You are here

Gold Standard Advancing to Reflect Latest Oncology Research

Oncology is perhaps the world’s fastest-moving therapeutic area. A growing understanding of cancer biology is advancing prevention, early detection, and treatment. That requires the CEO Cancer Gold Standard™ framework -- a roadmap for building healthier communities at work and play -- to change with the science too.

The Gold Standard requirements have been updated over the past year to reflect a more holistic approach to health and well-being with increased emphasis on cancer survivorship, well-being, and health equity.

Updated Gold Standard criteria and an improved application portal will be tested by a few volunteer organizations beginning in July before becoming more widely available in Q4 this year.

Upon pledging to Go for Gold, organizations will be recognized as aspiring Gold Standard organizations. To support their journey to achieve the Gold Standard, we will provide personalized feedback about that organization’s strengths and areas of opportunity based on historic and comparative data.

Those employers who provide exemplary benefits and are leaders in creating policies, programs, and initiatives that lead the way in adopting a holistic approach to health and well-being will be recognized as Gold Standard organizations with distinction.

Multi-national organizations are encouraged to apply for Global Gold Standard accreditation and organizations with operations in China may seek the China-specific Gold Standard application administered by the Shanghai Tuoxin Health Promotion Center.

Here are a few highlights of new requirements and the research that has prompted them:

  • Greater focus on survivorship. There are more than 14 million cancer survivors in the US today. Statistics from the American Cancer Society show that only 1 of 2 people diagnosed with cancer in the 1970s survived at least 5 years. Today, more than 2 of 3 survive that long.
  • Increased support for all aspects of personalized medicine. It’s no longer “one-size-fits-all” in cancer treatment. With genetic testing becoming less expensive, the focus on individually tailored treatment has increased and with it the prospects of a higher treatment success rate, fewer relapses and less need for follow-up treatment.
  • Broader definition of well-being. The pandemic hit home that many factors beyond physical health can affect an individual’s health risk and outcomes. The Gold Standard asks organizations to take steps to improve individuals’ well-being in terms of financial, environmental, and mental health, as well as supporting a sense of purpose and community.
  • Incorporation of health equity. Our goal is to give everyone the best chance to prevent, treat, and survive cancer. That means being aware of individuals’ needs and challenges and providing them appropriate resources. Statistics demonstrate the disparities: For most cancers, African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial or ethnic group in the US.

The update is the work of a Gold Standard Steering Committee of experts (now called the Gold Standard Health Well-Being Consortium). The team began re-evaluating the Gold Standard framework in June 2020 and the updates were approved by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Board of Directors in November.

Members of the Gold Standard Health and Well-Being Council are:

• L. Michelle Bennett, PhD, Director Center for Research Strategy, National Cancer Institute

• Otis Brawley, MD, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and a globally recognized expert in cancer prevention and control.

• Ron Goetzel, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

• David Shepperly, MD, Executive Director Occupational Health, Bristol Myers Squibb

• Marcelo C. Targino, MD, MPH, Chief Employee Health Officer & Corporate Medical Director, Johnson & Johnson