Associate Director's Message: Cancer Center Administrators Forum

The following is a message from Acting Associate Director of Administration John Pounardjian, MBA.

On March 17, the Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) gathered for its annual meeting, held this year in Minneapolis, MN. The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) was represented well, both in attendance and on the agenda. Representing Case CCC were John Pounardjian, Acting Associate Director of Administration, Megan Kilbane, previous Associate Director of Administration, Damian Junk, Assistant Director of Cancer Training and Education, and Julie Glavic, Manager of Research Administrative Operations. The CCAF annual meeting draws over 300 senior administrators from all NCI designated cancer centers and also administrators from new centers applying for designation. This conference allows priceless networking opportunities for Case CCC administration to develop relationships with our national colleagues.

The conference agenda consists mostly of panel discussions, allowing free sharing of best practices among different centers. Representing the Case CCC, Megan Kilbane participated in a panel on consortium and Henry Ciolino, PhD, Director of the NCI Office of Cancer Centers, recognized the Case CCC for its success as a consortium in the CCSG portfolio. In addition, Damian Junk presented a well-received poster on Case CCC training activities, another area where our center succeeds. 

Keynote addresses were delivered by Susan Perkins, PhD, Acting Chief of the Cancer Training Branch at NCI, and Dr. Ciolino, discussing key updates from the NCI Cancer Center program. It is important to note that a new CCSG PAR will be released later this year that will include potential updates in Catchment and how it is defined, Community Outreach and Engagement (COE), Shared Resources and Clinical Trial Reporting. Key potential changes include:

  • NCI-defined catchment area with separate patient and scientific catchment requirements;
  • Expansion of allowable COE costs (including pilot funds for scientific catchment area needs);
  • Greater focus on community engagement and cancer burden in catchment area.

The NCI also announced continued efforts to make significant investments in cancer training through the Cancer Centers program.

The Case CCC is currently working to develop processes and methods to successfully address the NCI's greater interest in catchment and community outreach and engagement. Throughout the next 12-months we plan to:

  • Increase focus and funding for lab-based catchment related cancers and risks;
  • Further define our scientific catchment area.

These efforts will be led through our Program Leaders and will be the main focus of our program breakouts at this year's annual scientific retreat, July 25-26, 2019.

Finally, we are excited to announce that Cleveland and the Case CCC have been selected to host the CCAF annual meeting in 2021! This is a tremendous opportunity to highlight our center and the wonderful work of our administrative team. Stay tuned for more information.