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Cancer Policy & Advocacy Team (CPAT)

Virtual Symposium and Virtual Hill Week Kickoff

Monday, July 11, 2022 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Hill Days — July 12 – July 15

Registration Form

Virtual CPAT Symposium 2022 FlyerThe Virtual CPAT Symposium is an opportunity to network with other advocates, develop advocacy skills, and learn about cancer policy issues in the comfort of your own home. The Virtual Symposium will showcase topics such as an in-depth understanding of public policies impacting cancer patients, mental health, and health care communication.

You will have the opportunity to sign up to participate in Virtual Hill Meetings. NCCS will coordinate and set up meetings with your local Members of Congress.

We join you in the meeting, schedule permitting, to talk about important survivorship legislation. Hill meetings are easy and fun, and your efforts can make a difference!

You must register by Sunday, June 12, in order to participate in Hill Week meetings with your legislators.

NCCS will provide detailed information on the legislative ask with prerecorded videos. On July 11, there will be an opportunity to ask questions about survivorship legislation and the logistics of virtual meetings with your Members of Congress. In the coming weeks, we will send more information on Hill meeting scheduling and logistics.

Register for Free Below

If you have questions or concerns, please email Veronika Panagiotou, PhD at


Download the Agenda (PDF)

1:00 PM — Advocating for the Cancer Care Planning and Communications Act (H.R. 4414)

U.S. Representative Mark DeSaulnier   |   California’s 11th Congressional District

1:30 PM — Don’t Change Yourself for Other People: How Adolescents and Young Adults (AYAs) Living with Cancer Offer Advice to Other AYA Patients

Nick Iannarino, PhD   |   University of Michigan – Dearborn
Lauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC   |   University of Michigan School of Nursing
Emily B. Walling MD, MPHS   |   University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital

2:35 PM — Self-Care Matters: A Workshop Featuring Interactive Journaling and Discussions

Ta’lor L. Pinkston, LSW, MSW, BA   |   Founder and Creator, The Heart Advocate

Self-Care Matters will provide attendees with a foundational understanding of:

  • Self-care and the relationship to self-love described by Christine Arylo in Path of Self-Love.
  • An understanding of the “Six Ways to Take Care of Yourself” from The Heart Advocate.
  • The ability to identify individual Self-Care Needs.

All attendees are encouraged to bring a journal and something to write with to engage in the content.

3:35 PM — Advocate Hill Week Send-off with Congressman Raskin

U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin   |   Maryland’s 8th Congressional District

Speaker Bios

Lauren GhazalLauren Ghazal, PhD, FNP-BC, is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at University of Michigan School of Nursing. In addition to practicing clinically as a family nurse practitioner, she studies the survivorship needs of young adults with cancer, with a focus on work, financial toxicity, and other quality of life concerns.

Nick Iannarino, PhDNick Iannarino, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Health Communication at University of Michigan-Dearborn. He studies how people in close relationships manage the social experience of severe and chronic illness, particularly in the context of adolescent and young adult cancer.

Ta'lor L. Pinkston, LSW, MSWTa’lor L. Pinkston, LSW, MSW, BA, created The Heart Advocate to help all individuals choose self-love as a coping skill for mental health and healing. The Heart Advocate provides individual virtual self-love therapy and programs, hosts group workshops, presentations, and speaks about the importance of self-worth, self-love in mental health, and how to practice self-care. Ta’lor manages a virtual support group, Healing Over Everything (H.O.E.), a safe-space and community that supports its members to build self-worth, cope with mental health, and choose healing. You can find The Heart Advocate on social media, where she is sharing what self-love looks like.

Emily WallingEmily B. Walling MD, MPHS, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, at University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital. Dr. Walling founded and is the co-medical director of the Michigan Medicine Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program.

Mark DesaulnierFor the last eight years, Mark DeSaulnier has represented California’s 11th Congressional District, which covers almost all of Contra Costa County. He is a leader in Congress on the issues that matter most to California families, like guaranteeing a livable wage, affordable and accessible education, and ensuring government is accountable to the public.

Congressman DeSaulnier is one of only a few Members of Congress who serves on four House committees. CQ Roll Call said of him: “A day with DeSaulnier illustrates the breakneck schedules of one of the House’s busiest members.”Passing more than 60legislative efforts, he is an effective legislator who knows how to get things done.

As a member of the Education and Labor Committee, and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Congressman DeSaulnier is fighting for our workers and families. On the Oversight and Reform Committee, he focuses on holding private industry accountable to consumers and the government accountable to its citizens, and he was selected to serve on the Rules Committee where he has the opportunity to weigh in on major pieces of legislation before they are voted on by the House and where he was chosen by his colleagues to serve as Vice Chair of the Committee. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he continues his work to decrease congestion, improve our roads and bridges, and increase accountability for taxpayers.

Congressman DeSaulnier was a small business owner most of his career, including owning and operating TR’s restaurant in Concord, the city where he raised his two sons. He is an avid runner and has completed twenty-one marathons.Congressman DeSaulnier is also a cancer survivor.

Rep. Jamie RaskinCongressman Jamie Raskin proudly represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes Montgomery, Carroll, and Frederick Counties. Congressman Raskin was sworn into his third Term at the start of the 117th Congress on January 3, 2021.

This is Congressman Raskin’s third term serving on the House Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Committee on House Administration. This is his second term serving on the Rules Committee and the Coronavirus Select Subcommittee. He was also renamed Chair of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Chair of the Rules Subcommittee on Expedited Procedures for the 117th Congress.

Prior to his time in Congress, Raskin was a three-term State Senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate Majority Whip. He earned a reputation for building coalitions in Annapolis to deliver a series of landmark legislative accomplishments. He was also a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for more than 25 years. He authored several books, including the Washington Post best-seller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly-acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students, which has sold more than 50,000 copies.

Congressman Raskin is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is also a cancer survivor.