President's Theme Task Force

Al Benson
Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO
Professor of Medicine;
Associate Director for Cooperative Groups
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwester University
Chicago, IL

Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP, FASCO, is a professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. He is also the associate director for cooperative groups at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Benson is a recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Statesman Award (fellow of ASCO) and has served on a number of committees, including as member of the Quality of Cancer Care Task Force, co-chair of ASCO’s Colorectal Cancer Guidelines Subcommittee, the Stage II Colon Cancer Guidelines Panel, and the Guidelines Panel for use of Radiofrequency Ablation for Colorectal Cancer. In addition, he served as ACCC President (2010-2011), and most recently as as chair of the ACCC Clinical Affairs Committee. He is also a  past president of the Illinois Medical Oncology Society. Dr. Benson He is on the editorial board of the ASCO Connection (term completed), Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, American Health and Drug Benefits, Personalized Medicine in Oncology, Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, and Gastrointestinal Cancer Research, among others. 

Dr. Benson’s research is primarily in the areas of gastrointestinal cancer clinical trials, biologic therapies, phase I cancer clinical trials, health services research, and cancer guideline development. He has authored or coauthored numerous reports, reviews, and book chapters focusing on these topics. His research in biologics, cancer therapy, and cancer prevention has been awarded funding from a variety of sources including the National Institutes of Health. His most recent national awards include the NCCN Rodger J. Winn Award and the ACCC Clinical Research Award.

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Nadine J. Barrett, PhD, MA, MS
Director, Office of Health Equity and Disparities, Duke Cancer Institute
Director, Duke Community Connections Core, Duke CTSA
Durham, NC

Dr. Nadine J. Barrett is a medical sociologist and an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, within Duke University’s School of Medicine. She is the inaugural director of the Office of Health Equity and Disparities at the Duke Cancer Institute and serves as the director of the Duke Community Engagement Core, within the Center for Community and Population Health Improvement. A health equity and stakeholder engagement strategist, Dr. Barrett applies her expertise across three interrelated areas: 1) linking vulnerable communities to health services and research, 2) leveraging community and health system assets and services to align priorities and improve community and population health, and 3) convening diverse stakeholders to develop community and patient-centered programs, services, and research.

In 2017, she accepted an ACCC Innovator Award on behalf of Duke Cancer Institute for its initiative, Come Together: A Health Disparities & Equity Cancer Program Built on Community Collaboration. She is the recipient of several awards, including the American Sociology Association’s Minority Fellowship Award, an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research, and the MLK Southern Christian Leadership Conference Drum Major for Justice Award. Her national appointments include the PCORI Health Disparities Advisory Panel Board and the ACCC Board of Trustees. Dr. Barrett is both passionate about and committed to achieving health equity.

Dr. Barrett has several funded projects including Project PLACE (Population Level Approaches to Cancer Elimination), funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is a three-pronged research project designed to implement three robust mechanisms to inform the health equity strategic direction of the Duke Cancer Institute over the next five to eight years. Project PLACE is a highly intensive community engagement model and platform designed to shape robust scholarly productivity, partnered research and community programs to improve population health. She is also the Duke PI (subcontract) of a national Susan G. Komen pipeline training grant on translational research in inflammatory breast cancer and community-engaged research. Dr. Barrett also co-directs the NCI-funded Cancer Research and Education Program Core of the NCCU/DCI Translational Health Disparities Research Program which incorporates specified training in minority accrual in clinical research—a program she developed within the Duke Cancer Institute titled, “Just Ask.”

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Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP
Medical Director, Research Integration and SCCA Network
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Associate Clinical Professor,University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, WA

Jennie R. Crews, MD, MMM, FACP, is medical director, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network; Medical Director, Research Integration at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA); and associate professor of Medicine, University of Washington. Dr. Crews has more than 18 years of experience in oncology in academic, private practice, and hospital-based settings. Previously she served as the medical director for Cancer Services in the PeaceHealth Northwest Network, which includes St. Joseph Cancer Center in Bellingham, Washington; PeaceIsland Hospital on San Juan Island, Washington; and PeaceHealth Ketchikan, Alaska. She also served as the medical director of the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington, N.C., and held appointments as a consulting associate in the Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology and Transplantation at Duke, and as an affiliate associate professor in the Department of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Dr. Crews served as ACCC Treasurer (2013-2015), ACCC President-Elect (2015-2016), and ACCC President (2016-2017). She has served as the president of the North Carolina Oncology Association (NCOA) and as NCOA’s legislative liaison to the North Carolina General Assembly. She is on the Editorial Committee for the ACCC Oncology Drug Database, a reviewer for the Journal of Oncology Practice, and a member of the ASCO Practice Guidelines Implementation Network. She has been named to the Best Doctors in America since 2007.

Dr. Crews received her BS degree in Biology with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her MD from Duke University and completed training in internal medicine and oncology at Duke, where she served as assistant chief resident. She is a Fellow in the American College of Physicians and is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.

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Una Hopkins, RN, FNP-BC, DNP
Director of Research
Strategic Implementation of a Nursing Research Program; Strategic Planning with Academic Partners
Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, NY

Una Hopkins, RN, FNP-BC, DNP, is a registered nurse with more than 30 years of experience in oncology, 25 as a nurse practitioner. Dr. Hopkins is currently the director for research and evidence-based practice at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, where she is responsible for the oversight and management of nurse engagement in programs of research and evidence-based practice, academic and affiliations, nursing internet and intranet development, and presentations and publications for the department of nursing. This includes the management of selected staff and operations, academic affiliations and funded educational projects, survey preparation, specialized training initiatives, education related to promotion of nursing research and evidence-based practice, oversight of project management, and funding attainment. 

