We speak to Joelle Fathi, Chief Healthcare Delivery Officer at the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer in the US.
What do you do?
My mission to conquer lung cancer is a personal and professional one. I have worked in oncology for nearly 30 years, with thoracic oncology occupying much of this time. As a nurse practitioner and Chief Healthcare Delivery Officer, I collaborate with colleagues on strategies, initiatives, and research to advance our work for the lung cancer community, including patients, carers, and healthcare providers.
I oversee our extensive network of Centers of Excellence across the US by driving quality care and representing, advocating, and raising the voices of the lung cancer community through government, regulatory affairs, and health policy. I also plan and disseminate knowledge through our healthcare provider education program.
I am deeply committed to taking action against lung cancer by proactive tobacco control through international collaboration, legislative action and policy change, and tobacco use prevention and cessation. On any given day, you might also find me developing future nurse practitioners at the University of Washington or seeing patients in the community clinic.
Regarding lung cancer screening in the US, what’s working well and what could be improved?
Awareness of lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer death is increasing. Seeing significant advances in the development of clear clinical guidelines and implementation of early detection of lung cancer has been encouraging. It is equally positive to see improvements in our ability to understand and predict who may be most at risk from lung cancer. The growth and increasing precision of genomic testing and novel treatments and therapies that drive the possibility of quality of life and a cure for lung cancer are deeply encouraging. We have momentum, and we must not stop now!
What do you hope the Lung Cancer Policy Network will achieve?
I was motivated to join the Network to collaborate with policymakers on the development, advancement, and adoption of transformative legislation, as this is some of the most meaningful work I’ve engaged in during my career.
As the Network develops, I would like to see the collective power of our efforts to produce big, bold, and innovative solutions to the barriers holding up necessary progress to impact the lung cancer landscape positively. I would like to see our work catapult efforts and result in advances in the lung cancer field that matter.
What would you like lung cancer care to look like in the future?
Early detection is the tip of the iceberg in changing the face of lung cancer as we’ve known it, and everything flows from there.
There have been so many exciting discoveries. I think it all begins with the significant contributions of the lung cancer screening discoveries (International Early Lung Cancer Action Program, National Lung Screening Trial, and the Dutch-Belgian Randomized Lung Cancer Screening (NELSON) Trial) that have opened awareness and access to life-saving lung cancer screening.
I firmly believe that working upstream on policy changes is the best way to change the face of lung cancer. Together, we need to work on deconstructing structural and systemic contributors to this disease, championing risk reduction, early detection, quality of care, quality of life measures, and survival improvement. Policy is central to everything we aim to accomplish to save lives from lung cancer.
What do you like to do in your spare time, away from work?
I enjoy creating food, feeding others, making memories with my family, friends and our pup (RoZie), as well as learning new things.
The Lung Cancer Policy Network brings together a unique mix of experts in lung cancer from around the world, united in their passion to eliminate lung cancer as a cause of death.
We regularly share profiles of our members so that you can find out more about what led them to work in lung cancer and what changes they would like to see in lung cancer prevention and care on a global level.
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