The Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+) is pleased to join the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC), one of the nation's leading oncology policy and advocacy coalitions. Formed in 1993, the CLC is composed of dozens of patient advocacy organizations, professional societies, and research groups dedicated to ensuring that cancer patients have access to high-quality care. Issues of ongoing concern to the CLC include: (1) initiatives to enhance the quality of cancer care; (2) development of appropriate systems of care for cancer survivors; (3) implementation of healthcare reform; (4) adequate funding for biomedical research; (5) appropriate third-party coverage of cancer therapies; and (6) improvements in the process for approval of new anticancer therapies. Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG, AONN+ Co-Founder and Program Director, said, "I am very excited about AONN+ joining this coalition, particularly at this time when so much needs to be accomplished to support cancer patients today. Our goals are well-aligned to one another's, and I am a firm believer when purpose and passion meet, extraordinary things will happen. We are proud to have joined the Cancer Leadership Council."
AONN+ took action to become a member of the CLC at a time of growth for the organization. The AONN+ Policy and Advocacy Committee was launched in 2018 with a goal of utilizing legislative, regulatory, and policy advocacy to protect and promote the practice of oncology patient navigation to best serve individuals and families impacted by cancer. The goals of the committee are to: (1) promote access to comprehensive, timely, affordable, and high-quality cancer care for all patients through public policy and grassroots advocacy; (2) identify policy opportunities to advance the patient navigation profession; (3) develop grassroots tools and encourage AONN+ members to engage in policy advocacy; and (4) work with allied organizations on policy issues of common interest.
The AONN+ Policy and Advocacy Committee is chaired by Elizabeth Franklin, Executive Director of the Cancer Policy Institute at the Cancer Support Community, who said, "AONN+ is in a unique position as nurse and patient navigators understand the day-to-day policy barriers facing cancer patients. We are thrilled to amplify our collective voice as members of the Cancer Leadership Council and bring the navigation perspective to advocacy discussions."