2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting: Day 1 Overview

Thank you to the hundreds of cancer center colleagues who participated in Day 1 of the 2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

On Saturday, September 30, the day before the annual meeting, AACI hosted two events: a series of panel discussions designed to prepare new cancer center directors for their leadership roles, and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summit, in partnership with the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Center DEI Network.

Today, following opening remarks and a brief business meeting, the annual meeting program started with a keynote presentation from Dr. Philip E. Castle, director of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP). He provided an update on DCP initiatives, focusing on the benefits and challenges of cancer prevention; screening, including multi-cancer detection; and symptom management and care.

Dr. Christopher Li, from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, then presented results of a national survey of DEI leaders that assessed strategies and challenges in enhancing diversity at cancer centers.

A panel discussion examined the impact on cancer centers of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent affirmative action ruling. It was led by AACI President-elect Dr. Robert A. Winn, who framed the discussion by asking, "How are we going to not only create the environment for DEI but also make sure that it’s not just a box to check?"

Kevin Williams, Esq., director of the National Institutes of Health Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, urged cancer center leaders to make sure that their DEI goals are measurable. For example, he said: We want to reduce the incidence of cancer in the Black community by 10 percent, so we are going to diversify our community outreach because people will listen to people who come from similar backgrounds.

A talk by the NCI Office of Cancer Centers Director Dr. Henry Ciolino included goals for the national cancer research enterprise and updates on NCI funding at AACI cancer centers.

The AACI Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) meeting looked at the divide between cancer centers and cancer service lines. The Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) also met today.

Day 1 closed with a Welcome Reception supported by Integra Connect.

Please join us tomorrow! Day 2 will feature Dr. Winn previewing his presidential initiative, aimed at working with cancer centers, universities, and other stakeholders to develop a "roadmap" for inclusive excellence. AACI will also honor eminent cancer center leaders and supporters with its Distinguished Scientist, Champion for Cures, Cancer Health Equity, and Public Service awards. Sessions will cover topics including new ways to enhance diversity at cancer centers, expanding the impact of global oncology, and the work of AACI's basic science cancer center members. 

AACI gratefully acknowledges support from the 2023 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting exhibitors and supporters.

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