Financial Barriers and Practical Issues After Cancer

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Join Fight Colorectal Cancer along with Amy Niles, Executive Vice President of Patient Access Network Foundation; Joanna Morales, CEO of Triage Cancer; and Karen Wehling, 9 year Stage IV CRC survivor and Research Advocate, for an engaging panel discussion focused on exploring one of the most critical needs for our community: understanding the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis and what resources are out there to help pay for care and services.

Meet the Presenters

Amy Niles, Executive Vice President of Patient Access Network Foundation

Amy Niles is Executive Vice President at the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation. The PAN Foundation is a national nonprofit that helps underinsured people with life-threatening, chronic and rare diseases get the medications and treatment they need by paying for their out-of-pocket costs and advocating for improved access and affordability. Amy leads PAN’s advocacy, policy and government relations initiatives, forges alliances with patient groups, and enjoys bringing the patient voice to meetings and conferences. Prior to joining PAN, Amy led national outreach programs for Together Rx Access, a prescription savings program for the uninsured. Prior to Together Rx Access, Amy was President and CEO of the National Women’s Health Resource Center, now known as HealthyWomen, for well over a decade.  Serving as an independent clearinghouse for women’s health information, Amy grew the organization from an idea to a national resource. Amy began her career in health care administration in hospitals in New York and Washington, DC. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from Baruch College, City University of New York. She graduated the University of Rochester with an undergraduate degree in biology.

Joanna Morales, CEO of Triage Cancer

Joanna Fawzy Morales, Esq. is a cancer rights attorney, author, speaker, and CEO of Triage Cancer, a national, nonprofit organization providing education on practical and legal issues that may impact individuals coping with cancer and their caregivers, through events, materials, and resources. Ms. Morales has spent more than twenty-five years working on behalf of individuals with cancer, including five as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, teaching Cancer Rights Law, and eight at the John Wayne Cancer Institute’s Psychosocial Care Program and Positive Appearance Center. Ms. Morales has presented nearly one thousand educational seminars on employment, insurance, health care, finances, and advocacy issues throughout the country for a variety of audiences. Ms. Morales has served on numerous cancer community committees and boards, including as Board Chair for the California Division of the American Cancer Society, ZERO Prostate Cancer’s Medical Advisory Board, and Executive Committee of the American Bar Association’s Breast Cancer Task Force. She co-authored a book on Cancer Rights Law for the American Bar Association. In 2017, she wrote a chapter, “Preventing or Minimizing Financial Toxicity Across the Continuum of Cancer Care,” for the ONS book, “Cancer Survivorship: Transdisciplinary, Patient-Centered Approaches to the Season of Survival.” In 2009, she contributed to the book, “Work and Cancer Survivors.” She has been published in a variety of other publications, such as Psycho-Oncology, Coping with Cancer, and Heal Magazine. Ms. Morales has received numerous awards and recognition for her service to the cancer community and her legislative advocacy work, such as the 2009 Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Public Policy Advocate of the Year and the 2015 Legacy Advocate Award from Stupid Cancer. In 2010, she was recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the Top 20 Attorneys in California Under the Age of 40.

Karen Wehling, 9-Year Stage IV CRC Survivor and Research Advocate

Karen Wehling has been a Research Advocate with Fight CRC for 5 years. She is also a patient advocate and 9 year survivor of stage IV colorectal cancer (CRC). Using skills from her research advocacy training she has been involved in the Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Research Working Group, a main focus of her colorectal cancer advocacy. She also uses her research advocacy skills as a curator of the Fight CRC Trial Finder. In addition, she is a member of the Colorado Colorectal Cancer Task Force, part of the Colorado Cancer Coalition. This group works to raise awareness as well as assists the underserved in Colorado with CRC screenings, and is currently working with the legislature to lower the age for CRC screenings to 45 in Colorado. Karen is involved directly with the evaluation of clinical trials as a member of COMIRB, the Colorado IRB, which is a committee that reviews proposed research studies for their ethical treatment in clinical trials with human subjects. She does all of this in the hope that her children and grandchildren will live in a world where CRC is no longer the 2nd leading cause of cancer death.  

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