Two Fellows Selected for ASCO's Inaugural Health Policy Fellowship Program

March 3, 2016

Media Contact:
Kate Crawford
(571) 483-1366

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced today the two physicians selected for its new Health Policy Fellowship, which kicked off last October.

Robert M. Daly, MD, and Steve Y. Lee, MD, will be the fellows for the inaugural class, which runs from July 1, 2016, to July 1, 2017. The program, aimed at oncologists in the early phases of their careers, is designed to provide physicians who possess a keen interest in health policy with the civic, policy, or advocacy experience necessary skills to shape cancer policy.

"Dr. Daly and Dr. Lee exemplify the policy-focused, early-career oncologists ASCO seeks for this new program," said ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard L. Schilsky, MD, FACP, FASCO. "We are eager to witness their development into effective advocates who can strategically advance public policies that support cancer research and the delivery of high-quality care at the federal, state, and local levels."

Dr. Daly is currently the Chief Fellow in the Section of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Chicago Medicine, where he also serves on the fellowship program evaluation committee and in the cancer outcomes and policy workgroup. His clinic interest is in thoracic and breast medical oncology.

While working as a consultant for Partners HealthCare International® in Mumbai, India, assisting The Humsafar Trust--one of India's largest non-governmental organizations dedicated to providing health care to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, including HIV/AIDS services--Dr. Daly first became exposed to and interested in health policy and advocacy work. He worked with the trust to expand its reach and secure funding to achieve its ambitious health and advocacy goals. He continued to develop this passion for health policy and advocacy work during his fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, the University of Chicago's Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Services Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics, investigating the racial survival disparity in breast cancer. They explored how tumor biology and genomics along with delays, misuse, and underuse of treatment for African-American patients collide to create this disparity and how health policy can be employed to close this gap. In collaboration with the Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society, Dr. Daly and Dr. Olopade have now published several columns from their original paper for dissemination to a larger audience of breast cancer health care providers, patients, and advocates with the goal of educating a broad audience about how to test and implement effective strategies to reduce cancer disparities. Dr. Daly also has researched health policy issues related to quality in cancer care delivery. He recently was awarded a Merit Award at ASCO's Quality Care Symposium and presented an oral abstract of his work on investigating the avoidability of terminal oncology intensive care unit hospitalizations.

Dr. Lee is a Fellow in Hematology and Medical Oncology at NYU Langone Medical Center. He also is serving as a Delegate (Resident/Fellow) to the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates for the 2016-2017 term and a Resident/Fellow Chair to the New York County Medical Society. Additionally, he is a Member of the AMA Resident and Fellow Section Standing Committee on Long Range Planning, and he recently completed his term as a Resident/Fellow Vice Chair to the Medical Society of the State of New York.

Dr. Lee's experience with health policy began in medical school through membership in the AMA. As the elected Governing Council Delegate of the AMA's Medical Student Section in 2010--and the de facto national policy chair for AMA students--he had the opportunity to mobilize thousands of medical students into lobbying their federal legislators locally and in Washington, DC, in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In 2011, he received formal training in political advocacy, participating in the AMPAC (AMA Political Action Committee) Campaign School, and he used the skills learned to work as a Boston-area volunteer for a political campaign. As a current fellow at NYU, he is looking forward to applying the insights he will gain from the year-long Health Policy Fellowship to help his peers to better advocate for the regulatory elements that affect patient care.

The ASCO fellowship program has several components, including:

  • Active participation in policy development for high-impact issues in oncology
  • Small-group teaching sessions delivered by ASCO professional staff and qualified volunteers on topics such as the Congressional authorization/appropriation process, Food and Drug Administration organization and regulatory authority, drug and device approval processes, and payment reform initiatives
  • Training in communication and leadership skills, as well as advocacy strategies
  • A mentored research project on one of nine preselected topics that advances or leverages an ASCO policy initiative.

The application period for the 2017-2018 program will open in October. Visit for more details about the program.

ASCO conducts and administers the fellowship with funding support from the Conquer Cancer Foundation Mission Endowment.


About ASCO

Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With nearly 40,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, which funds ground-breaking research and programs that make a tangible difference in the lives of people with cancer.  For ASCO information and resources, visit Patient-oriented cancer information is available at Cancer-related policy developments can be found at