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Impactful 2020 Virtual Advocacy Summit: New Environment, Same Goals


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The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) held its first-ever virtual Advocacy Summit and online Week of Action September 9–18, 2020.

The largest Advocacy Summit to date, 170 ASCO volunteer leaders and oncology care providers participated in 200 virtual meetings with members of Congress and their staff to advocate for policies that would improve access to high-quality, equitable care for people with cancer, as well as ensure robust funding for cancer research.

Specifically, ASCO volunteers asked Members of Congress to support:

Aside from constituent meetings, during the event, ASCO presented its Congressional Champion for Cancer Care Award via video conference to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) in recognition of her exceptional commitment to bipartisan support for cancer research and treatment. Rep. DeLauro discussed how her experience as a cancer survivor motivates her work and fielded questions from the audience.

Immediate Past ASCO Government Relations Committee (GRC) Chair Melissa Dillmon, MD, also presented ASCO’s 2019 Advocate of the Year Award to current GRC Chair Carolyn Hendricks, MD, FASCO, for her important contributions and commitment to the Association’s advocacy efforts. ASCO advocates also heard from Keynote speaker Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections, who discussed the current state of the 2020 election in the United States.

During the online Week of Action, advocates across the country who did not participate in virtual meetings with Congressional offices used the ASCO ACT Network to contact their lawmakers and urge them to take action on the same issues that were discussed during the virtual constituent meetings. Participants sent more than 750 letters to lawmakers from 30 states—a doubling of the letters sent via the ACT Network during the 2019 Advocacy Summit.

ASCO members are still encouraged to send messages to their elected officials to urge them to support increased access to cancer care through the ASCO ACT Network. Additional policy and advocacy updates are available on ASCO in Action.

© 2020. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.


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