ACRM Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group




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At the ACRM Annual Conference in 2013, the Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group (CRNG) was recognized by the ACRM Board of Governors. The CRNG is comprised of interdisciplinary professionals who desire to improve the educational and networking opportunities for ACRM membership in cancer rehabilitation research, education, clinical care and policy in order to improve the lives of people who have been diagnosed with cancer.


The mission of the CRNG is to advance the field of cancer rehabilitation by providing opportunities for education and professional development, advocating for standards in clinical practice and research, and supporting a forum for interdisciplinary and international exchange.


  • Opportunity to plan educational courses for the ACRM Annual Conference
  • Task Force participation
  • Collaborative research opportunities



300+ Members
37 Cancer Rehabilitation Posters
5 Task Forces
3 New Cancer Rehabilitation Awards
2 Nonstop Educational Conference Tracks
2 New Columns in Oncology Publications
1 Website
1 Newsletter




Functional impairments and disability impact a majority of cancer patients during and after disease treatment. Rehabilitation providers diagnose and treat physical, psychological and cognitive impairments to maintain or restore function, reduce symptom burden, and reduce disability in this medically complex population.

However, rehabilitation services rarely enter comprehensive oncology care. To explore this gap in care, the Rehabilitation Medicine Department of the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened an interdisciplinary, expert panel (including 13 ACRM members) to explore the state of practice and research in cancer rehabilitation and to make recommendations to inform a national initiative. Read more about this ground-breaking initiative >>


ACRM Cancer Award Recognizes David Zucker

The Excellence in Cancer Rehabilitation Award recognizes someone who has demonstrated excellence in the field of interdisciplinary cancer rehabilitation in one or more important areas including, but not limited to, clinical care, medical education or research.

The 2018 Excellence in Cancer Rehabilitation Award recognizes David Zucker, MD, PhD, FAAPMR, for the important contributions he has made to the field of cancer rehabilitation medicine. This award will be presented during the Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group Business meeting at the ACRM 2018 Annual Conference in Dallas.


David Zucker, MD, PhD, FAAPMR, is founding Medical Director and Program Leader of Cancer Rehabilitation Services at Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle.  He received his MD with Honors from Stanford University and, in addition, holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology.  He completed PM&R residency at the Mayo Clinic and an NIH-sponsored post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington.

Dr. Zucker is a pioneer in developing cancer rehabilitation medicine nationally.  He is founding and emeritus Chair of the Cancer Rehabilitation Physician Consortium (CRPC), a group of American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physiatrists dedicated to improving functional health for cancer patients.  The CRPC has been instrumental in creating a national infrastructure for cancer rehabilitation medicine research, educational initiatives and strategic planning.   He has developed and implemented a care model grounded in the understanding that cancer affects “molecule to spirit” and, that by optimizing functional health throughout the disease/treatment trajectory, the person is better able to negotiate the emotional, psychological and spiritual dimensions of cancer and, in turn, better integrate rehabilitative self-management skills into daily life.  Dr. Zucker collaborates with the ACS, ACSM and other organizations in disseminating/implementing lifestyle interventions research into clinical practice.


2017: Nicole L. Stout, DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA

2016:  Lynn H. Gerber, MD

2015:  Andrea Cheville, MD, MSCE


ACRM Distinguished Lecturer in Cancer Rehabilitation & Survivorship Care, Catherine Alfano

The 2018 Distinguished Lecturer in Cancer Rehabilitation & Survivorship Care is Catherine M. Alfano, PhD. This award recognizes the important contributions she has made to the advancement of oncology care. Dr. Alfano will present, Integrating Research, Practice, and Policy Agendas to Transform Cancer Rehabilitation Care, at the ACRM Annual Conference in Dallas. See the Online Program for lecture details & REGISTER now for best rates.


Catherine M. Alfano, PhD is the Vice President of Survivorship at the American Cancer Society (ACS) where she provides vision and leadership to ACS research, programming, and policy efforts nationwide to improve the lives of cancer survivors. She previously served as Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s Office of Cancer Survivorship where she created seminal funding opportunity announcements in cancer survivorship and trans-disciplinary research and administered the majority of the NCI grant portfolio of rehabilitation and lifestyle change trials in cancer survivors.

Dr. Alfano trained as a rehabilitation psychologist and has focused her career in cancer survivorship. Her research interests include optimizing interventions and models of care for cancer rehabilitation and survivorship; healthy behavior change; and the integration of biological and behavioral pathways governing health, aging, and cancer prognosis. She has extensive expertise in population-based prospective cohort studies of cancer survivors and in lifestyle behavior change trials in cancer survivors and in people at heightened risk for cancer. She has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications and has contributed to several key studies examining the effects of weight and exercise on cancer symptoms, quality of life, and prognosis.

