Otis Brawley, MD
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Department of Oncology, School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University
Otis W. Brawley, MD is a globally-recognized expert in cancer prevention and control. He has worked to reduce overscreening of medical conditions, which has revolutionized patient treatment by increasing quality of life and reducing health disparities. Brawley’s research focuses on developing cancer screening strategies and ensuring their effectiveness. He has championed efforts to decrease smoking and implement other lifestyle risk reduction programs, as well as to provide critical support to cancer patients and concentrate cancer control efforts in areas where they could be most effective. Brawley currently leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort on cancer health disparities at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, striving to close racial, economic, and social disparities in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide. He also directs community outreach programs for underserved populations throughout Maryland.
Brawley joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2019 from the American Cancer Society and Emory University.
CPAT Member, Lung Cancer Survivor
Randall Broad is the President and Founder of Opal Enterprises, Inc. Opal is a high-end marketing services company headquartered in Kirkland, Washington. In 2008, Broad was diagnosed with stage III NSCLC and given a year to live following treatment. In the following months, he penned ‘It’s an Extraordinary Life – Don’t Miss it’. It has since become an Amazon best seller. As one who overcame the cancer prognosis, in his free time enjoys investing and exploring the world with his two children; chronicling his experiences and adventures for future generations to learn from and enjoy.
Cancer Survivor and Advocate, Elevate Ambassador
Woodrow Brokenburr was born in Winter Haven, Florida and is one of ten children. He currently resides in Agoura Hills, California. He is a cancer survivor (osteosarcoma) and was profiled in the book “Here and Now, Inspiring Stories of Cancer Survivors.” Woody has worked with cancer survivors with the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life in providing support services and information to cancer survivors. In addition to working with the Cancer Community of Ventura County and the Cancer outreach committee at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks.
Award-Winning Documentary Producer and Director
Bill Brummel is a Los Angeles-based award-winning documentary producer/director. He has been recognized with a Peabody Award (Rwanda-Do Scars Ever Fade?), a primetime Emmy nomination (Blood Diamonds), several national News and Documentary Emmy nominations, two International Documentary Association awards, and his short documentary Viva La Causa was named to the Oscar shortlist. Brummel is a 24-year cancer survivor. After having his voice box removed in 2016, Brummel produced and directed “Can You Hear My Voice?”. The film chronicles London’s Shout at Cancer choir, whose singers are also living without voice boxes.
Many of Brummel's previous films have focused on civil rights and human rights issues. Some of Brummel’s other credits include Selma-The Bridge to the Ballot, Erasing Hate, Bullied, Inside Pol Pot's Secret Prison, Opus Dei Unveiled, Civil Rights Martyrs, Standing Tall at Auschwitz, Child Warriors, The Greensboro Massacre, Inside North Korea, and The Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History.
Sarah is a healthcare communicator, cancer survivor, and self-proclaimed non-scientist science geek. She has spent most of her professional career working in healthcare, specifically in many facets of communications, including marketing, public affairs, event planning, corporate communications, patient communication, and public relations.
In February of 2014, Sarah was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, a rare form of leukemia that required her to be hospitalized for over a month to undergo intense treatment. It was during this time, inspired by a caring, compassionate nurse, that she learned to educate herself, ask questions, and be her own advocate.
Continuing her healthcare work after treatment, she worked at both a cancer hospital, a cancer nonprofit, and now a pharmaceutical company, working on a variety of communications and content to educate the medical community and the public on cancer and cancer research.
While continuing to grow in her professional career, she personally remains an advocate for all patients, empowering them to educate themselves, ask questions and advocate for their own health.
Jen Coken works with women in power positions who don’t feel so powerful anymore. She shatters their self-doubts so they can learn to love themselves, embrace their genius and own their success. Recognized by ABC, MSNBC, and TEDx, Jen is an international peak performance coach, Fortune 500 speaker, Imposter Syndrome expert, and a recovering standup comedian. Fortune 500 clients to seven-figure CEOs trust Jen to shake things up with no apologies, no limits, and all the laughs.
Debra Curtis, Vice President at McDermott+Consulting, is a highly respected health policy authority who helps clients advance their missions in Congress and beyond. With more than three decades of experience working on the Hill and with the health insurance exchange marketplace, she helps clients execute payment strategy, see around the corner on policy and regulatory changes, and pursue effective advocacy. In addition, Debbie has deep experience working closely with payors, industry stakeholders and government officials at the federal, state and local levels.
