In his last state of the union address of his presidency, on January 12, President Obama announced a new “moonshot” funding plan and asked Vice President Biden to lead the initiative to eliminate cancer as we know it. Some of us remember the original moonshot funding request made by President Kennedy, almost 55 years ago, to put a man on the moon before the decade ended and other initiatives. The National Cancer Moonshot goal is to achieve a decade’s worth of advances in five years. Critical to this happening is the elimination of siloes.
During the weeks that followed the announcement, we received many emails about nursing needing to be on the task force and asking what ONS was doing. Staff began work on this immediately upon hearing President Obama’s speech because we knew how important it was for nurses to be part of this collaborative effort. You may recall that ONS President-Elect Susan Schneider, PhD, RN, AOCN®, FAAN, and I participated in one of Biden’s roundtables in February. How Sue and I came to be invited to the Duke Medical Center roundtable was a combination of relationships, timing, and asking.
The door was opened for ONS to work with the vice president’s office on this initiative. Biden values nurses as he and his family have had an intimate view of what nurses do. We have continued to support the work of his office and the National Cancer Institute on Moonshot Initiative activities. We recommended some of our nurse researchers for the National Cancer Advisory Board Blue Ribbon Panel and look forward to the announcement of the panel.
We also have recommended nurses for the National Moonshot roundtables at organizations across the country. Kathi Mooney, PhD, RN, FAAN, made outstanding contributions to the Huntsman Cancer Institute roundtable in Salt Lake City, UT, and Christine Miaskowski, RN, PhD, FAAN, on the University of California, San Francisco, one. Additionally, in March ONS President Margaret Barton-Burke, PhD, RN, FAAN, led a conference call with 90 oncology nurse researchers to develop the linkages of their research to National Cancer Moonshot priorities.
By promoting members as participants in the various Cancer Moonshot activities, we have been working for you and, most importantly, for your patients.