Austin Cancer Support Coalition
What is the Austin Cancer Support Coalition?
The Austin Cancer Support Coalition (ACSC), founded in 2017, convenes organizations who in some way serve those in Central Texas impacted by cancer. Our vision is for all cancer patients, survivors and caregivers across Central Texas to have access to reliable educational information, affordable person-centered cancer support, and integrative care throughout their cancer journeys.
To work together to educate and serve the central Texas cancer community.
All cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, regardless of geographic location, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status have access to educational information, person-centered cancer care and support, and integrative care throughout the cancer continuum in Central Texas.
What do we do?
We help to educate providers in the local community about direct services and supportive care programs in Central Texas.
We address gaps in cancer support and promote stewardship of funding.
We conduct research to identify and address psychosocial needs of those impacted by cancer in Central Texas.
What is the history of the ACSC?
The Austin Cancer Support Coalition was created in 2017 as a joint initiative of local Central Texas cancer support organizations, institutions, and businesses with one shared mission: to connect and communicate in order to streamline cancer support and care for patients, survivors, and caregivers in Central Texas.
In May of 2017, the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes convened a half day cancer community town hall which marked an important first for the Austin cancer community: it was the first time that cancer support providers convened to focus solely on their programs and services for the community. The LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes hosted more than 45 organizations and nearly 80 individuals from across Central Texas to share their existing work and discuss gaps in cancer support, with the ultimate goal of determining constructive strategies for how the Institutes will collaborate with the community to improve care.
During that convening, it became clear that each of the participating organizations offers valuable services to patients and or loved ones and while there was some duplication of effort, providers and organizations were committed to collaboration to better streamline services in the community. Many participants expressed interest in meeting on a regular basis. As a result, the ACSC formed organically with leadership of several longstanding local cancer non-profits which formed the founding steering committee.
Goals of the ACSC Include:
1. Organize and mobilize the Central Texas Cancer community to plan and launch community-wide initiatives, services, research, and education for patients, survivors, families, providers and caregivers.
2. Improve efficient delivery of programs and services by identifying and eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort.
3. Identify and breakdown siloes, and build trust through increased regular communication and coordination among cancer support organizations and institutions in Central Texas.
4. Understand the evolving needs of cancer patients, survivors and caregivers in Central Texas and work with them to represent their collective voice to improve quality of life and the cancer experience.
5. Pool resources to collectively work to find and leverage shared grant funding for coalition goals and projects.
The ACSC meets quarterly and has an annual operating plan that is co-developed by all members. The current operating plan spans 2019-2020 and is focused on four main projects. The ACSC is guided by a rotating Steering Committee which helps coordinate activities, meetings, communication, and drives implementation of the operational plan. The ACSC is action-oriented but also serves as a think tank for members to brainstorm around challenging issues the community faces. The ACSC connects with the Texas cancer plan and coordinates with Cancer Alliance of Texas and is a central body representing cancer support providers to coordinate and share information with the major cancer institutions in Central Texas.
What the ACSC is:
Represents the diverse needs of the whole population of cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in Central Texas
What the ACSC is not:
A venue to fundraise for a single organization
An opportunity to sell/promote a product or treatment
A place for competition