, quality of life and health equity in an easy to understand format. Topics range from experts in the social determinants of health and cancer ( to an inside look at a day in the life of an oncology nurse ( ).

Expanding Access to Knowledge

Screenshot of Mercy One's Cancer Education Series playlist on YouTubeCancer Centers and individuals alike are encouraged to subscribe to the newsletter and video series. The material is not copyrighted, so all are encouraged to use the MercyOne Cancer Education Series to broaden their own educational programming. For example, rural cancer centers without resources to expand their own programming can now view and share virtually. As do individuals who may not be able to travel to receive this information.

“MercyOne Waterloo Cancer Center is very excited to be able to offer this quality Cancer Educational Series to our patients, staff, and community members,” said Jill Baker of MercyOne Waterloo Cancer Center. “We have desired to offer programming like this for some time but lacked the resources and ability to move forward with our own project. This opportunity to partner with MercyOne Des Moines will connect our patients and their families to quality information on topics not always addressed completely during the cancer journey and survivorship. The program is also a creative learning resource for our staff and the community at large.”


Information on the Cancer Education Series including upcoming sessions and previous recordings can be found at

For more information on the Cancer Education Series or for information on how you can support MercyOne Des Moines Cancer Center please contact Senior Director of Development, Joan Bindel, at [email protected] or 515-643-8020.