The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) today announced the recipients of 2022 awards for both internal and external champions advancing NCCN's mission and helping all people with cancer to live better lives. The annual awards include the Rodger Winn Award for expert judgment and commitment to excellence in service of the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®), the Partners in Cancer Care Award for people outside of NCCN Member Institutions who are instrumental in helping NCCN achieve its mission, and the Pat Daulerio Employee of the Year Award honoring dedicated staff members who particularly exemplify the core values of NCCN.
Excellence in guidelines
The 2022 Rodger Winn Award-;named for the medical oncologist who oversaw the development of the first generation of NCCN Guidelines®-;was bestowed on William J. Gradishar, MD, FASCO, FACP, Betsy Bramsen Professor of Breast Oncology & Professor of Medicine, Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Director, Maggie Daley Center for Women's Cancer Care, Deputy Director, Clinical Network, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, and Chair of the NCCN Guidelines Panel for Breast Cancer.
"Bill always puts patients at the forefront," said NCCN Chief Executive Officer Robert W. Carlson, MD. "Management for breast cancer is very complex; these guidelines are the most widely-used NCCN Guidelines worldwide and are referenced by health care providers hundreds of thousands of times every year. Under Bill's leadership, the guidelines have expanded and become more nuanced. He is respectful of everyone's contributions and always provides great feedback."
"It's an honor to be chosen for this award, named after someone who was so foundational to the NCCN mission and who I had the privilege to know," replied Dr. Gradishar. "The success that we have had is a result of the team effort from dedicated NCCN staff and panel members representing all of the disciplines that care for breast cancer patients."
Excellence in equity
The 2022 Partners in Cancer Care Award honors the work of both Shonta Chambers, MSW, Executive Vice President, Health Equity Initiatives and Community Engagement, Patient Advocate Foundation; and Robert Winn, MD (no-relation to Dr. Rodger Winn), Director and Lipman Chair in Oncology, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center, Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Innovation, and Professor of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine, VCU School of Medicine. The two co-chaired the Elevating Cancer Equity Working Group, which was convened by NCCN, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), and the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) to identify actionable strategies for overcoming inequity in oncology.
"Rob and Shonta have generously contributed not only their expertise, but also numerous hours and resources to the Elevating Cancer Equity initiative," said Dr. Carlson. "Their visionary leadership has contributed to a sea change in the national conversation and spurred action to address racial disparities in cancer care. Where you live and who you are shouldn't determine whether or how long you live. Both Rob and Shonta have dedicated their impressive careers toward making equity in cancer care a reality."
"NCCN has been a substantial driver of change since its inception and has been at the forefront of progress made for patients not just in the United States but across the globe. I value NCCN's principles, and it is more than an honor for me to be an ally in efforts to eliminate health and cancer disparities," said Dr. Winn.
Chambers added: "I'm honored to receive this award from NCCN. As we work for equity, we must require deliberate and intentional engagement from all spheres across the health ecosystem, and I see NCCN as a leader in this important work."
Excellence in collaboration
The 2022 Pat Daulerio Employee of the Year Award-; named for NCCN's first full-time employee and based on peer-nomination-; was given to Hema Sundar, PhD, NCCN's Manager of Global Clinical Content. Dr. Sundar was honored for her dedication to the NCCN mission, her representation of NCCN's core values, her willingness to provide help wherever it is needed, and the high level of integrity, quality, and care exemplified in her work. Her role includes facilitating the process and ensuring the accuracy of NCCN's global resources, including NCCN Guidelines International Adaptations, NCCN Framework™, and NCCN Harmonized Guidelines™ for resource-constrained settings. Additionally, Dr. Sundar serves as in-house scientist for chronic myeloid leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma guidelines (which include some of the most-complex algorithms).