Presenting: Beating Cancer and Staying Healthy: The Path to Recovery
Mistress of Ceremonies: Colon Cancer Alliance Sapphire Awards
Facilitating: Intimacy and Relationships During and After Treatment
Ms. Brenda Elsagher is a colorectal cancer survivor diagnosed who, at the age of 39, Brenda relied on her humor, faith, friends and family, along with good medical care to get through it. Ms. Elsagher’s outlook with cancer has brought out many gifts. First was a desire to do things she had long put off like pursuing her dream of becoming a comedian and going to college. Since her diagnosis, Ms. Elsagher won the title of Twin Cities Funniest Person, Newsmaker of the Year by the Women’s Press, received the Golden “Mic” award from the American Cancer Society and the Advocacy to Action award. Ms. Elsagher is an international keynote speaker, comedian, and author of If the Battle is Over, Why Am I Still in Uniform?; I’d Like to Buy a Bowel Please!; Bedpan Banter: Funny & Inspiring Medical Stories; and her latest book It’s in the Bag and Under the Covers. Ms. Elsagher’s presentation brings on belly laughter punctuated by honest and enriching moments of being a German Catholic married to an Egyptian Muslim and mother of two and she shows how humor is universal. She has the ability to include her audience in her personal experience in a way they can all relate. Ms. Elsagher wants you to come, relax and have a good time.
For more information on Ms. Elsagher, please visit her website at www.livingandlaughing.com.
Dennis J. Ahnen, MD
Panelist: Ask the Expert
Dr. Dennis Ahnen completed his Medical School Training at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan and completed a Medical Residency and Chief Residency at Hutzel Hospital in Detroit before coming to the University of Colorado as a Fellow in Gastroenterology in 1977. Since 1982, he has been a faculty member with the University of Colorado School of Medicine where he is currently a Professor of Medicine. Dr. Ahnen’s research interest is in understanding the process of colorectal cancer and its prevention. His laboratory has conducted both basic and clinical investigations related to this issue. He currently has five active grants from the National Cancer Institute and has published over 220 basic science and clinical papers. Dr. Ahnen's laboratory is active in clinical and behavioral studies of colon cancer prevention. In collaboration with Dr. Al Marcus, he conducts behavioral trials designed to improve colorectal cancer screening rates. In collaboration with Dr. Jan Lowery, he directs two Cancer Registries that identify families with clustering of colorectal cancer. These families are valuable resources for studies to identify cancer predisposition genes and for prevention trials.
Jennifer Axilbund, MS, CGC
Presenting: The Genetic Link Associated with Colorectal Cancer
Ms. Jennifer Axilbund is a certified genetic counselor with a special interest in cancer risk assessment at the Johns Hopkins University Breast Center. She has a bachelor of science in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, a master’s in genetic counseling from the University of Colorado and another master’s in molecular biology and genetics from Northwestern University. She is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Cancer Genetics Network. Her clinical interests include genetic counseling, genetic testing for cancer susceptibility and familial pancreas cancer.
Judie Blanchard, MS
Facilitating: Emotional and Social Aspects of Cancer Survivorship
Ms. Judie Blanchard provides consulting services in health promotion, education, and outreach as well as public health program planning. She designs, coordinates, facilitates, and delivers training programs for health care professionals, patients, and consumers and develops educational materials for professionals as well as for individuals with varying literacy and language skills. Most recently, she managed the ENACCT National Cancer Clinical Trials Breakthrough Collaborative, the first-ever national effort to identify best practices for recruitment, accrual, and retention through a systematic, proven quality improvement process. She also initiated the development of the conceptual framework for the Dialogue for Action program. This program is designed to strengthen the capacity of states and American Indian/Alaska Native communities to meet their cancer control objectives for increasing colorectal cancer screening in their underserved populations. The program concentrates on engaging the broad diversity of stakeholders throughout a state or tribal community in a highly interactive and collaborative process that concludes with tangible action steps for moving a state or tribal community forward. Thus far she has worked with 17 state and 10 tribal teams. This program has been adapted for other topics and organizations as well.
Ms. Blanchard offers over 25 years of health promotion and health education experience combined with writing and editing expertise. She has worked in the public and private sectors and at the community, state, and national levels and has designed programs and written for highly educated professionals as well as for the average consumer. With consumer health as their common denominator, the behavioral change programs she has designed and implemented include the following topics: advocacy; cancer prevention and treatment; cardiac rehabilitation; cholesterol control; diabetes prevention and management; exercise prescription; nutrition; stress management; and weight management. She has also designed, delivered, and promoted psychosocial programs for cancer survivors, their loved ones, and health professionals and has extensive experience in community outreach. Ms. Blanchard has developed and delivered a variety of training curricula for health care professionals as well as graduate-level curricula, including Ethical Issues in Cancer Care, Introduction to Clinical Ethics and Patient and Community Education.
