Cancer Support Community’s Utilization Management Forum Puts Spotlight on Equity

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Cancer Support Community introduces its slate of speakers and panelists for its Utilization Management Summit on Health Equity on Tuesday, November 16 at 1 p.m. ET.

The program will feature a keynote address from Dr. Karen Winkfield, Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, and brief remarks from Danielle Carnival, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Director at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology. This summit marks Carnival’s first public comments since being appointed to this post by President Biden.

The Forum on Utilization Management will bring together more than 100 health care professionals, patient advocates, and industry partners. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recognizes UM as “…a set of techniques used by or on behalf of purchasers of health benefits to manage health care costs…” Established in 2019, the forum focuses on issues to techniques such as prior authorization, clinical pathways, step therapy, and more. This year’s summit will examine whether the structure of what makes up utilization management contributes to health disparities.

“This forum is a part of our ongoing commitment to looking at the health system from every angle to identify the factors that contribute to disparities,” said Phylicia Woods, JD, MSW, Executive Director of Cancer Support Community’s Cancer Policy Institute. “Utilization management is an ideal way to examine whether existing practices, such as how insurance companies determine which procedures to cover, further exacerbate inequities in how patients get care.”

In addition to the remarks from Dr. Winkfield and Carnival, Eucharia Borden, Senior Director, Health Equity at CSC, will moderate a panel that will include the following list of leaders from a variety of sectors:

•          Adrienne Simmons, PharmD, MS, BCPS, AAHIVP, Director of Programs, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (a program of HEP)

•            Gary Puckrein, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Minority Quality Forum

•            Krista Nelson, LCSW, OSW-C, BCD, FAOSW, President, Association of Community Cancer Centers

•            Surya Singh, MD, President, Singh Healthcare Advisors, LLC, Former CMO, Specialty Pharmacy, CVS Health

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About the Cancer Support Community

As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club affiliates, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization’s Institute for Excellence in Psychosocial Care includes an international network of affiliates that offer the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation. For more information, please call the toll-free Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355, or visit


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