Presenter Bios

 

Charles M. Balch
Dr. Charles M. Balch leads a distinguished career as a clinical and academic surgical oncologist and a leading authority in both melanoma and breast cancer. As revered teacher, astute administrator, and world-renowned speaker, he continues to build networks in the field of clinical trials and outcomes research. Over the past 30 years he has authored over 600 publications on topics such as, clinical investigations involving the natural history of melanoma, prognostic factors predicting clinical outcomes, standards of surgical treatment, and the conduct and methodology of clinical research and immunology. Dr Balch is generally regarded as one of the leading melanoma experts in the world. He is the editor of Cutaneous Melanoma, regarded as the authoritative textbook on melanoma, now in its 5th edition.  He is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Annals of Surgical Oncology and is Chair of the Melanoma Staging Committee of the AJCC.

 

Prior to coming to Johns Hopkins, Dr. Balch held major leadership roles involving clinical research in three comprehensive cancer centers (UAB, M D Anderson, and City of Hope). He has been a Principle Investigator or Co-PI of numerous clinical trials, including 10 phase III trials, most of which were NCI-funded National Phase III trials. He has organized or participated in randomized surgical trials that have defined the current standards of melanoma surgery. Dr. Balch's leadership roles have involved the Society of Surgical Oncology (President), the American Board of Surgery (Board of Directors), the Association of Academic Surgeons (President) and the Commission on Cancer (Chair, Board of Directors) and the American Joint Committee on Cancer (Executive Committee).

 

Dr. Balch has over 30 years of experience in breast cancer management and research. He has multiple publications with scientific articles and book chapters involving the multidisciplinary and surgical management of breast diseases. His clinical trials leadership in breast cancer in the 1980s and 1990s included the only randomized surgical trial comparing radial vs. modified radical mastectomy, as well as the early development of skin-sparing mastectomy and immediate breast construction; two major advances at the time which contributed to the evolution of breast surgery. He was also one of the early pioneers on developing the sentinel lymph node biopsy in the staging of breast cancer, especially in breast cancer patients who had received pre-operative chemotherapy. Dr Balch was the founding editor of Breast Diseases, which is now in its eighteenth year of publication.

 

Annabel Barber
Annabel Barber, MD, FACS is a surgeon specializing in gastrointestinal and endocrine surgery.  Dr. Barber graduated from the University of Texas Medical School and completed her residency at Cornell University Medical College.  Dr. Annabel Barber is currently an associate professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and chief of general surgery clinics at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.  Dr. Barber is a member of several professional medical societies including the American College of Surgeons, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Society of Breast Surgeons and Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.  She serves as the Commission on Cancer State Chair for Nevada. 

 

Aaron D. Bleznak
Aaron D. Bleznak, MD, FACS, resides in Allentown, PA. He is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College ('79) and Jefferson Medical College ('83). He completed a residency at the Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY and in 1991 he joined the Geisinger Clinic as a general/oncologic surgeon. In 2004 Dr. Bleznak accepted the offer to become Vice Chair for Operations & Clinical Affairs at Lehigh Valley Health Network. He is a member of section of Surgical Oncology at the John & Dorothy Morgan Cancer Center, largely restricting his practice to breast cancer, and currently also is Director of the Resident Clinic, Medical Director for Perioperative Services, and Assistant Medical Director for Surgery in the Lehigh Valley Physician Group. Additionally, he has been engaged with the Keystone Chapter of the American College of Surgeons serving as Young Physician, Secretary, Vice President, and President. He served as a board member for the Pennsylvania Cancer Control Consortium from 2002-2009 and co-chaired the Care Delivery subgroup for the creation of Pennyslvania's cancer control plan. Dr. Bleznak has been a Cancer Liaison Physician since 1991, served as State Chair for Central Pennsylvania for eight years, and a member of the CoC since 2004. He was Vice Chair of the Committee on Cancer Liaison for three years and has served as Chair since 2009.

 

Durado Brooks
Dr. Brooks has spent much of his career working to enhance the role of prevention in primary care and to improve care for medically underserved populations.  In his role with the American Cancer Society he is involved in creating and implementing strategies to improve the prevention and early detection of cancer, and to assist those who are diagnosed with the disease.  He is also actively engaged in ACS initiatives designed to eliminate disparities in cancer prevention, detection and outcomes.
An Ohio native, Dr. Brooks received his medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, where he completed his internal medicine residency and served as chief resident.  He subsequently served as fellow in General Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and earned a master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

 

Connie Bura
Connie Bura currently serves as the Administrative Director for Cancer Programs at the American College of Surgeons and in that role oversees the programs of the Commission on Cancer (CoC), including its Accreditation Program.  She has actively been involved in the development, implementation, review, and evaluation of the CoC's standards and the survey process for cancer programs. Her work experience provides insight into all aspects of the programs requirements and operations.  Connie also administers the activities of the American Joint Committee on Cancer and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers; both programs housed at the College. 

