Wednesday: Expanding access to cancer clinical trials in Illinois

On Feb. 12, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to talk about improving access to clinical trials for cancer patients in Illinois. The Illinois Medicaid program is not required to cover routine care for patients in cancer clinical trials.


Feb. 12
11 a.m.


UI Health Mile Square Health Center
Room 2007
1220 S. Wood St.


  • Illinois Rep. Marcus Evans, 33rd District, chair of the Illinois Joint Legislative Cancer Caucus and cancer survivor
  • Illinois Rep. Camille Lilly, 78th District
  • Illinois Sen. Mattie Hunter, 3rd District
  • Shana Crews, Illinois government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Dr. John Stewart, professor of surgery and physician executive for oncology services at UIC and associate director of clinical research at the University of Illinois Cancer Center
  • Karriem Watson, associate executive director of UI Health Mile Square Health Center and associate director of community outreach and engagement at the University of Illinois Cancer Center
  • Dr. Blase Polite, associate professor of medicine and executive medical director for cancer accountable care at the University of Chicago, board member of American Society of Clinical Oncology and member of Illinois Medical Oncology Society


Public health advocates from across the state will come together to address concerns about the state of clinical trials for cancer treatments in Illinois. Clinical trials are critical to advancing lifesaving cancer treatments and patient participation in trials is crucial to their success.

Currently, the Illinois Medicaid program is one of the insurance programs in the U.S. that is not required to cover routine care for patients in cancer clinical trials. Legislative changes may allow an additional 1 in 5 Illinois residents to have access to new, potentially lifesaving treatments and therapies.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

About UIC
Located in the heart of one of the world’s great cities, the University of Illinois at Chicago is Chicago’s largest university and only public research institution. Its 16 academic colleges serve more than 33,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UIC is recognized as one of the most ethnically rich and culturally diverse campuses in the nation, a leader in providing access to underrepresented students. UIC students become professionals in fields ranging from business and engineering to education, liberal arts and sciences, urban planning, and social work, as well as architecture, design and the arts. With one of the largest colleges of medicine in the nation, and colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, social work, and applied health sciences, UIC is the state’s principal educator of health professionals and a major health care provider to underserved communities. UI Health, UIC’s academic health enterprise, includes a 462-bed tertiary care hospital, 21 outpatient clinics, and a network of 12 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). UIC is an integral part of the educational, technological, and cultural fabric of Chicago.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is a global leader in the fight against cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. For additional information visit

About the Association for Clinical Oncology
The Association for Clinical Oncology is a 501 (c)(6) organization that represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Established by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2019, the Association works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high-quality, affordable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports federal funding for cancer research as well as efforts centered on cancer prevention, drug development, and clinical trials. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter at @ASCO.

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