Community Cancer Care Advocacy Forums To Be Held In Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and Vital Options International will host the launch event for a series of Community Cancer Care Advocacy Day Forums. The event will be held in Washington, D.C. on October 24, 2012 and is open to the cancer care community at no charge. Invitations to attend have been sent to organizations within the cancer community including national and grassroots cancer organizations, oncology professionals, cancer center practice administrators, nurses, cancer survivors, and patients. These educational forums will address issues related to the crisis in community cancer care. While many organizations focus on finding a cure, the forum will focus on how those issues impact patient care.

Steering committee members for the launch event and the forum series include cancer survivors, advocates, and representatives from the Oncology Nursing Society, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, C-Change and the Cancer Support Community. The agenda for the first forum will include sessions on federal policies that impact cancer care, drug shortages, the changing landscape of cancer care and what it means for patients, how health care reform impacts cancer care, the medical home model for cancer care, oncology provider workforce forecast and the consequences for patient care, and palliative and hospice care.

"COA's mission is to preserve access to local affordable care for every cancer patient. The Community Cancer Care Advocacy Forums bring together the most knowledgeable leaders to discuss the issues affecting community cancer care," commented Rose Gerber, COA director of patient advocacy. "In a time of health care reform, looming massive cuts to reimbursement and increasing out-of-pocket costs to patients, this forum will enable discussions to protect and preserve cancer care and patient lives."

"For almost 30 years Vital Options has been helping patients understand their clinical options and how new research translates into hope and possibilities," said Selma Schimmel, Vital Options chief executive officer and founder. "The Advocacy Forum is the next step in addressing the many inter-connected issues facing cancer patients today."

Advocacy and educational support for the forums is provided in part by GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly Oncology, Millennium – the Takeda Oncology Company, Pfizer, Inc., and Teva Oncology. For more information or to register to attend the forum, go to

About Community Oncology Alliance (COA)
Formed in 2003 by community oncologists, COA is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to community oncology, where four out of five Americans with cancer are treated. COA has mobilized community oncology to become more politically active, and increased awareness on Capitol Hill about the community cancer care delivery system. Additionally, COA has brought together community oncology practices from across the country to share information in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer care they provide to their patients. COA also has a multi-stakeholder group involved with the implementation of the Oncology Medical Home, a cancer care model that fosters quality and value in cancer care. More information can be found at

The COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) was created in 2010 to advocate for access to local affordable care for all cancer patients. More information can be found at

About Vital Options
Founded in 1983 by Selma Schimmel, Vital Options began as the first psychosocial and advocacy organization specifically targeted to address the unique needs of young adults with cancer. For over a decade, Vital Options was a pioneering force for young adults with cancer between the ages of 17 through their early 40's. Hosting a robust distribution channel, Vital Options regularly collaborates with oncology organizations, professional societies, and the cancer advocacy community worldwide, to create and produce innovative content that teaches and inspires. More information can be found at

SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance