U.S. Rep. Adam Smith to participate in live debate on rising cost of cancer care

SEATTLE — U.S. Rep. Adam Smith will participate in a live debate on who’s to blame for the rising cost of cancer care during the 2018 Summit on National and Global Cancer Health Disparities held April 28–29 in Seattle.

Smith will be on a panel of renowned doctors, patient advocates, and pharmaceutical executives. KIRO 7 Anchor Michelle Millman will co-moderate the debate, to be held from 3:45 to 5 p.m. April 28 at the Hilton Seattle.

“Cancer is an incredibly costly illness to manage and treat,” Smith said. “With the rising cost of healthcare, it is important to provide innovative, flexible solutions to this growing problem. For those experiencing the physical and emotional burdens of cancer, healthcare costs should not place another undue burden on individuals and families.”

The conference is designed to provide education and to find potential solutions to ending healthcare disparities preventing disenfranchised groups from receiving the best possible care. It is organized by the Binaytara Foundation, an international cancer health nonprofit based in Northwest Washington.

The event is the brainchild of Foundation President Dr. Binay Shah, who said the debate sessions will promote a better understanding of factors contributing to soaring healthcare costs.

“There is not much cross-talk at most conferences,” Shah said. “But in order to tackle these major disparity issues, experts from different sectors must communicate and collaborate. We want to hear from all sides so we can push toward meaningful outcomes.”

Panelists joining Congressman Smith include Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions VP and CMO Dr. Chadi Nabhan, Oregon Health and Sciences University Assistant Professor of Medicine Dr. Vinay Prasad, CLL Society Founder Dr. Brian Koffman, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society CMO Dr. Gwen Nichols, and Biotheranostics CEO Don Hardison.

Millman’s co-moderators will be Dr. Thomas Brown, Executive Director of Swedish Cancer Institute, and Dr. Scott Ramsey, Director of Fred Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcome Research.

The conference will feature a second debate from 10:45 a.m. to noon April 29.

The debate — moderated by KOMO 4 Reporter Denise Whitaker, Fred Hutch News Service’s Diane Mapes, Washington University of Medicine Professor Dr. Ramaswamy Govindan, and Dr. Prasad — will focus on ways to contain the cost of cancer care.

Panelists for the debate include Kraft Family Professor of Medicine Dr. Kenneth Anderson, Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Co-Director Dr. Gary Lyman, and McKesson VP and CMO Dr. Michael Seiden.

The 2018 Summit on National and Global Cancer Health Disparities is the inaugural conference of what will become an annual event. The Binaytara Foundation is also hosting the 6th International Conference on Advances in Hematology and Oncology Aug. 4–5 in Couer d’Alene, Idaho. It is the largest medical education conference for oncology in the region.

The Binaytara Foundation also works on projects abroad. It will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the Nepalese government to establish a state-of-the-art public cancer center near the city of Janakupur. It is also expanding hospice and palliative care services throughout Nepal and India.


Aaron Weinberg, Binaytara Foundation Development Director, 360–707–7593 [email protected]

Binaytara Foundation