The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) congratulates President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inauguration and pledges its strong support of their efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and promote cancer research, treatment, and prevention. Representing 102 major cancer centers in North America, AACI formed a strong bond with President Biden during his leadership of President Barack Obama’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, launched in 2016.
On the first stop of a tour promoting the initiative, Biden, then vice president, visited AACI member Case Comprehensive Cancer Center in Cleveland. Overall, 40 AACI cancer centers hosted regional Cancer Moonshot summits in 25 states. AACI subsequently submitted a whitepaper to the Moonshot office, highlighting the readiness of AACI centers to deliver high-quality cancer care, including expanding access to clinical trials.
AACI looks forward to extending its key role in contributing to the federal government’s accelerated effort to eradicate cancer. As a consistent advocate for increased federal funding for cancer research, AACI asked Congress last year to ensure that additional funds be made available through the 21st Century Cures Act for the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot.
“AACI is eager to work with the new administration and share information about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cancer centers and their patients, and how we can recover together,” said AACI Executive Director Jennifer W. Pegher.
AACI also commends Kamala Harris as the nation’s first woman and person of color to be vice president. Her rise to the highest level of government sets an example for cancer centers seeking diversity and inclusion in both institutional leadership and the wider oncology workforce.
“The pandemic has further exposed unacceptable inequities in access to quality health care,” said AACI President Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, executive vice president of oncology services for Jefferson Health and enterprise director of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. “Now more than ever, it is critical for the 102 AACI cancer centers to work together to both understand and mitigate cancer disparities. We look forward to partnering with the new administration toward these goals and applaud the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris.”
AACI’s mission is to accelerate progress against cancer by enhancing the impact of North America’s leading academic cancer centers. For more information, please visit aaci-cancer.org.