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COA Elects Michael Diaz as President and Co-Chair of Biosimilar Committee

Samantha Hitchcock
Published Online:2:18 PM, Fri January 4, 2019

Michael Diaz, MD

Michael Diaz, MD, was recently elected president of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and began his 1-year term on January 1, 2019. Diaz, a medical oncologist at Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), is a long-time board member and volunteer with COA.

“As president of COA, I will work tirelessly to fulfill COA’s mission to strengthen our nation’s cancer care system, so it can serve every patient in every community,” said Diaz in a statement. “I am honored and humbled to be elected to this new role at COA and look forward to servicing with a phenomenal board and team in the year ahead.”
In 2011, Diaz joined FSC where he currently serves as a member of the FCS Executive Board and as director of patient advocacy. He is also the vice-chair on the board of directors for the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation and the immediate past president for the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology.

“…I am confident that we will continue to thrive under the presidency of Dr Michael Diaz,” Jeff Vacirca, MD, FACP, the outgoing COA president, said in a statement. “COA is on the frontlines, tackling the tremendous challenges and opportunities that lie ahead so that Americans can continue to access to the high quality, local, affordable, and accessible cancer care that they deserve.”

The president elect’s additional leadership roles include vice-president on the board of directors for COA and co-medical director for the COA Patient Advocacy Network. Diaz is also an active member with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), where he has served on ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee.
Several new members of the COA Board of Directors were also elected, including Kashyap Patel, MD, who will serve as vice president. Miriam Atkins, MD, FACP, a practicing medical oncologist at Augusta Oncology, was elected as secretary.

“We will not rest until every patient facing cancer has access to quality, affordable care, in his or her own community,” Diaz promised in a statement. “At a time when cancer patients should more reason than ever to be hopeful about their prognosis, issues of cost and access have made treatment no less daunting.”

In light of this promise, the COA Board of Directors also announced at the same time the formation of a standing Biosimilars Committee, in which immediate past president Vacirca and incoming president Diaz will serve as co-chairs. The newly formed committee will work to address the information and policy supporting the use of biosimilars and how these drugs can be used to affect cost control of cancer treatments.

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