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SGO Fly-In Day 2021 Participants Meet with 77 Members of Congress

Member UpdateNews Article
Sep 29, 2021

The fifth annual SGO Fly-In Day took place on Sept. 21. Forty-three SGO advocates met virtually with seventy-seven offices to discuss legislation and healthcare policy items that are important to the care of women with gynecologic cancer with Members of Congress and their staff. The meetings covered target districts across sixteen states, including both Republican and Democratic offices to move these SGO advocacy priorities forward in the 117th Congress.

This year’s SGO Fly-In Day advocacy priorities were as follows:

  1. Block Medicare Physician Payment Cuts in CY 2022– This year’s payment cut is a -3.75% update to the conversion factor that SGO advocacy persuaded Congress to prevent last year. Additionally, without further congressional action, the 2% sequestration cut and the 4% PAYGO cut triggered by the American Rescue Plan will also be reinstated on Jan. 1, 2022.
  2. Support Dept. of Defense Funding for Research on Ovarian Cancer and Endometrial Cancer in FY 2022
  3. Expand National Cancer Institute (NCI) Research on Disparities in Gynecologic Cancers in FY 2022
  4. Co-Sponsor and Pass the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act (H.R. 2216/S. 1063) – authorizing programs that will expand access to preventive, lifesaving women’s health screenings, with a focus on breast and gynecological cancer screenings, at safety net and reproductive health care providers
  5. Co-Sponsor and Pass the Promoting Resources to Expand Vaccination, Education and New Treatments for HPV Cancers Act or the PREVENT HPV Cancers Act (H.R. 1550)
  6. Co-sponsor and Pass the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173) – a bipartisan bill that would address key issues impacting patient access to services under Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by standardizing and streamlining the prior authorization process.


SGO’s Fly-in Day is an opportunity for its SGO Congressional Ambassadors and our patient advocate partners to educate Members of Congress on gynecologic cancer, inform them about what is happening in their home state or district, and present solutions to current challenges in gynecologic cancer care. Last week, SGO advocates shared patient care experiences, thanked offices for breakthroughs and successes made possible by prior year’s research funding, and explained what Congress can do to continue to support progress  toward our shared vision of eradicating gynecologic cancers.


The benefits of this year’s Fly-in Day are already being observed through increases in the number of co-sponsors for key bills and the number of Representatives who have signed onto the Bera-Bucshon Dear Colleague Letter to block cuts to Medicare physician payments. Several SGO delegations were able to get same-day signatures.


“A seasoned woman does not mean old and ready to discard. Her health is no less valuable than someone in their reproductive season. Because gyn cancers target our seasoned women, postmenopausal, 55+ we should not shortchange them when it comes to advocacy, access, research and funding,” explains Vanessa L. Hill, a patient advocate representative and founder of Project Nana. Hill expresses the importance of amplifying women’s voices and empowering their sense of agency through advocating for policy changes. “The SGO Fly-in provided the opportunity for me to carry the echo of seasoned voices that nourish me and to retell their stories. To humanize statistics and to be able to say seasoned women’s gyn health matters,” says Hill.

Allison Saiz, MD, at Northwestern University, explains why it is important to participate in Fly-In Day as a physician. “It always feels so meaningful to be able to advocate on behalf of my patients and our profession for legislative action; SGO’s Fly-In day is one of my favorite ways to do this.  I think that it’s important to share our voices and our experiences as physicians and patient advocates to make sure to ensure prioritization of gynecologic cancer research, education, and access to care in the years to come,” Dr. Saiz explains.

“I have participated in SGO’s Fly-In Day since 2019, the last year we were able to do so in person. Each year, the impetus to make changes by working with our Congressional leaders gets even stronger,” shares Diana Pearre, MD, at University of California, Irvine. “Although we spend most of our days curing cancer in operating rooms or our clinics, it is such a privilege as a gyn oncologist to be able to take that fight to Washington, D.C. The reason Fly-In Day is so important to me is it brings issues affecting our patients and SGO members directly to the Congressional members who serve us,” emphasized Dr. Pearre.

For questions about Fly-in Day or how to participate in future years, please contact Traci Schwendner, SGO Senior Manager of Governance and Clinical Practice.