NCCS celebrated the 20th year of our bi-annual Cancer Policy Roundtable (CPR) by hosting our second virtual roundtable on November 19, 2020. We’re pleased to share the video from each session, along with links to meeting materials, slide decks, and resources discussed in the sessions.
Post-Election Recap: What to Expect for Health Policy in 2021
Panel Discussion Moderated by Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News
Just two weeks after the election, a panel of health policy experts offer their perspectives on the short- and long-term implications of the election. The panel discussion will take place just one week after the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case challenging the Affordable Care Act, and during a surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. The panelists will discuss these issues in the context of the 2020 election and with attention to how the election results will affect cancer survivors.
Debra Curtis | DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority
Debra Curtis DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority
Ms. Curtis has more than 23 years of experience working on Capitol Hill, where she was one of the leading experts on health insurance, Medicare, and mental health parity. Most recently, she served on the Democratic Professional Staff for the Committee on Ways and Means in the US House of Representatives. For the previous 15 years, she served in a joint position as the Chief of Staff for Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), and as a professional staff member on the Ways and Means Democratic Staff, where she played a key role in developing the Affordable Care Act. Prior to her work for Rep. Stark, Ms. Curtis served as health legislative assistant for (then Representative) now Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. Jim Moody (D-WI), both then Ways and Means Health Subcommittee members.
Ms. Curtis was the Congressional Affairs Director for Citizen Action, a nationwide grassroots consumer advocacy organization, where she lobbied for national health care reform during the Clinton Administration. She’s also worked on the staffs of now Senator (then Representative) Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA). Ms. Curtis graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1988. She is a longtime resident of the District and lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and daughter.
Rodney Whitlock, PhD | McDermott+Consulting
Rodney Whitlock, PhD McDermott+Consulting
Rodney is an accomplished health care executive with more than two decades on the Hill where he specialized in rural health, the health care safety net and disability policy.
With nearly 25 years of experience, Rodney possesses and offers clients the kind of knowledge that is uniquely available to those who have drafted and advanced legislation. He strategically guides clients through dense Medicare and Medicaid issues that have significant business impact.
While working in Congress, Rodney served as former US Representative Charlie Norwood’s (R-GA) health policy director where he managed the Patients’ Bill of Rights (S.1890), among other notable health policy matters. Rodney then went on to serve Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in the Senate. He first joined the Senate Finance Committee Staff as a health policy advisor to Chairman Grassley, and ultimately joined the Senator’s personal office as health policy director. During his time in the Senate, Rodney served as the lead Republican staffer for Medicaid legislation from 2005 to 2010, and continued to serve Senator Grassley on all health-related issues through 2015. During his time in the Senate, Rodney helped staff Republicans in the Senate on such prominent and important legislation as the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2007 and 2009 and Affordable Care Act of 2010.
For the last 20 years, Rodney has been an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy and Management, and the Graduate School of Political Management’s Department of Legislative Affairs. Hundreds of students have taken Rodney’s courses and have gone on to pursue careers in Washington, DC.
Julie Rovner (moderator) | Kaiser Health News
Julie Rovner Kaiser Health News
Julie Rovner, the Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow, is Chief Washington Correspondent. She joined KHN after 16 years as health policy correspondent for NPR, where she helped lead the network’s coverage of the passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. A noted expert on health policy issues, Julie is the author of the critically praised reference book Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z, now in its third edition. In 2005, she was awarded the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress. Prior to NPR, Julie covered health policy for National Journal’s Congress Daily and for Congressional Quarterly, among other organizations.
Related Background Reading
Coronavirus, Coronavirus, Coronavirus. The Biden Administration will confront a raging pandemic, with little indication of Trump Administration pandemic action in its remaining days. On Friday, November 13, President-Elect Biden made remarks about coronavirus minutes after President Trump broke his post-election silence to discuss COVID vaccines and therapeutics. As reported in the New York Times, President-Elect Biden said:
“I will not be president until next year,” Mr. Biden said. “The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”
Governors and public health officials across the United States are pleading with Americans to change their behavior and prepare for a long winter as the country shatters record after record on coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Both records fell yet again Friday, as more than 181,100 new cases were reported nationwide. It was only eight days ago that the U.S. reported its first 100,000-case day. Now the seven-day average of new daily cases is more than 140,000.