During her 24 years as a Congressional Staffer, Debbie served most recently as Chief of Staff to Representative Pete Stark (D-CA), and as a staff member on the House Committee on Ways & Means, Health Subcommittee. Debbie was integrally involved in the creation and movement of health legislation, with a focus on improving and protecting Medicare. She was a key staffer in the development of the Affordable Care Act and worked closely with the Administration on the implementation of the law.
Debbie joined McDermottPlus from the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, where she was part of the founding team that established and operated DC Health Link, the District of Columbia’s online state-based health insurance exchange marketplace.
Debbie was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She attended a bilingual elementary school. She attended high school and college in Buenos Aires. In college, Debbie studied accounting, finance, business administration and accounting information systems. In 1986 she moved to Austin, TX to attend to the university of Texas at Austin. Debbie obtained her MBA with an accounting and systems concentration.
Because of her family history of Breast Cancer, Debbie was screened for breast cancer every 6 months. Her Mother and 3 of her sisters died after a breast cancer diagnosis in the ‘70s. They were all very young (40-45 years old). This family history was reported to every doctor Debbie visited. No doctor or nurse advise her to get tested for hereditary cancer. Finally, in 2010 when Debbie was 49 years old and after 4 months of a clean mammogram and ultrasound, she was diagnosed with TNBC and a BRCA1 mutation.
Since her diagnosis and lack of education about prevention of hereditary cancers she has been learning as much as she can to educate individuals and families about hereditary cancer. Debbie started her volunteer work with FORCE (Facing our Risk of Cancer Empowered). She was trained about hereditary cancer. Debbie is a peer support leader in S. Florida since 2012.
Debbie is also a member of the steering committee of Project EXTRA/FORCE funded by the CDC as well as an NCCS Elevate Ambassador.
Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP, FASCO
Don Dizon is an oncologist who specializes in women's cancers. He is the director of women's cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute and director of medical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital. He is also a professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. His research interests are in novel treatments of women’s cancers and issues related to survivorship, particularly as they relate to sexual health after cancer for both men and women.
Jason Dudey has been a national touring headliner for the last fifteen years. Jason can be seen on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, LOGO’s Wisecracks, Comedy Central and MTV. He’s played to sold out audiences from Sacramento to Baltimore to Tampa and toured with Kathleen Madigan, Louie Anderson, Jennifer Coolidge and Sandra Bernhardt along the way. Jason’s humor has also brought him national attention as a finalist at The World Series of Comedy three years in a row, along with entry into the Outlaugh Comedy festival and the New York Comedy Festival.
Spring boarding off the critical success of his first comedy album, “Major Dudey”, Jason released his second CD, “Exceeding All Expectations” in the fall of 2017. Both albums can be heard on Sirius XM Radio, Pandora and iTunes. Jason is excited to be back on tour with Come Out Laughing. A recent divorcee and cancer survivor only adds to his humor. “Life happens, and it keeps happening and then when you’re not looking it happens again. I never thought cancer would be funny but, when you lose hair places that you didn’t even know you had hair, you have to laugh and move on,” exclaims Jason. Life hasn’t gotten him down yet and it never will!
Erin Geddis Cummings
Erin Geddis Cummings has been a cancer survivor for more than 49 years. Diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma at age 15, Erin "beat the odds" and went on to pursue a college career as a pre-med student, obtain a Master's degree in Social Work, marry and raise a family of four children- all after being told that she would probably die as a young adult. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of Hodgkin's International, a non-profit organization that supports long-term Hodgkin's survivors all over the world. Her personal and professional priority is to empower her fellow Hodgkin's survivors through connection, education, and advocacy.
Erin exemplifies the concept of "thriving," not just surviving. She is known for pouring her heart and soul into each and every day. Though battling numerous late effects of her earlier treatment, including heart and lung disease, Erin has (to date) completed 7 marathons and many smaller races. Five of those marathons were in New York City, where Erin ran with "Fred's Team" at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to raise funds for Pediatric Cancer research. In those five marathons Erin raised over $100K for the hospital. Erin is also a writer with the "Visible Ink" program at Sloan-Kettering. She has had several of her stories appear in their written anthologies and two that were chosen for staged readings.