 

David R. Byrd
David R. Byrd, MD, is a Professor of Surgery and the director of the Melanoma Center at the University of Washington. Dr. Byrd is also the Vice Chair of the American Joint Committee on Cancer and an editor of the 7th edition Cancer Staging Manual. Dr. Byrd is the founder and Attending Surgeon Harborview Medical Center Breast Clinic Seattle, Washington. He was the first surgeon to bring the sentinel lymph node biopsy technique to the Northwest. He is an expert in many surgical procedures, including the Whipple procedure used in pancreas cancer treatment. His clinical interests include Surgical oncology; thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal neoplasms; gastrointestinal cancers, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, sarcoma. Dr. Byrd's research interests are molecular changes in pancreatic cancer; genetic and clinical studies on melanoma; lymphatic mapping in breast cancer and melanoma.

 

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell, MD, PhD, is Professor of Surgery, Residency Program Director, and a member of the Section of Urologic Oncology in the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic.He obtained his medical degrees at the University of Chicago and completed his urology residency at Cleveland Clinic (1989-1995), followed by a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (1995-1996).

 

Dr. Campbell's primary interests include renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, treatment-related osteoporosis and tumor angiogenesis.  His background also includes American Foundation for Urologic Disease (AFUD) and Kimmel Research Scholarship awards, and he is a former member of the American Board of Urology Examination Committee. Dr. Campbell is currently on the educational board for AFUD and the medical advisory board for the Kidney Cancer Association.

 

Asa Carter
Asa Carter, CTR is a Certified Cancer Registrar with more than 25 years of experience in the cancer registry field.  Since earning the CTR in 1984 Asa has served as field staff for the State Health Registry of Iowa, a member of the SEER Program of the National Cancer Institute, as well as hospital based registrar at both community-based and teaching hospitals approved by the Commission on Cancer.  Asa is currently enrolled at North Park University, Chicago IL where she is completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Non Profit Management.

 

Asa joined the staff of the Commission on Cancer in 1991.  In her position of Manager, Accreditation and Standards she manages the development and implementation of CoC cancer program standards, facilitates the scheduling and evaluation of cancer programs at the more than 1400 CoC-accredited facilities, and oversees the Web-based Inquiry and Response system which is used to provide consistent answers to questions and interpretations of the Commission's program and data standards.

 

Sam S. Chang
Sam S. Chang, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Urologic Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee and also the chair of the AJCC Genitourinary Task Force.

Dr Chang earned his undergraduate degree at Princeton University and his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed residencies in general surgery and urologic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in urologic oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, New York. He is board certified by the American Board of Urology.

Dr Chang holds leadership positions with several professional organizations, including chair of the Genitourinary Task Force for the American Joint Committee on Cancer, regional leader of the Southeastern Section of the American Urological Association (AUA) Young Leadership Committee, member of the board of advisors for the Men's Health Network, chair of the Prostate Cancer Core Curriculum for the AUA, and facilitator of the Urologic Malignancy Follow-Up Guidelines Panel for the AUA. He is also a representative of the Society of Urologic Oncology for the American Joint Committee on Cancer, panel member for the Prostate Cancer Foundation Award Committee for the AUA, member of the Genitourinary Tumors Cancer Protocol Review Panel for the College of American Pathologists, member of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Scientific Advisory Board, member of the AUA/European Association of Urology Academic Fellowship Committee, member of the Prostate Cancer Task Force - National Cancer Institute GU Steering Committee, abstract reviewer for the American Urological Association annual meeting, and panel member for the National Cancer Institute Prostate Cancer Task Force Genitourinary Steering Committee.

 

Dr Chang is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, AUA, Society of Urologic Oncology, and American Association of Clinical Urologists. He has received several awards and is listed in Castle Connolly America's Top Doctors for Cancer, Best Doctors in America, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare.

 

Dr Chang has been a principal investigator or subinvestigator for nearly 30 grant-supported research studies and has published more than 120 journal articles and 19 book chapters. He is an editorial board member for Family Urology, Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, and Postgraduate Medicine, and is a reviewer for numerous journals, including Cancer, Cancer Research, Journal of Urology, and International Journal of Cancer.

