Rose B. Gerber, M.S.

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, FACP

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.

Harsha Vyas, MD, FACP

CPAN Medical Co-Chair,
Cancer Center of Middle Georgia

Dr. Vyas obtained his fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology at the Wake Forest University Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina and completed his Internal Medicine residency at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee. He also served as the chief medical resident during his residency.

Dr. Vyas is Board-Certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, has published in many peer-reviewed journals, reputed online publications, and been actively involved in clinical research.

Dr. Vyas was named an Advocacy Champion by The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) during the society’s 2017 Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill for his efforts to communicate relevant rural healthcare issues with lawmakers. He is passionate about communicating the importance of preserving community oncology as the way to deliver personalized, high quality, affordable, cancer care close to home with lawmakers. He continues to engage state and federal lawmakers on a regular basis on various issues impacting patient’s cancer care at the community level. Dr. Vyas was instrumental in the opening of CPAN patient advocacy chapter at his cancer center for engaging and providing a voice for the rural cancer patients on legislative issues.

Dr. Vyas authored and developed an Investigator Initiated Clinical Trial during his fellowship which was submitted for ASCO Young Investigator Award. He was instrumental in starting the clinical research division of Cancer Center of Middle Georgia which now has many open clinical trials that are currently enrolling. His efforts have brought emerging clinical research and trial medications to the underserved and the underrepresented rural patient without needing to travel long distances.

Dr. Vyas is married with children, enjoys the outdoors, playing tennis, and spending time with family.