April 12: Cancer Care Teams and Advocates Gather in Washington for Largest Community Oncology Conference Ever

“Keeping Patients at Center” Theme Reflected Across 2018 COA Conference Business, Clinical, Pharmacy, and Advocacy Tracks

Keynote Speakers at 16th Annual Conference Include U.S. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD and NY Giants Linebacker Mark Herzlich

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) kicks off the 2018 Community Oncology Conference today, gathering nearly 1,500 attendees for the largest gathering of community oncology professionals ever.

The theme of the 2018 Community Oncology Conference, “Keeping Patients at the Center,” is reflected in the content across the business, clinical, pharmacy, and advocacy tracks. The oncologists, administrators, nurses, pharmacists, payers, industry leaders, and patient advocates will discuss how community oncology practices are focused on the needs of patients with cancer. This includes providing affordable, high quality, accessible cancer care in the communities where patients live and work.

“The fundamental goal of community oncology is to keep patients first as we provide them the best care possible,” said Jeff Vacirca, MD, FACP, CEO of NY Cancer Specialists and president of COA. “Balancing the many external and internal forces in community oncology and keeping our focus on what is best for patients, requires constant adaption and teamwork. The Community Oncology Conference is the place for community oncology professionals to keep current with all that it takes to do that.”

“The annual Community Oncology Conference is the premier national conference focused on the needs of community oncology practices. Every year the Community Oncology Conference enriches practices by sharing innovative solutions and unprecedented networking opportunities,” said Lucio Gordan, MD, director of medical informatics at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute and 2018 Community Oncology Conference co-chair. “Planned by community oncology for community oncology, the Conference is an opportunity for every member of the cancer care team – physicians, nurses, administrators, pharmacists, and others – to come together and exchange ideas that will ensure our patients remain at the center of everything we do.”

This is the 16th Community Oncology Conference and features two keynote speakers this year, including Scott Gottlieb, MD, the 23rd commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). In his remarks, Dr. Gottlieb discussed how the FDA is leveraging innovation such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Gottlieb announced the release of three new FDA Guidances on NGS and in vitro diagnostic development. This morning attendees also heard the inspiring story of Mark Herzlich. A member of the Super Bowl winning New York Giants football team, Herzlich is a survivor of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer and was treated in the community setting.

This year the Community Oncology Conference offers attendees a unique four track conference with in-depth, tailored content covering clinical, business, pharmacy, and patient advocacy topics. Sessions cover topics such as advances in immuno-oncology and CAR-T cell therapy, navigating MACRA and MIPS, and discussing lessons learned in the Oncology Care Model (OCM), all from the perspective of a community oncology practice. Sessions at the 2018 Community Oncology Conference are accredited as continuing education for physicians, nurses, and pharmacists.

Prior to the official start of the conference, nearly 100 advocates from 22 community oncology practices in 14 states were on Capitol Hill warning Congress of the dangers of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and negative impact they have on patients with cancer. Additionally, the COA Board of Directors met to discuss a variety of issues impacting patients and practices.

Presentations from the 2018 Community Oncology Conference: Keeping Patients at the Center will be posted online at www.COAConference.org. Follow along with the Conference on Twitter and Facebook using hashtag #COA2018.

2018-04-12T12:30:20+00:00