The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), a leading national cancer advocacy organization, has appointed Nina Wendling as executive director. Wendling has been with the organization for more than six years, previously serving as senior director of operations and development.
Eight years ago Wendling first experienced the challenges of living with a cancer diagnosis when a close friend suffered a recurrence of breast cancer that had metastasized. Over the next two years, Wendling witnessed the complexities of surgery and treatment and the realities of a fragmented health care system as she cared for her dying friend.
“I witnessed unnecessary testing, poor communication among providers, aggressive treatment up to—and during—the last weeks of life, and the financial struggle for insurance reimbursement for treatments, prescription drugs and diagnostic testing,” said Wendling. “I learned first-hand there are as many barriers to quality care as opportunities.”
“As the voice of cancer survivors, NCCS confronts these barriers by advocating for changes in health care delivery that ensure the best possible care to the more than 12 million U.S. cancer survivors,” said Wendling.
Under Wendling’s leadership, NCCS will continue to improve access to quality cancer care through its robust public policy and advocacy activities. The organization’s policy efforts will focus on:
- Advocating in Congress and federal agencies for reform of Medicare and other health care systems to ensure cancer care planning and coordination and the empowerment of patients as health care decision-makers;
- Representing cancer survivors in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to guarantee that insurance coverage meets the lifelong needs of cancer survivors and to encourage health system reforms that promote and protect quality, affordable care;
- Convening survivors, physicians, researchers and others to investigate solutions to problems related to cancer drug development, access to quality care, and the development of a sustainable system of cancer care;
- Articulating the concerns and interests of cancer survivors in policy efforts that relate to cancer care delivery and access, including involvement in regulatory and legislative proposals and initiatives.
“Nina Wendling is dedicated to advocating for quality care for all people touched by cancer, and we look forward to her passionate leadership,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, Chair of the NCCS Board of Directors.
Prior to NCCS, Wendling was senior associate for Education Access Strategies, Inc., where she assisted nationally-recognized nonprofits and independent educational institutions in strategic planning. She has also worked as development director and special assistant to the president for the National Park Trust, a land conservancy organization protecting America’s parklands.
NCCS advocates for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer and strongly believes in evidence-based advocacy that reflects the needs of all cancer survivors to effect policy change at the national level. NCCS actively provides input on proposed policies that ensure access to health insurance for quality care; the highest quality patient-centered cancer care; and the removal of barriers to quality care