Moonshot Meeting
Left to right: Kristin Ferguson, Sue Schneider, Laurie Dohnalek, Deborah Mayer, Donald "Chip" Bailey, Brenda Nevidjon, Darcy Burbage

By: Laurie Dohnalek DNP, MBA, RN, NE-BC, CENP

In collaboration with the former President Obama’s health policy team and the National Cancer Moonshot, myself and several other members of ONS were invited to attend a community oncology event as part of the White House’s Making Health Care Better series. 

The event, “Addressing the Cancer Challenge: Progress in Research, Prevention, Coverage, and Quality,” took place at the White House complex on January 11, 2017. It was by invitation only from the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. 

The event highlighted the significant progress that has been made in improving the healthcare system over the past eight years. Discussions focused on improving innovation and access to quality cancer care in the community health setting through featured panels exploring the unique aspects of community oncology. This included conversations about cancer disparities, survivorship and support services, advancing clinical trials, new technology, and innovative models of care delivery in the community setting.

Several members attended, including ONS Chief Executive Officer, Brenda Nevidjon, RN, MSN, FAAN, ONS President, Susan Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, ACNS-BC, FAAN, Darcy Burbage, RN, MSN, AOCN®, CBCN, Kristen Ferguson, RN, MSN, OCN®, and myself. The participants of the discussion panels included physicians, nurses, social workers, and patient advocates in such roles as medical directors, chief officers, and vice presidents of many large cancer organizations. We were also joined by the chief of staff for the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force. 

ONS member, past ONS president, and National Cancer Institute Blue Ribbon Panel member, Deborah K. Mayer, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, was included in the panel discussion “Support Services and Cancer Survivorship.” Mayer has published almost 100 articles, numerous book chapters, and a number of lectures internationally on oncology and oncology nursing issues. The audience for this discussion included healthcare providers from across the country, who engaged in a lengthy Q&A session about survivorship and support services.

Overall, I found the event impressive and stimulating. It demonstrated the government’s investment in making a decade's worth of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in just five years. This opportunity was made possible through ONS and its commitment to public policy and oncology nursing advocacy.

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