Ballot Information for Vice President (2019-2021)
Joanne B. Dragun, MD, FACRO
Dr. Joanne Dragun, FACRO, received her medical degree from Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and was Chief resident under Dr. Luther Brady’s program at the time when ACRO was forming. She was President and CEO of Radiation Oncology Consultants and Cancer Care Specialists multidisciplinary oncology group. Dr. Dragun is former Chief of Staff for University of Pittsburgh Northwest, and Director of Oncology for Meadville Medical Center, UPMC Northwest and Clarian Hospital. She served as Medical Director for Venango County Hospice and on numerous hospital and community foundations and committees. Dr. Dragun is currently medical director of Radiation Oncology for 21st Century Oncology in Jacksonville Florida.
Dr. Dragun’s Statement
My mentor, Dr. Luther Brady, had one primary vision in creating ACRO: to give the specialty of Radiation Oncology an independent voice and medical college recognition. What has evolved over the past decades is an organization fostering union, camaraderie, and practical education, an opportunity for all members from all practices to advance their careers as Fellows, mentoring, networking subgroups, encouraging research including publications and presentations, nurturing our residents and new practitioners and paving their future in Radiation Oncology. ACRO was the first to provide comprehensive accreditation of all types of practices to standardize requirements and assure patients and insurers of quality control and expertise. I am volunteering to seek the Vice President position and committed to working beside ACRO leaders who have for years generously devoted their time and energy to continuing Dr. Brady’s legacy. I am dedicated working with and for you to keep ACRO responsive to your needs and focused on the exciting future of our profession. Thank you.
Ballot Information for Secretary-Treasurer (2019-2021)
William Noyes, MD, MBA, FACRO (*Incumbent, re-election)
Dr. Noyes received his medical degree from the University of North Dakota and did residency training in Internal Medicine at the Gunderson Clinic, La Crosse, WI, and in Radiation Oncology at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI. He also earned an MBA degree with an emphasis in health policy from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN. Dr. Noyes practices at the Cancer Center of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, with experience in Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Brachytherapy, High Dose Rate Brachytherapy, Interstitial Prostate Implants and Intraoperative Radiotherapy. He holds the rank of Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiology at the University of North Dakota, School of Medicine.
Dr. Noyes’ Statement
I feel my qualification and experiences are well suited to continue with another term as ACRO’s Secretary-Treasurer. Previously, I was a member of the ASTRO financial and treasury committee, which reviews the ASTRO budget and makes recommendations to the ASTRO board. This committee also reviews corporate investments and ensures an adequate return to achieve ASTRO’s mission and maintain its investment objectives. I am a Past Chair of the ASTRO Committee for Utilization and Application of Codes (CUAC), which reviews all applicable CPT codes for radiation oncology and draft letters on behalf of ASTRO to support radiation oncology’s interests when changes were being proposed by either CMS/NCCI or insurance companies. I was the senior editor for the ASTRO Coding Guide for 3 sequential manuals. I am Vice-Chair of the ACRO Government Relations & Economics Committee and have taken the lead in drafting models to ensure that ACRO remains a leader while reimbursement changes occur. I hold an MBA degree in health policy, and I operate my own cancer center that includes radiation and medical oncology services. In this capacity I have to implement budgets, oversee revenue and expenses, and review financials statements to ensure goals and objectives are achieved. All these experiences will be very helpful to remaining as ACRO’s Secretary-Treasurer.
Ballot Information for Chancellor (2019-2023)
Jaroslaw Hepel, MD, FACRO
Dr. Jarek Hepel serves as Director of Stereotactic Radiosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, RI and Assistant Professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Hepel received his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and medical degree at the University of Rochester. He completed internal medicine residency at the University of California Irvine Medical Center, and then went on to complete residency in radiation oncology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA. Dr. Hepel has particular interests in the treatment of breast cancer and the use of SRS/SBRT for various body sites. Dr. Hepel has been an active member and supporter of ACRO. He has served as reviewer and Disease Site Team Leader in Breast Cancer in the ACRO Accreditation Program for the past 6 years. Starting in fall of 2015, he has led the Accreditation Program as Medical Director maintaining high quality standards and improving the program.
