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 16-member body representing 13 practices from 12 states. The members come from a variety of backgrounds, from communications to social work 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 Miriam Atkins, MD, 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

Susanne Johnson-Berns, BSA, GGCP
Accounting/Purchasing Department Manager
Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers
Marietta, Georgia

April Brake
Patient Accounts Receivable Manager/Financial Counseling Manager
Tennessee Oncology
Nashville, Tennessee

Victoria Foley
Director of Marketing
New England Cancer Specialists
Scarborough, Maine

Abra Kelson, LICSW
Social Worker Supervisor
Northwest Medical Specialties
Puyallup, Washington

Chelsea Klock, RN, OCN
Hematology Oncology Associates of Central NY
East Syracuse, New York

Randy Mansfield
CPAN Advocate/Cancer Survivor
Utah State

Lance Ortega, MBA, BSN, RN, OCN
Director of Nursing
Texas Oncology
Dallas, Texas

Lisa Poiry, RN, OCN
EMR Coordinator
Fort Wayne Medical Oncology Hematology
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Cynthia Przekop, RN, BSN
Clinical Nurse Manager
Eastern Connecticut Hematology Oncology
Norwich, Connecticut

Tami Ramey
CPAN Advocate/Cancer Survivor
The Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders
Fort Worth, Texas

Jihane Saade, RN, BSN, MSN, OCN
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

How can you get involved?

Your story is the most powerful advocacy tool for community oncology. No matter your desired level of commitment — advocate, chapter leader, policymaker liaison, storyteller, on-the-ground support and more — CPAN has a role for you. CPAN is actively recruiting motivated cancer care advocates. Advocates will join a community working together to positively influence cancer care policy across the country. Membership is free and everyone is welcome.