 

Mitchell Chorost
Mitchell Chorost, MD, FACS is Director of Surgical Oncology and Associate Director of the Cancer Center at New York Hospital Queens.  He received his medical degree from University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey and completed his residency in general surgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  He completed his fellowship in surgical oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.  In addition to being a board-certified surgeon, he is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Society of Surgical Oncology and the American College of Clinical Oncology.  Dr. Chorost is a State Chair for the American College of Surgeons Brooklyn-Long Island Chapter. 

 

Daniel G, Coit
Daniel G, Coit, MD, FACS is a surgical oncologist whose primary area of clinical and research interest is melanoma. In 1991, he introduced lymph-node mapping and sentinel lymph-node biopsy for melanoma and other selected skin cancers. Together, these procedures can determine during surgery whether a tumor has spread to surrounding lymph nodes. Using lymph node mapping, physicians can pinpoint the precise lymph node into which a nearby tumor is likely to travel first (called the sentinel node). If a biopsy of the sentinel node indicates cancer spread, the surrounding lymph nodes are removed. But if there is no evidence of cancer in the sentinel node, patients are spared from additional lymph node surgery.

 

Dr. Coit's research has focused primarily on detecting and defining the clinical significance of individual melanoma cells in the sentinel lymph nodes, blood, and bone marrow of melanoma patients, with the goal of identifying patients at highest risk of cancer recurrence following surgery to remove a melanoma.

 

Dr. Coit served as Chief of the Gastric and Mixed Tumor Service in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's (MSKCC) Department of Surgery from 1997 until October 2003. This service focused primarily on the surgical management of less common malignancies, including melanoma, sarcoma, gastric cancer, and pancreatic cancer, and also provides surgical support for the Lymphoma Service.

He currently serves as a co-leader of the MSKCC Melanoma Disease Management Team -- a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists, pathologists, and other medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. On a national and international level, he is involved in advancing new ways to diagnose and treat melanoma as a member of the American Joint Commission on Cancer Melanoma Staging Committee, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Melanoma Advisory Group, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Melanoma Working Group, the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group's Melanoma Working Group, and the World Health Organization Melanoma Committee.

 

Stephen J. Dreyer
Stephen J. Dreyer, MD is a graduate of Creighton University Medical School and completed his general surgery residency at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.  He is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons and has practiced in Fremont, Nebraska since 1982.

 

One of his special areas of interest has been the surgical management of the cancer patient and providing the complete spectrum of services that their care requires. To this end, he worked with members of the Fremont Area Medical Center healthcare staff to establish a cancer program at that facility. In 1996, that program was accredited by the Commission on Cancer, and he has served as the Cancer Liaison Physician in that program for the past 14 years.

 

In 2007, Dr. Dreyer was appointed the Nebraska State Chair as part of the Cancer Liaison Program. In addition to providing a support service to the Cancer Liaison Physicians at each cancer program in this state, he plays an active role in implementing new initiatives from the Commission on Cancer that are designed to improve the process of care.

 

Recently Dr. Dreyer was selected as an Ambassador for the Commission on Cancer to promote the development of accredited cancer programs in regions of the United States lacking accredited centers.
Robert M. Flanigan, MD, FACS, received his surgical training at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. The surgical training program was heavily weighted toward cancer care and the Department of Surgery was chaired by Dr. Harry Southwick who had specific expertise in care of patients with Head/Neck and Breast cancer surgery. Dr. Flanigan completed his training in 1975 but his cancer care activities and responsibilities intensified upon entering private practice. He joined a group of double-boarded surgeons in Elgin, IL, one of whom was a member of the James Ewing Society (SSO). The majority of surgical care was oncologic and dealt mainly with head/neck, lung, breast, gastrointestinal, and gynecologic malignancies. As a result of the volume of cancer care activities he became a regular cancer conference participant and a member of the Cancer Committee. During this time period he became aware of the Cancer Program concept and the Commission on Cancer.

