ASTRO supports nomination of Dr. David Shulkin to lead Department of Veterans Affairs

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The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has expressed strong support for the nomination of David Shulkin, MD, as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). ASTRO Chair David C. Beyer, MD, FASTRO, issued the following statement:

“ASTRO is deeply committed to improving the quality of cancer care for our nation’s veterans and all Americans. We believe Dr. Shulkin’s experience as VA undersecretary and as a physician-executive makes him uniquely qualified to accelerate reforms that will improve quality in the VA health system.

“Under the new administration, ASTRO’s experts in cancer treatment and research look forward to continuing our work with the VA, including our partnership with the VA’s National Radiation Oncology Program, which oversees the development and execution of radiation therapy within the VA, on the Radiation Oncology Practice Assessment (ROPA) program. ROPA will provide radiation oncologists at the VA with comprehensive feedback reports that show how each of their patients’ diagnoses, treatments and treatment outcomes compare with national standards. Combined with the traditional cancer outcome measures of recurrence and survival, this assessment allows oncologists to see how changes in their clinical practice impact the success of each veteran’s cancer treatment.

“Approximately 60 percent of cancer patients receive radiation therapy, including the brave men and women treated through the VA. ASTRO looks forward to working with Dr. Shulkin on ROPA and other opportunities to improve the quality of radiation oncology care among veterans and all cancer patients, and we urge the Senate to confirm Dr. Shulkin’s confirmation.”

The ROPA program, which is led by Washington University, abstracts data from the VA’s electronic medical record system into detailed feedback reports provided to VA radiation oncologists. Disease site-specific experts from ASTRO completed the first phase of the project in August 2016 by identifying quality measures for prostate and lung cancer patients.

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ASTRO supports nomination of Dr. David Shulkin to lead Department of Veterans Affairs.  Appl Rad Oncol. 

By News Release| January 24, 2017
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