Cancer Policy & Advocacy Team (CPAT) Symposium

June 26 – 28, 2024

Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport

1999 Richmond Hwy, Arlington, VA 22202

The CPAT 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. Goals for symposium participants are as follows:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of survivorship legislation and visit Capitol Hill to share your story with legislators and advocate for the legislation.
  • Learn about topics including palliative care, patient-doctor communication, and supporting caregivers.
  • Participate in advocate-led activities with medical students from the CUPID (Cancer in the Under-Privileged Indigent or Disadvantaged) program.
  • Network with other advocates and engage with the NCCS team.
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Symposium Agenda

Note: All times are Eastern Time.

Symposium Agenda as of March 1 (PDF)

Wednesday, June 26

2:00 PM Registration and Networking
2:30 PM Opening Session

Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP

3:00 PM Sharing Advocacy on Social Media
Kara Kenan
NCCS Marketing and Communications Manager
3:30 PM Networking Activity
4:00 PM Hill Day Preparation

  • Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP
  • Veronika Panagiotou, PhD
    NCCS Advocacy & Program Manager
  • Soapbox Consulting Staff
5:30 PM Break
6:00 PM Dinner by State

Thursday, June 27

7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Hill Day Kick-Off on Capitol Hill
9:00 AM Hill Meetings
Lunch On Your Own
5:30 PM Capitol Hill Debrief

  • Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP
  • Veronika Panagiotou, PhD
    NCCS Advocacy & Program Manager
6:00 PM Dinner

Friday, June 28

8:00 AM Breakfast
8:30 AM Improving Doctor Patient Communications Activity
10:00 AM Session
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Keynote: Skin In The Game: A Physician Couples’ Cancer Survivorship Perspective and Experience

Samantha Siegel, MD
Kaiser Permanente

Samuel Siegel, MD
Dignity Health Woodland Clinic

Join Dr. Samantha and Dr. Samuel Siegel for a window into young adult survivorship. They will discuss their personal experiences with cancer from within the medical field, supporting one another as care partners, family life, shifting perspectives on work and cancer, lasting effects and living a meaningful, purpose driven life after a cancer diagnosis.

12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Session
1:45 PM Farewell and Evaluations

Speaker Biographies

Click a speaker name to read more.

Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPPShelley Fuld Nasso
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.

Kara KenanKara Kenan
Marketing and Communications Manager
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

Kara Kenan, a 10-year breast cancer survivor, joined the NCCS team in 2022 as our Marketing and Communications Manager. Kara has a master’s degree in English, Composition & Rhetoric and nearly 20 years’ experience in communications across the public and private sectors. Prior to joining NCCS, Kara founded Going Beyond the Pink, a nonprofit organization supporting breast cancer survivors established as a result of her personal experience with stage-3 breast cancer. She also taught English at North Dakota State University for over a decade.

A decorated veteran, Kara served in the Air National Guard for 6-years, including a deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Her role in the military allowed her to support both Search & Rescue and Homeland Defense missions. She is the proud recipient of the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Defense of Liberty Service Medal, among others.

In addition to her work with NCCS and Going Beyond the Pink, Kara serves on various cancer-related workgroups and committees with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Cancer Society, Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, Environmental Working Group, Toxic Action Center, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations.

When she’s not working, Kara can be found dancing in the kitchen, spending time with her family, traveling, or learning about herbalism and homeopathic medicine.

Veronika Panagiotou, PhDVeronika Panagiotou, PhD
Advocacy and Program Manager
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship

Veronika Panagiotou, PhD, joined NCCS in the Summer of 2021 and serves as the Advocacy and Program Manager. Her responsibilities include managing the Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team (CPAT), Survivorship Champions and various advocacy initiatives.

Dr. Panagiotou’s passion for working in survivorship and advocacy emerged after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when she was 25 years old. As a young adult cancer survivor, she has witnessed firsthand the need for recognition of the financial toxicity of treatment, the creation of more supportive services, and the availability of survivorship care. Before joining NCCS as a staff member, Veronika was an active CPAT member. She has met with her representatives to share her story and to advocate for policies such as the Affordable Care Act that saved her life by giving her access to cancer treatment.

Dr. Panagiotou obtained her doctorate in Community Engagement at Point Park University in 2021. She defended her dissertation entitled, “Do Service-Learning Models Create an Opportunity to Cultivate Civic Engagement Outcomes at Point Park University? A Phenomenological Study of Students’ Perspectives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.” Dr. Panagiotou was awarded the “Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement” for the academic year of 2017-2018 after creating the Pioneer Pantry which serves college students, faculty, and staff experiencing food insecurity on campus.

