Preparing for the Challenges Ahead

Aug 26, 2014

An interview with ASCO President-Elect Julie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO

Julie M. Vose, MDJulie M. Vose, MD, MBA, FASCO, began her term as ASCO President-Elect a tthe 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting, and she will serve as ASCO President in 2015-2016. Her early interest in oncology was piqued while spending summers and school breaks working with her father, a pathologist, in his laboratory. Today, she is the Neumann M. and Mildred E. Harris Professorial Chair and Chief of the Oncology/Hematology Division in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the Associate Director of Clinical Research and Co-Chair of the Lymphoma Program at the Fred and Pamela Buffet Cancer Center.

AC: How did you react when youlearned that you had been selectedas President-Elect?
Dr. Vose:
I was honored to be electedby ASCO as the President-Elect andexcited to represent the Society. It’sexciting that ASCO has had presidentsfrom many different backgrounds anddifferent parts of the country, offeringa variety of viewpoints—it makes theSociety very diverse.

AC: What unique perspectives andexperiences do you bring to theBoard of Directors?
Dr. Vose:
Women in medicine, andspecifically in oncology, represent avery important perspective. I’m fromthe Midwest, where we are challengedin caring for rural patients, who sometimestravel for hours to receive theircancer care. Access to care and clinicalresearch throughout the country is animportant issue for me. My specialty islymphoma and multiple myeloma, soI hope to improve the education andinformation available throughout ASCOaround the hematologic malignancies.

AC: What are some issues on whichyou hope to have an impact duringyour time in ASCO leadership?
Dr. Vose:
The biggest issue is harnessinginformation. Information is thekey to oncology care, research, andeducation, and ASCO’s CancerLinQ™will help us collect information frompatients treated every day. It will helpus confirm data from our clinical trialsand expand our knowledge of patientpopulations who aren’t commonly representedin clinical trials. We want tomake the data currently locked awayin medical records available to everyoncologist for their use in patient care.I’m very interested in clinical research.The return on investment from cancerresearch is invaluable for current andfuture patients. It will be important tomake sure that our clinical researchsystems are streamlined, efficient,and productive, while using our limitedresources wisely. Similarly, we wantto be sure we’re using our resourcesto provide high-value oncology care,improving the quality of care, survival,and enhancing our patient’s lives.Another area we must consider is thelimited number of oncologists andthe increasing number of oncologypatients as predicted by ASCO’s WorkforceAdvisory Group. We need to formour oncology teams wisely so that ourpatients receive appropriate, efficientcare and the best possible treatmentfor their disease.

AC: You’ve served on a number ofASCO committees since you joined in1991. What experience has been thehighlight of your volunteer service?
Dr. Vose:
The biggest highlight wasserving as Chair of the Cancer EducationCommittee in 1997, fairly early inmy career. It opened my eyes to themany aspects of ASCO as a professionalorganization and its wonderfulvolunteers. I realized that ASCOprovides a vast number of services tooncologists throughout the world, andsaw the power ASCO has to improvethe care of patients with cancer.

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