Sixteen states also set single-day case records on Friday, and 30 states added more cases in the last week than in any other seven-day period.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the state is at a “breaking point” and reinstated the country’s most restrictive statewide measures since the fall surge began, while Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced a two-week statewide “freeze” on Friday, which included curbing gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving.
Other states are trying to avoid full-blown shutdowns by enacting almost every other kind of restriction, as the United States reported more than 177,000 new coronavirus cases, a record high for the third straight day.
Health policy experts expect the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be on the health care agenda for 2021, but ACA policy proposals may only be minor revisions that can be implemented by administrative action or agreed to by a divided Congress. Major ACA-related action may not be necessary if legal experts correctly read the Supreme Court justices during ACA oral arguments. Katie Keith captures the widely held sentiment about the Court in a Health Affairs blog, Supreme Court Arguments: Even If Mandate Falls, Rest of Affordable Care Act Looks Likely to Be Upheld.
Panel Discussion Moderated by Otis Brawley, MD of Johns Hopkins University
The cancer experience is not the same for all cancer survivors. Inequities in the health care system disproportionately hurt patients of color, and studies show that their outcomes are worse because of these injustices. As patient advocate and cancer survivor Jamil Rivers, said, “Going through cancer treatment is like climbing Mount Everest, and racism is like a backpack of concrete Black patients carry along the way.”
The inequities in the health care system have special urgency during the coronavirus pandemic. We have seen COVID-19 take an especially heavy toll on Black and Hispanic Americans, who have suffered a greater incidence of COVID-19, often with poor outcomes. This panel will discuss the systemic inequities that exist in cancer care and what we can do to eliminate barriers to quality care. Although the panel will focus on cancer care disparities, the pandemic, and the inequities it has highlighted will also be considered.
Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, MSc, MBA | UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Katherine E. Reeder-Hayes, MD, MSc, MBA UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
Reeder-Hayes is a health services researcher with a focus on breast cancer treatment and survival disparities and real-world effectiveness of cancer treatments. Her areas of expertise include analyses of large linked data resources including insurance claims, electronic health record data, cancer registry and vital statistics data. She has also worked extensively with qualitative and survey studies of cancer patients and with behavioral interventions in cancer patient populations. She is a contributor to the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, a large prospective cohort study of racially diverse women with newly diagnosed breast cancer across the state of North Carolina, and co-leads the GETSET trial, a national study to improve the support of breast cancer survivors taking oral hormonal therapies.
Arnethea L. Sutton, PhD | Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Arnethea L. Sutton, PhD Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Arnethea L. Sutton, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the NCI-Funded T32 Cancer Prevention and Control Research Training Program in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Sutton’s primary research interests are in cancer disparities, cancer genetics, survivorship, and community engaged-research. She is particularly interested in developing interventions that seek to improve the quality of life of Black cancer survivors. She is currently working with Dr. Vanessa B. Sheppard on projects related to endocrine therapy initiation and persistence in breast cancer survivors, genetic cancer risk assessment uptake in Black and Latina women, and male cancer survivors. Dr. Sutton received a BS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from VCU in 2006, an MS in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from VCU in 2006, and a PhD in Health Related Sciences from VCU in 2017.
