Success at the Seminar!

Posted in Advocacy Events

Affordable Care Act Key Topic of Third Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients Program A grieving mother’s dream for a healthier world led to a very important and informative discussion this month in Albuquerque. Medical and legal experts, including the state’s attorney general and the chair of the board of the American Medical Association, gathered on Oct. 11 to participate and present at the Third Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients program at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque. The program was held in support of the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Cancer Fund. Another part of the fundraising effort, the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Team Roping competition, is taking place Oct. 26 and 27 in Carlsbad. Jeff and Evy Diamond’s son, Shannon J. Shaw, died from malignant melanoma on August 31, 2009. A website providing more information about the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Cancer Fund has been set up at

As he was dying, Shannon Shaw told his children to listen to their mother – as he wished he’d listen to his mother’s advice about getting a suspicious mole checked out. The 2011 seminar broadly addressed cancer issues, while 2012’s seminar addressed the Affordable Care Act. This year’s seminar, which provided continuing education credits for members of New Mexico’s medical and legal communities, brought in national experts to discuss topics associated with both cancer and the Affordable Care Act. The day’s presenters included Pamelya Herndon, executive director of the Southwest Women’s Law Center, who discussed the individual's rights under the Affordable Care Act. “It is illegal for health insurance companies to arbitrarily cancel an individual’s health insurance just because they are sick,” she noted, adding - “State insurance oversight departments will hold insurance companies accountable for rate increases.” New Mexico Attorney General Gary King discussed the role his office will play in assisting the public with the Affordable Health Care Act. For example, the attorney general’s office will be looking for hidden fees and attempts at fraud. “I think, by and large, for most human endeavors that most people try to do the right thing,” he said, but noted that a small percentage of people may try to abuse the system or exploit others. “We’re very concerned about some entities that want you to pay up front to try to help you understand the system.” King pointed out that the state’s insurance exchange oversight group is subject to the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act. The focus, he said, needs to remain on education. “We consider this a working process,” he noted. “I really hope we can help.” Attorney Nathan Kottkamp, founder of National Healthcare Decision Day, discussed the importance of planning a living will and discussing end-of-life plans with family. “Sit down at the dinner table tonight,” he advised. “It’s an uncomfortable conversation, but it works.” Such planning is an essential part of meeting the nation’s health care needs, Kottkamp said. Families without end-of-life plans face quality of life issues and agonize over whether or not they made the right choices. “Let’s see if we can beat the drum loud enough across the country so that people will finally start to dance,” he said. Dr. Wadhih Arap, Deputy Director of the UNM Cancer Center, delivered the seminar’s welcome. Dr. Elba Saavedra, Assistant Professor for Research at UNM’s College of Education, provided instruction about patient navigation programs. Dr. Barbara McAneny, chair-elect of the board of trustees of the American Medical Association, spoke about techniques for treating cancer patients at home. Attorney Jeff Diamond led a panel discussion about medical insurance that included Dr. Nandini Kuehn, Jason Sandel and Phil Mims. Jane Batson, with ENMU-Roswell, spoke about meeting shortages of health care personnel. Finally, employment attorney Rita Siegel talked about protecting employee rights during a battle with cancer.

Events and Learning Experiences

  • Success at the Seminar!

    Affordable Care Act Key Topic of Third Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients Program A grieving mother’s dream for a healthier Read More
  • Community Outreach

    Volunteers of The Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund participate in various events throughout the year in order to raise awareness Read More
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Additional Seminar Information

  • Presentation by Nathan Kottkamp, Esq.
  • Presentation by Honorable Gary King
  • Plenary Session
  • 3rd Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients Gallery

Nathan Kottkamp's Presents about Advance Directives

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The Honorable Gary King, New Mexico's General Attorney speaks about the Enforcement of Rights to Medical Care & Insurance.

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8:00 a.m.
Overview of Program
Jeff Diamond, Esq., Jeff Diamond Law Firm & Program Sponsor

8:05 a.m.
Welcome & Greeting
Dr. Wadih Arap, MD, PhD, Deputy Director, UNM Cancer Center and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine

8:30 a.m.
Advanced Healthcare Directives, Legal Drafting, and Client Counseling
Nathan Kottkamp, Esq., Founder of the national health decision day, expert on health law and advanced care planning, partner, Health Law at McGuireWoods, Virginia


9:30 a.m.
Patient Navigation and Survivorship Planning: The Importance of Meeting the Standards of the American College of Surgeons and The Counsel on Cancer
Dr. Elba Saavedra, Assistant Professor for Research at UNM College of Education & Senior Fellow at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy, Patient Navigation Expert

10:45 a.m. Break

11:00 a.m.
The Rights of Individuals to Health Care Under ACA & State & Federal Law
Pamelya Herndon, Esq., Executive Director Southwest Women's Law Center

12:00 p.m.
The Methodology and Techniques for Treating Cancer Patients at Home
Dr. Barbara L. McAneny, MD, CEO of New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, Inc. & Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association and New Mexico Cancer Center

1:00 p.m.
Enforcement of Rights to Medical Care & Insurance by the Attorney General
Honorable Gary King, Esq., New Mexico Attorney General

2:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion: The New Age of Insurance and Getting Payments for Health Care – A View From the Trenches
Moderator: Jeff Diamond, Esq.
Dr. Nandini Kuehn, PhD, Director, Health Services Consulting and Board of Directors, New Mexico Health Connections (non-profit)
Jason Sandel, Vice-Chairman of the New Mexico Insurance Exchange
Phil Mims, MA Finance, Cress Insurance Consultants, Inc.

3:00 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m.
Meeting the Shortage of Health Care Personnel as Presented to the LFC Report On May 15th with Recommended Legislative Changes in Licensing, Regulation, Scope of Practice & Equal Access to Medical Personnel
Jane Batson, BS, MA, Interim Vice President for External Affairs, ENMU-Roswell, Health Policy Expert


4:00 p.m.
Protecting Employee Rights During the Fight for Survival from Cancer
Rita Siegel, Esq., Siegel Law Firm, Albuquerque Labor and Employment Attorney

NM Action Center

  • New Mexico Action Center

    Improving Cancer Patients Lives with Palliative Care A large crowd turned up for the second annual New Mexico Cancer Summit: Read More
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