Loretta has served as an advocate for cancer patients for more than 20 years from the time her mother was diagnosed in 1996 until present. As an advocate she co-founded a non-profit organization, Cancer Awareness Network, to eliminate the fears associated with a cancer diagnosis. Her organization helps over 230 lives each year offering free quarterly workshops and health fairs throughout her local community. Ms. Herring has served as an NCCS Elevate Ambassador, participated in Project LEAD, worked as a Consumer Reviewer for Breast Cancer Research with DOD, and partners with various programs like Sister Survivors, FORGE, UAB Cancer Community Outreach Program, ACS, AACR, and Metastasis Research Society.
At 27 years-old and fourteen weeks pregnant, Jamie was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and subsequently learned she was BRCA+. She immediately began a year of chemotherapy, six months of it with her son, Blake, still in the womb. Today, her son is 13 years old! Since her diagnosis, Jamie has become a vocal advocate serving as a cancer rights attorney and public policy advocate. She seeks to reduce cancer-related health disparities through the delivery of cancer survivorship education and collaborative advocacy efforts. Jamie serves on the Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team. As a cancer rights attorney and speaker with Triage Cancer, Jamie provides educational seminars to the cancer community discussing topics such as Balancing Work & Cancer, Employment Rights, and Financial Toxicity of Cancer. During the extended quarantine over the past year, Jamie and her family began exploring the principles and practices of wellness and nutrition in a personal capacity to gain a better understanding of how it may impact whole person survivorship and treatment related side-effects.
William “Kirby” Lewis is a 60 year old breast cancer survivor from West Virginia. Originally, he was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2012, and then almost 4 years later had recurrence in 2016 with Stage 4 (Metastatic) Breast Cancer. Now, he is over the 5-year mark and is officially an “outlier”. He continues to work as an advocate, on the local, regional, state, and National levels.
In the shadow of the Covid Pandemic, he and his wife successfully navigated Covid diagnoses. Since then he has continued to work with various groups when called upon. Participating as a host for “Our MBC Life”, Tigerlily Podcast, MaleBCCoalition Podcast, and for New York Cancer Research Alliance (NYCRA) podcast.
His past has allowed him to work as an artist, published writer, and designer. Today, after an extensive 3-year remodeling of his wife’s childhood home, he is resting regularly. He still finds time to continue educational pursuits with the hope of becoming a stronger voice in the world of advocacy, while also assisting his fellow advocates in developing their coping skills.
Shelley Fuld Nasso, MPP
Chief Executive Officer, NCCS
Shelley is honored and humbled to serve NCCS and the millions of cancer survivors and their family members NCCS represents. She is a policy wonk and advocate and loves to empower cancer survivors to make their voices heard in Washington, DC and around the country. She joined NCCS in December 2012 and was named CEO in October 2013.
Prior to joining NCCS, Shelley served in leadership roles at Susan G. Komen, where she leveraged Komen’s grassroots network in Washington, DC and in state capitals. There she built relationships with policymakers and partner organizations and led a team of staff and volunteer leaders to influence state budgets and legislation. Shelley has also served as Director of Community Philanthropy at The Dallas Foundation and held management positions at communications and technology enterprises. She is a graduate of Rice University and holds a Master of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Shelley’s commitment to the work of NCCS is strongly tied to the experiences in the cancer care system of her dear friend, Dr. Brent Whitworth, a beloved physician who was diagnosed with stage IV cancer days before his 42nd birthday and who passed away 19 months later. Through Brent’s experiences, Shelley witnessed the strengths and flaws of the cancer care system and embraces the notion that policy change can make cancer care better for patients and caregivers.
Elizabeth Goss, JD
Partner, Turner & Goss LLP
Elizabeth Goss is a partner in the law and public policy firm Turner & Goss LLP. Prior to entering private practice, Elizabeth served as a Congressional aide, first to Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and subsequently for ten years to Senator Dale Bumpers (D-AR). Her Senate work concentrated on public health policy and biomedical research funding and regulation. Elizabeth’s clients include a number of non-profit entities interested in access to quality health care and the development of new therapies for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Her clients include the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Lymphoma Research Foundation, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as the Cancer Leadership Council, a coalition of cancer organizations. She graduated from Harvard College and Georgetown University Law Center.
Wendy Harpham, MD
Wendy Harpham is a doctor of internal medicine, 30-year cancer survivor, and leader in survivorship. When ongoing illness forced her to retire from clinical medicine, she turned to writing and speaking to continue caring for patients. From her perspective as both physician and patient, she’s written eight books, including two children’s books and an e-book, Finding Hope that Heals (available for free download off the National Breast Cancer Foundation website). Since 2005, she’s written an award-winning regular column in Oncology Times, “View from the Other Side of the Stethoscope.” Her work has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Governor’s Award for Health, which led to her induction into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Today she’ll be talking about The Power of Visualization.