 

Geoffrey P. Dunn
Geoffrey P. Dunn, MD, FACS , a native of Erie, Pa. received his MD from the Thomas Jefferson Medical University and his surgical training with the Harvard Surgical Service, New England Deaconess Hospital. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery in Surgery and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. His surgical experience included trauma, burns, pediatrics, and cancer in this country and in India where he was a visiting professor of surgery in 1988. He was Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Hamot Medical Center, Erie, Pa. before he began working full time in the field of palliative and hospice care as Medical Director of the Palliative Care Consultation Service and Great Lakes Hospice at Hamot.  Since 1997 his worked has focused on the education of surgeons nationally and internationally about the principles and practice of palliative care in the setting of serious and life-limiting illness. Dr. Dunn edited The Surgeon and Palliative Care ( W.B. Saunders, 2001) and co-edited Surgical Palliative Care ( Oxford, 2004) with the late Alan G. Johnson, MChir, FRCS which have become references for surgeons interested in the field of palliative care. He is Chairman of the Surgical Palliative Care Task Force of the American College of Surgeons and was the Editor for the monthly Palliative Care Series in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. He currently is Community Editor for the Pain and Palliative Care Community for the ACS’s web portal. From 2002 to 2008 he served on the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons and is the representative of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine to the ACS’s Commission on Cancer. Dr. Dunn was a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine’s exam writing committee for the first certification examination for the subspecialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Dunn is a member of the Active Staff, Department of Surgery and Medical Director of the Palliative Care Consultation Service at Hamot Medical Center. Dr. Dunn is married to Dr. Ellen Dailey. They have a son, Harrison. Dr. Dunn’s pastimes include painting, cooking, and beekeeping.

 

Robert Flanigan
In late 1979, Dr. Flanigan relocated his surgical practice to the newly opened Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, IL. Cancer activities in his practice and at this institution grew quickly and recognizing the value of an accredited Cancer Program, he approached Administration for assistance. The Cancer Program ultimately was approved in 1983. Dr. Flanigan chaired the Program from 1983 until 2004 and has been the Cancer Liaison Physician for the program since 1984. This position has allowed him to work with the American Cancer Society to assure that patients have been supported appropriately and that the community has been afforded access to educational opportunities regarding early detection and prevention.

 

Dr. Flanigan's principle focus as Chair of the Cancer Program was to assure the best possible care was provided to patients and that at all times he was a cancer patient advocate. Not only were the required quality improvement studies carefully completed and evaluated, the Good Shepherd Hospital Cancer Registry data was utilized for "local research." Studies of guideline compliance and survival data were performed long before the recent NCDB initiatives. For instance, local breast cancer survival data was compared favorably with national data. This information was provided to treating physicians and newly diagnosed breast cancer patients to demonstrate the quality of cancer care in the local setting. Dr. Flanigan is proud of the fact that the Good Shepherd Hospital Cancer Program was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award for surveys in 2004 and again in 2007.

 

Dr. Flanigan has been a Surveyor for the Commission on Cancer since 2004 and this activity has provided him with an on-going opportunity to continue to be an educator and patient advocate. As a member of the Field Staff Subcommittee he has had the opportunity to review the performance of CoC Surveyors and participate in the selection process of new Surveyors. This year he was invited to be a member of the Program Review Subcommittee. This very important committee functions as a reviewer of survey outcomes/appeals and functions as an interface between the Cancer programs and the CoC. Dr. Flanigan is also an Ambassador for the CoC and as such, he has additional means by which to promote the remarkable benefits of being an accredited Cancer Program to those institutions not currently accredited.

 

Other cancer related activities that Dr. Flanigan has participated in may not involve direct patient care but are just as important. He has given presentations for the CoC at special meetings, Surveyor training sessions and for at least one web based program. Locally he has presented at Cancer Registrars of Illinois meetings, ACS events, Survivor Days, Day of Sharing events and local Y-ME meetings. Dr. Flanigan is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the local ACS Division.

 

Gina Franco
Gina Franco has worked in the field of oncology as a nurse practitioner for 19 years. She is nationally certified through the American Nurses Association. Her graduate studies were at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. She received her undergraduate degree at Niagara University. She has worked in oncology for over 28 years in both private practice and in an acute care research hospital - Roswell Park Memorial Institute in Buffalo, New York.  Gina developed and now coordinates the Survivorship Clinic at the Spartanburg Regional Gibbs Cancer Center.  Spartanburg is also an original CCOP (Upstate Carolina CCOP), and an NCCCP (NCI designated Community Cancer Center Program) site. She is also a breast cancer survivor. This has strengthened her conviction that oncology needs to embrace healthcare advocates and promote wellness in survivors.

 

Sue Friedman
As founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE), Dr. Friedman has over a decade of experience addressing the unique needs of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. FORCE's forums contain the largest database of personal experiences of members of this community. Through the FORCE membership and contact list Dr. Friedman has access to a large community people living with a BRCA mutation or hereditary risk.

