The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected three new officers to ASTRO’s Board of Directors, including Jeff M. Michalski, MD, MBA, FASTRO, as President-elect, Catheryn Yashar, MD, FASTRO, as Health Policy Council Vice Chair and John Buatti, MD, FASTRO, as Science Council Vice Chair. The officers will begin their terms in October during ASTRO’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Chicago.
In his tenure as President-elect and eventual Chair of ASTRO, Dr. Michalski plans to focus on the Society’s priority issues including safeguarding equitable patient access to life-saving cancer treatment; building a pipeline of diverse radiation oncology clinicians and researchers; and developing programs and policies that will prepare the future workforce to meet the evolving cancer care landscape.
“Radiation oncologists have led many essential and innovative clinical research advances that enhance patient outcomes and extend survival. We face ever-growing challenges, however, and as the world emerges from a transformative pandemic, we are reminded that collaboration, inclusion and equity are indispensable for progress, whether within our specialty, with our partners in multidisciplinary oncology or with our patients," said Dr. Michalski. "I will work to ensure that ASTRO's membership and leadership more closely represent the diverse populations we care for and that we protect access to critical and cost-effective cancer therapy for all communities."
Dr. Michalski is the Carlos Perez Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair of radiation oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A nationally recognized expert in genitourinary cancers, pediatric cancers and cancer survivorship care, he has extensive experience leading and supporting clinical trials and developing clinical guidelines with ASTRO and other organizations including the National Cancer Institute. He also co-chairs the radiation oncology section of the NRG Oncology national clinical trials group.
Dr. Michalski has an extensive record of service to ASTRO and the oncology field. He previously was elected to serve on the ASTRO Board of Directors as Secretary/Treasurer of ASTRO and led the Society's Finance Committee. He also is a current executive editor of Practical Radiation Oncology, ASTRO's clinical practice journal, and a member of the joint Blue Ribbon Panel between ASTRO and the Veterans Health Administration to improve prostate cancer care.
Dr. Catheryn Yashar (Health Policy Council Vice Chair) is a professor of radiation oncology at the University of California, San Diego, and the current Chair of ASTRO's Health Policy Committee. A leading expert in gynecologic oncology, Dr. Yashar is the senior editor of gynecology for Practical Radiation Oncology and Vice Chair of the cervical/uterine panel for the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. In her Board role, Dr. Yashar will work with policy stakeholders including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on key health policy issues, such as establishing an alternative payment model (APM) for radiation oncology that will protect patient access to value-based, guideline-concordant cancer care; reducing the burden of prior authorization hurdles that can unnecessarily delay cancer treatment; and reversing excessive payment cuts that undermine access to care and disproportionately impact rural and community-based practices.
Dr. John Buatti (Science Council Vice Chair) is the founding Chair and a professor in the department of radiation oncology at the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine, where he also holds secondary faculty appointments in neurosurgery and otolaryngology. Dr. Buatti is a prolific scholar and leading authority on the treatment of cranial malignancies, as well as efforts to improve the quality of cancer imaging in therapy. He previously served on ASTRO's Science Council Steering Committee and currently chairs the ASTRO task force on radiopharmaceuticals – an emerging approach of combining radiation particles to targeted therapies, such as the use of radiation drugs to both find and treat tumors – and he recently led the development of ASTRO's framework for patient-centered care in radiopharmaceutical therapy. In his Board role, Dr. Buatti will continue to support innovations in radiation biology, medical physics and clinical research that advance modern and multidisciplinary cancer care.
Dr. Michalski will serve a one-year term as President-elect, followed by single-year terms as President, Chair and Immediate Past Chair of the ASTRO Board. Dr. Yashar and Dr. Buatti will serve two-year terms as Vice-chairs, followed by two-year terms as Chairs of their respective Councils.
The ASTRO membership also elected three new members to the Society's Nominating Committee. Helen Shih, MD, MS, MPH, FASTRO of Massachusetts General Hospital, Join Y. Luh, MD, of St. Joseph Hospital, and Kristy Brock, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will serve three-year terms beginning in October.
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who are physicians, nurses, biologists, physicists, radiation therapists, dosimetrists and other health care professionals who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. For information on radiation therapy, visit RTAnswers.org. To learn more about ASTRO, visit our website and follow us on social media.