Dr. Hepel’s Statement
“ACRO strives to ensure the highest quality for radiation therapy patients and promotes success in the practice of radiation oncology through education, responsible socioeconomic advocacy, and integration of science and technology in the clinical practice.” I whole-heartedly support this mission statement and will work to continue to achieve it. The practice of radiation oncology is continually undergoing changes both from favorable forces such as advancement in technology and medical knowledge as well as unfavorable forces such as growing economic pressures and changing medical re-embarrassment landscape. Through ACRO, I seek to actively address these challenges with the goals of maintaining the health of our specialty and helping guide members to maintain high quality and productive clinical practices.
Charles C. Thomas, II, MD, FACRO (*Incumbent, re-election)
Dr. Thomas, an ACRO Fellow, earned his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, and did his residency training in diagnostic radiology at the Medical University of South Carolina and in radiation oncology at Duke University Medical Center. He was Director of Radiation Oncology at Emory University, and was Assistant Clinical Professor of Radiation Oncology at Duke University Medical Center. In 1988, Dr. Thomas moved to Asheville, NC where he built seven free standing cancer centers and is the Founder of Community Cancer Education, Inc., a non-profit educational foundation, which has presented an annual CME conference for twenty-six consecutive years. He currently practices with Radiation Therapy Associates of Western North Carolina, P.A., an affiliate of 21st Century Oncology. He is Chairman of the Finance Committee for the Haywood Hospital Authority Board and a Trustee of the Haywood-Duke LifePoint Hospital Board, and is a member of the ACRO Economics and Government Affairs Committee.
Dr. Thomas’ Statement
I have been blessed with a broad experience in academic medicine as well as private practice and in hospital governance. I have had the opportunity of holding essentially every office on our medical staff and hospital system. This includes the position of Chief of Staff of the hospital and Chairperson of its credentialing process. I have served as a board member for many years with our hospital, and currently function as an officer of the hospital board. I was involved with the three other officers in merging our hospital system recently with Duke LifePoint. I have served on the Economics and Government Affairs Committee of our organization for about two years with regular attendance at our call-in meetings. I have had considerable experience in presenting our issues to Congress and the Senate, and have had the opportunity to work directly with Mr. Andrew Woods to visit with our governmental leaders. I am particularly supportive of the American College of Radiation Oncology because I believe that it represents a unique blend of academic medicine, private practice, education, and government affairs. I would be honored and privileged to serve in any position that was helpful to the organization and our profession. I appreciate being considered.
J. Ben Wilkinson, MD
Dr. Wilkinson is an active member of ACRO with continued extensive involvement with the New Practitioner, Resident, and Membership Committees. He received his undergraduate and medical training in Texas (TCU and Texas A&M) followed by radiation oncology training at William Beaumont Hospital with chairman (and long-time ACRO advocate) Alvaro Martinez. Dr. Wilkinson is currently the lead radiation oncologist and medical director at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Prior to joining Provision, he worked at Willis-Knighton Cancer Center and LSU Health Science Center in Shreveport, Louisiana with ACRO Fellows Lane Rosen and Sanford Katz as well as Michael Durci. Dr. Wilkinson’s clinical sites include pediatrics, CNS, breast, and prostate cancers. His areas of ongoing clinical research focus on central nervous system tumors, hypofractionation for prostate and breast cancers. Apart from clinical work, Dr. Wilkinson is active in his community and church as well as a strong supporter and board member of Radiating Hope / Radiating Hope Society.
Dr. Wilkinson’s Statement:
ACRO is an incredibly special organization to me that has been a core component of my professional development as a radiation oncologist. I count some of my closest professional friends and mentors as ACRO members. My service to the College includes active membership on the Resident, New Practitioner, Membership, Development, and the Annual Meeting Scientific Program committees including serving as chair of both Resident and New Practitioner Committees and Vice-Chair of the Membership Committee. This work over the past eight years has led to the introduction of sub-committee structure for the Resident Committee, significant growth in membership of early-career radiation oncologists, development of the initial resident Mentorship Program for ACRO together with John Ng, and introduction of the Job Link program with Brandon Prendergast at our annual meeting. During residency, I also had had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. with ACRO leaders as part of our national advocacy efforts, serve as a resident committee-liaison to the Board of Chancellors, as well as piloting a Leadership Development Program for the College. If elected to the ACRO Board, I would work hard to represent all segments of our membership with special emphasis on continued growth of the New Practitioner segment of our College.