Our Impact

Advocacy OCRA

From the establishment of the first federal ovarian cancer program just 25 years ago, to the promise of today’s Cancer Moonshot, OCRA’s advocacy community has much to be proud of as we continue to fight for better policies and increased funding to defeat ovarian cancer.


CANCER MOONSHOT REIGNITED |  The White House announced they would be “reigniting the Cancer Moonshot” with the stated goal of “reducing cancer death rate by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years, and improving the experience of living with and surviving cancer.”  Importantly, the President included a gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Carol Brown on his three-member Cancer Panel.


FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OVARIAN CANCER PROGRAMS REACHES RECORD LEVEL |  In Fiscal Year 2022, the federal government is set to spend a record $266M on ovarian cancer research and education programs.


ADVOCATE LEADERS PROGRAM GROWS |  The Advocate Leaders program surpassed 100 members representing 44 states, which is remarkable geographic coverage for a program of this size.


CONGRESS APPROVES IMPROVEMENTS TO CLINICAL TRIALS |  Congress enacted legislation requiring all state Medicaid programs to provide coverage for routine clinical care costs –  like lab tests and doctor visits – associated with participation in a clinical trial, bringing Medicaid in line with requirements already in place for Medicare and private health insurance plans.  The organization worked with a large coalition of patient advocacy groups to ensure passage.


BIG INCREASE OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH PROGRAM |  After nearly a decade of level funding, the organization successfully sought a major increase in funding for the OCRP at the Department of Defense. After a sustained campaign, Congress agreed to a 75% increase to the Programs funding level moving from $20M to $35M.


CONGRESS ADDRESSES GYNECOLOGIC CLINICAL TRIALS |  The organization organized an advocacy campaign to include report language in the final FY2018 appropriations package (that funds the federal government operations) to require the National Cancer Institute provide an update on a recent decline of NCI-sponsored gynecologic cancer clinical trials, bringing an important issue into the spotlight and helping build the necessary evidence for reversing the trend.


LANDMARK 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT ENACTED |  The final legislation included several new provisions and resources benefiting the cancer patient community, including the establishment of the Oncology Center of Excellence within the FDA, creation of a pathway for incorporating patient engagement data in drug development and a new program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to build the pipeline of young investigators. Importantly, the legislation also provided for $1.8B  to fund then Vice-President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative.


BIPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL OVARIAN CANCER CAUCUS ESTABLISHED |  In an effort to strengthen our impact on Capitol Hill, the organization helped launch the Congressional Ovarian Cancer Caucus, chaired initially by Congresswoman Rosa DeLAuro (D-CT)and Congressman Sen Duffy (R-WI). The Caucus membership has grown to include dozens of members of Congress.


ADVOCATE LEADERS PROGRAM LAUNCHED | In an update to the Grasstops program, the organization launched the Advocate Leaders program with 27 members from 19 states. 


ADVOCATE CONVERSATION SERIES BEGINS | The organization convened a group of experts to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing our community. The recommendations from the first Advocate Conversations were published in a white paper later in the year. The organization subsequently held several additional events.


GRASSTOPS ADVOCACY PROGRAM | The organization created an advocacy program to train survivors and supporters to become legislative advocates. The initial group had 20 members from 12 states.


JOHANNA’S LAW REAUTHORIZED | President Barack Obama signed legislation to reauthorize and enhance Johanna’s Law.


AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PASSES | The landmark healthcare legislation was signed into law with protections for people with pre-existing conditions, a provision strongly endorsed by the organization.


CMS APPROVES PET SCANS FOR OVARIAN CANCER PATIENTS | In a move to improve monitoring and diagnosis of ovarian cancer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approve reimbursement for the important imaging technology.


CMS APPROVES PET SCANS FOR OVARIAN CANCER PATIENTS | In a move to improve monitoring and diagnosis of ovarian cancer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approve reimbursement for the important imaging technology.


JOHANNA’S LAW ESTABLISHED |  Named after Johanna Silver, a school teacher who died from ovarian cancer, and signed by President George W. Bush, Johanna’s Law directed the CDC to carry out a national campaign to increase the awareness and knowledge of health care providers and the community at large with respect to gynecologic cancers.


OVARIAN CANCER PROGRAM ESTABLISHED AT CDC | The Centers for Disease Control launched their critical study and surveillance program which coordinates closely with the organization.


FIRST ANNUAL ADVOCACY DAY | To demonstrate support for issues important to the ovarian cancer community, the organization held its first annual advocacy day event in Washington, DC.


OVARIAN CANCER RESEARCH PROGRAM ESTABLISHED WITHIN DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE | After a significant grassroots lobbying effort, the first and only federally-funded research program dedicated to the study of ovarian cancer was formed as part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.