Samantha Siegel, MDSamantha Siegel, MD
Kaiser Permanente

Dr. Samantha Siegel is an internist at Kaiser Permanente. She has survived relapsed/refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, including an autologous bone marrow transplant in June 2022. This has made her passionate about cancer survivorship, integrative medicine and personal narrative impacting the illness experience.

Dr. Siegel hopes to pioneer a longitudinal cancer survivorship care model, beginning at diagnosis, that can be replicated in other healthcare systems. She is focused on elevating cancer survivorship to its own multidisciplinary board certification status.

Dr. Siegel lives in Davis with her husband, three kids and energetic dog. They enjoy outdoor activities and plant-based living.

Samuel Siegel, MDSamuel Siegel, MD
Dignity Health Woodland Clinic

Samuel Siegel is a general pediatrician in Woodland, CA serving a predominantly rural and underserved population, including immigrants from Mexico and Central America. He practices hospital medicine, seeing newborns during their birth hospitalization and he attends high risk deliveries.

In his outpatient practice, he has a special interest in pediatric obesity and nutrition and founded an annual healthy eating project called Home-Grown Health. There, he gives away 1000 vegetable starts, soil, and fertilizer each year to families in his community. He believes that allowing children to participate in the unique process of nurturing plants from seeds will more successfully promote healthy eating habits.

He is also a patient who has learned to live a fulfilling life with chronic medical conditions since his early twenties including inflammatory bowel disease, treatment for cancer while in medical school, and a liver transplant in 2016. He is a husband and partner to a physician-patient spouse and together they have three wonderful children ages 12, 11, and 6.

Survivorship Challenge: DC or Bust Fundraiser

Join the Survivorship Challenge: DC or Bust fundraiser to raise funds for NCCS and help other survivor advocates attend the CPAT Symposium. If you raise $500 or more, you are eligible to take part in a guided tour of the Capitol!

We recommend that you first read the Survivorship Challenge Fundraising Guide and then create your fundraising page here.

Learn How to Fundraise

Are you interested in attending the CPAT Symposium in Washington, DC and want to learn how to fundraise to attend? We believe this webinar will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in your fundraising efforts.

During this webinar, you will learn:

  • How to successfully set up your fundraising page.
  • Tips for crafting compelling fundraising messages and stories.
  • Tools and resources available to support your peer-to-peer fundraising initiatives.
  • Best practices for utilizing social media to amplify your fundraising efforts.

Sharing on Social Media

Social Media Graphic (Made-for-You)

Survivorship Challenge Social Media GraphicWe encourage you to use this graphic when you share your fundraiser on social media.

Download the graphic here.

Customizable Graphic

Survivorship Challenge Social Media Graphic example
Want to customize your social media graphic?

Follow these steps:

  • Click here to get started on Canva.
  • Create a free Canva account.
  • Upload a photo of you.
  • Drop it into the center frame.
  • Download as a PNG or JPG.
  • Share on your social media pages.

Sample Social Post

You can also copy/paste this caption alongside your post:

🌟 Join me in the Survivorship Challenge: DC or Bust! 🌟

Hey friends! I’m so excited to attend the NCCS Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team Symposium and Hill Day to champion for important cancer survivorship legislation and grow my advocacy skills. But I need your support to make it happen!

I’m supporting the “Survivorship Challenge: DC or Bust” fundraiser to cover my hotel expenses and ensure I get the opportunity to advocate for myself and other survivors like me. Every dollar brings me one step closer to representing our community and making a real impact.

Will you join me in this meaningful challenge by contributing to my fundraiser? Your support isn’t just a donation – it’s a powerful statement of solidarity and hope for survivors everywhere. Together, we can make a difference!

Donate now [Insert Link to Your Personal Fundraising Page] #SurvivorshipChallenge #DCorBust #CancerAdvocacy #CancerSurvivorship

Social Media Kit

Excited to attend the CPAT Symposium? Let’s spread the word on social media! We invite you to stay connected and share your CPAT & Hill Day experience throughout the symposium. Take travel selfies, express your enthusiasm, and engage with fellow attendees on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more! Let’s amplify our voices and make a difference together!

Sample Social Posts

We have provided some sample posts below for each social platform. Sample posts are sorted by social media platform and then by date for your convenience.

