2023 Impact Report

Association of Community Cancer Centers 2023 Impact Report

(Re)Building the Oncology Workforce

(Re)Building the Oncology Workforce

Health care workforce issues are ever-present in the current social media feeds. From lingering shortages related to the COVID-19 pandemic, to strikes at major institutions across multiple states, it will be up to employers to answer the call of employees. In an atmosphere where workers across many industries are looking for better pay and benefits, health care workers are fighting for safer and more secure work environments that include improved staffing levels to meet patient needs.

Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA, chief operating officer for Highlands Oncology Group, PA, was named ACCC president on March 10, 2023. He selected “(Re)Building the Oncology Workforce to Deliver Next Generation Cancer Care,” as the president’s theme, with priorities that include identifying, developing, and delivering educational and advocacy resources to expand the capacity of the cancer care workforce, exploring innovative ways to deliver the highest quality of care; identifying, fostering, and mentoring future leaders in cancer care delivery; and broadening the coalition of the oncology workforce to reflect the growing complexity of cancer care and to realize more equitable cancer care delivery.

“One of the greatest challenges we face over the next decade is related to our oncology workforce. Specifically, will we have enough providers and staff to support and deliver lifesaving treatments to patients?”  

—Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA

ACCC Workforce Development Curriculum

Workforce issues such as burnout, recruitment, retention, and identifying and engaging new and diverse leaders, require today’s oncology programs and practices to reimagine many of their strategies, operations, and processes. ACCC developed an online curriculum that covers important issues such as workforce development strategies along the continuum; building an oncology workforce pipeline; developing competitive compensation and benefits packages; onboarding and establishing relationships with staff; and leadership development and training. This important topic was part of a special workforce development track at the ACCC 40th National Oncology Conference, October 4–6, in Austin, Texas. The Workforce Development Curriculum is designed to help oncology programs and practices create the positive change that their clinicians, staff, and patients deserve.

Fireside Chats

To engage members in the president’s theme of (Re)Building the Oncology Workforce, a series of 3 Fireside Chats were held, each with its own theme.

The first fireside chat was held July 10, 2023. Its focus was real-world experiences, current trends, and take-home strategies for mitigating burnout and promoting self-care among staff at cancer programs and practices.

The second fireside chat was held September 7, 2023, with a focus on actionable strategies cancer programs and practices can use in delivering next-generation cancer care to underserved communities. Fireside chat No. 3 was held on November 7, 2023, and focused on the importance of leadership development and the positive effects a healthy work environment has on patients with cancer, staff, and the larger oncology community.

Keep a lookout for the next and final chat.

Innnovator Awards

Innovator Awards

In 2023, ACCC celebrated 6 Innovator Awards winners. The 13th annual ACCC Innovator Awards recognized visionary and compelling ideas in oncology from ACCC cancer program members nationwide.

Championing Equitable Access to Care

Championing Equitable Access to Care

In 2022, President Joe Biden announced plans to revamp the Federal Cancer Moonshot program he spearheaded in 2016, with the goal of reducing the cancer death rate by at least 50% over the next 25 years. ACCC, a long-time supporter of Cancer Moonshot, has provided the White House with resources and tools from its member programs, with a specific focus on cancer prevention for underserved and marginalized patient populations.

The President’s Cancer Panel held its first National Cancer Plan Stakeholder meeting on Thursday, September 7, 2023. As the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer care community, ACCC was invited to share the association’s key priorities for impacting cancer care in the US. ACCC President Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA, who is also chief operating officer at Highlands Oncology Group, PA, discussed these initiatives in a 30-minute session that included a robust question and answer period.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Cancer Clinical Trials—ASCO-ACCC Initiative

ACCC and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) formed a partnership to increase racial and ethnic diversity in cancer clinical trials in the US, with a specific focus on Black and Hispanic patients. The ASCO-ACCC Initiative released resources to help research sites increase racial and ethnic equity, diversity, and inclusion in cancer clinical trials. The Just Ask™ Training Program, an online learning experience using real-world examples of implicit bias, the companion Just Ask™ Training Facilitation Guide, and the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Research Site Self-Assessment are available free and represent a full and complementary set of resources that can help research sites address barriers to participation in cancer clinical trials among racial and ethnic populations that have been historically underrepresented.

Dynamic Education

Dynamic Education

ACCC prides itself on quality research and production of useful materials for its member organizations. Here is a snapshot of some key initiatives throughout 2023.

Cancer Diagnostics

In an age of precision medicine, rapidly advancing biomarkers, and innovative cancer screening technologies, the demand for up-to-date information and tools is increasing like never before. ACCC has been on the forefront of this demand for years, highlighting the expanding role of biomarkers in cancer diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment selection, as well as providing insights and tools to support multidisciplinary cancer care team members.

Hematologic Malignancies

Developing quality improvement programs aimed at reducing health care disparities and improving the standard of care received by patients with hematologic cancers are key priorities in ACCC’s educational portfolio. To date, ACCC’s portfolio includes acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), measurable residual disease (MRD) testing, multiple myeloma (MM), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).

