FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Communications & Marketing
301.984.9496 ext. 226
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2005
Christian G. Downs Assumes Leadership of the Association of Community Cancer Centers
ROCKVILLE, Md.—The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), the nation’s premier advocacy organization for the oncology team, has named Christian G. Downs, JD, MHA, as the Association’s new Executive Director. Mr. Downs succeeds Lee E. Mortenson, DPA, who retired from ACCC’s leadership position after more than 30 years of service.
In assuming the leadership role at ACCC, Mr. Downs will serve the Association’s Board of Trustees and membership in its work on national policy and provider education. He will also be responsible for furthering relations with other oncology organizations and provider groups and developing new corporate partnerships.
"The Board is pleased and enthusiastic about Christian and the future of ACCC. We think Christian has the energy, ideas, temperament and experience to lead the Association in its mission,” said E. Strode Weaver, FACHE, MBA, MHSA, ACCC President. “I look forward to working with him."
Mr. Downs has more than 15 years of health care experience. He joined ACCC in 1998 and was instrumental in working with providers, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS), and Congress on hospital outpatient prospective payment system (HOPPS) issues. Working with state legislatures across the country, he helped promote off-label and clinical trials legislation. At the same time, he worked with individual insurers and carriers to help ensure patient access to new oncology therapies. Mr. Downs led Association efforts on such critical issues as easing implementation of HOPPS, ensuring patient access to new cancer therapies, and refining physician office payments for delivery of services.
Before joining ACCC in 1998, Mr. Downs worked in the public policy department of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on physician office and billing and coding issues. Previously he administered a large tertiary care hospital, managed a physician multispecialty practice, and worked for the Education and Health Committee of the Virginia State Senate.
"I have known Christian for years, and he will be an asset for ACCC,” said Pearl Moore, RN, MN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer of the Oncology Nursing Society. "ACCC made a good choice. I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future,“ added Joseph S. Bailes, MD, co-chair of American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Government Relations Council.
Mr. Downs received his master's degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia and his law degree from George Mason University with a special focus on regulatory and administrative law. He is a board member of the Patient Advocate Foundation and C-Change, a large coordinating organization for cancer groups.