Society of Utah Medical Oncologists Honored During Annual Meeting

State Affiliate Receives 2023 Jeffery C. Ward Affiliate Advocacy Award
June 3, 2024
Award being presented to Society of Utah Medical Oncologists

Dr. Everett E. Vokes presents Dr. Xylina Gregg, SUMO past president, with the Jeffery C. Ward Affiliate Advocacy Award.

In recognition of its members' exceptional advocacy efforts, the Society of Utah Medical Oncologists (SUMO) has been awarded the 2023 Jeffery C. Ward Affiliate Advocacy Award.

ASCO presented the Jeffery C. Ward Affiliate Advocacy Award at the State Affiliates’ Reception on June 2, 2024, during the Annual Meeting. The award is bestowed annually and recognizes state affiliates that cultivate a strong partnership with ASCO to advance shared advocacy priorities at both the state and federal levels.

In 2023, SUMO's numerous achievements included organizing an advocacy day at the Utah State Capitol, leveraging the ACT Network, participating in the ASCO Advocacy Summit, and joining multiple sign-on letters on issues important to the profession.

Most notably, SUMO members successfully championed a joint resolution expanding fertility preservation coverage for state employees enrolled in the Public Employees Health Plan (PEHP). They testified during committee hearings, worked diligently with bill author Representative Ray Ward, and met with staff from the state’s PEHP, which led to the resolution, HJR 8, taking effect in March of 2023.

Additionally, SUMO President Dr. Marc Nuttall spoke at a press briefing supporting legislation banning copay accumulator programs and met with the bill’s sponsor. SUMO also engaged at the federal level by taking action via the ACT Network, participating in the ASCO Advocacy Summit, and joining multiple sign-on letters throughout 2023.

The 2023 runner-up is the Michigan Society of Hematology and Oncology (MSHO), honored for its efforts to pass oral parity legislation. MSHO members successfully helped pass HB 4071, a bill that has long been a priority for the society. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill into law with MSHO members in attendance.

This year’s honorable mention is the Indiana Oncology Society for its efforts to enact a drug repository bill, HB 1017, which included members testifying at committee hearings and hosting a dinner with state legislators.

ASCO thanks all state affiliates for their collaboration and partnership in advocating for high-quality, patient-centered cancer care.

The Jeffery C. Ward Affiliate Advocacy Award was established to honor the legacy of Dr. Ward, a former president and board member of the Washington State Medical Oncology Society, who was instrumental in establishing ASCO’s State Affiliate Council in 2012.

Want to get more involved in your state affiliate? Join your state affiliate here or connect on the State Society Network. Examples of advocacy collaboration include state affiliates encouraging members to use the ACT Network, joining sign-on letters, amplifying ASCO’s messages on social media, and hosting ASCO advocacy speakers at state society meetings.

For questions about the Jeffery C. Ward Affiliate Advocacy Award, contact Ryan Strandlund, ASCO Grassroots Advocacy Specialist.