What does the Office of Public Policy do?
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. To advance this mission, LLS’s Office of Public Policy supports a policy agenda aimed at accelerating the development of new treatments for cancer and breaking down the barriers to care that patients often encounter.
LLS’s work to develop solutions, mobilize advocates and educate policymakers takes place on five fronts:
- Government affairs: We work with state and federal lawmakers and agencies to secure laws that break down barriers to care for people with blood cancer and other pre-existing conditions
- Grassroots advocacy: We strive to ensure that the patient voice is heard by empowering advocates, offering opportunities to connect with lawmakers when it matters
- Legal advocacy: LLS doesn’t just work in traditional policy arenas—we also protect patients by tapping Congressional oversight authority and also in the courtroom by ensuring that the judiciary understands how its decisions impact access to care for patients
- Advocacy communications: LLS uses communication efforts to bolster advocacy campaigns, utilizing strategies to activate, inspire and persuade key audiences
- Policy research: We base all policy positions on evidence-based solutions. Where research is not available or is incomplete, we contribute by commissioning or leading research projects
How do we decide where to leverage our expertise and vast advocacy network?The public policy arena is fast-paced and ever-changing, influenced by political events, industry trends, media coverage and public advocacy.
To represent the interests of blood cancer patients amid these dynamics, OPP must be evidence-driven and strategic when determining which policies to pursue and when and how OPP will engage on those issues.
All policy issues are analyzed to determine the appropriateness for action based on several factors, including:
How does the issue impact blood cancer patients and survivors? OPP focuses its efforts on evidence-based policy solutions that accelerate the development of effective therapies and/or ensure access to quality, affordable, coordinated care for cancer.
Does the policy help to advance health equity and racial justice? Not all patients and survivors have equal access to the care they need. What’s more, equal access doesn’t always translate to equal outcomes. Some communities—including, but not limited to, people of color, those with low income, people who identify as LGBTQIA and those who live in rural settings—face systemic social, economic and environmental disadvantages that can impact their care.
What is the political and practical viability of the policies that have been proposed as a solution to the issue at hand? It is important to think carefully where we invest OPP time and resources, prioritizing policy solutions where LLS engagement is likely to contribute to a positive outcome.