Earlier this week, cancer center administrators and staff gathered for the 2019 Cancer Center Administrators’ Forum. Hosted by the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, the conference took place in Minneapolis, the hometown of pop musician Prince. The musically-themed conference was an opportunity for administrators to collaborate and learn from one another’s challenges, solutions and best practices.
The weekend kicked off with Forte’s pre-conference workshop “We Can Work It Out: Using Technology for the CCSG”. The workshop featured a panel discussion of cancer center administrators sharing their experiences using Forte’s Research Evaluation System, EVAL, in their cancer centers, and how technology has made a difference in their processes.
In addition to the panel, attendees also participated in a collaborative group discussion on using technology for their Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) renewal processes. Attendees noted that while the impact of technology has been significant, the human component of adopting technology and maximizing outcomes remains critical to cancer center operations.
Throughout the conference, educational sessions, panel presentations and roundtable discussions all captured the resounding spirit of collaboration and community that makes CCAF such a unique event. During the first general session, Dale Henry, Chief Scientific Operations Officer at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center said that although the NCI calls it a “competitive” CCSG renewal, the competition should not be between cancer centers. Rather, the competition is through research and urging one another onward to continue to innovate. “We shouldn’t be competitive, we should be sharing,” Henry said.
The conference encompassed a wide variety of sessions covering different topics including (all with fun musical titles) including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me: Meaningful Community Outreach and Catchment Engagement”. The session included a panel of cancer center staff that had included the new Community Outreach and Engagement requirements in their recent CCSG renewals, and shared their experiences and lessons learned with other sites that will need to include the criteria in the future. Centers shared unique ways in which they reached out to groups within their catchment area that are disparately affected by cancer.
Other sessions offered career advice to administrators, such as “Movin’ on Up: How Do I Move Up in Our Cancer Center?” Leadership from a number of cancer centers shared their expertise with the next generation of administrators, further demonstrating the collaborative spirit embodied by CCAF.
At the close of the conference, Dr. Henry Ciolino, Director of the Office of Cancer Centers at the National Cancer Institute, shared his keynote presentation “Stand By Me: NCI Office of Cancer Centers Updates” with his predictions for the future of CCSG requirements.
Forte team members enjoyed being able to make connections with cancer center administrators and staff throughout the conference, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year in San Francisco! Until then, we hope to see the same excitement and collaboration at our Spring Onsemble Conference next week. See you soon!