 

Greer Gay
Greer Gay is manager of the research unit of the NCDB and worked at the American College of Surgeons since January 2001. Greer graduated from Emory University's College of Nursing, received her doctorate in health administration/health policy at the University of South Carolina's School of Public Health, and pursued a post-doctorate in healthcare finance/quality improvement at Johns Hopkins University.

 

She has served as a clinical director and clinical specialist in the Greenville Hospital System in South Carolina.   Prior to joining the American College of Surgeons, she taught in graduate health administration programs at Texas A & M, University of Memphis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

 

During the past nine years, the focus of her research has been in cancer, utilizing the extensive data available in the NCDB. She has been integral in the work that has produced the Cancer Program Practice Profile Reports (CP3R), an electronic tool that provides feedback to the CoC-accredited programs on delivery of care to breast, colon, and rectal cancer cases at their own facility and permits comparisons of practice for similar types of hospitals as well as at the state, region, and national levels.

 

Peter Goldstraw
Peter Goldstraw, MD, was born in 1945 and graduated at the University of Birmingham in 1968. After training in Scotland and South Africa he was appointed Consultant Thoracic Surgeon to the Royal Brompton Hospital in 1979. He is Professor of Thoracic Surgery at Imperial College London and has been visiting Professor in Cape Town, Toronto, Boston, St Louis, the Mayo Clinic, University of Virginia, MD Anderson and Singapore. He has given over 370 lectures at 170 International and 80 National/Local conferences.

 

Dr. Goldstraw was awarded the Price Thomas Gold Medal by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2004, a Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Thoracic Oncology Group in 2006, honorary membership of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the Merit Award of the IASLC in 2007.

 

He has published 260 articles in peer-reviewed journals and over 50 chapters in specialist textbooks. He has been on the editorial board of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Thorax, the Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, European Journal of Surgical Oncology and Lung Cancer, and a reviewer for many international journals. He has held office in the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Thoracic Society, the European Respiratory Society, the Royal Society of Medicine, was a founding member and is past President of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He is an honorary member of specialist societies in Argentina, Belgium, Greece and North America. He has been the Chairman of the UK Cardiothoracic Training Committee, a member of the European Board of Thoracic Surgery and National representative to the European Union of Medical Specialists section of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is a member of the UICC TNM Prognostic Factors Committee, their representative at the AJCC and section editor for Lung and Pleural Tumors in the 7th Edition of TNM and the TNM Supplement.

 

Frederick L. Greene
Frederick L. Greene, MD, FACS, received his medical school training at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he was elected for membership in Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed a residency in surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.  Dr. Greene was also an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Fellow at Yale. He was on active duty with the United States Navy and was surgeon on the USS Nimitz. He is currently the Chairman of the Department of General Surgery at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, Director of the Surgical Residency Program at that institution, and Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

 

Dr. Greene is an active clinician in the area of surgical oncology and has been involved in organizational work pertaining to cancer for a number of years.  Dr. Greene is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has served on the Board of Governors of that organization. Dr. Greene serves on the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons and served as the Chair of the Commission from 2004-2008.  He has represented the American College of Surgeons on the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and served as Chair of the AJCC from 2000-2006.  Dr. Greene is the Editor of the 6th Edition of the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual.

 

Dr. Greene belongs to numerous surgical organizations including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), the Southern Surgical Association and the American Surgical Association. Dr. Greene was a founding member of SAGES  and served as its president in 1992-1993.

 

Dr. Greene's publications have included approximately 160 papers, 30 book chapters, and two textbooks relating to cancer surgery and, specifically, the use of laparoscopic surgery in the management of cancer patients. Dr. Greene serves as the Associate Editor of the Annals of Surgical Oncology and on numerous editorial boards including Surgical Endoscopy, Journal of Surgical Education, Journal of Surgical Oncology, World Journal of Surgery, American Surgeon, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Surgical Endoscopy, and Laparoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques.  He is also Editor of General Surgery News.

 

Heather Hampel
Heather Hampel completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Genetics at the Ohio State University in 1993.  She attained her Master's degree in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College in 1995.  She received certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling in 1996.  She worked as a cancer genetic counselor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan before moving to The Ohio State University in 1997.  She is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and Interim Associate Director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program.  She is the study coordinator for the Columbus-area HNPCC study which enrolled over 1500 colon cancer patients and over 500 endometrial cancer patients to determine the frequency of HNPCC among newly diagnosed patients with these cancers.  This study culminated in first author publications in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2005, Cancer Research in August of 2006, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December of 2008.  Heather Hampel is President of the American Board of Genetic Counseling for 2009 and 2010.

