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Cancer Policy & Advocacy Team (CPAT)

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.

Led by the CPAT Steering Committee, CPAT provides cancer survivors and caregivers with tools and training that build upon their personal experiences to become effective advocates to improve cancer care.

The CPAT webinars, newsletters, online forum, and conferences for offer advocates different ways to learn and to discuss current issues, programs, and policies that affect the cancer community and to take action as appropriate.

2023 CPAT Symposium

NCCS hosted the in-person CPAT Symposium on June 21-23, 2023. The Symposium is an opportunity to network with other advocates, develop advocacy skills, and learn about cancer policy issues — all in support of NCCS’s mission of improving the quality of cancer care for everyone touched by cancer.

CPAT Webinar – Amplifying Your Message: Advocating Through Traditional Media Channels

CPAT Webinar: Amplifying Your Message: Advocating Through Traditional Media Channels webinar flyerWhile social media is an important tool for amplifying cancer advocacy messages, traditional media outlets like newspapers, television, and radio, and their digital counterparts, are still relevant and can help raise awareness and put pressure on decision makers.

Drawing on his experience as a regional media advocacy director for the nation’s largest cancer nonprofit organization, as well as his current work as a volunteer for several organizations, Michael will share examples and best practices for working with and building relationships with the media.

In this webinar, you will learn how to make initial pitches to members of the media, get tips and tricks for getting coverage of events, and how to be prepared to share your story. Michael will also offer advice on the dos and do nots of media interviews and discuss the power of letters to the editor and op/eds for “giving legs” to advocates’ messages.

While this webinar will focus on amplifying the message of the survivorship legislation that we will advocate for at the CPAT Symposium, the information shared will benefit advocates who support any organization and their individual cancer journeys. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to learn from an expert in the field and take your cancer advocacy efforts to the next level.

CPAT Webinar – How to Lead a Heart Healthy Life

Norrisa Haynes, MD How to Lead a Heart Healthy Life WebinarIn this webinar hosted by NCCS, Cardiologist Dr. Norrisa Haynes of Yale University presents the basics of heart disease, including risk factors and the interplay between heart disease and cancer. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide, despite medical advancements, and can result from risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.

Dr. Haynes discusses cardiotoxicity, a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation treatments that can result in heart disease. To manage cardiovascular risk factors, she suggests adopting heart-healthy lifestyle modifications, such as healthy eating, fitness, sleep, and blood pressure management.

CPAT Webinar – Care and Career Support: From Health Systems to Employers

Care and Career Support From Health Systems to Employers WebinarLearn about the unique demands of caregiving in cancer and strategies that employers and health systems might engage to support caregivers.

In this webinar, Dr. Margaret L. Longacre, Chair of Public Health at Arcadia University, presents data on the experiences and common issues faced by cancer caregivers in the US. Dr. Christina Sisti, a CPAT Member, describes her experience as a caregiver to her late husband and her own cancer diagnosis. Dr. Longacre’s colleagues Michele Cygan and Mary Sweeney offer possible solutions for supporting caregivers and present them in the form of a pair of checklists, one each for employers and employees.

Learn About:

  • The demands of oncology caregiving and the ways that support might be possible from health systems, including integration of caregivers into care to recognize needs, and from employers.
  • Supporting caregivers specifically related to employment, including policies and strategies that can support caregivers (e.g., FMLA) in terms of career flexibility and financial needs.
  • How, in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic and employee demands, employers are now focusing more on employee well-being programs and updating HR policies to meet employee needs.

CPAT Webinar: Survivorship Needs for People Living with Advanced and Metastatic Cancers

Michelle Mollica PhD Webinar Survivorship Needs for People with Metastatic and Advanced CancersDr. Michelle Mollica, Senior Advisor at the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Office of Cancer Survivorship, joined NCCS to discuss NCI’s recent efforts focused on understanding and addressing the survivorship needs for the growing population of survivors living with advanced and metastatic cancers. Bethany Ross, CPAT Steering Committee Member and Advocate, also participated in the discussion, sharing the challenges of being a young adult living with advanced and metastatic cancer. In this webinar, you’ll learn the findings from NCI’s research, and what the next steps are for supporting those living with advanced and metastatic cancers.

Watch the Webinar

Become a CPAT Member for Free

CPAT Capitol askboxNo one knows where or how to improve cancer care better than you—someone who has experienced it as a patient or caregiver. That’s why more than 700 advocates have joined the NCCS Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team (CPAT), a program designed to provide those touched by cancer with the tools and training to apply their experiences to become empowered advocates.

For more information about CPAT, contact us at

CPAT in Action