Sunflower Wellness Hosts International Gathering of Cancer-Exercise Researchers

It’s a big accomplishment to wake up one day to find that you’re taken seriously – as a “player” in your chosen field. That milestone happened for Sunflower Wellness on March 12-13 this year when we hosted an international gathering of cancer-exercise researchers and practitioners in San Francisco.

The conference was the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) International, Multidisciplinary Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control. Co-chaired by Sunflower Wellness Medical Advisory Board member Katie Schmitz, Professor of Public Health Science at Penn State, and Chuck Mathews, Senior Investigator at the National Cancer Institute, the conference was attended by several dozen leaders in our field from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands and Australia.

The focus of the event was to update the ACSM’s Cancer-Exercise Guidelines, which were originally published in 2008-2009. Those Guidelines were subsequently adopted by numerous cancer-related organizations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the American Cancer Society (ACS), and form the basis of all of the work that Sunflower Wellness has undertaken since then. Representatives from  the NIH, NCI and ACS attended, alongside academic researchers from a number of top institutions, including: the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic, UCSF, McMillan Cancer Support, the Canadian Society for Exercise Science, University of Alberta, Exercise and Sports Science Australia, University of South Carolina, the Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy, the Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Institute, the German Union for Health Exercise and Exercise Therapy, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Penn State, the University of Washington, and Kaiser-Permanente.

“This Roundtable conference was an incredible moment for us,” said Bill Bain, Sunflower Wellness Executive Director. “For years, we’ve been reading research papers and articles from the people who were in that room. In addition to providing inspiration to us, these are the leaders in our field of cancer and exercise, representing both significant grant makers and recipients. Placing Sunflower Wellness on their ‘radar’ will help position us to engage in funded research going forward, and will help us  to translate significant research findings into action to help even more people with cancer get exercise.”

The next steps from the conference include drafting and publishing three research papers destined for different audiences in the cancer-exercise world. Sunflower Wellness will be named on all three papers, which will spread our name broadly.     

Many thanks for conference arrangements in San Francisco go to Katie Schmitz, who is the incoming President of the ACSM, to Trisha Hue, who lined up local accommodations and logistics, and Regan Fedric, who organized a well-received welcome event for conference participants at the Bay Street home of Mary and Craig Henderson in San Francisco, hosted by Sunflower Wellness. Everyone did a fantastic job!

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