 

Ehab Y. Hanna
Ehab Hanna, M.D., FACS, is an internationally recognized head and neck surgeon and expert in the treatment of patients with Skull Base Tumors and Head and Neck cancer. He is Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. After earning his medical degree, he completed a surgery internship at Vanderbilt University, and residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He received advanced fellowship training in skull base surgery and head and neck surgical oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He joined the M. D. Anderson faculty in 2004, with a joint appointment at Baylor College of Medicine. He is the medical director of the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Center, and co-director of the Skull Base Tumor program at MD Anderson. He is also leading the development of minimally invasive and robotic applications in skull base surgery. Dr. Hanna has consistently been named one of America?s Top Doctors by the Castle Connolly Guide. In addition to patient care, Dr. Hanna is actively engaged in clinical and translational research with emphasis on skull base tumors. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal of Head & Neck, which is the official journal of the International Federation of Head and Neck Societies. He also co-edited a text book on "Comprehensive Management of Skull Base Tumors".

 

Toni Hare
Toni Hare, RHIT, CTR, holds an associate of applied science degree in health information management and is the Vice President and head of CHAMPS Oncology Data Services (ODS), a Cleveland-based provider of cancer registry and cancer program management services nationwide. With more than 25 years' experience, Ms. Hare is a progressive enthusiast for quality cancer data, and never stops promoting the importance of accuracy and education within the profession. As a CoC-trained Independent Consultant, Ms. Hare has provided strategic guidance to new and existing cancer programs, helping them successfully earn CoC accreditation.

Barbara W. Harrison
Mrs. Barbara Harrison graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biology from University of Maryland, College Park, received a Masters degree in Genetic Counseling from University of Pittsburgh, and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counselors. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Howard University and the Co-Director of the Howard University Genetic Counseling Training Program, where she teaches graduate and medical students, as well as residents in various specialties. In addition to her academic duties, she sees patients at Howard University Hospital for a variety of referral reasons, in areas including prenatal, pediatric, adult, and cancer genetics. She is the Associate Director for Community Outreach and Education for the HU Center for Sickle Cell Disease. She was the chair of the Public Policy Committee of the National Society of Genetic Counselors from 2007-2009, and currently serves on its Membership Committee, with a particular interest in diversity issues in membership and service delivery. From 2003- 2005, she served on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society, under U.S. Secretary of Health Michael O. Leavitt. In the community, Mrs. Harrison volunteers with the Sickle Cell Association of the National Capital Area, coordinates the Stomp Out Sickle Cell Walk in Washington, DC, and is an active member at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

 

Daniel Fleming Hayes
Daniel Fleming Hayes, M.D. is the Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UM CCC), where he is the Stuart B. Padnos Professor of Breast Cancer Research. He is also the chair of the AJCC Breast Task Force and the lead author of the Breast chapter in the 7th Edition Cancer Staging Manual.

 

Dr. Hayes received a bachelor's degree (1974) and a master's degree (1977) at Indiana University. He received his M.D. from the Indiana University School of Medicine in 1979, followed by a residency in internal medicine at the UT HSC at Dallas, Texas (Parkland Memorial and affiliated hospitals). He served a fellowship in medical oncology from 1982-1985 at Harvard's Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. In 1992, he assumed the role as the Medical Director of the Breast Evaluation Center at DFCI. He held that title until 1996, when he moved to the Georgetown University Lombardi Cancer Center. In 2001, Dr. Hayes joined the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (UM CCC) and continues treating patients and doing research in translational science.

 

Dr. Hayes and colleagues published the first reports concerning the development of the CA15-3 blood test, which is currently used world-wide to evaluate patients with breast cancer. He has become an internationally recognized leader in the use of this and other tumor markers, such as HER-2, circulating tumor cells and pharmacogenomics. In 2007, he was awarded the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award.