Sage A. Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C
Presenting: Intimacy and Relationships During and After Treatment
Dr. Sage Bolte lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Jeff and their three children. She is a licensed clinical social worker who works with people impacted by cancer. Dr. Bolte specializes in how cancer and its treatments impact sexual function and intimacy in relationships. She has done numerous national and international presentations and has also contributed to a number of publications on this topic. In 2008, Dr. Bolte received the American Cancer Society’s Doctoral Training Grant. Dr. Bolte received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Hope College and later received her Master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan. She has served as adjunct faculty at both The Catholic University of America and George Mason University. She recently received her PhD in Social Work from The Catholic University of America School of Social Service where her dissertation explored the sexual selves of young adult cancer survivors as compared to their healthy peers. As a dedicated advocate for helping cancer patients and their partners strengthen their relationships, Dr. Bolte is currently an oncology counselor at Life with Cancer, a not-for-profit support and education program in Northern Virginia through INOVA Cancer Services.
Durado D. Brooks, MD, MPH
Presenting: Is It Time to Lower the Screening Age?
Dr. Durado Brooks serves as director of prostate and colorectal cancers at the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) National Home Office and is involved in creating and implementing strategies to improve the prevention and early detection of these diseases, and is also engaged in a number of the Society’s initiatives to address inequity and reduce health disparities. After graduating from the Ohio State University and the Wright State University School of Medicine Dr. Brooks practiced primary care internal medicine in community health centers, initially in Ohio and later in his current hometown of Dallas, TX. In addition to his clinical duties he served in several administrative roles, including health center medical director. Prior to joining the ACS he was awarded a Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship and earned his MPH degree at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Presenting: How to Advocate for Insurance Reimbursement of Screening
Ms. Susan Burns is Vice President of United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) and President of United Ostomy Association of Greater St. Louis. She served as past Secretary and Director of UOAA as well as a past Board of Trustee of Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation - St. Louis. Ms. Burns was also a member of St. Charles County, MO, Women’s Health Alliance. She earned her BA in Early Childhood Education and was a Kindergarten teacher and Facilitator of Parents as First Teachers. Having earned an AA in Travel and Hospitality, she is presently employed by Destination St. Louis, an event planning company, and as an independent contractor for the past 12 years. Ms. Burns was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 1974 and, due to a total bowel obstruction, an emergency colostomy was performed followed by a permanent ileostomy in 1989.
Tim E. Byers, MD, MPH
Moderating Panel: Ask the Expert
Dr. Tim Byers has held the position of Professor at the University of Colorado since 1995. He has served as the Deputy Director and as the Interim Director of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and is now the Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control. He is also the Associate Dean for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health. Prior to 1995 he was Chief of the Chronic Disease Prevention Branch of the Nutrition Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Dr. Byers is an expert in cancer prevention research and has worked in many settings in clinical medicine, public health, and academic medicine. He has a particular interest in epidemiologic studies of the role of early detection, diet, and nutrition in the prevention of cancer, and in the application of disease prevention in community settings. He has published over 320 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. His current research includes epidemiologic and clinical studies of nutrients as protective factors in colon, breast, and lung cancer, studies of cancer treatment decision-making by patients and physicians, studies of cancer genetics, and studies and programs to promote the early detection of lung and colon cancer. He is now the Director of the Center for Public Health Practice at the Colorado School of Public Health, developing training and programs to improve the effectiveness of public health workers, agencies, and programs.
Andrea S. Clay
Colon Cancer Alliance Staff
Ms. Andrea Clay first entered the colon cancer world when her husband was diagnosed with stage III rectal cancer in 2004. As her husband’s treatment was drawing to a close, she decided to volunteer with the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and the American Cancer Society as a colon cancer advocate. She officially became a member of the CCA family in 2006 and currently serves as the National Partnership and Strategy Director. She has been married for 23 years and recently moved to northern Virginia. Two lively teenage girls and two dogs keep Ms. Clay busy in her free time.
