Exploring a Lost Generation: Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology in the Academic Setting

Fellowship Paper - September 4, 2019

Population Health

Susan van der Sommen MHA, FACHE, FACMPE
Each year, approximately 70,000 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 39 (commonly referred to as AYAs) are diagnosed with cancer, yet historically, few programs have been developed to address their unique clinical, social and emotional needs. Representing a scant 6% of all cancer diagnoses, the disease is a leading factor of death among this age group. Whereas their adult and pediatric counterparts have experienced greater overall success in outcomes and survivorship, AYAs have become a “lost generation”, achieving suboptimal results. There is a growing sense of importance among academic medical centers to develop programs designed to meet the unique needs of this population and address disparities in their care. Despite the fact that health care administrators are required to balance multiple priorities with limited resources in an ever-evolving, rapidly changing health care environment, the needs of this cohort of oncology patients cannot be overlooked. An extensive literature search revealed a growing imperative to address the needs of this population, including historical and current obstacles to achieving optimal outcomes, as well as recommended strategies designed to achieve a comprehensive care model through programmatic development and collaborative partnerships.
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About the Author

Susan van der Sommen
Susan van der Sommen MHA, FACHE, FACMPE
Senior Director, Administration- Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

Susan.vandersommen@jhmi.edu.

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