Principal, Edge Research
Pam provides trusted counsel and custom marketing research for clients big and small. As a Principal at Edge, she works regularly with marquee brands to design studies and provide insights that drive their business – K¹² Inc., Kaiser Permanente, National 4-H Council, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, U.S. Travel Association, the USO, and The Washington Post, to name a few. Pam also manages the firm’s Education and Health & Wellness practices.
While Pam enjoys working with corporations on their branding, messaging, advertising, and new product development, she is also passionate about helping non-profits with their unique challenges, including donor development and retention, public education, and advocacy. Over the last 20 years, she has managed hundreds of studies for NGOs and professional associations to improve their communications and public awareness efforts. Pam has co-authored and presented several public sector-wide studies examining the attitudes, values, and behaviors of charitable donors, which have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
Ana María López, MD , MPH, MACP
Vice Chair, Medical Oncology and Chief of Cancer Services, Jefferson Health New Jersey
Dr. López is Vice Chair of Medical Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (SKCC), and Chief of Cancer Services at Jefferson Health in New Jersey. Dr. López joined Jefferson in 2018 from the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, where she was Director of Cancer Health Equality. A board-certified Medical Oncologist, she has extensive experience in in breast and gynecological cancers, integrative medicine, telehealth and cancer disparities. Currently, Dr. L López is President of the American College of Physicians, the largest medical specialty organization in the U.S. Additionally, her strong commitment to cancer disparities is reflected in her leadership of the American Society of Clinical Oncology committee on cancer disparities. Her main areas of professional interest and expertise include cancer prevention, integrative oncology, and innovations in healthcare.
Mary S. McCabe, RN, MA
Mary S. McCabe, RN, MA, is a consultant in Cancer Survivorship and Medical Ethics. She is the past Clinical Director of the Cancer Survivorship Center at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSK). From 2003 through 2016, she developed and implemented a program and services for cancer survivors focused on research, clinical care, professional training and education. She was also a faculty member in the Division of Medical Ethics at the Cornell Weill Medical College and Chair of the MSK Ethics Committee.
A graduate of Trinity College, Emory University and Catholic University, she was previously the nursing director at the Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and held several positions at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) before joining MSK. Ms. McCabe is currently Chair of the Survivorship Advisory Committee at the Lombardi Cancer Center, a member of the boards of Children’s Cancer Cause and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, and advisor to the National Coalition of Cancer Survivorship. Ms. McCabe has received numerous awards, including in 2020, the Emory University President’s Medal, the highest award given to an Emory alumnus.
Veronika Panagiotou PhD
Veronika Panagiotou PhD obtained her doctorate in Community Engagement at Point Park University in 2021. She defended her dissertation entitled, “Do Service-Learning Models Create an Opportunity to Cultivate Civic Engagement Outcomes at Point Park University? A Phenomenological Study of Students’ Perspectives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.” Dr. Panagiotou was awarded the “Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement” for the academic year of 2017-2018. She teaches City- University-Life as an Adjunct Professor at Point Park University.
She facilitates a book club for Young Adult Survivors United and has been a member of NCCS’s Cancer Policy and Advocacy Team since 2017.
She is the founder of the Pioneer Pantry at Point Park University which serves college students, faculty, and staff experiencing food insecurity. She manages food inventory and data collection.
Dr. Panagiotou also holds a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Psychology from Point Park University.
Laura Porter, MD
Laura Porter, MD, was 43 years old, in the second year of her pediatric residency, when diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in 2003. After initial treatment, she returned to her residency but within weeks had her first recurrence. After more treatment she was cancer free for a short time then had a second recurrence. In May 2006, she became cancer free.
