October 20, 2000

Cancer Panel to meet in November

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Erin Wathen, 7, one of this year’s American Heart Association’s Heart Walk participants, runs with her brother Stephen, 11. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Cancer Panel to meet in November

Why don’t all Americans get the best available cancer care?

Identifying the answers to that question is the goal of a series of seven regional hearings being conducted across the country by the President’s Cancer Panel, a three-member body examining challenges to extending the highest quality cancer care to all Americans.

On November 16 and 17, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will host the Southeastern Regional Hearing, which will include Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands.

“If we do not bridge the persistent disconnect between the research and delivery enterprises, our progress against suffering and mortality from cancer will continue to be slow, uneven and incremental,” said Dr. Harold Freeman. Freeman is chairman of the panel and an authority on the disparities in cancer outcomes among America’s minorities and underserved populations. “The cancer problem in America is not just a scientific and medical issue, but a moral and ethical challenge that must be met.”

The session will include scheduled testimony on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and an “open-mike” town hall meeting, Thursday, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The public is welcome to attend all sessions and comments from the general public, particularly cancer survivors and caregivers, are sought during the town hall meeting.

The hearings and town hall meeting will be in Langford Auditorium.

The President’s Cancer Panel is an advisory group established by Congress that reports directly to the President of the United States on progress and problems in the effort to reduce the burden of cancer. Members serve three-year terms.

Other panelists are Dr. Dennis Slamon, chief of the division of Hematology/Oncology at UCLA; and Frances Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

For more information about the Southeastern hearings, call 615-936-5855, 1-800-4-CANCER, or visit www.pcpmeetings.org.