News and Publications

Vote in ASTRO elections; First DEI session tomorrow; Leadership Pipeline accepting applications

June 9, 2021

ASTRO 2021 elections open today, submit your vote
ASTRO's 2021 official elections are now open! Voting began at 12:00 p.m. Eastern time today and will remain open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, July 9. To view the nominees and access the ballot, visit www.astro.org/Vote and log in with your email address and password. The ballot and instructions will appear once you log in. If you need assistance with your login information, please send an email to membership@astro.org. Voting is conducted through a secure, online system that ensures the authenticity and secrecy of your ballot.

Ask Congress to fix prior authorization
A bipartisan bill that would take the first steps in fixing the burdensome prior authorization system has been introduced by Representatives Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN) and Ami Bera, MD (D-CA). H.R. 3173, the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021, would establish an electronic prior authorization process for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries designed to provide a more transparent and streamlined system. These changes would help prevent delays in care that unfairly burden the patient and restrict physicians from exercising their clinical judgement. To ask your representative to co-sponsor H.R. 3173, visit astro.org/advocate.

Join us tomorrow for a free session on insurance disparities and access to care
We’re kicking off the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Radiation Oncology (DEIinRO) social education series with an important discussion on the topics of insurance disparities and access to cancer care. Join our host and panel of experts for a one-hour virtual discussion streamed live on YouTube and Vimeo on Thursday, June 10, at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time. Registration is not required, and your active engagement and questions are requested! The link to join the session will be posted on the ASTRO website the day of the event. A recording will be available at the conclusion of the session and may also be found on the DEIinRO webpage.

Leadership Pipeline Program accepting applications for 2021-2022 class
The application period for the next class of Leadership Pipeline Program participants is now open! The ASTRO Leadership Pipeline Program is a career development program focused on increasing diversity among ASTRO leadership. The two-year program is designed to develop the next generation of ASTRO leaders. In the first year, participants learn about ASTRO’s structure and start building their networks by joining a committee and working on a project. In year two, participants report out on their project to the Board of Directors and serve as liaisons for the entering class. The deadline to apply to be a participant for the 2021-22 term is Friday, August 27. For questions about the Leadership Pipeline Program, please email Mingo Grant.

Evolving threats in cybersecurity and radiation oncology: A present danger and a call for manuscripts
Citing a series of ransomware attacks on U.S. health care systems, authors Robert C. Miller, MD, MBA, FASTRO, and Faustin Laurentiu Roman, MsC, illustrate some of the cyber threats facing health care systems. ASTRO’s Advances in Radiation Oncology invites submissions on how providers and institutions are meeting these challenges. Learn more about this timely subject, and how to submit a manuscript, in a recent post on the ASTRO blog.

June is National Cancer Survivor Month: Ask your patients to inspire others with their stories
Patients and their caregivers have compelling stories to tell, and ASTRO’s RT Answers provides a forum for their voices. In National Cancer Survivor Month, we encourage you to ask your patients and their caregivers to share their personal experience with cancer on the Patient Stories section on RT Answers. Their stories support and inspire others fighting cancer and help communicate the importance of access to treatments and quality care.

Register for Advocacy Day 2021 before it’s too late!
Spots are filling up fast for ASTRO’s Virtual Advocacy Day, taking place on July 22-23. This virtual event provides participants the opportunity to learn more about the legislative priorities of the radiation oncology community and engage directly with federally elected officials and their staff. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to attend virtual networking events to connect with ASTRO colleagues. To register, visit astro.org/AdvocacyDay.

Small Business Administration launches new grant program
The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched a $100 million grant program through the American Rescue Plan Act that aims to provide financial assistance to small businesses during this economic recovery. The Community Navigator Pilot Program will specifically target businesses owned by people of color, women, veterans and those in rural communities. For more, see What’s Happening in Washington. 

ASTRO supports call to make May 2021 National Cancer Research Month
An ASTRO-supported resolution, Senate Res. 253, that would recognize May 2021 as National Cancer Research Month was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). ASTRO joined 44 organizations representing cancer patients, researchers and treatment providers in sending a letter of support to the senators and thanking them for their work to increase awareness of the vital role of cancer research in the lives of those impacted by the disease. For more information, see What’s Happening in Washington.

North Eastern Michigan Cancer Center Network earns APEx accreditation
Congratulations to North Eastern Cancer Center, located in Alpena, Michigan, for recently completing ASTRO's APEx - Accreditation Program for Excellence®. To be fully accredited, a facility must meet a majority of the APEx standards in a satisfactory manner, and the accreditation status is valid for four years. View a list of accredited facilities, and contact ASTRO staff for additional information on the APEx program.