 

He is Chair of the Breast Cancer Translational Medicine Committee of the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG); Chair of the Correlative Sciences Committee of the U.S. Breast Cancer Intergroup, and co-chairs the Expert Panel for Tumor Marker Practice Guidelines for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

 

Jerry Hussong
Jerry Hussong, MD, FCAP is a board certified pathologist affiliated with Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles CA. He is a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School and completed his internship and residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Julio Ibarra
Julio Ibarra, MD, a native of Mexico, earned his medical degree from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and did a year of rotating internship. Then decided to come to the US where he worked as a research associate at UCI for 2 years. After completing the foreign medical graduate requirements, he did his pathology residency at the UCI,MC-LBMMC combined program. After completion, he did a year of fellowship in cytopathology and surgical pathology at LBMMC.  Dr. Ibarra is a pathologist in private practice in the MemorialCare Health System in Southern California . He serves as Medical Director of Pathology and Medical Director of pathology at the Breast Center at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center . He holds an academic position of Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California at Irvine .  Dr. Ibarra started his breast pathology training under William Hartmann, MD in 1985, helped develop the Fine needle aspiration clinic at LBMMC in 1986, helped develop the Breast center in Long Beach in 1987 and in Orange Coast and 1998.

 

Dr Ibarra has published several papers in peer reviewed journals and has participates in several National and international symposia on breast cancer related topics. He has been included in Best Doctors of Orange County as a "Pathologist" in 1998, 2001 and 2004. Also he has been named in Best Doctors in America in 1998, 2001, and 2004-2007.  Dr Ibarra has served in the American Society of Breast Disease (ASBD) in different roles since 1999 including being President for the period of 2007-2008. In the ASBD Dr Ibarra was instrumental in the development of the Clearinghouse for Breast Disease, a web based repository of all available guidelines/statements involving the different disciplines that participate in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

 

J. Milburn Jessup
J. Milburn Jessup, MD is the Chair of the AJCC Hindgut Task Force. He is a surgical oncologist and scientist who is part of the Laboratory of Experimental Carcinogenesis as an Adjunct Investigator in CCR. He is also Chief of the Diagnostics Evaluation Branch of the Cancer Diagnosis Program in DCTD. In 25 years of practice he focused on the multidisciplinary treatment of GI and breast cancer, melanoma and soft tissue/skeletal sarcomas in several different academic settings. He has led a research effort to study the mechanisms by which human colorectal carcinomas form hepatic metastasis and identified roles for the marker Carcinoembryonic Antigen in modulating inflammatory responses and promoting metastasis. He has been involved for over a decade with the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and served as Chair of the National Cancer Data Committee that oversees hospital tumor registries throughout the US. Dr. Jessup also aids investigators in facilitating the development of biomarkers for clinical use in patients with cancer.

 

Scott H. Kurtzman
Dr. Kurtzman, a surgical oncologist, received his medical degree from the Albany Medical College of Union University in Albany, NY, and went on to complete a general surgery residency at both the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark. He completed a surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

 

Dr. Kurtzman is a professor of surgery in the department of surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington. He is also the director of surgery and the program director for the surgical residency program at the Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, CT.

 

Dr. Kurtzman is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, on which he represents the Society of Surgical Oncology, and serves as the Chair of the NAPBC Standards and Accreditation Committee.

 

Lisa Landvogt
Lisa Landvogt is currently the Administrator of Accreditation and Standards for the Commission on Cancer.  Prior to this position Lisa was the Manager of Oncology Services for Ingalls Memorial Hospital in Harvey, Illinois.  Lisa has a Bachelor's Degree in Health Administration from Governors State University and obtained her Certified Tumor Registrar credentials in 1995.  Lisa also is a volunteer for the American Cancer Society and is the current Chair of the Illinois Division of Cancer Registrars Subcommittee.  She has been past president of both the Chicago Area Cancer Registrars Association and the Cancer Registrars of Illinois. 

 

Jennifer Leib
With the acquisition of HealthFutures in 2009, Jennifer Leib joined the firm as a Senior Vice President and brings experience in personalized and preventive medicine and biotechnology.  Jennifer is board certified in medical genetics and spent five years at the National Institutes of Health working on intramural clinical research studies.  She transitioned to policy in 2003 with the prestigious National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)/American Society of Human Genetics' Genetics and Public Policy Fellowship.  During the fellowship, Jennifer worked in the office of the NHGRI Director, Dr. Francis S. Collins, and also worked on Senator Edward M. Kennedy's health policy staff for two years as a Senior Legislative Fellow.  While working for Senator Kennedy, Jennifer focused on biomedical research policy, public health preparedness efforts, vaccine development, genetic nondiscrimination, and disease specific legislation.  Prior to co-founding HealthFutures, a firm specializing in personalized and preventive medicine, she served as the Director of Government Relations and Public Policy for Affymetrix, a research tools company, where she played a lead advocacy role for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act.  Jennifer holds a master's degree in genetic counseling from The Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor's degree with distinction in sociology from the University of Michigan.

