Two Fellows Selected for ASCO’s Inaugural Health Policy Fellowship Program

Aug 18, 2016

ASCO has selected two physicians for its new Health Policy Fellowship, which began accepting applications in October 2015.

Robert M. Daly, MD, MBA, and Steve Y. Lee, MD, were selected as fellows for the first year of the program, which runs from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017. The program, aimed at oncologists in the early phases of their careers, is designed for physicians who possess a keen interest in health policy and who want to develop their civic, policy, or advocacy experience and skills in order to shape cancer policy.

“Dr. Daly and Dr. Lee exemplify the policy-focused early-career oncologists ASCO sought for this new program,” said ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO. “We are eager to witness their development into effective advocates who can strategically advance public policies that support cancer research and the delivery of high-quality care at the federal, state, and local levels.”

The ASCO fellowship program has several components, including:

  • Active participation in policy development for high-impact issues in oncology;
  • Small-group teaching sessions delivered by ASCO professionals and qualified volunteers on topics such as the Congressional authorization/ appropriation process, U.S. Food and Drug Administration organization and regulatory authority, drug and device approval processes, and payment reform initiatives;
  • Training in communication and leadership skills, as well as advocacy strategies; and
  • A mentored research project that advances or leverages an ASCO policy initiative.

Dr. Robert M. Daly

Dr. Daly is currently the chief fellow in the Section of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine, where he also serves on the Fellowship Program Evaluation Committee and in the Cancer Outcomes and Policy Workgroup. His clinical interest is in thoracic and breast medical oncology.

While working as a consultant for Partners HealthCare International in Mumbai, India, assisting The Humsafar Trust—one of India’s largest nongovernmental organizations dedicated to providing health care, including HIV/ AIDS services, to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community— Dr. Daly first became exposed to and interested in health policy and advocacy work. He worked with the trust to expand its reach and secure funding to achieve its ambitious health and advocacy goals.

Dr. Daly continued to develop this passion for health policy and advocacy work during his fellowship under the mentorship of Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MBBS, FACP, FASCO, of the University of Chicago, investigating the racial survival disparity in breast cancer. They explored how tumor biology and genomics, along with delays, misuse, and underuse of treatment for black patients, collide to create this disparity and how health policy can be used to close this gap. In collaboration with Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society, Dr. Daly and Dr. Olopade have now published several columns from their original paper for dissemination to a larger audience of breast cancer health care providers, patients, and advocates, with the goal of educating a broad audience about how to test and implement effective strategies to reduce cancer disparities.

Dr. Daly has researched health policy issues related to quality in cancer care delivery. He received a Merit Award at the 2016 ASCO Quality Care Symposium and presented an oral abstract of his work on investigating whether terminal oncology intensive care unit hospitalizations can be avoided.

Dr. Steve Y. Lee

Dr. Lee is a fellow in hematology and medical oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center. He is serving as a delegate (resident/fellow) to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates for the 2016-2017 term and a Resident/Fellow Chair to the New York County Medical Society. Additionally, he is a member of the AMA Resident and Fellow Section Standing Committee on Long-Range Planning, and he recently completed his term as a Resident/ Fellow Vice-Chair to the Medical Society of the State of New York.

Dr. Lee’s experience with health policy began in medical school through membership in the AMA. As the elected governing council delegate of the AMA’s Medical Student Section in 2010—and the de facto national policy Chair for AMA students—he had the opportunity to mobilize thousands of medical students into lobbying their federal legislators locally and in Washington, DC, in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In 2011, he received formal training in political advocacy, participating in the AMA Political Action Committee Campaign School, and he used those skills to work as a Boston-area volunteer for a political campaign. As a current fellow at NYU, he is looking forward to applying the insights he will gain from the yearlong Health Policy Fellowship to help his peers to better advocate for the regulatory elements that affect patient care.

The application period for the 2017-2018 program will open in October 2016. Visit for more details.

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