Nadine J. Barrett, PhD | Duke University
Nadine J. Barrett, PhD Duke University
As a Medical Sociologist with over 15 years of experience engaging diverse health systems and communities to improve community and population health, Dr. Barrett has devoted her career to reducing health disparities among disadvantaged and vulnerable populations and effectively training health care and research professionals and trainees in community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and the principles of authentic and impactful stakeholder collaborations. Her expertise can be defined broadly within the context of developing effective community and health system partnerships to improve health outcomes, and conducting community health assessments to inform strategic priority setting, and program development, implementation and evaluation. She serves as the inaugural director of the Office of Health Equity and Disparities at the Duke Cancer Institute, and the Director of the Community Connections and Collaborations Core within the Duke CTSA and the Center for Community and Population Health Improvement. She is also a faculty member in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Community Health.
Dr. Barrett has several funded projects including Project PLACE (Population Level Approaches to Cancer Elimination), funded by the NCI is a three pronged research project designed to implement three robust mechanisms to inform the health equity strategic direction of the DCI over the next 5- 8 years. Project PLACE is a highly intensive community engagement model and platform designed to shape robust scholarly productivity, partnered research and community programs to improve population health. Dr. Barrett is also the Duke PI (subcontract) with Kevin Williams (lead-PI)of a national Susan G. Komen pipeline training grant on translational research in Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and community engaged research. She also co-directs the NCI funded Cancer Research and Education Program Core of the NCCU/DCI Translational Health Disparities Research Program which incorporates specified training in minority accrual in clinical research, a program she developed within the DCI entitled, Just Ask.
Otis Brawley, MD (moderator) | Johns Hopkins University
Otis Brawley, MD
Johns Hopkins University
Otis W. Brawley, MD is a globally-recognized expert in cancer prevention and control. He has worked to reduce overscreening of medical conditions, which has revolutionized patient treatment by increasing quality of life and reducing health disparities.
Brawley’s research focuses on developing cancer screening strategies and ensuring their effectiveness. He has championed efforts to decrease smoking and implement other lifestyle risk reduction programs, as well as to provide critical support to cancer patients and concentrate cancer control efforts in areas where they could be most effective. Brawley currently leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort on cancer health disparities at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, striving to close racial, economic, and social disparities in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide. He also directs community outreach programs for underserved populations throughout Maryland.
Brawley joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2019 from the American Cancer Society and Emory University.
There are well-established disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes by race/ethnicity that result from the interplay between structural, socioeconomic, socio-environmental, behavioural and biological factors. However, large research studies designed to investigate factors contributing to cancer aetiology and progression have mainly focused on populations of European origin. The limitations in clinicopathological and genetic data, as well as the reduced availability of biospecimens from diverse populations, contribute to the knowledge gap and have the potential to widen cancer health disparities. In this review, we summarise reported disparities and associated factors in the United States of America (USA) for the most common cancers (breast, prostate, lung and colon), and for a subset of other cancers that highlight the complexity of disparities (gastric, liver, pancreas and leukaemia). We focus on populations commonly identified and referred to as racial/ethnic minorities in the USA—African Americans/Blacks, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians/other Pacific Islanders and Hispanics/Latinos. We conclude that even though substantial progress has been made in understanding the factors underlying cancer health disparities, marked inequities persist. Additional efforts are needed to include participants from diverse populations in the research of cancer aetiology, biology and treatment. Furthermore, to eliminate cancer health disparities, it will be necessary to facilitate access to, and utilisation of, health services to all individuals, and to address structural inequities, including racism, that disproportionally affect racial/ethnic minorities in the USA.
ASCO strives, through research, education, and promotion of the highest quality of patient care, to create a world where cancer is prevented and every survivor is healthy. In this pursuit, cancer health equity remains the guiding institutional principle that applies to all its activities across the cancer care continuum. In 2009, ASCO committed to addressing differences in cancer outcomes in its original policy statement on cancer disparities. Over the past decade, despite novel diagnostics and therapeutics, together with changes in the cancer care delivery system such as passage of the Affordable Care Act, cancer disparities persist. Our understanding of the populations experiencing disparate outcomes has likewise expanded to include the intersections of race/ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation and gender identity, sociodemographic factors, and others. This updated statement is intended to guide ASCO’s future activities and strategies to achieve its mission of conquering cancer for all populations. ASCO acknowledges that much work remains to be done, by all cancer stakeholders at the systems level, to overcome historical momentum and existing social structures responsible for disparate cancer outcomes. This updated statement affirms ASCO’s commitment to moving beyond descriptions of differences in cancer outcomes toward achievement of cancer health equity, with a focus on improving equitable access to care, improving clinical research, addressing structural barriers, and increasing awareness that results in measurable and timely action toward achieving cancer health equity for all.
