By Tammy McCausland
SROA’s New President-Elect
Aaron Brammer, administrator at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, GA, is SROA’s new president-elect. He participated in a Q&A to talk about his new role.
Q: Why did you run for president-elect?
A: I enjoy working with SROA members, and I love radiation oncology. Several past presidents reached out to me and encouraged me to run. I feel our profession is very valuable, and I want to see that value recognized by others. I want our members to have positive experiences similar to mine leading in radiation oncology and helping our patients, physicians and staff.
Many times I have seen radiation oncology exist as a siloed area in medicine, and I would like to increase the recognition of the value we bring, not just within our field but across the cancer continuum, with our colleagues in medical oncology, hematology, surgery, etc. The work done in radiation oncology is important for the overall care of patients.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure?
A: I hope to help our members feel more comfortable and confident in their ability to lead within their radiation oncology departments or clinics; to ensure they will continue to have the tools and resources to manage and to care for their patients and staff; and to hopefully develop and provide members with those tools and support, so they know there are other administrators they can work with and bounce ideas off of in times of need.
Q: Can you elaborate on your previous volunteer experience with SROA?
A: I started several years ago working with the committees centered on billing and revenue. Gary Webster, a past president, encouraged me to become more active in the association and apply as a board member. I have been a member-at-large, served on the Program Committee and participated in several of the new member welcoming groups.
Q: What do you see as the most pressing issues for SROA and radiation oncology?
A: With all the constant change and everything that is going on around the world, the most pressing issue is how can we offer our patients, staff and physicians stability, how do we deal with this unprecedented change and how do we continue moving forward. Our patients’ cancer has not stopped or paused during the current pandemic. The disease and the necessity to provide care is not diminishing simply because there is a worldwide pandemic. We need to focus on what we can do to help steady the ship as much as possible during these trying times.
Q: What about care beyond the pandemic?
A: Beyond the pandemic there will be new reimbursement models and new technologies. We have learned lessons from the pandemic—for example, with telehealth. We need to look at the impact of alternative payer models, and assess what will they mean for new technology adoption and how they will impact our ability to pay for expensive technology as reimbursement changes.
Q: How have you benefited from being a member of SROA?
A: Early in my career, it was beneficial to have the tools from the Resources Toolbox to help me get oriented and learn the basics of radiation oncology. Since then, I have benefited from networking with people that I can contact regarding questions or challenges. Knowing I have a network of colleagues around the country that I can reach out to and ask about their experiences with similar challenges is invaluable.
What tools/resources have been most valuable to you in your career?