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MICR Advocates Forum

Advocates’ Forum- Inequities in Global Healthcare- Spring 2019

Watch this interview with Advocates’ Forum chairperson Mary Dicey Scroggins as she talks with eCancer TV during the AACR Annual Meeting 2019. Ms. Scroggins talks about inequity in health care, investing in the developing world, affordability and access, and being a health care activist.

Advocates’ Forum – A message from Mary Jackson Scroggins – Winter 2019

Welcome to the Advocates’ Forum – a Minorities in Cancer Research-sponsored space to which the entire AACR community is invited to share perspectives, gain clarity, and broaden awareness and understanding of advocacy in a real-world context, especially as it relates to MICR’s commitment to “preventing and curing cancer while meeting the professional needs and advancing the careers of minority scientists.” This forum is an open access-modeled space.

As a mother, daughter, grandmother, and wife; a shameless believer in The Common Good; a 22-year cancer survivor; and a patient and women’s health advocate/activist in continuous learning mode and in awe of the collective dedication and power of advocates, I am excited about the launch of this forum. Active participation in it-the conversations and open exchanges it will stimulate-can result in increased, meaningful patient advocate involvement in AACR and in MICR. This participation might include initiation of collaborative efforts with MICR and among advocacy organizations that support the mission and work of MICR, perhaps some through AACR’s Scientist↔Survivor Program or related to the launch of its “Cancer Health Disparities Report.” (Think Big, plan, and then execute/implement or stay home: Subliminal Thought #1)

In this space, we will highlight the work of individual advocates and MICR members, especially as the intersect as well as explore topics such as:

  • the link between personalized medicine and cancer health disparities;
  • cancer care-induced financial toxicity;
  • modernizing clinical trial eligibility criteria; and
  • the tension between research on cancer health disparities and acting on what we know.

And, U.S. advocacy communities and MICR might jointly enhance and maintain connections with international groups and organizations that focus on and serve medically underrepresented/underserved populations, particularly in the developing world. Your ongoing participation in the Advocates’ Forum-as patients/survivors (here used broadly to include caregivers, family members, and affected communities), advocates, clinicians, all comers-can and will stimulate such engagement.

So, the MICR Council, on behalf of its members, encourages you and the full AACR community to initiate, join, and contribute to conversations in this space, to share your experiences related to advocates and advocacy, to ask questions, and to suggest topics and projects we might explore.

Again, welcome! In this space, you will meet and hear from outstanding patient advocates, researchers, and others, and we will all benefit from the interaction. Promise!