Mary K. Doroshenk, MA
Facilitating: Advocacy 101: Advocate for Yourself, Your Family, Your Community
Ms. Mary Doroshenk is currently the Manager of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to bring like-minded organizations together for the purpose of increasing colorectal cancer screening rates. Ms. Doroshenk took this position after serving as a senior analyst on the Health Policy team of the American Cancer Society’s National Government Relations Department, since July of 2000. In this capacity, Ms. Doroshenk managed all cancer site issues for the policy team with a special focus on colorectal cancer. Ms. Doroshenk came to the ACS after working for seven years on Capitol Hill, where she worked for Democratic Whip David Bonior. Prior to her tenure on Capitol Hill, Ms. Doroshenk worked as a fund-raising consultant for the firm, Bonner and Associates, now known as the Bonner Group. Ms. Doroshenk holds an undergraduate degree in English from the College of William and Mary and a Masters in Writing from Johns Hopkins University.
Katie Dunton, JD, MPA
Presenting: Where Treatment Fits into the “Big Picture” of Healthcare Reform
Ms. Katie Dunton is an Assistant Research Professor at the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University. She is a senior researcher on health insurance reform issues, including assistance to states on implementation and the impact of Affordable Care Act implementation on private markets. Prior to joining the Institute faculty, Ms. Dunton was the Communications and Outreach Director for the Maine Bureau of Insurance. While there, she played a vital role in enhancing consumer access to insurance information, including information about Maine's rate review process and Bureau services. Working with contractors and interested parties, Ms. Dunton created an outreach and education strategy to involve more consumers in a meaningful way, increasing transparency and promoting consumer participation and a better understanding of the process. During her tenure, Ms. Dunton shifted outreach planning to target specific populations, to ensure that they received information they needed about the Bureau's services.
Prior to joining the Bureau of Insurance staff, Ms. Dunton was a legislative aide for the Maine Legislature. She assisted with policy development and in communicating with constituents and outside agencies on state programs and pending legislation. Ms. Dunton holds a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Maine, Orono (member Pi Alpha Alpha), and a Bachelor's degree in Linguistics from the University of Oregon.
Kathleen Gamblin, RN, BSN, OCN
Presenting: Offering Support to Survivors and Newly Diagnosed Patients
Panelist: Ask the Expert
Ms. Kathleen Gamblin is the Coordinator for Oncology Patient Navigation at Northside Hospital, an NCI recognized Community Cancer Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, she serves as Co-Founder and Co-President of the Georgia Oncology Nurse Navigators Network, Advisory Board Member for the National Coalition of Oncology Nurse Navigators, and is a member of the Scientific Medical Advisory Board for the Colon Cancer Alliance. She is a graduate of Messiah College with a Bachelors’ of Science in Nursing and is finishing up her Master’s in Nursing Education with Walden University. Ms. Gamblin has been a practicing nurse for the past 17 years, six and a half of those years spent serving in the United States Air Force Nurse Corps. The past six years of her oncology career have been dedicated to oncology nurse navigation, ensuring that no oncology patient becomes lost within the system and that they receive care and access to needed resources in a timely and efficient manner. Ms. Gamblin has been awarded a Top Ten Nurse of Excellence Award in the city of Atlanta for her work in Oncology Nurse Navigation.
Jasmine T. Greenamyer, MPH
Colon Cancer Alliance Staff
Ms. Jasmine Greenamyer currently resides in Northern Virginia. Ms. Greenamyer received a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Michigan State University. She graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Behavior and Health Promotion. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Colon Cancer Alliance. She has extensive experience in designing, implementing and evaluating public health campaigns and programs. She has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Institute for Drug Abuse, and the National Institute for Health and several corporate and community organizations. In addition, Ms. Greenamyer is a Board Member at the Ruesch Center for the Cure for Gastrointestinal Cancer, at Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center.
Presenting: Colon Cancer Survivors Speak Out
Ms. Candace Henley was only 35 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. She was a mother of five children, a bus driver at the time and was suffering with female problems. After passing out at work, her diagnosis was attributed to an over active uterus and ovary issues. Both were removed and they thought this took care of the problem. It wasn’t until a few months later after a trip to the emergency room for a bad case of acid reflux that she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Ms. Henley had her large intestine removed and a resection to the small intestine.
It’s been nine years since her diagnosis. Today she enjoys a full life with her children and grandson. In addition to being an Ambassador for the Colon Cancer Alliance and Right Scan Right Time, Ms. Henley is a 2010 Colandar model; a lobbyist for One Voice Against Cancer; a volunteer for the Cancer Legal Resource Center; and an Army Delegate in 2006 and 2008 for the Livestrong Foundation Summit. She was instrumental in organizing Blue Hat Sunday including two churches with over 100 parishioners wearing a fashionable hat to educate the public about colon cancer.
Ms. Henley is currently pursuing her degree in Healthcare Administration at National Louis University with a concentration in Public Policy. She will continue her efforts in advocacy and lobbying for fair and equal treatment on behalf of all cancer patients, including those who are economically disadvantaged, uninsured and under-insured.
