Patients and Physicians at Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York launch National Cancer Advocacy Group Chapter

COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) Chapter to Advocate for Local, generic Accessible, stuff and Affordable Cancer Care for All in New York

East Syracuse residents have a new group dedicated to advocating for local, accessible, and affordable cancer care in their community. Today patients and leaders from the Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York (HOACNY) in East Syracuse, NY came together to launch a local chapter of the COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN), the national patient network of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA).

The CPAN chapter gives patients a prominent voice alongside their oncologists, nurses, and other health care professionals, in efforts to support the cancer care system.

“The patient voice is a critical part of discussions about America’s cancer care system. After all, patients are the ones most affected by changes that impact access to local, affordable cancer care. Unfortunately, it is often missing or overlooked by policymakers,” said Rose Gerber, director of patient advocacy and education at COA. “Thanks to the leadership of HOACNY, New York cancer patients, family members, and survivors now have access to a powerful, national advocacy network.

CPAN is a nationally recognized patient advocacy group that utilizes the patient’s voice along with other health care professionals in the community to advocate for access to local affordable care for all cancer patients. There are active CPAN chapters across the country and advocates are regularly in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill talking to Congress about the importance of the community oncology system, where the majority of American’s with cancer are treated.

“At Hematology Oncology Associates of Central New York, we are committed to both high quality patient care as well as educating our community on cancer care issues,” said Rebekah Gilbert, RN, BSN, OCN, COA’s Patient Advocacy leader in Central New York. “As a nurse I work with patients on a daily basis and I am excited to lead this local advocacy effort to help our patients understand how national issues impact their local care.”

The chapter launch included presentations by Hematology Oncology Associates of Central New York’s Marsha DeVita, RN, MS, NP, AOCN, Chief Clinical Officer; Anthony Scalzo, MD.; and Rebekah Gilbert and Rose Gerber, who discussed why patients should become cancer care advocates, how physicians advocate for patients, and how national policy issues affect local cancer care.