The Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) presented its Advocate of the Year Award to Edward Balaban, DO, FACP, FASCO for his valuable contributions to ASCO’s advocacy efforts. The award recognizes volunteers who have gone above and beyond in the past year, advocating on behalf of patients and providers to improve cancer care and research.
In 2021, Dr. Balaban sent letters to his lawmakers, participated in the ASCO Advocacy Summit, attended federal agency meetings with the Association’s Government Relations Committee, and continued his longstanding service as an ASCO delegate to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) House of Delegates (HOD). The AMA HOD is an influential group that meets multiple times a year to shape health care legislation at the federal level. As a participant, Dr. Balaban—and the entire ASCO delegation—play a vital role in ensuring that the cancer care perspective is included as the HOD considers its policy-making agenda.
Dr. Balaban also joined ASCO’s advocacy efforts by urging lawmakers to increase federal research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Fiscal Year 2022. These efforts helped lead to significant funding increases for both agencies.
“Dr. Balaban has generously given his time and expertise to educate lawmakers and administration officials on the issues impacting our patients,” said Julie Vose, FASCO, MBA, MD, chair of ASCO’s Government Relations Committee. “His tireless efforts have paid off with tangible successes such as funding increases for NIH and NCI that move the field closer to a cure for cancer, and we know he will continue to have a positive impact as an ASCO advocate.”
In addition to his advocacy efforts, Dr. Balaban currently serves as a consultant to the Penn State Cancer Institute and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania Medical Society. His previous positions included Medical Director for the Cancer Care Partnership with the Penn State Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine for Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Balaban earned his medical degree at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, completed his residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and completed a fellowship in Hematology & Oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Balaban received his award during the 2022 ASCO Advocacy Summit, where the Association also recognized its 2021 ASCO Advocacy Champions for their extraordinary contributions to a variety of advocacy activities, including meetings with federal and state lawmakers, agency staff, and in-district meetings and site visits during Congressional work periods.
Visit ASCO’s Advocacy Toolkit to get involved in the Association’s advocacy activities.