Presenting: Colon Cancer Survivors Speak Out
Mr. Randy Henniger was only 30 years old, married for just a few years and the father of two young boys, when he was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. He received his diagnosis after suffering for nearly a year with pain and bleeding. He was told he had only a 30% chance of survival. One week after his diagnosis, Mr. Henniger underwent surgery to remove the lower third of his colon and rectum along with a baseball-sized tumor that left Mr. Henniger with a permanent colostomy. The surgery, radiation treatments and superior care he received saved his life. Today, 26 years later, Mr. Henniger still celebrates every year as a blessing and an opportunity to spend more time with his wife and sons. He also serves as a mentor to other patients and their families. “I stand for hope. Even when the odds are a million to one, I tell people that they can be that one, but it’s up to them to fight for their own survival. It’s the battle for your life and no one has more at stake than you.” He has continued his career in technology and he also serves as a surf coach for many service members with special challenges caused by battlefield trauma, cancer, or birth defects. With his “nothing can stop you” attitude, he assists in their recovery. As they say, “We’re not broken, just damaged.”
Sarah E. Hoffe, MD
Panelist: Ask the Expert
Dr. Sarah E. Hoffe is a cancer physician specializing in radiation oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center. She currently is the Director of Physician Services at Moffitt’s newest location next to International Plaza. Her undergraduate degree was obtained at Brown University followed by medical school at the University of Vermont. Her training was at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic and Duke University. She has been practicing for 12 years. Dr. Hoffe’s specialty is treating patients with pancreatic, rectal, esophageal, liver, anal and bile duct cancers.
Whitney F. Jones, MD
Moderating: Diagnosed Under 50: Why and What Can be Done?
What Everyone Needs to Know About Colorectal Cancer
Dr. Whitney Jones is the founder of the Colon Cancer Prevention Project and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Jones graduated with honors and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Louisville, after which he attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He served his internship and residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and was appointed chief administrative medical resident and a clinical instructor on the faculty of Internal medicine. He continued his formal training in Digestive Diseases in Dallas, including a visiting fellowship at Nichai Dai University in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Jones was named the Wilson-Cooke Fellow in Therapeutic Endoscopy and Endoscopic Oncology at the University of Toronto’s Wellesley Hospital and completed his postdoctoral training in 1994.
After completing his training, he returned to Louisville as an assistant professor at the University of Louisville and was appointed the Director of Therapeutic Endoscopy and Endoscopic Oncology. In 2000, he formed Midwest Gastroenterology Associates. He is currently a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Louisville where he remains active in education, research, and patient care. Seeing so many patients die from colon cancer, a highly preventable disease, led Dr. Jones to found the Colon Cancer Prevention Project, an independent nonprofit dedicated to increasing colon cancer screening rates in Kentucky and surrounding communities. Since 2004, he has been a steadfast advocate for colon cancer prevention and screening, travelling to speak to groups ranging from healthcare professionals to cattleman’s associations. This March, his tireless advocacy efforts were recognized nationally by the Prevent Cancer Foundation in Baltimore with one of three prestigious Cancer Prevention Laurel awards.
David S. Landay, Esquire
Presenting: Health Insurance: Maintaining Your Current Plan or Obtaining a New One
Mr. David Landay is founder of SurvivorshipAtoZ.org, a unique website with in-depth and personalized life navigation information and interactive tools to guide people with a serious or life-challenging condition such as colon cancer through the maze of the financial, legal and practical aspects of living after a diagnosis. Mr. Landay is the author of BE PREPARED, The Complete Financial, Legal and Practical Guide for Living With Cancer, HIV and Other Life-Challenging Conditions (St. Martin's Press, 1998). He has worked with people with life changing conditions for more than 20 years. Mr. Landay is an attorney, former Broadway producer and president of Williamsburg Life Insurance Company. He is a graduate of Wharton School and Harvard Law School.
