ASCO Advocacy Summit Week of Action is April 15-19; Contact Lawmakers Regarding Cancer Care and Research Priorities

April 9, 2024

The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is holding its annual Advocacy Summit Week of Action from April 15-19, during which ASCO members are encouraged to connect with their Members of Congress about policies and legislation that impact cancer care and research. Participants may visit the ACT Network to contact their lawmakers and urge them to take action on the following issues:

  • Help end drug shortages by acting to address the economic factors that drive generic manufacturers out of the market, reward reliable U.S. manufacturing of critical and supportive medications, recognize potential shortages earlier by increasing the Food and Drug Administration’s visibility into the supply chain, and relay information about potential shortages to health systems and providers earlier to help them prepare for and mitigate possible supply challenges.
  • Support federally funded cancer research by providing robust funding for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency Health for fiscal year 2025.
  • Permanently expand telehealth flexibilities in Medicare by cosponsoring the CONNECT for Health Act (S. 2016 / H.R. 4189). The bill would permanently extend the telehealth flexibilities put in place for Medicare services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.

The Week of Action will be held in conjunction with the annual ASCO Advocacy Summit, April 16-17, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. During the event, oncology care providers from across the United States will meet with Members of Congress and their staff to advocate for the Association’s advocacy priorities.

During the Advocacy Summit, ASCO will present the “Congressional Champion for Cancer Care Award,” which acknowledges Members of Congress who champion policies to improve research and care delivery for people with cancer. This year, ASCO recognizes Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) for their work leading the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) in a strong bipartisan manner and their ongoing commitment to funding cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute.

ASCO will also present the “Advocate of the Year” award to an Association member who has demonstrated exceptional advocacy efforts on behalf of their patients and cancer care teams. This year, ASCO recognizes Jason Westin, MD, MS, FACP, of Houston, TX. Dr. Westin is an invaluable advocate for the Association’s advocacy priorities. He has firsthand experience running for Congress in 2017, which he brings to his extensive volunteer work with ASCO. This work includes his role as an inaugural member of the ASCO Association PAC Advisory Council, and his five years of service on ASCO’s Government Relations Committee, which includes three years in committee leadership, with one year as committee chair.

In 2023, Dr. Westin represented oncology professionals from around the country in his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on the ongoing drug shortages crisis, demonstrating that he has become a trusted resource for lawmakers and their staff on how policies will impact patients with cancer in their districts and states. In addition to his Congressional testimony, Dr. Westin contacted his lawmakers via the ACT Network and participated in the 2023 ASCO Advocacy Summit and federal agency meetings on behalf of the Association. He also actively engaged lawmakers on social media and contributed to the ASCO Association PAC—all of which underscores his commitment to advancing the Association’s cancer policy priorities through advocacy.

Please use the hashtag #ASCOAdvocacySummit on social media to lend your voice to the conversation and to see photos and updates from the event. You can also sign our open letter urging policymakers to address drug shortages.

Bookmark ASCO in Action for updates on all of ASCO’s advocacy efforts.