2021 Virtual Advocate Leadership Summit

May 13-15, 2021; Lobby Day May 18th

About NBCC’s annual Advocate Leadership Summit:

Although the ongoing pandemic again required a virtual program, we were thrilled to see hundreds of bold advocates come together in common cause: to end breast cancer for everyone at the 2021 NBCC’s annual Advocate Leadership Summit.

What is the point of NBCC’s Summit? It is another step in our ongoing education and training programs. This year’s program included an array of exciting plenary sessions featuring some of the most distinguished voices in breast cancer research and advocacy. But it is also an opportunity to network with speakers and other advocates and to make new friends.

NBCC’s Summit Plenaries 

Our plenaries this year included Drs. Otis Brawley and Lucile Adams Campbell joined by Roslyn Holliday Moore of the Office of Minority Health and NBCC advocate Ivis Febus-Sampayo for a timely discussion about disparities in breast cancer and the ways in which we might overcome them.

NBCC President Fran Visco sat down in an armchair chat with NBCC co-founder Dr. Susan Love to talk about Dr. Love’s amazing career.

Drs. Cyrus Ghajar, Keith Knutson, and Alana Welm provided an annual update on NBCC’s Artemis Project and how this work is fostering innovative breast cancer research. Notably, Dr. Knutson updated Summit participants on the current phase 1 trial activities of the Artemis preventative breast cancer vaccine.

Attendees also heard from Drs. Matt Hepburn and Robert Cook-Deegan, as well as NBCC advocate Pat Haugen, about Operation Warp Speed and similar accelerated models of research. The key discussion that followed explored how to bring the same mission-focused research framework to breast cancer to propel faster application of breakthrough innovations.

NBCC’s annual political plenary, moderated by Joanne Howes, featured an engaging discussion between Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, Jennifer Klein of the White House Gender Policy Council, and advocate Judi Hirshfield-Bartek about the Biden administration and its approach to women’s health.

Attendees were also able to enjoy a variety of virtual workshops aimed at honing their scientific understanding and advocacy skills. They heard from numerous Capitol Hill staffers on essential issues like how to get their legislator’s attention, how to engage with them at home, and how to navigate advocacy during these sharply divided political times. They heard from Dr. Sara Tolaney about the science behind immune checkpoint inhibitors, Dr. Daniel Douek about breast cancer and the microbiome, and Dr. Nathaniel Wang about mRNA vaccines and how they are currently being studied for use in breast cancer treatment and prevention. Through the virtual event platform, advocates were able to pick and choose from these workshops in order to create an experience that best suited their needs as advocates.

NBCC’s virtual platform also gave attendees the opportunity to interact more closely with one another through online networking rooms, advocate happy hours, and speaker meet-up sessions. These meetings provided a social connection and a chance to share ideas and strategies with one another – one of the most valuable aspects of NBCC’s Summit, whether virtual or in-person. You could view some highlight photos of the panel here.

Lobby Day

As usual, the Summit was followed by our annual Lobby Day on May 18. About 200 meetings were held through video conferencing and phone calls, with members and staff and advocates reported many successful conversations with their representatives. It is NBCC’s mission to ensure that, even as these challenging times continue, the needs of breast cancer patients and survivors remain high on the policy agenda.

NBCC Summit Program 

You can view the program from the 2021 NBCC Summit here.

Thank you again to everyone who joined us for the Summit. Your excitement and involvement made this event a success and we look forward to seeing you all again – in person! – next spring, April 30-May 2, 2022, followed by Lobby Day on May 3, 2022.



Joyce and Irving Goldman Family Foundation

Vance Wall Foundation





TRIO Translational Research in Oncology


Exact Sciences


Anne Grant Advocate Scholarship Fund, Given by Fran Visco

Ruth Eldredge, Marlene McCarthy and Vicki Tosher Scholarship Funds, Given by NBCC C4 Board Members