The ASCO 2020 Quality Care Symposium had a significant focus on the impact of COVID-19 on Black and Hispanic people with cancer. A blog post on cancer.net reviews the studies on disparities in COVID-19 care presented at the Quality Care Symposium. From the blog:
There are 3 studies that will be highlighted at the symposium that investigate the impact of COVID-19 during the start of the pandemic:
Black and Hispanic people with cancer used telehealth care less often than white people with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic
Black people with cancer are at increased risk for COVID-19 hospitalization, emergency care
Hispanic and Black people with cancer at higher risk of COVID-19
Telehealth in Cancer Care
Panel Discussion Moderated by NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso
When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the health care system and patient access to care, oncologists and their patients embraced the delivery of some cancer care services by telehealth. The delivery of care by telehealth provided a safe means to receive care without delays and afforded practices an opportunity to implement in-office mitigation and safety procedures for resumption of some care face-to-face.
NCCS immediately sought advice, through a series of focus groups of cancer survivors, on the benefits and limitations of telehealth during the pandemic and on steps that patients and providers can take to improve telehealth quality. That advice is being shared with both providers and patients through “tip sheets.” The focus group participants identified the potential for telehealth to improve access to quality cancer care during the pandemic and beyond, with an emphasis on the possibility for telehealth innovation for survivorship care, palliative care, second opinions, and other cancer care services.
This panel will consider issues related to the delivery of cancer care by telehealth during the pandemic and beyond, with an emphasis on quality assurance and innovation to enhance cancer care access and quality.
Laura Petrillo, MD | Massachusetts General Hospital
Laura Petrillo, MD Massachusetts General Hospital
Laura Petrillo is a palliative care physician and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School. Her research is focused on tailoring supportive care for patients receiving novel therapies for cancer, such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy. She is an investigator in the MGH Cancer Outcomes Research and Education Program and provides palliative care in the MGH Cancer Center Palliative Care Clinic. She is the outgoing chair of the Early Investigators Forum of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Petrillo has received grant funding from the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, and the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation.
Cardinale B. Smith, MD, PhD | Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Cardinale B. Smith, MD, PhD Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Cardinale B. Smith, M.D., Ph.D. is an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology and the Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the director of quality for cancer services at Mount Sinai Health System. She is a clinician investigator whose research interests include evaluating treatment disparities in cancer care, evaluating determinants of cancer patients’ quality of care, characterizing barriers to optimal cancer and palliative care and developing approaches to eliminating those barriers among racial and ethnic minorities.
Dr. Smith is a 2013 recipient of a mentored research scholar grant from the American Cancer Society to evaluate determinants of disparities in the utilization of palliative care among patients with lung cancer. Additionally, she is a co-investigator on a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute grant to teach and enable goals of care conversations among oncologists. Dr. Smith has had numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and is the recipient of the 2014 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine “Inspiring Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leader under 40” award.
Jennifer Malin, MD | UnitedHealthcare
Jennifer Malin, MD UnitedHealthcare
Dr. Malin is a senior medical director, oncology and genetics, at UnitedHealthcare. In this role, she provides clinical and strategic leadership for improving the health and outcomes of cancer and genomic medicine for United Healthcare members.
After graduating from Harvard University, Dr. Malin received her medical degree and doctorate in public health from UCLA. She is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. A clinical professor of medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, she is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and is widely recognized for her research on the quality of cancer care. She has served on a number of advisory boards and national committees, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality of Care Committee and the National Quality Forum’s Cancer Steering Committee. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, she was the architect of the cancer care quality program at Anthem.