Dr. Alfano is a frequent speaker internationally and domestically on cancer rehabilitation, cancer survivorship, and research and policy efforts to create effective efficient and patient-centered care for people living with and beyond cancer. In addition to her work at the American Cancer Society, she is an Adjunct Professor of Oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center. She has held leadership positions as the Chair of the Cancer Special Interest Group of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and on the Research Task Force of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine’s Cancer Networking Group and the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Survivorship Committee.


2017: Michael D. Stubblefield, MD

2016: Gail L. Gamble, MD


Cancer Networking Group Posters Awards


2018 Best Scientific Poster in Cancer Rehabilitation

Recipient: Rachelle Brick

Demographic and Clinical Characteristics Associated With Work-Related Disability in Women with Breast Cancer
Authors: Rachelle Brick, Elizabeth Skidmore, Michael McCue, Lauren Terhorst, Catherine Bender



Cancer Rehab Networking Group Best Poster Award

Timothy Marshall (left), CRNG Co-Chair, Vish Raj

2017 Best Scientific Poster in Cancer Rehabilitation

Effects of Exercise on Perceived Barriers and Benefits of Exercise by Cancer Survivors Post Treatment
Timothy Marshall





Mary Fisher

Mary Fisher

 2017 New Investigator Poster Award in Cancer Rehabilitation

Perceived Stress Levels May Impact Upper Extremity Function Among Women Treated for Breast Cancer
Mary Fisher




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CRNG Facebook

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CRNG Twitter @ACRMCancerRehab



Julie SilverCO-CHAIR: Julie Silver, MD
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
LinkedIn Profile


Vish RajCO-CHAIR: Vish Raj, MD
Vice-Chair of Clinical Operation, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Associate Medical Director and Director of Oncology Rehabilitation
Carolinas Rehabilitation
LinkedIn Profile


Brent BravemanSECRETARY: Brent Braveman, PhD OTR/L FAOTA
Director of Rehabilitation Services
MD Anderson Cancer Center
LinkedIn Profile


Ashish KhannaCOMMUNICATIONS OFFICER: Ashish Khanna, MD
Attending Physician
Department of Cancer Rehabilitation
Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation & ReVital Program




The CRNG Executive Committee welcomes new members!

One of the most valuable benefits of ACRM membership is the opportunity to participate in the many interdisciplinary special interest groups (ISIG) and networking groups.

Click the JOIN NOW button to learn more or contact Member Services at +1.703.435.5335 for personal assistance.



Cancer Rehab Update

The official news of the ACRM Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group, published winter and spring annually.

>> Fall 2016

>> Winter 2016

>> Summer 2015

>> Winter 2015





  • Advance cancer rehabilitation research and promote research collaboration
  • Establish an interdisciplinary research agenda
  • Promote translation of evidence to enhance clinical expertise and practice

Clinical Care

  • Conduct state-of-the-art reviews of practice in cancer rehabilitation care
  • Enhance competencies of an interdisciplinary team member in cancer rehabilitation


  • Participate in continuing education offerings specific to the interests of cancer rehabilitation researchers and clinicians
  • Plan an educational course in cancer rehabilitation for the ACRM annual meeting
  • Develop and receive informational and instructional media

Become involved in a CRNG task force by contacting a task force chair or a member of the Executive Committee.



ACRM: Cancer Networking Group Education Task Force


Nicole StoutCo-Chair: Nicole Stout, DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA

Rehabilitation Medicine Department, Clinical Center
National Institutes of Health
LinkedIn Profile


Sara Christensen HolzCo-Chair: Sara Christensen Holz, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health


The Education Task Force is focused on bringing high quality, Cancer Rehabilitation content to each ACRM Annual Conference. In Dallas, there were over 20 Cancer Rehabilitation-specific symposia—the most ever, at any conference. The task force is also developing a study to assess the state of Cancer Rehabilitation education across multiple specialties to assess the ‘state of the specialty practice’ as it pertains to education and training of rehabilitation health care providers. Members of our Education Task Force are also available to help members who wish to submit a presentation proposal for the annual conference by providing guidance on topic areas, connecting you with interested co-presenters, and providing feedback on your proposed submissions.

Seeking Collaborators

The Education Task Force is seeking participation from high level occupational therapists, speech pathologists and psychologists to assist with a systematic review for Cancer Rehabilitation. Contact the co-chairs, Nicole Stout, DPT, CLT-LANA, FAPTA and Sara Christensen Holz, MD to learn more and participate.



