miriam yvette jones atkins m.d.

Miriam Atkins, MD, FACP, Elected President of COA

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA), a non-profit organization singularly dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and the patients they serve, is pleased to announce the election of new and re-appointed members to the COA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Miriam Atkins, MD, FACP, was elected as COA president. Dr. Atkins is a board-certified medical oncologist who practices at AO Multispecialty Clinic in Augusta, GA. Prior to becoming president, Atkins served on the COA Board for several years and as vice president for the past two years. She also serves as the Co-Chair for the COA Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN), a national advocacy organization committed to raising awareness of independent, community cancer care centers and how national and local health care policy issues may affect patient care.

“I am honored to be chosen as COA’s next president,” said Atkins. “It is the opportunity to contribute to the mission of COA and support community oncology as it grows. We are the best, most affordable, and closest site of care for the majority of Americans. I am thrilled at how far COA has come over the past 20 years. We will continue working to reach even greater heights for our members and the patients they serve.”

In addition to electing Dr. Atkins as COA president, the Board also voted on the positions of vice president and secretary. Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, was elected to the position of vice president, and S. McDonald Wade III, MD, as secretary. Patt from Texas Oncology and Wade from the Virginia Cancer Institute serve on the COA Board and for the past two years as secretary and officer-at-large, respectively.

The majority of Americans battling cancer receive treatment in the independent, community setting. Ensuring the vitality of the community cancer care system is critical to ensuring patients can continue to access affordable, accessible, and local cancer care, close to where they live and work. COA’s officers, committees, and board members further its mission to protect and foster the community oncology delivery system in the United States through public policy, advocacy, and education.

The COA Board is comprised of volunteer representatives from community oncology, who direct the management of COA by its executive director. Voting on returning board members and new directors was conducted on Monday, December 5, 2023. All director positions are 3-year terms and will be effective January 1, 2023.

The following individuals were re-elected to serve another term on the COA Board:

  1. Stuart Genshaw, MHA, MBA, Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan (MI)
  2. Rich Ingram, MD, Shenandoah Oncology (VA)
  3. Gary Kay, MD, Northwest Oncology & Hematology, S.C. (IL)
  4. Ed Licitra, MD, PhD, Astera Health Partners/Astera Cancer Care (NJ)
  5. Todd O’Connell, MS, CMPE, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (NY)
  6. Kashyap Patel, MD, Carolina Blood & Cancer Care Associates (SC)
  7. Jennifer Pichoske, MS, AOCNP, Hematology-Oncology Associates of Central New York (NY)
  8. Alti Rahman, MHA/MBA, CSSBB, Oncology Consultants (TX)
  9. Ravi Rao, MD, cCare (CA)
  10. Marissa Rivera, MBA, Ventura County Hematology Oncology Specialists (CA)

The following individuals were elected to serve a first-time term on the COA Board:

  1. Glenn Balasky, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers (CO)
  2. Pareshkumar Patel, MD, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FL)
  3. Stephen Schleicher, MD, MBA, Tennessee Oncology (TN)

The following individuals were elected to serve as officers of COA on the Executive Committee for 2023:

  1. Dr. Miriam Atkins, MD, FACP, AO Multispecialty Clinic (President)
  2. Debra Patt, MD, PhD, MBA, Texas Oncology (Vice President)
  3. S. McDonald Wade III, MD, Virginia Cancer Institute (Secretary)
  4. Kashyap Patel, MD, Carolina Blood & Cancer Care Associates (Immediate Past President)
  5. Mike Diaz, MD, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (Past President)
  6. Jeff Vacirca, MD, FACP, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (Past President)
  7. Dave Eagle, MD, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists (Past President)
  8. Jeff Patton, MD, OneOncology (Officer-at-Large)
  9. Barbara McAneny, MD, New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants (Officer-at-Large)
  10. Ricky Newton, CPA, COA (Treasurer; ex officio)
  11. Ted Okon, COA (Executive Director; ex officio)

All officer positions are one-year terms beginning on January 1, 2023. As full-time employees of COA, Messrs. Okon and Newton serve as ex officio, non-voting members on the Executive Committee.

A list of current officers and board members can be viewed online at https://communityoncology.org/about-coa/officers-and-board/. The website will be updated with the new members in 2023.


About the Community Oncology Alliance: COA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and, most importantly, the patients they serve. COA is the only organization dedicated solely to community oncology where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. The mission of COA is to ensure that patients with cancer receive quality, affordable, and accessible cancer care in their own communities. More than 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer every day and deaths from the disease have been steadily declining due to earlier detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Learn more at www.CommunityOncology.org. Follow COA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oncologyCOA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommunityOncologyAlliance.

[Press Release originally posted on Community Oncology Alliance (CMA)]