The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and its advocacy organization the COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) together with North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates (NSHOA) launched a New York-based chapter for community cancer patient advocacy. The CPAN signature event “How to Become a Cancer Care Advocate” was held yesterday at the practice offices in Setauket, New York. CPAN is a nationally recognized patient advocacy group that utilizes the patient’s voice along with community oncologists, nurses and healthcare to advocate for access to local affordable care for all cancer patients. Rose Gerber, COA director of communications and patient advocacy, and representatives from NSHOA met with those interested in becoming advocates.
Presentations by Rose Gerber and NSHOA staff, Dr. Jeff Vacirca, North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates CEO, Michael Murray, director of development, and Nicole Cardaci Gregory, director of marketing, covered such topics as the advocacy role of patients, physicians and staff as well as an explanation of CPAN’s message and how CPAN will support local cancer advocacy efforts.
“One of the most critical issues facing community cancer care providers and patients is the survival of these providers who treat over 60% of all cancer patients,: said Rose Gerber of CPAN. “Patients and physicians in Setauket and the surrounding communities provide the local perspective on the impact of national healthcare policy issues.”
“Our cancer patients realize too well how decisions made at the national level impact their care,” said practice administrator Nicole Cardaci Gregory. “This knowledge makes them strong advocates to protect access to affordable care for all cancer patients.”