Bo Gamble, Director of Strategic Practice Initiatives, Community Oncology Alliance, highlights his questions for the keynote speakers of the 2021 Community Oncology Conference, and takeaways he hopes audience members gain from the sessions.
Bo Gamble is the director of Strategic Practice Initiatives at the Community Oncology Alliance.
What questions do you have for the keynote speakers at the 2021 Community Oncology Conference?
Gamble: That's a really good question. As you may notice we have 2 keynote speakers, one is Ronny Gal, PhD, BSc, he's going to come at it from sort of a scientist, a data standpoint in what we're learning. I’ve had a little bit of a preview for what he's looking for and what he's found, and I’m like Ronny, what is the most important thing that we need to know moving forward for the listeners?
Keep in mind you got cancer care teams, you got payers, you got employers, and some of this may be uncomfortable, what he finds, for some stakeholders, some may say finally, and so my advice to him is–okay, you're sharing a lot, but what is the most important thing that we need to know moving forward so that we can all move in that same direction. That is very appealing to me, that particular session.
There's another session that Sean Swarner is doing. He is sort of an extreme athlete and he's done some climbing. I've done a little athlete stuff in the past, endurance athlete but not near what he has done, but it really is probably very appropriate for this audience and particularly it seems if you look at this past year for example, some have really been burdened by the pressures of keeping business going as usual, struggle to implement changes. They have teams that have struggled to implement changes and some have done well.
So, the lesson I see at least in Sean's discussion is to look at your journey not as an assembly line of doing widgets and doing what you want to do–look at your journey, look at your role as a journey in problem solving. If we can make problem solving seen as the norm, we will hopefully be less anxious about it, less surprised by it, and if we're constantly in that mode–okay here's another challenge, let's demonstrate some perseverance, patience ingenuity, creativity, stability moving forward just like he's done as he's climbed everywhere.
Same thing in what we're doing. Cancer care is under attack in many ways, particularly community cancer care. We've got to be really diligent and show perseverance to make it happen as it should. And for it to be visible and available for those that need it and we got to get better at it and hopefully those two will get us in that direction.
What are the takeaways that you hope participants and audience members gain from this year’s conference?
Gamble: Do not attend this meeting just because it's a conference, make action items out of everything you see and hear, make your to-do list–you can do it, it's only going to start with you. If you're just listening and saying–oh good conference, good discussion–if you're not doing anything with what you learn, you've been edified, you've been having a nice couple days of rest and relaxation. It's really meant to motivate people to do great things, and then if we can do it together, great things can happen.
Start relationships–we're looking at regulatory issues that we're facing. Help on some of these issues with PBMs, fees, and things that are coming to light. Help stop the sequester. We've learned that the best way to fix an issue is to talk about it, address it, talk to the right people, make things happen, but turn it into a to-do. Keep moving the ball forward, keep improving quality, learn from each one.