Atlanta, GA –Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University was among only ten cancer centers around the country to hold a regional Cancer Moonshot Summit on Wednesday, June 29 at the same time that Vice President Biden spoke and convened a session in Washington, DC.
The regional summit included a panel discussion following the Vice President’s remarks.
Dr. Sagar Lonial introduced the panelists:
Dr. Pamela Rosell is Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region 4 which includes eight Southeastern states and six federally recognized tribes. She has two decades of experience in health care policy, public administration and gerontology.
Dr. Richard Wender is Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society. He is responsible for overseeing and guiding the national and global cancer control programs of ACS including cancer screening, tobacco control, access to care and quality of life. For 34 years he served a family physician in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Dr. Wally Curran is Executive Director of Winship Cancer Institute, Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and group chairman and principal investigator of NRG Oncology. He is an international expert in advanced lung cancer and malignant brain tumors.
Chris Draft is an international Health Advocate and former Atlanta Falcon linebacker who played 13 years in the NFL including time with the Bears, Panthers, Rams, Bills and Redskins. He started the Chris Draft Family Foundation in 2006. In December 2010, Draft’s wife, Keasha, was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Standing side by side at their wedding on November 27, 2011, the Drafts launched a new CDFF initiative, Team Draft.
Team Draft is dedicated to raising lung cancer awareness and increasing badly needed research funding by shattering the misconception that lung cancer is a “smoker’s disease.” The fact is anybody can get lung cancer. Yet, despite the fact that between 20,000 and 30,000 people who have never smoked—including Keasha—are diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States each year, the smoking stigma negatively impacts lung cancer research funding, which pales in comparison to funding for other major cancers and diseases. Team Draft is out to change all that.
The panelists were asked a few questions:
-In a minute or two please tell the audience why the Cancer Moonshot is important to you and your organization.
-If you had a chance to meet personally with the Vice President what would you tell him about setting priorities for the Cancer Moonshot?
-Several of our roundtables discussions will focus on access to care and health disparities. What are some of the limitations facing the underserved populations and how can the Cancer Moonshot initiative address the needs?
-The Vice President has talked about unleashing the power of big data in his Cancer Moonshot. We have three tables devoted to this topic today…what do you think are some of the biggest challenges?
The goal of the Cancer Moonshot is to double the rate of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care over the next five years and to ultimately end cancer as we know it. These regional summits will be the first time that individuals and organizations representing the entire cancer community will join the national charge to accelerate progress against cancer.
We are honored to have been invited to participate in one of only ten regional summits kicking off Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot. Team Draft is proud to be a part of this exciting and important initiative to eradicate cancer as we know it in our lifetime.