Dr. Malin continues her clinical practice by volunteering at the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Health Care System.
Kristen McNiff Landrum, MPH | KM Healthcare Consulting
Kristin McNiff Landrum, MPH KM Healthcare Consulting
Kristen McNiff brings over 20 years’ experience in cancer quality programs, value and quality analytics, and related policy. In March 2018, Ms. McNiff launched an independent consulting company, KM Healthcare Consulting. Immediately prior, Ms. McNiff served four years as the Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In this role, Ms. McNiff led staff teams focused on clinical quality and value innovation; patient safety; process improvement engineering; quality research and analytics; cancer registry reporting; and compliance/regulatory programs.
Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP (moderator) | National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Shelley is honored and humbled to serve NCCS and the millions of cancer survivors and their family members NCCS represents. She is a policy wonk and advocate and loves to empower cancer survivors to make their voices heard in Washington, DC and around the country. She joined NCCS in December 2012 and was named CEO in October 2013.
Prior to joining NCCS, Shelley served in leadership roles at Susan G. Komen, where she leveraged Komen’s grassroots network in Washington, DC and in state capitals. There she built relationships with policymakers and partner organizations and led a team of staff and volunteer leaders to influence state budgets and legislation. Shelley has also served as Director of Community Philanthropy at The Dallas Foundation and held management positions at communications and technology enterprises. She is a graduate of Rice University and holds a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Shelley’s commitment to the work of NCCS is strongly tied to the experiences in the cancer care system of her dear friend, Dr. Brent Whitworth, a beloved physician who was diagnosed with stage IV cancer days before his 42nd birthday and who passed away 19 months later. Through Brent’s experiences, Shelley witnessed the strengths and flaws of the cancer care system and embraces the notion that policy change can make cancer care better for patients and caregivers.
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) Telehealth Project was developed to gain insights from participants regarding telehealth experience in oncology. A diverse group of 29 participants, which included cancer patients or survivors, participated in six focus groups, conducted in May and June 2020. A total of 31 providers also participated by providing feedback in August 2020 regarding areas of agreement or disagreement with patient responses. Goals of the project include the following:
Obtain direction from patients about how to maximize the benefits of telehealth.
Receive feedback from cancer providers about key patient themes to support information, suggest refinements, or offer counterpoints.
Create two resources: one for oncology practices on how to address patient barriers and increase the effectiveness of telehealth visits, and one for patients/families on how to prepare for telehealth visits.
Develop and disseminate policy recommendations from a patient perspective and engage in policy advocacy.
In just a few short weeks, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has transformed health care delivery around the globe. The crisis has dismantled how care is delivered and forced clinicians to make difficult triage decisions about what types and components of care have limited immediate value and which are essential for optimal outcomes. Because some malignancies could pose an immediate threat to survival, cancer provides a lens into the major shifts currently underway in clinical care. Cancer and cancer-related treatments frequently cause immunosuppression, and patients with cancer have excess mortality risk from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The magnitude of this risk is not yet known but early reports suggest a substantial increased risk of death associated with COVID-19 infection among patients with cancer, perhaps highest among those older than 60 years and those with pulmonary compromise.
The prevailing clinical approach in medicine, the in-person visit between patient and physician, has been upended. To flatten the growth curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians have postponed or canceled nonacute procedures and transitioned millions of visits to telehealth. The technology used to effect this transformation is not new, but COVID-19 has forced widespread adoption of remote encounters by video applications, patient portals, or phone calls. Patients and oncologists have rapidly adapted to this new way of communicating and many have found this approach satisfactory and sometimes preferred. Barriers to remote care previously precluded by entrenched culture or billing hurdles have quickly been surmounted.
