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Doug Hutton
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ACCC Marks 15th Anniversary of Oncology Pharmacy Education Network; Honors Founding Leaders

Rockville, MD – During American Pharmacists Month, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) is marking the fifteenth anniversary of its Oncology Pharmacy Education Network (OPEN). In recognition of their vision and dedication, ACCC is pleased to honor OPEN founding pharmacist leaders Ernest R. Anderson Jr., MS, RPh, FASHP, FMSHP, and Steven L. D’Amato, BScPharm. The award presentation will take place on October 30, during the OPEN Pre-Conference to the 36th ACCC National Oncology Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Over the past decade, oncology has benefited from an expanding arsenal of anticancer treatments, including targeted therapies, oral oncolytics, immunotherapies, biosimilars, and combination regimens. In this complex landscape, the role of the oncology pharmacy and oncology pharmacists is pivotal to quality care delivery.

With an engaged interdisciplinary membership providing cancer care across all healthcare settings, ACCC was at the forefront in recognizing the need to scale up education and advocacy on behalf of effective oncology pharmacy operations in a changing healthcare environment while supporting the contributions of oncology pharmacists in multidisciplinary care.

“Fifteen years ago, then ACCC Executive Director Lee Mortenson came to me as a pharmacist member on the Board of the Association of Community Cancer Centers to ask how we could get more pharmacists involved with ACCC,” recalls Mr. Anderson. “After some brainstorming, we created the Oncology Pharmacy Education Network, recruited top pharmacists from around the country for the OPEN Advisory Committee, and began creating quality educational content expressly for oncology pharmacists.”

In 2008-2009, Mr. Anderson became the first pharmacist to serve as ACCC President. Fittingly, his presidential theme centered on leadership. For the past several years, Mr. Anderson has headed Ernest R. Anderson Jr. Consulting, Inc.

Steven D’Amato not only led the Association (ACCC President 2015-2016), he has served as chair of ACCC’s Oncology Care Model Collaborative since its inception. This multi-year endeavor brings together participants in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Oncology Care Model to share effective practices and challenges experienced with the model. Mr. D’Amato is Executive Director of New England Cancer Specialists, Scarborough, Maine.

As the oncology ecosystem undergoes transformative change, both Mr. Anderson and Mr. D’Amato remain active participants in OPEN. “We endeavor to leave a great legacy of pharmacist participation in ACCC and OPEN,” said Mr. Anderson.

Adding to that legacy is current ACCC President Dr. Ali McBride, PharmD, MS, BCOP, Clinical Coordinator, Hematology/Oncology, at The University of Arizona Cancer Center, Department of Pharmacy. “ACCC is pleased to recognize these pharmacist leaders for their outstanding contributions to OPEN and the Association of Community Cancer Centers,” said Dr. Bride. “In response to the increasing complexity of oncolytic treatments, the associated economic burden on patients and provider organizations, and the integration of diverse alternative payment models, the role of oncology pharmacists continues to increase, and OPEN is an unequalled source of practical, real-world support for the oncology pharmacy.” One area of need noted by Dr. McBride in a recent blog post is a model for chemotherapy stewardship coordinated by oncology pharmacists. Dr. McBride will be presenting the OPEN awards in Orlando. Learn more about OPEN at On October 30, listen in as Dr. McBride discusses “The Evolution of Oncology Pharmacy” on ACCC’s podcast, CANCER BUZZ.

About the Oncology Pharmacy Education Network
The ACCC Oncology Pharmacy Education Network (OPEN) advocates on behalf of hematology-oncology pharmacists as vital members of the cancer care team and is committed to developing educational resources and multidisciplinary connections that advance the field and elevate oncology pharmacy professionals to top-of-license practice.

About the Association of Cancer Care Centers

The Association of Cancer Care Centers (ACCC) is the leading education and advocacy organization for the cancer care community. Founded in 1974, ACCC is a powerful network of 40,000 multidisciplinary practitioners from 2,100 hospitals and practices nationwide. As advances in cancer screening and diagnosis, treatment options, and care delivery models continue to evolve - so has ACCC - adapting its resources to meet the changing needs of the entire oncology care team. For more information, visit Follow us on social media; read our blog, ACCCBuzz; tune in to our CANCER BUZZ podcast; and view our CANCER BUZZ TV channel.