Innovative Collaborations and Opportunities

Innovative Collaborations and Opportunities

AIM Ahead

ACCC is partnering with Vibrent Health on the AIM-AHEAD pilot project. This project aims to use machine learning modeling in local Appalachian electronic health record (EHR) datasets to evaluate the extent of bias in predicting cancer mortality in Appalachian cancer patients using common clinical predictors. The goal of the project is to develop a machine learning model prototype and dataset to help improve cancer survivorship in rural Appalachia.

The CORe Initiative

ACCC is also partnering with Vibrent Health on the CORe Initiative, which seeks to create a large, nationwide research community of patients with cancer, survivors, their family members, care partners, or others who feel they are at increased risk for cancer. The goal is to collect diverse data to support more equitable cancer-related research and provide greater access to information and research opportunities to community members affected by cancer.

Trial Library

This public benefit company has a mission to improve health equity by expanding access to cancer precision medicine. Its technology is integrated with technology-enabled navigation to facilitate clinical trial discovery for anyone, anywhere. ACCC is partnering to test Trial Library’s software and services at select ACCC cancer program member locations.

The Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP)

A tailored clinical research professional training curriculum. ACRP’s Early Talent Training Program™ is a comprehensive curriculum that prepares candidates and lateral movers for the clinical research profession. The 3-week training program allows sites; contract research organizations; academic and health institutions; and sponsors to more quickly onboard those who are new to clinical trials and who have the right skills to succeed in the profession. ACCC is partnering with ACRP to offer this training at select ACCC cancer program member locations.

Elevating our Advocacy Voice at the Federal Levels

Elevating our Advocacy Voice at the Federal Levels

ACCC empowers cancer care professionals to better understand federal and state policies impacting the field of oncology and patients with cancer. The association also provides many opportunities to advocate at the federal, state, and local levels on issues important to the cancer care community and the patients they serve.

Drug Shortages

ACCC members took several actions to help raise awareness and develop policy solutions to the drug shortages challenges that were particularly acute in early and mid-2023. In June 2023, ACCC participated in a webinar that discussed best practices for managing drug shortages hosted by the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA), also partnering with the Association of VA Hematology/Oncology (AVAHO). Additionally, ACCC has been participating in a coalition led by HOPA, along with several provider and patient advocacy organizations, to develop proposed policy solutions to address both ongoing and future shortages. ACCC also issued a statement expressing its concern about the shortages and supporting its members as they work with other stakeholders to identify near and longer-term solutions.

Medicare Reimbursement and New Reimbursement for Patient Navigation Services

ACCC submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the proposed calendar year 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) rules. ACCC supported the proposal for new codes to reimburse for patient navigation services and other services that promote equitable access to high quality cancer care. Following the publication of the MPFS and OPPS final rules, ACCC held a webinar providing a detailed overview of the regulations. Among other important changes, CMS finalized its proposal to reimburse for Principal Illness Navigation (PIN) services (otherwise known as patient navigation services) and social determinants of health (SDOH) assessments.

Developing Resources for Multidisciplinary Teams

Summits and Stakeholder Gatherings

ACCC brings together health care professionals from across the US to discuss pressing issues and identify actionable solutions.

Projects with Impactful Results

Projects with Impactful Results

Tackling Disparities

ACCC has and will continually focus on supporting health care institutions as they aim to provide quality cancer care to all patients..

Looking to the Future

ACCC 2024-2025 President’s Theme

The 2024-2025 ACCC president’s theme is community engagement. ACCC will develop tools and resources to help ACCC member programs and practices—regardless of size—improve engagement in their communities, with a focus on outreach and education to underserved regions and populations. Community engagement will require oncology programs and practices to partner with community resources such as patient advocacy groups; civic organizations; church and spiritual groups; schools and institutions of higher learning; and more.

Engaging with ACCC & Your Colleagues

Gain the most from your ACCC membership by getting involved! You have a valuable forum to collaborate and learn from your colleagues nationwide, showcase your cancer program or practice’s successes, and foster leadership opportunities.

ACCC Membership by the Numbers

Executive Committee 2023-2024

Ajayi Photo
Olalekan Ajayi, PharmD, MBA


Nadine Barrett, PhD, MA, MS

David Penberthy_2
David R. Penberthy, MD, MBA
Immediate Past President


Krista Nelson_2
Douglas Flora, MD, LSSBB


Una Hopkins, RN, FNP-BC, DNP

Board of Trustees 2023-2024

Robert Buras

J. Renea Austin-Duffin, MBA


JiaJoyce Conway, DNP, CRNP, AOCNP

Jorge García, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE

Matthew Manning, MD, FASTRO

Kurt Oettel, MD

Laelia Noel
Lailea Noel, PhD, MSW

Lori Schneider
Lori Schneider

Leigha Senter

Leigha Senter-Jamieson, MS, CGC

Cardinale B. Smith, MD, PhD

Wendi Waugh, BS, RT(R)(T), CMD, CTR

Oncology State Societies at ACCC

ACCC manages and collaborates very closely with the Oncology State Societies at ACCC—a network of 23 state-based oncology/hematology societies that represent the educational and advocacy interests of their members at the state and regional level. These individuals receive select member benefits from ACCC, participate on the ASCO State Affiliate Council, and have access to targeted educational resources to keep abreast of the ever-changing healthcare landscape.