Since 2005 Laura has been a Patient Advocate Medical Consultant with several national and international organizations. Laura serves as the Medical Affairs Senior Consultant at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and is a co-investigator on the Cancer Research UK OPTIMISTICC grant, investigating how the microbiome influences the development and course of colorectal cancer including its effect on treatment. She also serves as a member of several guideline panels and committees at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has been a member of the NCI Rectal-Anal Task Force, is a member of the National Quality Forum (NQF) Geriatrics and Palliative Care Committee and a member of the NQF Opioid Technical Expert Panel, she reviews basic science research grants for Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Laura is Director of Smith Center for Healing and the Arts Nourishment Education Programs. She has served as Smith Center's head retreat chef and nurse consultant since 1997. She is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Integrative Oncology Navigator with over 40 years experience in caring for people with serious illness. She is also a Certified Health Supportive Chef, professional musician and Nia body-mind fitness instructor. Her popular cooking classes are centered on culinary translation: that is, helping participants translate a diet prescription to a plate of nourishing delicious food. Laura is the founder of “Eating for a Lifetime,” a consulting business dedicated to teaching individuals and professionals about health supportive eating and food preparation. In addition to Laura’s work with nourishment, she is the co-coordinator of Smith Center’s Patient Navigation Training in Integrative Cancer Care. Laura also serves as coordinator of the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv. Laura is Senior Researcher for Commonweal's Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies website on how to navigate the world of integrative cancer care.
Lisa D. T. Rice, SM
NCCS Board Member, Board member of Unite American, Board member of Newcomb Alumnae Association
Lisa D. T. Rice, SM is a political strategist with extensive experience in corporate, trade association and nonprofit settings, including 15 years’ experience in political and external affairs. In her leadership roles, Ms. Rice is an influential advocate for causes she supports, including quality cancer care, women’s health and empowerment, racial justice, and social media activism.
Cancer Survivor and Advocate, Lead Project Coordinator, Baylor College of Medicine
Allison Rosen has worked in the world of Oncology researching at Baylor College of Medicine for over 12 years. Two years go, she decided to move into cancer education and prevention for the underserved population. She is still at Baylor but works in the Dan L. Duncan Center in the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities. On June 7th, 2012, at the age of 32 after years of struggling with Crohn’s disease her life was turned upside down after a scope with her GI doctor, when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Throughout her journey she became a determined advocate for cancer prevention and works in that field now daily. She gets to help educate the underprivileged, undeserved, minority population about getting screened for the cancer that are screenable. Allison uses her story to make sure that people know that colorectal cancer does not discriminate against, age, sex, religion or ethnicity. She has just recently started working more closely on can policy work both locally and in DC.
Susan is the founding President and current Director of Patient Engagement for Heart Valve Voice US, the only patient-lead organization in the country that exclusively focuses on improving the diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease.
A champion of patient advocacy and engagement, Susan serves as an AHA Heart Valve Ambassador, a member of the NQF Cardiology Standing Committee, and as a PCORI Ambassador. She has presented the patient perspective on panels at numerous professional conferences including ACC, TCT, TVT, SMDM, and NIH. With a keen focus on meaningful inclusion of patient stakeholders, Susan is passionate about improving patient experience and outcomes through collaborative partnerships in research, healthcare systems and industry.
With an extensive network of patient advocates and non-profit organizations, she collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders to help improve processes and policies that impact patient care.
Tiah Tomlin was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer (or can’t-cer, as she prefers to call it). After recognizing the gaps in resources and supportive services through her own experience, Tiah vowed to be part of the solution. She co-founded My Style Matters, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based out of Atlanta, GA.
Her mission is to provide emotional and practical support for cancer patients and their caregivers. Tiah’s efforts to provide strength for vulnerable survivors fighting cancer have been nationally recognized. She was selected to participate in the Cancer Moonshot Summit with former Vice President Joe Biden. She is an advisory team member and chapter leader for HealingStrong™, a renowned network of health-related support groups. Tiah also participates in the Check It Out! program to help educate high school girls about breast care, and she was chosen to be a Young Program Advocate for Living Beyond Breast Cancer. She has dedicated herself to being a change agent and a community advocate by fighting against cancer, increasing awareness, speaking out about prevention, encouraging people to take action for their health, and giving people hope.
Desirée A.H. Walker
Survivor Extraordinaire! Two-Time Breast Cancer Victor, Health Educator, Cancer Patient Advocate and Support Group Facilitator
At the age of 38, Desirée was diagnosed with breast cancer, which recurred at age 47. For many who have had to fight breast cancer, Desirée serves as an advocate for patients by openly speaking about her diagnoses to audiences nationally and internationally. The core of her message is to encourage patients to truly know their body and feel empowered to steward self, mind, body and soul. Through SHARE’s Side by Side Program, Desirée trains medical students and doctors on how to deliver disappointing news and vehemently supports the importance of patient/doctor communication.