* Feel free to customize these posts to fit your needs. Remember to include photos, tag relevant organizations or individuals, and engage with other participants using the event’s designated hashtags: #CPAT23 and #NCCSHillDay23

Social Media Handles – Members of Congress
We have compiled a list of social media handles, sorted by state, of the Members of Congress you’ll be meeting with on Hill Day.

June 19
Counting down the days until the @CancerSurvivorship #CPAT23 Symposium in #WashingtonDC! Can’t wait to connect with fellow survivors and advocates and learn about the latest policies. #CancerAdvocacy #PatientAdvocate #CountdownBegins

June 20/21
On my way to #WashingtonDC for the @CancerSurvivorship #CPAT23 Symposium! Excited to meet fellow cancer advocates and make a difference together. #Traveling #CancerAdvocacy #Almostthere

June 21
Inspired by the insightful discussions on day one of @CancerSurvivorship’s #CPAT23 Symposium. Feeling empowered to advocate for better cancer care and policies. #CancerAdvocacy #WashingtonDC

June 22
Had an impactful day on Capitol Hill advocating for better cancer policies. Grateful to [insert member handles] for the opportunity to make our voices heard. #NCCSHillDay23 #CPAT23 #CancerAdvocacy #PolicyMatters #CancerSurvivorship

June 23
Reflecting on an incredible final day at @CancerSurvivorship’s #CPAT23 Symposium. Grateful for the connections made and knowledge gained. #CancerAdvocacy

June 19
Two more days until the @CancerSurvivorship #CPAT23 Symposium! Excited to travel to #WashingtonDC and join the incredible community of cancer advocates. #Countdown #CancerAdvocacy #PatientAdvocacy

June 20/21
On my way to #WashingtonDC for the @CancerSurvivorship #CPAT23 Symposium! Grateful for this opportunity to connect, learn, and advocate for better cancer policies. #CancerAdvocate #Travel #CancerAdvocacy

June 21
Day one of the @CancerSurvivorship #CPAT23 Symposium was incredible! Engaging sessions, inspiring speakers, and a powerful community of cancer advocates. #CancerAdvocacy #WashingtonDC

June 22
Spent the day on #CapitolHill advocating for cancer patients. Thank you [insert member handles] for the opportunity to make our voices heard. Together, we’re committed to making a difference. #NCCSHillDay23 #CPAT23 #CancerAdvocacy #PolicyMatters #CancerAdvocacy #CancerSurvivorship

June 23
What an inspiring end to the @CancerSuvivorship’s #CPAT23 Symposium! Feeling motivated to continue advocating for cancer survivors and advancing policies that matter. #CancerAdvocacy

June 19
Just packed my bags for the @CancerAdvocacy #CPAT23 Symposium! Excited to travel to #WashingtonDC and join the incredible community of cancer advocates. #Countdown #CancerSurvivorship

June 20/21
On my way to #WashingtonDC for the @CancerAdvocacy #CPAT23 Symposium! Thrilled to be part of this impactful event and raise my voice for cancer patients. #Traveling #CancerAdvocacy

June 21
What an amazing start to the @CancerAdvocacy #CPAT23 Symposium! Learning, sharing, and collaborating with passionate advocates. Together, we can make a difference. #CancerSurvivorship #WashingtonDC

June 22
Proud to join fellow advocates for #NCCSHillDay23. Thank you [insert member handles] for the opportunity to make our voices heard. Together, we’re committed to making a difference. #CPAT23 #CancerAdvocacy #PolicyMatters #CancerSurvivorship

June 23
The final day of the @CancerAdvocacy #CPAT23 Symposium was impactful and empowering. Grateful for the shared experiences and insights. #CancerSurvivorship

June 19
The countdown is on! In just a couple of days, I’ll be attending the annual #NCCS #CPAT23 Symposium in #WashingtonDC. Looking forward to engaging discussions and connecting with passionate advocates. #Advocacy #PatientAdvocate

June 20/21
Boarding the plane to #WashingtonDC for the #NCCS #CPAT23 Symposium! Looking forward to the next few days of empowering discussions and connections. #Travel #Cancer #CancerAdvocacy #PatientAdvocate

June 21
Day one of the NCCS #CPAT23 Symposium was filled with thought-provoking discussions and valuable insights. I’m excited to be learning, sharing, and collaborating with passionate advocates. Together, we can make a difference. #CancerSurvivorship #WashingtonDC

June 22
Engaging in #NCCSHillDay23 at the NCCS #CPAT23 Symposium was an empowering experience. Thank you [insert member handles] for the opportunity to make our voices heard. Together, we’re committed to making a difference. #CancerAdvocacy #PolicyMatters #CancerSurvivorship

June 23
The final day of the @CancerSuvivorship’s #CPAT23 Symposium was a testament to the power of collaboration and advocacy. Honored to be part of this passionate community. #CancerAdvocacy

Hill Day Training Videos & Resources

Please watch the recorded videos linked below if you are participating in Hill Day meetings to help you prepare. We will provide an overview and answer questions during the Hill Day Prep Session on June 21, but we provide more in-depth information in the videos below.

