Coordinating Care and Resources in an Era of Economic and Administrative Challenges

Coordinating Care and Resources in an Era of Economic and Administrative Challenges

Jonathan S. Berek, MD, MMedSc, FASCO

Oct 19, 2015

Dear Colleagues:

As the Society dedicated to clinical oncology, ASCO has long featured a number of tools and programs to help members deliver the highest-quality care to patients. Now all of these practice-enhancing resources are under one roof.

In our cover story, we are pleased to introduce you to ASCO’s newest department—the Clinical Affairs Department—which was three years in the making. At its helm is former ASCO Board of Directors member Stephen S. Grubbs, MD, who until recently was Managing Partner at Medical Oncology Hematology Consultants, in Delaware, and Principal Investigator of the Delaware Christiana Care National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program.

He brings 31 years of community practice experience to this new ASCO initiative, which is in the process of expanding and coordinating tools and services to assist oncology practices in an era of ever-growing economic and administrative challenges.

We also report on another concern that ASCO is confronting and one that directly affects oncology practices and the welfare of patients—the growing trend in the commercial sphere to purposefully create barriers to the interoperability of electronic health records, including information blocking. Read more about this and ASCO’s efforts to alert Congress and educate political leaders on the importance of coordinating and sharing “big data.”

Palliative care in oncology continues to be an important topic, and in two separate articles, we provide insight into areas where more efforts on this front are needed: 1) improving palliative care in resource-challenged regions, and 2) ensuring and promoting palliative care education during fellowship.

In this month’s Current Controversies article on hepatic arterial infusion and stereotactic body radiation therapy for the treatment of unresectable colorectal liver-only metastases, two leading experts, Dr. Nancy Kemeny, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Dr. Sarah E. Hoffe, Section Head of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, debate the current role and benefits of these treatment options. ASCO Connection Editorial Board member Dr. Stephen Leong provides the context for this debate in his introduction.

Also, don’t miss the slate of ASCO’s distinguished candidates for the 2016 election. Detailed information about these candidates will be available on beginning on October 28. The Society needs your input by way of your vote to help determine the priorities for the oncology community in the years to come.

As always, thank you for reading.



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