Julie Lanford, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN
Presenting: Nutrition: Creating and Maintaining a Healthy Diet
Ms. Julie Lanford is wellness director for Cancer Services, a non-profit in Winston-Salem, NC. She is a registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist and a board certified specialist in oncology nutrition. Ms. Lanford developed www.CancerDietitian.com a healthy living website for Cancer Services that translates evidence based nutrition guidelines into consumer friendly messages for everyday life. The site reaches thousands of people across the country who are interested in cancer nutrition and the most current topics on healthy lifestyle in our culture. Since 2007, Ms. Lanford has written more than 200 articles and has 1,000 subscribers of her e-newsletter. In addition to writing articles, Ms Lanford provides prevention and survivorship education to Winston-Salem and surrounding rural communities. She has been the cancer nutrition speaker for the North Carolina Survivorship Summit five years consecutively and is an active member of the Oncology Nutrition Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Ms. Lanford received a BS in Biology from North Carolina State University and a Master’s degree in public health nutrition from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her professional experience prior to Cancer Services includes nearly three years as an outpatient oncology dietitian, and nutrition education for diabetes, cholesterol and weight management. Her passion is wellness for cancer prevention and survivorship, and she specializes in making healthy living fun! Ms. Lanford enjoys life away from work when she is traveling with her personal "circus," a husband, one-year-old daughter, and two lively dogs.
Susan Leigh, RN
Presenting: Emotional and Social Aspects of Cancer Survivorship
Ms. Susan Leigh is an oncology nurse presently working as a survivorship navigator with Arizona Oncology, a large community practice in Tucson, AZ. Prior to returning to clinical work, Ms. Leigh spent 25 years as a consultant in the cancer survivorship arena. She was a founding member and past president of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS), and was one of the original 15 members selected to the Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG), the consumer oversight committee at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She continues to be a member of the NCI Consumer Advocates in Research & Related Activities (CARRA) group. She is a member of the working committee that developed the Cancer Survival Toolbox: Building Skills That Work for You, a joint project of NCCS, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW), and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Ms. Leigh also initiated the formation of both the Nurse Survivors Focus Group and the Survivorship Special Interest Group (SIG) within ONS.
After receiving her degree in nursing from the University of Arizona in Tucson, she served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and completed a tour of duty in Can Tho, Vietnam, in 1971. Later, as an oncology nurse at the University of Arizona Cancer Center from 1976 to 1989, she worked as an oncology nurse clinician, a pharmacokinetics research nurse, and a study coordinator in Cancer Prevention and Control. Her current interests focus on cancer survivorship with special emphasis on long-term and late effects of disease and therapy. Survivorship-related issues are reflected in her speaking engagements, in professional and consumer publications, and in the development of community-based advocacy initiatives. Ms. Leigh is also a long-term survivor of Hodgkin's disease, breast cancer, and carcinoma in situ of the bladder.
Presenting: Advocacy 101: Advocate for Yourself, Your Family, Your Community
Mr. Jeff Martin is the Director of Field Advocacy Training for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), a position he has held since July 2006. He is the lead staff person for ACS CAN’s training events and resource development. Prior to that, Mr. Martin spent nearly eight years at the American Diabetes Association, the last two of which he served as the National Director of Grassroots Advocacy. After receiving an honorable discharge form the United States Marine Corps, Mr. Martin earned a BA in Political Science from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. An avid cyclist, he has commuted to work by bicycle for nearly ten years. Mr. Martin resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Lisa Millham, RN
Presenting: Colon Cancer Survivors Speak Out
Ms. Lisa Millham was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1965. In January 2005, she began nursing school at age 39, an ambition which had been on the backburner for twenty years. In March of 2005, Ms. Millham was diagnosed with stage II colorectal cancer, and subsequently underwent radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Due to the location of the tumor and the wide margins they needed to take to ensure they removed all possibly affected tissues, she was left with a permanent colostomy. Six months later, she returned to school and resumed her education. In 2011, Ms. Millham completed her Certified Medical Surgical Nurse requirements, specializing in Med/Surg nursing, and is working at the Center for Women’s Surgery at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. She has a 15 year old and a 10 year old, and her husband is a lieutenant for the emergency medical service in Johnson County, Kansas. Ms. Millham has been cancer free since 2005, and continues to be in good health, although in denial of middle age.
Joanna L. Morales, Esquire
Presenting: Employment Issues: Staying Gainfully Employed While in Treatment
Ms. Joanna Morales is a cancer rights attorney and the former Director of the Cancer Legal Resource Center, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals coping with cancer-related legal issues. Ms. Morales has presented over two hundred and fifty seminars on cancer-related legal issues throughout the country. Ms. Morales has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, teaching a seminar in Cancer Rights Law. Prior to joining the DRLC, Ms. Morales spent eight years working at the John Wayne Cancer Institute for its Psychosocial Care Program and Positive Appearance Center. Ms. Morales has presented over two hundred and fifty seminars on cancer-related legal issues throughout the country. In addition, Ms. Morales has served on numerous cancer community committees and boards, including as the President of the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Los Angeles County Affiliate. She presently serves as a member of the ACS California Division Access to Care Team and the California Dialogue on Cancer. Ms. Morales has been published in a variety of publications, such as Pscho-Oncology, Coping with Cancer, Women magazine, and a book entitled, “Work and Cancer Survivors.” Ms. Morales was awarded the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Public Policy Advocate of the Year in 2009. She was also recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the Top 20 Attorneys in California Under the Age of 40 in 2010.