Dr. Hopkins has received numerous awards for her accomplishments in clinical and research work and since 1927, has published over 20 articles in various medical journals. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing Science from the College of New Rochelle where she also studied to become a family nurse practitioner. She received her doctorate from Pace University in New York City. Dr. Hopkins serves on the Advisory Committee for the ACCC Institute for Clinical Immuno-Oncology.

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Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP
Clinical Coordinator, Hematology/Oncology
The University of Arizona Cancer Center
Tucson, AZ

Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP, is the Clinical Coordinator of Hematology/Oncology at The University of Arizona Cancer Center. Currently serving on the Board of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), Dr. McBride also chairs the Awards Selection Committee as well as the Corporate Development Committee. In addition to being a long-time ACCC member, Dr. McBride has been actively involved with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA).

Dr. McBride has been working on oncology drug shortages and has testified on behalf of HOPA at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Shortage Workshop; presented on behalf of ACCC at the Washington, D.C., Congressional Session; and was an invited member of the ASHP Drug Shortage Stakeholders Meeting. Dr. McBride is also actively involved with biosimilar regulation and the pharmacoeconomic impact of biosimilars into the U.S. marketplace. He currently serves as a working group member for HOPA on its biosimilar committee. In addition, he serves on the National Quality Forum Cancer Standing Committee. He has published numerous articles on drug shortages, oral chemotherapy adherence, stem cell transplant, and biosimilar implementation into the U.S. healthcare market.

Randall A. Oyer, MD
Medical Director, Oncology Program
Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health
Lancaster, PA

Randall A. Oyer, MD, is a practicing medical oncologist at the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute at Penn Medicine Lancaster General in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He serves as the Medical Director of the Cancer Institute, Medical Director of Oncology, Chairman of Cancer Committee, Chair of the Oncology Physicians Advisory Council, and Medical Director of the Cancer Risk Evaluation (Cancer Genetics) Program at Penn Medicine Lancaster General. Dr. Oyer is a member of the Cancer Service Line Executive Committee and the Cancer Service Line Quality Committee at the Abramson Cancer Center─University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Dr. Oyer divides his time among patient care, program administration, program development, and community outreach. He works closely with a multidisciplinary team that comprises nursing, social work, pharmacy, chaplaincy, and medical specialties focused on strategy, implementation, and patient care. A long-standing active member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), Dr. Oyer is currently serving on the Board of Trustees. He is also an ex-officio Commissioner of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, representing the ACCC.

Dr. Oyer is serving co-chair of the Advisory Committee for the ACCC Optimal Care Coordination Model for Lung Cancer Patients on Medicaid education project. He is an active member of the ACCC Governmental Affairs Committee, participating in Capitol Hill visits and advocating on behalf of community cancer care. Previously, Dr. Oyer served as an Advisory Committee member for the ACCC Molecular Testing education project, and he has presented a several ACCC meetings.

In addition to his participation in ACCC, he has served as a member of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Ambulatory Payment Classification Panel and of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Clinical Practice Committee.

Dr. Oyer is a graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown University School of Medicine.

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Lawrence D. Wagman, MD
Surgical Oncologist, Medical Director
City of Hope National Medical Center
Duarte, CA

Lawrence D. Wagman, MD, is currently the regional medical director and surgical oncologist for the City of Hope Inland Empire Program. This follows a 10-year hiatus from City of Hope when he served as executive medical director for the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California (2008-2018). During that time, Dr. Wagman opened an independent surgical oncology practice that focused primarily on hepatopancreaticobiliary (70 percent), gastric, sarcoma, melanoma, and breast cancers.

Previously, during his initial 20-year experience at City of Hope, Dr. Wagman served as the chair of surgery, director of the surgical oncology training program, institutional and national cooperative group principal investigator for many clinical trials, and led a basic science laboratory investigating targetable receptors and liver regeneration.

Dr. Wagman has authored numerous peer-reviewed surgical oncology publications, guest edited Surgical Oncology Clinics of North America twice, and edited Cancer Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

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Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD
Executive Director
Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
Winston-Salem, NC
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Laura J. Zitella, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCN
Nurse Practitioner
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Laura J. Zitella, MS, RN, ACNP-BC, AOCN®, is a hematology/oncology nurse practitioner and associate clinical professor in the School of Nursing at the University of California San Francisco. Previously, she served as the lead advanced practice provider for inpatient hematology/oncology at Stanford Health Care, where she was responsible for the operations and management of an inpatient hematology/oncology medical service of advanced practice providers as well as program development, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement initiatives at the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Stanford Center for Advanced Practice. 

Ms. Zitella has practiced in the field for over 25 years, caring for patients with hematologic and oncologic malignancies receiving chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, investigational agents, hematopoietic cell transplantation, and supportive care. She has delivered hundreds of educational presentations to national and international audiences and authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, web courses, videos, and book chapters. Ms. Zitella co-edited the “Hematologic Malignancies in Adults” textbook, which was awarded an American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award Honorable Mention. She also participated in the Immuno-Oncology Essentials Initiative which produced Care Step Pathways, patient education, and videos for the management of immunotherapy side effects.

Ms. Zitella is actively involved with the ACCC, the Advanced Practitioner Society of Hematology and Oncology, the Oncology Nursing Society, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the California Association of Nurse Practitioners. As a result of her dedication to patients, oncology care, and nurse practitioner professional practice, Ms. Zitella has received several honors, including the ONS Excellence in Medical Oncology Award, the DAISY Award, and the inaugural Stanford Health Care APP of the Year Award.