'Hoping for a Cure, Advocating for Care': COA's Patient Advocacy Initiative


COA’s head of patient advocacy discusses the role of self-advocacy in survivorship and receiving quality, affordable, accessible cancer care.

Patient advocacy is an integral part of survivorship. The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) has a mission to help patients with cancer advocate for better community oncology practices so these patients can receive “quality, affordable and accessible cancer care.” The non-profit organization represents independent community cancer centers across the United States.

Rose Gerber, director of patient advocacy and education for COA and a 15-year cancer survivor, discussed the role of advocacy when it comes to ensuring patients receive top quality cancer care. Gerber also discussed the Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN), a division of COA created to raise awareness about the impact of public policy on patients with cancer and the issues affecting local cancer centers.

“Our focus is on the care,” said Gerber. “We support the cure and we advocate for the care. A lot of patients do not realize that where they’re getting their cancer treatment is a really important part of cancer survivorship.”

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