Allyson Ocean, MD
Presenting: Treatment Advances: What’s New and What’s on the Horizon
Dr. Allyson Ocean is a medical oncologist and attending physician in gastrointestinal oncology, Solid Tumor Division, at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University; and medical oncologist at The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health. Board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology, Dr. Ocean’s primary interest is in the biology and treatment of gastrointestinal malignancies, such as colorectal, pancreatic, stomach, biliary and liver cancers. She also specializes in head and neck cancers and neuroendocrine tumors. Dr. Ocean graduated cum laude from Tufts University. She also graduated with honors from the Tufts University School of Medicine and completed residency in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Ocean was chief fellow during her fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Ocean is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and abstracts and is an active member of several professional societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology and American Association for Cancer Research.
Donna M. Quinlan
Colon Cancer Alliance Staff
Ms. Donna Quinlan joined the national patient advocacy organization the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) in June of 2006 as the Program Director. Ms. Quinlan first became involved with the organization in 2001 as a volunteer at CCA’s 2nd Annual National Colorectal Cancer Conference. As Program Director, Ms. Quinlan develops, manages and evaluates new and existing Colon Cancer Alliance programs, events and services. She works with many local, state and national organizations, companies, and healthcare providers to provide colorectal cancer survivors and caregivers with information and support. Her previous work experience involved the planning, implementation and analysis of public policies, programs, products and services for both government and for-profit companies.
Colon Cancer Alliance Staff
Moderating: Colon Cancer Survivors Speak Out
Ms. Martha Raymond is the Patient Support Manager at the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and serves as Chairperson of the CCA New York State Chapter. Ms. Raymond is a Steering Committee Member of the New York Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition (C5) and is currently working on the 80% Solution Task Force for the C5, to raise the colon cancer screening rate to 80% throughout the five boroughs of New York City (NYC). Ms. Raymond is an active education and outreach team member at The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health and for the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation in NYC. In addition, Ms. Raymond and the New York State Chapter partnered with the NYS Department of Health Colorectal Cancer Services Program during March 2012 to host awareness events in over 30 cities across New York State. An exciting and expanded Chapter outreach campaign and partnership is currently underway for Colon Cancer Awareness Month in March 2013. Ms. Raymond is a frequent speaker and panel discussion member for several organizations, including the New York Biotechnology Association, the Alliance for Safe Biologics, and the Medical Society of the State of New York, among others. Ms. Raymond resides in Manhattan and Syracuse, NY, with her husband, daughter and Border Collie puppy.
Susan M. Rein, RN, BSN
Moderating: Challenges and Issues Associated with Diagnosis Under 50
Ms. Susan Rein is the Clinical Services Coordinator for the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program and CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program at the University of Colorado Denver. She manages the cancer cases diagnosed through the program and coordinates the activities of the Medical Quality Assurance Committee. Ms. Rein also provides medical eligibility guidance and expertise to the community health centers and safety net clinics participating in the Program regarding endoscopic screening, quality indicators and standardized reporting for colonoscopy.
Ms. Rein is a registered nurse who earned her BSN from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1995. She is certified as a Clinical Research Coordinator from the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Prior to joining the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program, she has worked with the Department of Gastroenterology at the CU School of Medicine involving chemoprevention trials for the prevention of colorectal cancer. She is a member of the Colorado Cancer Coalition (Colorectal Task Force), Association of Clinical Research Professionals, and the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.
June E. Ryan, MPA
Facilitating: The Financial Aspects of the Disease
Ms. June Ryan has been involved in planning continuing education programs for nurses, nursing home administrators, physicians, social workers and others for over 40 years. She worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Psychiatry for about ten years where she participated in developing training programs and focus group formats for long term care nurses and other care providers. As a former Program Manager for Nebraska C.A.R.E.S, Ms. Ryan has an understanding of the state’s comprehensive cancer control program goals, strategies and methods as well as the needs of the partners. She has participated in the national Dialogue for Action for the past seven years and currently serves on the planning committee. Ms. Ryan worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, as a hospital administrator and as a health care consultant prior to joining the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Since her recent retirement from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Ms. Ryan is working as an independent contractor for the Nebraska Cancer Coalition.
