December 9, 2021 — The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) announces three new members and the newly-elected leadership officers to the Board of Directors – including South Florida native Dr. Omar M. Rashid.
Born and raised in Broward County, Omar M. Rashid, MD, JD, FACS, FSSO, DABS, has been named to the Board of Directors of ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate for the American Cancer Society (ACS). As a member of the Board, Dr. Rashid will provide leadership and guidance for ACS CAN, which pursues evidence-based public policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem nationwide. His term begins on Jan. 1, 2022.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACS CAN mobilizes grassroots volunteers across the country to educate elected officials on critically important cancer-fighting policies and shape the outcome of local, state and federal legislation that saves lives through support for cancer research, prevention and treatments. In his role on the Board, Dr. Rashid will help lead this work by strategically engaging elected officials at every level of government to influence public policies aimed at impacting the cancer burden and eliminating disparities in cancer and health outcomes.
“Dr. Rashid’s breadth of experience in health care, specifically within the cancer space, will be a tremendous asset to ACS CAN as he steps into this volunteer leadership role,” said ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse. “We look forward to his continued guidance and partnership as we pursue meaningful ways to improve outcomes in cancer care for all communities through our public policy advocacy.”
Early on, Dr. Rashid recognized the important role public health policy plays in improving outcomes for cancer patients, completing a dual MD-JD degree at Duke University Schools of Medicine and Law. He then completed General Surgery residency at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System and Massey Comprehensive National Cancer Institute while at the same time completing a legislative fellowship in the Virginia General Assembly working with staff on complex health policy issues.
During this time, Dr. Rashid received multiple awards for his cancer-related health policy research and recognition including being appointed as the Administrative Chief General Surgery Resident at VCU Health System as well as an appointed official to serve Gov. Tim Kaine (D) and later his successor Gov. Bob McDonnel (R). He completed his Complex General Surgical Oncology Fellowship at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa and was appointed as an Administrative Co-Fellow, serving as a clinical instructor in surgery. While at the Tampa-based institute, he was awarded multiple awards for his research focusing on cancer, robotic surgery and health policy before returning home to South Florida.
“I am excited to help lead ACS CAN in their efforts to engage policymakers in the fight against cancer by supporting research and evidence-based initiatives that improve treatment outcomes, increase cancer screening and prevention, and support patients and survivors,” shared Dr. Rashid. “I’m humbled to have the privilege and opportunity to collaborate with these inspiring leaders, and I look forward to learning from them and bringing back that knowledge and experience to help patients locally here in South Florida.”
Today, Dr. Rashid has continued his clinical work in cancer care, advanced surgery and research with a team actively involved in initiatives related to cancer care, health policy and cancer prevention and survivorship. Passionate for improving outcomes in cancer care, he has been a volunteer with ACS CAN since 2015 and is also an active member on the ACS Broward County and South East Florida Area volunteer boards.
He has affiliations with Harvard Medical School Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Nova Southeastern University School of Medicine, Holy Cross Hospital/Trinity Health, Broward Health, Memorial Health, Boca Raton Outpatient Surgery & Laser Center, and Delray Medical Center. Dr. Rashid was also one of the first 100 surgeons in North America to obtain board certification from the American Board of Surgery in Complex General Surgical Oncology and his research bibliography includes over 80 published articles, abstract and book chapters.
About ACS CAN at 20
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.