Empowering State Oncology Societies to Advocate for Clinicians and Cancer Patients with Stephanie Van Winkle

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ms. Stephanie Van Winkle, Executive Director of the Oncology State Societies at the Association for Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), sat down with Oncology Data Advisor to discuss how the oncology state societies and the Association for Community Cancer Centers empower legislative advocacy work.  

This podcast episode was recorded live at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago by Oncology Data Advisor and ConveyMed.

Oncology Data Advisor: Hello, I’m Beth Heller, and I’m here today with Oncology Data Advisor at ASCO 2022.

Stephanie Van Winkle: I’m Stephanie Van Winkle, and I’m Executive Director of Oncology State Societies at the Association for Community Cancer Centers.

Oncology Data Advisor: What are you doing here at ASCO?

Stephanie Van Winkle: My organization manages 21 of the state oncology societies across the country, and we are part of the state affiliate program of ASCO. So if you walk into the exhibit hall, ASCO has a state affiliate booth at the front of the exhibit hall, and they invite all of the state affiliates to represent themselves at the ASCO state affiliate booth.

Oncology Data Advisor: How many states do you have representing themselves here at ASCO this year?

Stephanie Van Winkle: We have our 21 states being represented, and there are also executive directors, I think, from probably about six or seven other states that are here. So all told, we have close to 30 of the state societies represented.

Oncology Data Advisor: What do the state societies do at the ASCO Annual Meeting?

Stephanie Van Winkle: It depends on the state society. I’ll give you one example. Wisconsin is one of the states that we work with, and they actually hosted a reception last night because Wisconsin has so many ASCO attendees. So you’ll see activities like that happen. We also have Iowa; the Iowa Oncology Society had a poster presentation talking about a project they did on genetic counseling. So it just depends on how many members of the state society are here. But we try to meet with as many of our board presidents and members while we’re here as we can, so we invite them to come to our booth.

Oncology Data Advisor: Great. And what does your organization do to help your board presidents?

Stephanie Van Winkle: We do a variety of things. We have a program that we just launched a couple of years ago called Leaders in Oncology, and that is really to help equip our board leaders to be leaders of an oncology society and look at different aspects of membership development and membership engagement. We also do a lot of work to really help empower our state societies around legislative advocacy work. So we just work with them in a variety of areas. We also have worked with our boards to really look at how they can truly represent cancer care within their state. Many of our boards not only include ASCO members, but we also have Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) members and members from other organizations like the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) on many of our state society boards.

Oncology Data Advisor: What do you think are the biggest issues for the boards to address this year in cancer?

Stephanie Van Winkle: I think one of the most pressing issues for our boards are some of the access issues related to prior authorizations, some of the regulations that they’re really being hit with around step therapy. The administrative burden for them as practitioners and also the freedom to practice the type of medicine they want to practice and make the clinical decisions is becoming more and more difficult, really, in many of our states. So that has come front and center as an issue that our states want to address, and really have their voice be heard both legislatively and also with payers around some of the implications of some of these regulations to them as clinicians.

Oncology Data Advisor: This is great. I’ve been hearing a lot in the meeting sessions where clinicians are asking, “We now have this promising clinical trial data, but will I actually be able to give this to my patients?” And it seems that many of the clinicians are frustrated by the payer system.

Stephanie Van Winkle: Yes, and I think there are a lot of areas that need to be addressed. I think what we’re finding with the states is the state societies can act as that vehicle for clinicians in the state to have their voices be heard. We’re also partnering in many of our states with the American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, and other advocacy organizations to really bring in the voice of the patient as well, because that’s an important aspect to this. The reimbursement issues, copay accumulators, have come up as an issue in many of our states, and they’re impacting patient care.

Oncology Data Advisor: Yes. Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Stephanie Van Winkle: if anyone wants more information on any of the states that ACCC manages, you can go to Oncology State Societies at ACCC and you can look at the states that we manage. And then also any of the other state affiliates are also on the ASCO website. So if you want information about a state society within your state, go to the ASCO website or the ACCC website.

Oncology Data Advisor: And we should also encourage all clinicians to join their state society.

Stephanie Van Winkle: And to be part of their state society. Absolutely.

Oncology Data Advisor: Thanks.

Stephanie Van Winkle: Thank you.

Thank you for listening to this podcast recorded live at the 2022 ASCO Annual Meeting by Oncology Data Advisor and ConveyMed. For more expert perspectives on the latest in cancer research and treatment, be sure to subscribe to the podcast at conveymed.io and oncdata.com. Don’t forget to follow us on social media for news, exclusive interviews, and more.

About Stephanie Van Winkle

Stephanie Van Winkle is the Executive Director of Oncology State Societies at the Association for Community Cancer Centers and at (c) Management, Inc. Ms. Van Winkle oversees educational programming initiatives and administrative operations with oncology leaders across the country for 21 oncology state societies. She has more than 20 years of leadership experience in the private and non-profit sectors and has led strategic alliances with the Commission on Cancer and medical professional organizations in her 12 years with the American Cancer Society.

For More Information

Association of Community Cancer Centers (2022). Available at: https://www.accc-cancer.org/

Association of Community Cancer Centers (2022). Oncology State Societies of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Available at: https://www.accc-cancer.org/state-societies/ossn

Association of Community Cancer Centers (2022). Leaders in Oncology. Available at: https://www.accc-cancer.org/state-societies/leaders-in-oncology

Iowa Oncology Society (2022). Available at: https://www.accc-cancer.org/state-societies/Iowa/ios-ia-homepage

Megally S, Obinna Nwaneri M, Kim J et al (2022). Building a multidisciplinary consortium in Iowa to advanced genetic counseling and testing in patients with cancer [poster presentation]. J Clin Oncol (ASCO Annual Meeting Abstracts),40(suppl_16). Abstract 10609. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.10609

Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oncology Data Advisor. 

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