April 29, 2016: 

Al B. Benson III, MD, associate director for cooperative groups at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, was elected president of the National Patient Advocate Foundation’s (NPAF) Executive Board.  An esteemed oncologist and professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Benson brings insights into the issues and roadblocks patients face as they navigate the healthcare system to this new role.

Dr. Benson is a member of the Big Ten CRC steering committee, representing the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Dr. Benson is also a co-chair of the Big Ten CRC’s Gastrointestinal Clinical Trial Working Group.

“I am honored to serve as the National Patient Advocate Foundation’s Board President. NPAF is a leader in fighting for improvements in the healthcare system at the state and federal level,” Dr. Benson said. “We will continue our 20 year history of helping those living with serious illness by promoting bills like the Medical Debt Relief Act, 21st Century Cures, Innovation for Healthier Americans, and other initiatives designed to address access and affordability issues for patients.”

“Dr. Benson’s breadth of knowledge and experience will undoubtedly enhance the Board’s future; we’re grateful to have him serve in this capacity,” NPAF CEO Alan Balch, said.

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary, NPAF is a nonprofit organization that provides the patient voice in improving access to, and reimbursement for, high-quality healthcare. Dr. Benson has served on the Board for three years and also served on the Scientific Advisory Committee since 2009.

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.