ESCAPE to Thrive, January 2 – 6, 2019

What makes ESCAPE to Thrive different from other conferences?  EVERYTHING!

ESCAPE to Thrive offers:

  • A small leadership conference in an intimate setting that allows you to naturally connect and collaborate with fellow advocates;
  • Exploration of learning professionally and thriving personally in one experience;
  • Interactive sessions with experts sharing their insights on current and upcoming policies and practices affecting oncology, cancer care, and survivorship;
  • Half days of conference programming, leaving the other half of each day so you can fully experience and build your sense of balance

2018 Agenda

Review of Agenda from January 2018

Please note that the *items have mandatory attendance.


Tuesday, January 2

4:00 pm – *Reception with Sponsors/Partners

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm – *Introductions, Welcome, Dinner with Fellow Advocates


Wednesday, January 3

6:30 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast at Leisure

8:00 am – 11:30 am – Wellness Activities/Classes

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Group Lunch with Networking

12:45 pm – 5:00 pm – *Cancer Care: Advances in Diagnostics and Treatment

  • Presenters: TJ Johnson, Dr. Shaheen, & Gayle Jameson
  • Presentations by panelists in the following areas: diagnostics and targeted therapy, immunology, clinical trials, genomics
  • Q/A and discussions with advocates
  • Breakouts with experts for more detailed information and discussion in area of interest
  • Taking the issues home to my organization/community. What is my plan?

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – *Focus Group Sessions with Sponsors/Partners

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Group Dinner with Networking


Thursday, January 4

6:30 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast at Leisure

8:00 am – 12:30 pm – *Public Health Policy

  • Presenters: Shelley Fuld Nasso, Alicia Staley
  • Keynote featuring updates on health policy, changes/trends in reimbursement, health care coverage changes
  • Q/A and discussion with advocates
  • Breakouts: meeting with your legislators OR using social media to advance health policy
  • Taking the issues home to my organization/community. What is my plan?

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm – Group Lunch with Networking

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Wellness Activities/Classes

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Focus Group Session with BAG IT (Optional but participation appreciated.)

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm – Group Dinner with Networking

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – An Informal Fireside Chat: Personal Survivorship Discussion led by Mark Gilbert, MDPast Director of Mind-Body Medicine Skills Group Program,  Banner University of Arizona Medical Center (Attendance encouraged but optional. Please plan to remain for the entire discussion.)


Friday, January 5

6:30 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast at Leisure

8:00 am – 11:30 am – Wellness Activities/Classes

11:30 am – 12:30 pm – Group Lunch with Networking

12:45 pm – 4:30 pm – *Advancing Survivorship

  • Presenters: Shelley Fuld Nasso, Susan Leigh, Mary McCabe, Dr. Don Brooks, Dr. Michael Moynihan, Alicia Staley, Mary McCabe
  • Update on the evolution of survivorship
  • Treatment summary and care plans – transitioning to primary care
  • Moderated panel (clinician, navigator, primary care physician, and survivors) to discuss wide range of issues including long-term and late effects of treatment, challenges to implement survivorship care plan, benefits to patients/caregivers
  • Q/A and discussions with advocates
  • Taking the issues home to my organization/community. What is my plan?

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm – *Final Group Dinner with Networking


Saturday, January 6

6:30 am – 8:00 am – Breakfast at Leisure

8:00 am – 10:00 am – *Evaluations Completed and Returned. Slide/Video Presentation and Closing/Departures

Wellness Activities/Classes

Learn mindful “life in balance” techniques for combating compassion fatigue and burnout in advocacy work and how to incorporate them into your personal and professional lives. INDULGE, CHALLENGE, IMPROVE AND RENEW with a generous resort credit toward fee-based activities PLUS more than 120 complimentary wellness activities, lectures and fitness classes weekly.

Take a peek at the Miraval offerings here:



  • Full days of talking head lectures;
  • Feeling rushed, with no time to reflect on the material;
  • Having to choose between sessions and missing important information.


  • Half-day workshops that delve deep on critical topics;
  • A small, intimate group of cancer advocates;
  • A setting that naturally lends itself to informal opportunities where genuine connections with those doing the same work come with ease.


ESCAPE to Thrive is a small conference by design. An easy application process lets us know about your advocacy work and how ESCAPE to Thrive is a good fit for you. Advocates are encouraged to submit their applications early as space is limited. Note: A submitted application does not guarantee attendance.

Applications are reviewed by a committee. A rolling admission process continues until all available spaces are filled and then a waiting list is generated.

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Now in its eighth year, ESCAPE to Thrive was designed by and for cancer advocates. It combines features of a national leadership conference and a restorative experience where advocates support advocates to continue their work effectively – all with the ultimate goal of improving cancer patient education and outreach. No other conference offers this balance of learning and skills to embrace the WHOLE advocate – professionally and personally.

Advocates representing more than 85 organizations from around the country have attended, and many have participated more than once.

Sponsorship benefits to your company:

  • Time to network with key advocate leaders from organizations representing a variety of cancers. Advocates represent not just a single viewpoint but many voices, issues, and stories;
  • Informal opportunities to discuss issues and topics your company is interested in. Learn the advocates’ perspective through insights, comments, and discussions. Glean much information in a short period of time;
  • Build your company’s network of reliable and capable advocates for the future;
  • Excellent opportunity for key or new company employees to learn about cancer patients and their issues from the “inside” by attending workshops alongside advocates. (Available for select sponsorship levels);
  • Ensure attendance by your selected key advocate or company representative. (Available for select sponsorship levels)

For more information about sponsoring ESCAPE to Thrive, contact