How to Tell Your Story

This short Telling Your Story presentation that walks you through how to use the Telling Your Story worksheet to hone your story for Hill meetings. Since you don’t have much time in these meetings and may be paired with other advocates, it’s best to keep your story under 2 minutes.

Please complete the worksheet and bring it with you to the Symposium. During the Hill Day Prep session, you’ll have the opportunity to share it.

Running time: 6:23

Telling Your Story Slide Deck (PDF)

Hill Meetings 101

Watch our Hill Meetings 101 presentation for more information about what you can expect in your Hill meetings, including dos and don’ts for meetings, how meetings are typically structured, what to do after a meeting (e.g. tweet your legislator, send a thank-you email, etc.), and how to stay involved with your members of Congress when you return home.

Running time: 12:08

Video Chapters
00:00 Congress Basics
04:23 Do’s and Don’ts For Hill Meetings
08:38 The Meeting
10:18 Maintaining Relationships

Hill Meetings 101 Slides (PDF)

Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Act (CCSA)

This presentation gives you more background about the Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship Act, the legislation that we’re advocating for during this year’s CPAT Hill Day. Learn about the bill’s champions and how the provisions in the bill will help cancer survivors.

Running time: 20:56

Video Chapters
00:00 Bill Background
01:46 What’s in the CCSA?
05:23 Cancer Care Planning
08:01 Employment Assistance
10:59 Adult Cancer Survivorship Study
12:42 Conducting the Meeting

CCSA Presentation Slides

CCSA Fact Sheet
This fact sheet summarizes the need for the CCSA and highlights some of the most important provisions.
CCSA Fact Sheet

CCSA: Section-By-Section Summary
This document breaks down each of the provisions in the CCSA and describes them in detail.
CCSA Section-By-Section Breakdown

Media Training Webinar

Press Release Template (Word Doc) – A template press release that you can personalize and share with your local TV media in your community about your Hill meetings with Members of Congress.

Example Advocate Press Release (Word Doc)

Hill Meeting Scheduling

Good news! NCCS is working with Soapbox Consulting to schedule Hill meetings for those attending this year’s in-person CPAT Symposium.

Soapbox will email you your preliminary schedule on the Friday before Hill Day. That email will include a website for each attendee to enter a unique schedule code. You will be able to see your schedule in real-time, as well as the roster for your meetings, links to any virtual meetings you might have, bios for your members of Congress, feedback questions to answer after your meetings, and the email addresses of others in your group.

You will attend meetings with other advocates from your state. If you are the only advocate from your state, you may be paired an advocate from another state, so you’re not on your own. NCCS staff and board members will attend meetings. You will see on your schedule the names of anyone joining meetings with you.

Because congressional appointments can and do change up until the last minute, final schedules will not be available until the day before Hill Day. Soapbox will join us during our Hill Day Prep Session on June 21 to distribute final schedules and answer any questions.

Event Logistics

2023 CPAT In-Person Symposium Virtual Meet and Greet

Join Shelley, Haley, and Veronika to ask any logistics and policy questions about joining us in DC. Kara and Michael Holtz will be in attendance to answer any social media or traditional media questions too.

June 14, 2023, 04:00 PM Eastern Time


  • The Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is located at 400 New Jersey Avenue NW. The hotel has a map and directions on their website.
  • Registration and the Symposium sessions on Wednesday and Thursday will take place in the Congressional A room. Programming on Friday will be in the Thornton Room.

Getting Around

What to Bring/Wear

  • The weather in late June in DC is unpredictable: it may be beautiful, but it is likely to be hot and humid. Rain is common in June, so an umbrella may come in handy.
  • The Symposium is business casual, and we encourage you to wear layers and/or bring a wrap or sweater in case the room is too hot or cold for you.
  • Masks are welcome and encouraged at the Symposium. Some legislative office may ask you to put them on when you visit. The registration desk will have extra masks if you need them.
  • For the Hill visits, business attire is ideal, but please wear comfortable shoes. And feel free to wear the NCCS colors of yellow and blue!