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Session: President's Symposium: Important Conversations: The Alzheimer’s Epidemic – Patient Engagement – ARPA-H and Cancer Moonshot [Return to Session]

President's Symposium: Important Conversations: The Alzheimer's Epidemic - Patient Engagement - ARPA-H and Cancer Moonshot

J Bourland1*, E Shaw1*, R Milman2*, T Schwetz3*, (1) Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, (2) University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO, (3) NIH, Bethesda, MD


MO-D-BRBC-0 (Monday, 7/11/2022) 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Ballroom BC

Important Conversations:
The Alzheimer’s Epidemic - Patient Engagement - ARPA-H and Cancer Moonshot

Broadening the field of medical physics and strengthening our communication, advocacy and leadership skills are strategic priorities for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. The ability of medical physicists to communicate well with non-physicist peers, patients and the public is of increasing importance. While medical physics is about science and technology, ultimately, our field is about people. The Symposium will open with a brief review of the impact of medical physics for transforming human health. Next, three Important Conversations – which are potentially unique, as well as relevant, topics for medical physicists – will be presented by engaging and expert keynote speakers: 1) Alzheimer’s disease, 2) physicist-patient engagement, and 3) national initiatives for accelerating healthcare innovation, as now described:

The Alzheimer’s Epidemic
The first keynote speaker will present on the prevalence, nature and challenges of degenerative brain disease. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease and type of dementia. Its incidence will triple by 2050. Like cancer, there are a series of diagnostic tests and like cancer, patients are staged based in the severity of their disease. But unlike cancer, AD is progressive and incurable. This talk will summarize the current knowledge about AD, compare and contrast the patient’s experience of cancer and AD, and describe the medical physicist's role in the Alzheimer's epidemic - spoken through the lens of academic radiation oncologist who specialized in treating brain tumors, who was caregiver for 9 years to his 53-year old wife with early onset AD.

What We Can Learn from Patients and Why We Need to Listen
The second keynote speaker will present on the dynamics of patient engagement. As medical physicists, we use research and science to shape and refine clinical practice in diagnostic imaging and radiation-based therapies. Traditionally, we have developed guidelines and standards in collaboration with other medical professionals – physicians, dosimetrists, technologists, and therapists, among others. Patients are key stakeholders but have been absent from these discussions. The speaker will discuss how actively seeking patients’ perspectives and experiences can help further AAPM’s mission of improving health through medical physics.

Accelerating Innovation in Health and Biomedical Research: ARPA-H and the Cancer Moonshot
The third keynote speaker will present on two new health and biomedical research initiatives prioritized by the Administration—the Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a new agency aimed at catalyzing breakthroughs to improve the health of all Americans, and the Cancer Moonshot 2.0, which has ambitious goals to end cancer as we know it today. The latest information on these dynamic and evolving initiatives will be provided.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain selected strategic opportunities for the AAPM
2. Compare the scope and challenges for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer
3. Describe the roles for patients as stakeholders in their medical care
4. Describe two new national initiatives for healthcare innovation

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Grant support acknowledged in radiation countermeasures: U19 AI67798, NIH/NIAID U01 AI150578, NIH/NIAID HHS0100201800022C, BARDA, Argentum LLC HHS0100201700022C, BARDA, Asell LLC 1C06OD030099, NIH Scientific society roles: President, American Association of Physicists in Medicine Alternate-Councilor, North Carolina Radiological Society (ACR)



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