AACI Steering Committees Announce New Members, Invite Nominations

AACI Clinical Research Innovation (CRI) held elections in September for four new steering committee positions. The new CRI Steering Committee chair-elect is Thomas J. George, Jr., MD, FACP, associate director for clinical research; director, Experimental Therapeutics Incubator; and director, Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, at the University of Florida Health Cancer Center. Dr. George has served as a steering committee member for the past two years.

Joining the steering committee are Margaret Kasner, MD, MSCE, clinical trials office (CTO) medical director and associate professor, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health; Frances Brogan, MSN, RN, OCN, CCRP, director of clinical research operations, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Irving Medical Center; Arcadia Cruz, PhD, associate administrative director of clinical research operations, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center; Angela Fritsche, MPA, operations administrator for the CTO, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Matthew Kovak, MS, CCRP, director of the CTO, UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Julie Brabbs, MBA, chief administrative officer, University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, ex officio, will represent the Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF). The new members formally assumed their duties this month during the 2022 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting.

AACI thanks the following outgoing steering committee members for their time and commitment to CRI:
  • Bhanu Pappu, PhD, MHA, associate vice president for clinical research, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Tiffany Colvin, CCRC, director of clinical research operations, University of Colorado Cancer Center
  • Patricia LoRusso, DO, associate center director of experimental therapeutics, Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine
  • Kate Shumate, MA, CCRP, director of administration and planning, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

AACI's Government Relations (GR) Steering Committee appointed a new chair and welcomed a new member. Matthew Swaback, senior manager of government affairs, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health, is the new GR steering committee chair, and Alexander R. Currie, senior director of federal relations, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center joined the committee. AACI thanks outgoing GR Steering Committee Chair John DeMuro, director of federal legislative affairs, Moffitt Cancer Center, for his contributions to AACI's advocacy efforts.

Karen L. Reckamp, MD, MS, director, Division of Medical Oncology, and associate director, clinical research, at Cedars-Sinai Cancer has been named chair of the Physician Clinical Leadership Initiative (PCLI) Steering Committee. Current chair Claire F. Verschraegen, MS, MD, FACP, director and professor, Division of Medical Oncology at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, will roll off the steering committee at the end of 2022.

AACI extends its appreciation to Dr. Verschraegen and other outgoing steering committee members for their time and commitment in guiding the initiative and planning the annual PCLI meeting:

  • Taher Abu Hejleh, MBBS, MS, medical director of clinical services, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa

  • Steven R. Alberts, MD, deputy director for clinical research and interim chair of the Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center

  • Julie Brahmer, MD, director, thoracic oncology program, and professor of oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at John Hopkins University

  • Merry-Jennifer Markham, MD, FACP, interim chief, Division of Hematology & Oncology, University of Florida Health Cancer Center

  • John Sweetenham, MD, FRCP, FACP, FASCO, associate director of clinical affairs, Simmons Comprehensive Center, UT Southwestern Medical Center

PCLI Steering Committee Nominations

AACI is seeking nominations for the PCLI steering committee, which helps identify barriers, challenges, and opportunities for AACI to collaborate with like-minded organizations.

Nominees must:
  • Be employed by university, medical center, or cancer hospital that is a member of AACI
  • Hold a title of chief medical officer, executive medical director, associate director for clinical affairs, or an equivalent position with a leadership role in overseeing the cancer program’s clinical enterprise
  • Hold a medical degree
Steering committee member responsibilities:
  • Serve a three-year term beginning in January 2023
  • Participate in bi-monthly and ad hoc meetings and calls
  • Work with AACI staff to plan one webinar on a topic of the committee member's choice to share solutions from cancer centers to address common challenges
  • Develop and pilot surveys as they pertain to physician clinical leaders or clinical teams of the clinical research program
  • Plan and attend the annual AACI PCLI meeting held during the AACI/CCAF annual meeting each fall
  • Facilitate additional projects as needed
AACI cancer center members may submit recommendations to Program Coordinator Hailey Honeycutt by December 1, 2022.