ACRM: Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group Outcomes & Research Task Force

Jack FuCo-Chair: Jack Fu, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Palliative Care & Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center



Kathleen LyonsCo-Chair: Kathleen Lyons, ScD, OTR/L
Research Assistant Professor, Scientist
Dartmouth College



Timothy MarshallChair-Elect: Tim Marshall, PhD, MS, ACSM/ACS-CET
Assistant Professor
Kean University
LinkedIn Profile


The current project of the ACRM Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group’s Outcomes & Research Task Force is an agenda-setting paper detailing the growth and development of palliative care and using that history to guide the development and growth of cancer rehabilitation research and practice.

In our previous project, our group worked with the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute to obtain consensus to develop a cancer support services screening tool for cancer survivors.  The project used the NCI’s Grid Enabled Measures website to seek expert feedback from a variety of cancer support services including rehabilitation on existing patient reported screeners. The study is being submitted for publication.

Our group’s original project was a Delphi survey study regarding cancer rehabilitation research priorities for older patients. The group reached out to Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group members to find experts to participate in this study, which consisted of a series of three short surveys. The study was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Lyons, K.D., Radomski, M.V., Alfano, C., Finkelstein, M., Sleight, A., Marshall, T., McKenna, R., & Fu, J. (2017). A Delphi Study to Determine Rehabilitation Research Priorities for Older Adults with Cancer. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 38(5), 904-914. PMID: 28007446 ).



ACRM Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group Quality of Life Task Force

Rebecca KirchCo-Chair: Rebecca A. Kirch, JD
Executive Vice President, Healthcare Quality and Value
National Patient Advocate Foundation
LinkedIn Profile


Terrence PughCo-Chair: Terrence Pugh, MD
Assistant Professor/Faculty Physician
Carolinas Rehabilitation and Carolinas Medical Center



The Quality of Life and Person-Centered Care Task Force is an interdisciplinary team that focuses on advancing person-centered practices, policies and evidence to improve quality of life and care experiences for cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers.  Through educational initiatives and publications emphasizing skilled communication, symptom management and maximization of function, our task force seeks to expand awareness about the value of rehabilitation and person-centered palliative care principles as an integral parts of high quality oncology practice. We are currently working on developing a fact sheet series and educational curricula featuring information, evidence and resources that can help emerging and existing oncology rehabilitation programs build and expand their services to help put people at the heart of health care.



Lynne PadgettCo-Chair: Lynne S. Padgett, PhD

Strategic Director, Hospital Systems
American Cancer Society
LinkedIn Profile


Kathleen Van DykCo-Chair: Kathleen Van Dyk, PhD
Clinical Instructor
UCLA, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Cancer Prevention & Control Research
LinkedIn Profile


This new Oncology Cognitive Rehabilitation Task Force is committed to bringing terrific cognitive rehabilitation content to ACRM members! Watch for educational courses at the 2018 ACRM Annual Conference that combine the interdisciplinary expertise of oncology, neuropsychology, and occupational therapy. Our goal is to provide members with more information about the cognitive effects of cancer, including assessment, biobehavioral perspectives and interventions.

Want to participate? Contact the co-chairs to learn more.


  • Information/Education Page (I/EP) published in December Archives
  • Preparing educational submission for publication in a community oncology publication
  • Preparing submission for our third Annual Conference symposium focused on the multidisciplinary aspects of treating cancer-related cognitive impairment

Project in Development:

  • We are exploring a collaborative project with ACCC under the guidance of Lynne S. Padgett



ACRM Cancer Rehabilitation Networking Group Integrative Cancer Rehabilitation Task Force

Ariana VoraCo-Chair: Ariana Vora, MD
Staff Physiatrist
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
LinkedIn Profile


Diane RadfordCo-Chair: Diane Radford, MD
Staff Breast Surgeon
Cleveland Clinic
LinkedIn Profile


Tiffany CheungCommunications Officer: Tiffany Cheung
MS4, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine




Integrative rehabilitation is an important and growing field.  This Integrative Cancer Rehabilitation Task Force is committed to synthesizing and disseminating evidence-based best practices to navigate this heterogeneous field of medicine.  First introduced to the ACRM community at the ACRM 2016 annual meeting, the Task Force continues to inform and educate. We welcome introducing members to our Task Force at each ACRM Annual Conference. In the meantime, we are looking for collaborators, feedback and ideas from multiple disciplines.

Want to participate? Contact the co-chairs to learn more!