Mar 27 2017

Living on the Edge

by at 12:06 pm under Uncategorized

I have not lived through a more politically charged or event-filled period of time since the early 1970s, but must admit I breathed a bit of a sigh of relief when the legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was tabled at the last minute. Politics aside, everybody recognizes the need for reform, but many, myself included, worried about the consequences of blowing everything up without appropriate safeguards in place. Perhaps cooler heads can now prevail and come up with meaningful improvements to the Act that improve our nation’s health and control health care costs. But for a few anxious days, we all were living on the edge, wondering what the proposed law would mean for all of us.

Speaking of the edge, I had a few awfully long days last week. I caught a 5 am train to New York on Monday to be on a grant review panel, and got back at around 8 pm or so. Then, on Friday I caught a 7 am plane to Charlotte NC for a site visit of the Levine Cancer Center’s clinical operations – we are trying to learn how other cancer centers optimize their clinical functions and adapt the lessons learned to our clinics. It was a very full day, and we came away with a bunch of great ideas. The Carolinas health care system is massive (25 hospitals scattered from the Virginia border all the way into South Carolina) and we can put these lessons to good use as we build out our clinical and clinical trials network. But it was a long day, with a very early wake up and a return home in the mid-evening.

At least the weekend has offered a bit of time for decompression. Our daughter-in-law Sarah and her kids were down here scouting out house rentals and school districts as they prepare for their move to the area; Ken had to work, and so could not come. After they left we had dinner out with our son David, his wife Kelly and some of her extended family, Sunday was “catch up” day, but the work week started early with a dinner meeting of the NIH Center for Scientific Advisory Council on Sunday evening. Monday will be devoted to the NCI Center for Scientific Research Advisory Council meeting in Shady Grove, and the rest of the week will be quite busy, as we continue our CCSG preparatory meetings and get ready for the annual AACR meeting, which starts at the end of the week. On Saturday morning, I will be speaking on a panel titled “Improving Cancer Patient Care: Latest Advances in Cancer Precision Medicine and Immunotherapy” at Progress and Promise Against Cancer, a free community event organized by AACR. Never a dull moment!

Have a great week.

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