COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN)

The Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) is a national advocacy organization committed to raising awareness of independent, community cancer care centers and how national and local health care policy issues may affect patient care. CPAN’s network of more than 30 community cancer practice-based chapters spans 17 states, connecting and activating committed, passionate people who advocate for the protection of locally delivered cancer care.

CPAN advocates include patients, survivors, caregivers, and members of the oncology care team. CPAN advocates share personal stories so policymakers and the community can understand the importance of personalized, affordable cancer care close to where patients live and work.

CPAN is the Community Oncology Alliance’s (COA) patient connection—educating and ensuring patients understand the importance of advocating for and preserving community oncology.

Why Community Oncology?

A community oncology practice is a local cancer treatment clinic, usually owned and operated by oncologists who may be longtime community residents. They serve people living in the community with personal, convenient care tailored to their needs. A community oncology practice is not part of a big health system, academic medical center, or teaching institution, and provides cancer care that is a vital treatment option for many people who have cancer. Some would have to travel great distances to obtain treatment if it weren’t for their local community practice.

CPAN chapters organize advocates around key issues at the state and federal levels. The work of CPAN strengthens COA’s efforts and contributes to the organization’s success. CPAN advocates’ work is more important than ever. Community cancer clinics are closing at an alarming rate, due in part to policies that create barriers to efficient and effective care delivery and bureaucratic burdens that overrule physician expertise. CPAN advocates share their experiences with policymakers on Capitol Hill and at the state level and leverage traditional and social media to ensure their voices are heard.

How Do I Get Involved?

An advocate’s story is the single most powerful tool to fight for the future of community oncology. No matter your role—advocate, chapter leader, policymaker liaison, storyteller, on-the-ground supporter, and more—you will play a vital part. CPAN needs passionate, motivated cancer care advocates. You will join a community working together to positively influence cancer care policy across the country and in states. Membership is free and everyone is welcome.

Get To Know Our Leadership

CPAN is honored to be under the leadership of these inspiring individuals.

Rose B. Gerber, MS

Director of Patient Advocacy & Education,
Community Oncology Alliance

Emily Touloukian, DO

CPAN Medical Co-Chair,
Coastal Cancer Center

Harsha Vyas, MD, FACP

CPAN Medical Co-Chair,
Cancer Center of Middle Georgia

Advisory Board

In response to a growing network of advocates, the COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) has appointed its first formal advisory board. As CPAN expands and evolves, it is important to have a national structure of leaders to guide development and process feedback from members and chapters. This board was selected based upon each member’s commitment to CPAN and their previous work supporting patient advocacy.

CPAN is a national advocacy organization committed to raising awareness of independent, community cancer care and the issues that affect it. CPAN advocates, patients, survivors, caregivers, nurses, pharmacists, oncologists, and more, share their personal stories and advocacy power so elected officials understand the importance of local, affordable, and accessible cancer care close to where they live and work. The 30 CPAN practice-based chapters around the country educate, engage, and activate CPAN advocates around key national cancer care issues. CPAN membership is free, and we welcome your voice.

The board is a 15-member body representing 13 practices from 11 states. The members come from a variety of backgrounds, from communications to social workers to nurses to cancer survivors. The variety among board members represents the wide variety of advocates in CPAN. In their duties, the board will work alongside CPAN Medical Co-Chairs Emily Touloukian, DO, and Harsha Vyas, MD, FACP, and Director of Patient Education & Advocacy Rose Gerber. The advisory board will contribute their insight into the evolution of CPAN with the goals of directly aligning CPAN’s efforts to support COA’s policy initiatives.

  • Betty Apt
    CPAN Advocate/Cancer Survivor
    Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers
    Marietta, Georgia
  • April Brake
    Patient Accounts Receivable Manager/Financial Counseling Manager
    Tennessee Oncology
    Nashville, Tennessee
  • Susanne Johnson-Berns, BSA, GGCP
    Accounting/Purchasing Department Manager
    Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers
    Marietta, Georgia
  • Abra Kelson, LCSW
    Social Worker Supervisor
    Northwest Medical Specialties
    Puyallup, Washington
  • Chelsea Klock, RN, OCN
    Hematology-Oncology Associates of CNY
    East Syracuse, New York
  • Randy Mansfield
    CPAN Advocate/Cancer Survivor
  • Lance Ortega, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN
    Director of Nursing
    Texas Oncology
    Dallas, Texas
  • Lisa Poiry, RN, OCN
    EMR Coordinator
    Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • Cynthia Przekop, RN, BSN
    Clinical Nurse Manager
    Eastern Connecticut Hematology and Oncology
    Norwich, Connecticut
  • Tami Ramey
    CPAN Advocate/Cancer Survivor
    The Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders
    Fort Worth, Texas
  • Jihane Saade, RN
    Regional Cancer Care Associates
    Westwood, New Jersey
  • Jennifer Sassano, MSN/MHA, MSP BH, RN NE-BC
    Manager, Nursing Float Pool
    Texas Oncology
    Dallas, Texas
  • Jeff Sergent
    Director of Marketing & Business Development
    Dayton Physicians Network
    Dayton, Ohio
  • Susan Sabo-Wagner, RN BSN OCN
    Clinical Director
    Oncology Consultants
    Houston, Texas
  • Beth Wittmer, RN, BSN, OCN
    Director, Care Management
    Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute
    Sarasota, Florida

CPAN Administration

  • Tracey Banks
    CPAN Executive Assistant
    Community Oncology Alliance
    Virginia Beach, VA

The Community Oncology Alliance

COA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and, most importantly, the patients they serve. COA is the only organization dedicated solely to community oncology where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated.

The mission of COA is to ensure that cancer patients receive quality, affordable, and accessible cancer care in their own communities. More than 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year and deaths from the disease have been steadily declining due to earlier detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Cancer treatment can be intense and span many years requiring regular physician visits for chemotherapy and checkups. Keeping patients close to their homes, families, and support networks lessens the burden of this devastating disease. With the majority of Americans battling cancer receiving treatment in the community setting, it is imperative that the vitality of the community cancer care delivery system be preserved.

For more than 15 years COA has built a national grassroots network of community oncology practices to advocate for public policies that benefit patients. Individuals from all levels of the cancer care delivery team – oncologists, hematologists, pharmacists, mid-level providers, oncology nurses, patients and survivors – volunteer their time on a regular basis to lead COA and serve on its committees.

By offering innovative solutions to Congress and policymakers, empowering patients, and working closely with other healthcare stakeholders, COA is helping to shape a future where all Americans have access to quality, affordable cancer care.

Stay Connected

Get involved with CPAN today!
Exclusively available to members of community oncology. The latest advocacy news & updates from CPAN direct to your inbox.

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Stay Connected

Get involved with CPAN today!
Exclusively available to members of community oncology. The latest advocacy news & updates from CPAN direct to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.