Cancer care across borders

Written by The Parliament Magazine on 9 September 2019 in Opinion
Opinion

The ECCO European Cancer Summit will bring together worldwide leaders from cancer care, research, patient advocacy and public-private sectors, says Mike Morrissey.

Photo credit: European CanCer Organisation


The European CanCer Organisation's (ECCO) European Cancer Summit will bring together worldwide leaders from cancer care, research, patient advocacy and public-private sectors.

Mike Morrissey recently joined the ECCO as its new Chief Executive, having previously worked at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) as their COO.

He has a successful background in re-energising not-for-profit organisations and will be responsible, with the ECCO Board, for finalising and implementing the organisation’s new strategic plan for 2020 and beyond.


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While at the ESC, Morrissey was responsible for convening the sub-specialty cardiology associations and working groups under the Society’s umbrella.

Talking to the Parliament Magazine recently, Morrissey said, “I am very excited about the opportunities that ECCO has, particularly with the European Union’s Horizon Europe Cancer Mission starting its work soon and with a focus across the EU on making a real difference in fighting cancer and improving the quality of care for cancer patients”.

“There is a real enthusiasm and belief in our mission and future success among members and other important cancer care players”

He added, “We have the advantage of having the expertise of 27 member societies, representing different disciplines and professions, as well as having patients at the heart of our policy-making. By focussing on advocating our policies within the EU institutions and through the wider cancer care community, ECCO will bring together the right stakeholders, at the right time, on the right subjects and will facilitate the actions that are agreed in this important network.”

“There is a real enthusiasm and belief in our mission and future success among members and other important cancer care players. Without proper facilitation and coordination, the efforts of many scientific experts who volunteer their time for the benefit of patients, can be fragmented within the European cancer community, with duplication of efforts and the dilution of our core messages." During his first few weeks as CEO, Morrissey has met with European Commission and World Health Organization officials as well as representatives of ECCO’s member societies across Europe.

“By focussing on advocating our policies within the EU institutions and through the wider cancer care community, ECCO will bring together the right stakeholders, at the right time, on the right subjects”

"We aim to be a nimble, proactive and influential organisation that supports our member societies and the EU. Having recently been through significant change, ECCO is now in a position to focus on its key work around policy and advocacy and as the convenor of our member societies and others in the European cancer community.” 

ECCO plans to create and facilitate community networks on specifi c tumour types and multidisciplinary topics, bringing both its member societies and other invited stakeholders together. These networks will help smooth the passage of policies, such as the ECCO European Cancer Summit resolutions and its Essential Requirements for Quality Cancer Care programme.

Readers can expect more news on how the new-look organisation intends to finalise its strategic plan, later this autumn.

 

The EU Cancer Mission– Leaving no partners behind

The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) has long campaigned to ensure EU policymakers understand the level of public support that exists for inter-governmental cooperation in combating cancer.

The news that the next Horizon research period will include an EU Cancer Mission was therefore received with enormous satisfaction.

Meeting such grand challenges is exactly what citizens wish to see EU policymakers devote themselves to. However, what, in particular, will an EU Cancer Mission dedicate its efforts towards?

There is no shortage of potential areas of focus, whether that be gaining a stronger understanding of the causes of cancer, better ways of preventing cancer, accelerating progress in treatment options or setting goals in particular areas such as survivorship rates for certain tumours or age groups.

ECCO, representing the diverse interests of 27 member societies and taking close counsel from the 17 patient organisations in its Patient Advisory Committee, believes that, whichever way the EU Cancer Mission develops, it will involve, consult and gain input from all main stakeholders.

The upcoming ECCO 2019 European Cancer Summit will devote a full session on its fi rst day to this topic, highlighting the need for the Mission to be mindful of Europe’s diversity in respect to health system development, and the open opportunity for improvement in outcomes offered by simple and inexpensive best practices that are, unfortunately, still not as widely adopted as they should be.

The Summit, on 12-14 September in Brussels, will also invite attendees to register their views on the transparency and openness of the Mission. The Parliament Magazine will be on hand during the Summit with exclusive reporting of the key sessions and speeches.

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