I Am Community Oncology

Rose B. Gerber

Director of Patient Advocacy & Education

Rose Gerber is a nationally recognized cancer advocate and cancer survivor. Her experience includes appearing on national television (MSNBC) to speak about cancer care, meeting with legislators in Washington, DC on cancer policy issues, and developing cancer programs. Rose was brought to the COA team to develop its patient advocacy program. One of her first accomplishments was to add an advocacy track to the annual conference, making the meeting one of the few that brings together physicians, administrators, and advocates. She serves as an invited member on national patient advocate panels, steering committees, and cancer coalitions. Rose has also served as a consumer reviewer on the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs – Department of Defense Breast Cancer research panels.

Rose has been a featured cancer survivor for various cancer organizations media campaigns, including the 2015 About Clinical Trials initiative. She was recently featured on the cover of the national publication, Breast Cancer Wellness magazine, and honored as the National Breast Cancer Leader of the Year. In addition, she was a guest speaker for CURE magazine’s September 2018 podcast in the episode titled From Cancer to Capitol Hill. She has been the keynote speaker at multiple national conferences including the National Women’s Survivors Convention. Rose served for five years as a grant reviewer, speaker, and educator for Susan G. Komen and also co-founded and managed a breast cancer-mentoring program for Eastern Connecticut Hematology & Oncology in Connecticut. Working alongside community health workers and nurses, Rose also gained an understanding of disparities in health care. Rose taught breast health education to diverse populations including Muslims, Haitians, Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, and young mothers.

In addition to college degrees in advertising/public relations and psychology, Rose is a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s esteemed Project Lead programs: Clinical Trials, Science Institute, and Quality Care. Prior to her advocacy work, Rose worked for NBC-TV in Los Angeles, CA.

Rose now applies her personal experience as a cancer survivor and three-time clinical trial participant, with her advocacy knowledge to educate and train cancer patients and cancer survivors on how various national cancer policy issues impact their local patient care.

Miriam J. Atkins, MD

CPAN Medical Co-Chair, Augusta Oncology

Dr. Atkins completed her Fellowship in Hematology/Oncology in 1996 at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She attained the rank of Major while serving 8 years in the United States Army. Prior to leaving the Army in 1998, Dr. Atkins was the Associate Director of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and a member of the Clinical Faculty at Brooke. Dr. Atkins worked for Texas Oncology, P.A. for two years before moving to Augusta, Georgia. She joined Augusta Oncology in 2000 and has been an invaluable part of the team. Dr. Atkins is board certified in Medical Oncology.

Dr. Atkins’ easygoing manner makes it a pleasure to work with her and, more importantly, to be her patient. She listens to the concerns of her patients and their families and believes in going the extra mile for them.

Dr. Atkins frequently gives lectures to local community groups. She has a passion for maintaining community oncology and healthcare government reform. She currently holds a board seat on the Community Oncology Alliance and is a Member at Large for the executive committee of this organization. She also enjoys traveling, reading, fine dining, shopping and spending time with her daughter, Schuyler.

Lakshmi Aggarwal, MD

CPAN Medical Co-Chair, Fort Wayne Medical Oncology Hematology

Dr. Aggarwal is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology with particular focus on breast and gynecological malignancies. Currently she is one of the physician leaders for the practice, spearheading the efforts in the Oncology Care Model (OCM) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. She has been a guiding force thru this value-based care model towards high quality care while attempting to lower the overall cost of care.

Dr. Aggarwal served her residency through the Medical Center of Central Massachusetts and her fellowship at Brown University School of Medicine. She has been with Fort Wayne Medical Oncology and Hematology for over 20 years and also serves on the board for Community Oncology Alliance (COA). Her passion for her patients has fostered the start of Indiana’s first COA Patient Advocacy Network chapter which recently launched in July of 2018.