ASCO Selects 2017-2018 Health Policy Fellows

April 6, 2017

ASCO has announced that Alexander Chin, MD, MBA, and Joanna C. Yang, MD, have been selected for the 2017-2018 ASCO Health Policy Fellowship program, now entering its second year.  

The fellowship, aimed at early career oncologists, provides the skills necessary to monitor and shape the regulatory and legislative policies that directly affect patients with cancer and the oncology practice environment. The program runs from July 1, 2017 - July 1, 2018.

"Dr. Chin and Dr. Yang both know that oncologists need to understand the health policy issues that fundamentally affect oncologists, our practices, and most importantly, our patients," said ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO. "This fellowship offers them an opportunity to gain in-depth experience so they can develop the skills they need to not just understand, but really shape cancer policy in a way that will improve cancer research and care delivery. We're eager to have them add their insights and experience to ASCO's policy and advocacy work."

Dr. Chin is a Resident Physician in the Department of Radiation Oncology for Stanford Health Care at Stanford University, where he has sought opportunities to advance value-based innovation in healthcare. As one of the founding members of the Specialty Drug Sub-Committee at Stanford Health Care, he assists in the evaluation of new, high-cost drug therapies in oncology, hematology, and neurology using clinical outcome, safety, and cost-effectiveness analyses. He is also actively involved in the early stages of developing and implementing oncology clinical pathways at Stanford, with the goal of establishing metrics to measure quality and to prepare the institution for alternative payment models, while standardizing high-quality care.

Prior to Stanford, Dr. Chin worked at McKinsey & Company, developing strategies for hospital systems to prepare for healthcare reform, and at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development, where his interest in health advocacy began.  

Dr. Yang is a Radiation Oncology Resident at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where her research with the institution's Center for Health Policy & Outcomes focuses on comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness analyses, aimed at quantitatively comparing treatment options to produce the most high-quality, high-value outcomes for patients. She also serves as one of six elected members of the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology, the resident component of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), and is a Resident Representative for ASTRO's Health Policy Committee.

Prior to working at MSKCC, as a medical student, Dr. Yang co-founded a business of medicine course to expose other medical students and residents to health economics and reimbursement processes. As an undergraduate, she participated in the Stanford-in-Washington internship program.

"ASCO's Health Policy Fellowship has been a boot camp in cancer policy that has exposed me to a multitude of interest areas including policy writing and advocacy," said current fellow Robert M. Daly, MD, MBA. "The program has also helped me accomplish my goal of learning how cancer policy is made and how oncologists can influence it."  

The ASCO Health Policy Fellowship program has several components:

  • Active participation in policy development for high-impact issues in oncology
  • Small-group teaching sessions delivered by ASCO staff and qualified volunteers on topics such as the Congressional authorization/appropriations process, Food and Drug Administration organization and regulatory authority, drug and device approval processes, and payment reform initiatives
  • Training in communication and leadership skills, as well as advocacy strategies
  • A mentored research project on one of nine preselected topics that advances or leverages an ASCO policy initiative.  

ASCO conducts and administers the Health Policy Fellowship with funding support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment. The application period for the 2018-2019 program will open in October 2017.

Visit the fellowship's webpage and watch the fellowship video for more information about the program.