“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
– Margaret Mead
Did you know that the majority of the cancer patients in the US are treated at a community oncology practice, just like Cancer Center of Middle Georgia ?
Advocacy is the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.
“Action by a physician to promote those social, economic, educational, and political changes that ameliorate the suffering and threats to human health and well-being that he or she identifies through his or her professional work and expertise.”
– Dr. Earnest, 2010
It is not effective for us to sit back and let others who have not walked (or practiced) in our shoes tell us what regulations or policies are necessary in such a complex field such as community cancer care.
Community Oncology is especially vulnerable due to exponential increase in the cost of life saving drugs that pass through our system. Even small changes in reimbursements with poor understanding of the dynamics will have quick and disastrous effects.
Different levels of advocating for Community Cancer Care
Patient-level Advocacy is where physicians advocate for increased safety, quality and patient care initiatives. Every Physician does some extent of patient-level advocacy every day.
Legislative level Advocacy is reliance on legislative processes (Local, State, or Federal) as a strategy to educate lawmakers and create change for patients.
Dr. Vyas was named an Advocacy Champion by The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) during the society’s 2017 Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill for his efforts to communicate relevant rural healthcare issues with lawmakers. He is passionate about communicating the importance of preserving community oncology as the way to deliver personalized, high quality, affordable, cancer care close to home with lawmakers. He continues to engage the legislature on a regular basis on various issues important to community oncology.
Dr. Vyas is passionate about the cancer drug price affordability issue and has successfully lobbied for various laws both at the state and federal level in this matter. Dr. Vyas continues to engage key lawmakers on various issues associated with disruption of private care for the rural veteran.
The Cancer Center of Middle Georgia is an active member of the Community Oncology Alliance Patient Network (CPAN) and launched its CPAN Advocacy Patient Chapter in 2016. The Cancer Center CPAN Chapter and 25 other CPAN Chapters in the United States meet on a quarterly basis to discuss major topics that affect rural community cancer patients.
Dr. Vyas was instrumental in the opening of the CPAN patient advocacy chapter at his cancer center for engaging and providing a voice for the rural cancer patients on legislative issues. Dr. Vyas also serves in the Governmental Affairs and Policy (GAP) committee of the Community Oncology Alliance, which is a leading voice in driving community oncology policy in the nation.
Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for community oncology and increases awareness of policy issues affecting cancer care. CPAN complements the work of COA by being the hands and feet of patient advocacy. Cancer Center of Middle Georgia CPAN Chapter and 25 other CPAN Chapters in the United States meet on a quarterly basis to discuss major topics such as Fail-First Step Therapy, 340B, and Pharmacy Benefit Managers.