Andrew R. Spiegel, Esquire
Colon Cancer Alliance Staff
Mr. Andrew Spiegel was named the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) new Chief Executive Officer in January 2009. Mr. Spiegel, an attorney, is a founder of the organization and longtime board member of the Alliance. His goals are to bring national attention to this disease by promoting screening compliance, soliciting funds dedicated to this cancer and helping to diminish the alarming number of unnecessary deaths from this very preventable disease. Mr. Spiegel has a long and personal history with colorectal cancer. In 1998, Mr. Spiegel’s mother was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer. She exhibited numerous symptoms, which were ignored by her physicians, and died nine months later. It was then, that Mr. Spiegel and a group of others founded the CCA to help bring greater public awareness to the disease and to provide support for those already affected. Since then, the CCA has grown tremendously and remains the leading advocacy group to battle colorectal cancer. Prior to becoming the CEO, Spiegel served on the CCA’s Board of Directors for 8 years.
Mr. Spiegel is a member of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and is on the Stand Up to Cancer advocate advisory council. He is also co-founder and executive director of the Global Colon Cancer Alliance, an international patient advocacy organization. He serves on the steering committee of the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines, on the advisory committee for DiagnoCure, Inc., is a member of the Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research and is a member of the Computerized Tomography Coalition as well as an active member of many other health care coalitions. Mr. Spiegel is a 1986 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors in English and Philosophy. He is a 1989 graduate of the Widener University School of Law where he was an editor of the Delaware Law Forum, an invited member of the Phi Delta Phi legal honors society and a member of the Moot Court Honor Society. After working for a Philadelphia litigation firm, Mr. Spiegel opened his own law firm in 1995 and was a participating member of numerous legal organizations in the region. Mr. Spiegel resides with his wife and three children in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Eden R. Stotsky-Himelfarb, BSN, RN
Presenting: Under 50 & Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer: A Message for Patients and Survivors
Ms. Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb is a Nurse Clinician in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is also a fourteen year survivor of stage III rectal cancer. Ms. Stotsky-Himelfarb is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She worked for six and half years as a Health Educator for the Johns Hopkins Colon Cancer Center before becoming a Registered Nurse. She is currently part of the Gastrointestinal Surgical Oncology Group at Johns Hopkins where she works with patients who have a variety of gastrointestinal cancers, including colorectal cancer. Ms. Stotsky-Himelfarb assisted in bringing the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Dialogue for Action to Maryland in 2005 and was an integral part in the development and implementation of the Baltimore City Colorectal Cancer Screening Demonstration Program. She also co-authored a chapter in the American Cancer Society’s Complete Guide to Colorectal Cancer entitled “Taking Care of Practical Matters: Work, Insurance, and Money” and has authored a chapter entitled “Coping with Colorectal Cancer” in the book entitled Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer: Colorectal Cancer. A past member of the Board of Directors of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, she currently volunteers for the organization and is on the Planning Committee for the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Camp Sunrise. One of her most favorite projects is the One Bite at a Time cookbook created for cancer patients and their families and friends. Since being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 26, Ms. Stotsky-Himelfarb’s goal has been to spread the word about the importance of being screened for colorectal cancer at the appropriate age.
Alan G. Thorson, MD, FACS
Panelist: Ask the Expert
Dr. Alan Thorson is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1974 followed by a Bachelor of Arts Degree in University Studies with special emphasis on International Relations in 1976. He completed his medical school at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1979. Residency in Surgery was performed at University Hospital at the University of Nebraska Medical Center where he served as Chief Resident in Surgery from 1983 - 1984. He then completed a residency in Colon and Rectal Surgery at the University of Minnesota in 1984 - 1985. Dr. Thorson is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the Southwestern Surgical Congress. He is a member of a number of other professional organizations including the American Medical Association, the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract, the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons. Dr. Thorson has published extensively with 83 peer reviewed publications and 22 book chapters acknowledged on his curriculum vitae.