In an article in Health Affairs, Sinsky and Linzer discuss the medical practice and policy reset that will occur post-COVID-19:
Clinical care in the United States has been transformed during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To support these changes, regulators and payers have temporarily modified long-standing policies, recognizing the need for a trade-off between the costs and benefits of oversight during times of crisis. Specifically, there has been a heightened receptivity to the importance of preserving physicians’ and other health care professionals’ time, cognitive bandwidth, and emotional reserve for the direct care of patients, instead of squandering these resources on low-value tasks and frustrating technology. Instead of reflexively reverting to past practices and policies, there is now an opportunity to take advantage of the lessons of COVID-19 for the further transformation of health care to achieve Quadruple Aim outcomes (better care for individuals, better health for the population, better experience for clinicians, and lower costs). We outline some of the policy and practice changes that we believe should endure after the crisis has passed, and we recommend using similar logic during noncrisis times to make additional changes to further reduce administrative burden, and thus improve patient care.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has necessitated an unprecedented level of innovation and redesign. One prominent manifestation is the catalyst of telehealth from fringe to mainstream. The impact of telehealth on quality and cost of care remains largely unknown. As policies facilitating this transition are set to expire with the public health emergency declaration, important decisions regarding its future role are in a state of flux. Determination of the post-pandemic role of telehealth will be complex and consequential, and should be grounded in a value-based approach. This post capitalizes on the natural experiment afforded by the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes a value-driven telehealth policy and research agenda.
Cancer Convos: Interview with Emily Tonorezos, MD
Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
In August, Dr. Tonorezos was appointed Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship (OCS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). We talked with Dr. Tonorezos about her background, clinical practice, and survivorship research, as well as what inspired her to take on the role of leading the OCS. We also asked what she has learned in her first months on the job and how she sees the role of advocacy.
Cancer Convos: Interview with Kashyap Patel, MD
Author of Between Life and Death: From Despair to Hope
Dr. Patel is a practicing oncologist and CEO of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associates in South Carolina and a national leader in community oncology, serving in leadership roles of the Community Oncology Alliance and Association for Community Cancer Centers. He is the author of Between Life and Death: From Despair to Hope, in which he explores how to prepare patients for a good death. In this interview, he shares the experiences of his patients, along with his own experience and study of spirituality, philosophy, and science.
Cancer Convos: Interview with Julia H. Rowland PhD
2020 Stovall Award Winner, Cancer Survivorship Innovator
Julia H. Rowland, PhD is a winner of the 2020 Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care. Dr. Rowland is a long-time clinician, researcher, and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors, and published broadly in psycho-oncology. She was recruited to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship (OCS). After 18 years in this role, Dr. Rowland retired from service at the NCI in September 2017 and assumed the role of Senior Strategic Advisor at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a small non-profit organization that has been providing integrative support services to cancer patients and their families for over twenty years.
Cancer Convos: Interview with Thomas J. Smith, MD
2020 Stovall Award Winner, Palliative Care Innovator
Thomas J. Smith, MD, is a winner of the 2020 Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care. Dr. Smith is a professor of oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Care. He is a medical oncologist and a palliative care specialist with a lifelong interest in better symptom management, communication, and improving access to high quality affordable care. Dr. Smith began Johns Hopkins’ hospital-wide palliative care consult service as well as an inpatient unit, and he is dedicated to accelerating palliative care research and education.
Dr. Smith is also a prostate cancer survivor, experiencing first hand surgery, recurrence, “salvage” radiation therapy and androgen deprivation therapy with many significant side effects. He knows all too well the experience of living and working while waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Fall 2020 CPR Sponsors
The Ellen L. Stovall Award for Innovation in Patient-Centered Cancer Care is a unique opportunity for patients and survivors to recognize pioneers who are transforming the cancer care system.
The NCCS Cancer Policy & Advocacy Team (CPAT) is a program for survivors and caregivers to learn about pressing policy issues that affect quality cancer care in order to be engaged as advocates in public policy around the needs of cancer survivors.
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