Dr. Thorson is a Past President of the Metropolitan Omaha Medical Society, the Nebraska Medical Association, the Southwestern Surgical Congress, the Association of Program Directors for Colon and Rectal Surgery, the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Cancer Society. He has been recognized in Woodward/White’s Best Doctors in America since 1994, Castle-Connoly’s America’s Top Doctors since 2002 and by America’s Best Doctors for Cancer since 2005. In 1999, Good Housekeeping included him as one of the “318 Top Cancer Doctors for Women.” He has also been listed in Marqui’s Who’s Who in America since 2008 and Who’s Who in the World since 2009. Dr. Thorson is currently Chair of the Nebraska Cancer Coalition, member of the Board of the High Plains Division of the American Cancer Society, Immediate Past President of the National Board of the American Cancer Society and President-Elect of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
Steven C. Wagner, MD
Panelist: Ask the Expert
Dr. Steven Wagner is a firm believer in the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) Mother Standard® of care and the benefits of comprehensive cancer care, Dr. Wagner states, “I approach caring for each patient as if they were my family member. I ask myself what I would do if this were my wife, my father, my mother, my siblings.” In his role as interventional radiologist at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center, Dr. Wagner is continually inspired by the determination of his patients.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. A Pennsylvania native, Dr. Wagner stayed in Philadelphia, where he completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, followed by a radiology residency and a cardiovascular and interventional radiology fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dr. Wagner’s areas of expertise include interventional oncology, peripheral arterial disease, venous disease, and musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, and pulmonary interventions. He holds a professional license by the American Board of Radiology in both vascular and interventional radiology, as well as diagnostic radiology. He also holds a New Jersey State Medical license and a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Medical Physician and Surgeon license.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Wagner has authored articles in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, the Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences, Radiology, and the Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography as well as a book chapter in Abrams’ Angiography. He has also delivered national lectures. At CTCA, Dr. Wagner continually learns new techniques and advancements in medicine that can help his patients. He provides therapies such as chemoembolization, radiofrequency ablation, coblation, and vertebroplasty. Dr. Wagner is a member of eight professional organizations, including the Society of Interventional Radiology, American College of Phlebology, American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American College of Radiology. He credits his wife and three young children for providing him daily encouragement and support.
Kathleen Wesa, MD
Presenting: Supplements and Mind/Body Therapies: Improving Overall Health and Stress Reduction
Dr. Kathleen Wesa is a physician-scientist in the Integrative Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. She received her medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, followed by an Internal Medicine Residency and Rheumatology Fellowship. In addition she received a Bush Medical Fellowship and a National Institute of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Complementary Therapies and Clinical Research. Prior to joining Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2007, she worked at Hennepin County Medical Center in the Department of Medicine, Division of Addiction and Alternative Medicine. Dr. Wesa is a board-certified internist specializing in treating patients with symptoms related to cancer or cancer treatment. She uses an integrative approach to combine evidence based complementary therapies with conventional treatments in managing cancer-related symptoms. Dr. Wesa also is a reviewer for the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Cancer and the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology. She is actively involved in investigating the scientific basis of complementary therapies with primary research interests of vitamin D, medicinal mushrooms, botanical therapies and the mind-body therapies of self-hypnosis, meditation and yoga. She has lectured throughout the USA, India, Europe and Asia regarding Complementary Therapies.
Kathleen Wolin, ScD
Presenting: Fitness and Exercise: Developing a Plan During and After Treatment
Dr. Kathleen Wolin is a behavioral epidemiologist whose research focuses on the role of lifestyle in cancer prevention and control. The goal of her research is to use epidemiologic methods to inform cancer risk reduction and control through physical activity promotion and weight management. Her research investigates the role of physical activity in can etiology and cancer treatment related sequelae. Dr. Wolin also researches the implementation of cancer prevention and control knowledge in survivorship care. Dr. Wolin is part of the team behind Your Disease Risk (www.yourdiseaserisk.wustl.edu) and is a regular contributor to the Cancer News in Context blog. Dr. Wolin speaks in professional and community settings about the role of lifestyle in cancer prevention and survivorship and was featured on the Dr. Oz Show and PBS’ Second Opinion. Dr. Wolin is a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. She has a BA in anthropology from Tufts University and a ScD in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health where she was an National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology fellow. She completed her postdoctoral training as an NCI-funded fellow in cancer epidemiology at Northwestern University.
Yi-Qian Nancy You, MD, MHSc, FACS
Presenting: Under 50 Diagnosis Trends & Implications
Dr. Nancy You is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology and Affiliate Faculty of the Clinical Cancer Genetics programs at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received her college degree from Harvard University and her Medical Degree from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Dr. You completed her General Surgery Residency and subspecialty Fellowship Training in Colorectal Surgery at Mayo Clinic. She also has a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences from Duke University, completed while she was a Research Fellow in Clinical Surgical Oncology at the Duke University Medical Center as well as the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group for Clinical Trials in Surgery. Her clinical interests include surgical treatment of both hereditary and sporadic colorectal cancer, with specials interests in sphincter preservation and minimally-invasive surgical techniques. Dr. You’s current research interests include hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes, such as polyposis syndromes and Lynch syndrome, as well as young age-of-onset non-hereditary colorectal cancer. She also has special interests in quality of life after surgery and survivorship care.