Dan McKellar
Dr. McKellar has been a surveyor for the Commission on Cancer since 2003 having reviewed over 100 cancer programs.   In addition, he has served the COC in various leadership positions and currently is the chair of the accreditation committee.  He also serves as the current state chair in Ohio for the Commission on Cancer Liaison Physician Program.

He received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of California, Davis and his medical degree from Loyola University in Chicago.  Dr. McKellar completed his surgical residency at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and currently is a practicing surgeon in Greenville, Ohio.  He has served as a medical director of cancer programs for the last several years.  Currently he is establishing a new cancer program at Wayne HealthCare in Darke County, Ohio.

 

Erica J McNamara
Erica J McNamara is a Quality Improvement Information Analyst for the National Cancer Database (NCDB).  She received a B.S. in Biology (2004) and a M.P.H. in epidemiology (2007) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Prior to joining the NCDB in August 2009, she worked at the University of Chicago as a research analyst in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Since joining the NCDB in 2009, Erica has worked closely with the new Rapid Reporting Quality System (RQRS).  She is interested in the quality of cancer care and the development of evidence based treatment guidelines.

 

Pam Milberg
Pam Milberg has worked in the education and cancer advocacy for 10 years. She joined National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship in 2009, and as Director of Survivorship Programs oversees the Cancer Survivors Toolbox and other survivorship resources, establishes partnerships with other advocacy groups around shared policy issues, represents the organization at various programs and events, and manages program grants. Prior to this position, she coordinated education and outreach programs for Suburban Hospital Cancer Care, initiating the hospital's first Survivor's Day celebration and leading the organization in implementing its tobacco-free policy. Because her mother is a survivor of ovarian and breast cancer, Pam finds both personal and professional meaning in providing effective and relevant self-advocacy tools to survivors. Pam received her BA in studio art from Western Washington University.

 

Mary Milroy
Mary Milroy, MD, FACS is a board certified surgeon specializing in breast surgery and practicing at Yankton Medical Clinic, Yankton, South Dakota.  Dr. Milroy graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in Vermillion, SD and completed internship at Highland General Hospital in Oakland CA and with the United States Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps.  Dr. Milroy completed her residency in the Integrated Program in General Surgery at Michigan State University.  Dr. Milroy is a Clinical Associate Professor - Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota.  She serves as the Commission on Cancer State Chair for South Dakota. 

 

Paul Nghiem
Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD, earned his medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1994 along with a Ph.D. from Stanford's Program in Cancer Biology. He was an intern at Brigham & Women's Hospital from 1994 to 1995 and a resident in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1995 to 1998. From 1998 to 2002, he was a Howard Hughes Physician Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University with Stuart Schreiber. Among his many involvements in professional organizations and publications, Nghiem has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology since 2003.

 

Alexander B. Olawaiye
Dr. Alexander Olawaiye graduated from the Premier University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1991. He then went on to the United Kingdom where he did his post-graduate training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University College London and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He relocated to the United States in 2001 and started a residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo. After completing residency, he moved to Boston where he did a fellowship training in Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and his clinical practice is based at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC. He is a researcher in gynecologic malignancies where he is well published. Dr Olawaiye is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and also board certified in gynecologic oncology.

 

Christopher Otis
Dr. Christopher Otis is the Director of Surgical Pathology at Baystate Medical Center and Professor of Pathology at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Otis received his Medical Degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1982. At Yale University School of Medicine, he also completed his residency, held Chief Residency and completed a Fellowship in Surgical Pathology. Dr. Otis has been the recipient of numerous awards and authored over 70 peer reviewed journal articles. Dr. Otis’ areas of interest include, Gynecologic Pathology Cytopathology Immunohistochemistry Molecular Pathology Tumorigenesis with emphasis on cell signaling pathways and tumor suppressor genes. Dr. Otis is an active member of several professional organizations including the Arthur Purdy Stout Society, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, College of American Pathologists, and is past president of both the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology and the New England Society of Pathologists.

 

Jerri Linn Phillips
Jerri Linn Phillips received a B.A. in Sociology at Grinnell College and an M.A. in Sociology at the University of Maryland College Park.  Her work with cancer registration began as "Lead Analyst" for the Wisconsin Cancer Reporting System, 1983 - 1995.  She has been a Certified Tumor Registrar (C.T.R.) since 1988.  She worked as an independent consultant in an analyst capacity until 2005 when she was hired full-time by the American College of Surgeons; she has been with the National Cancer Data Base since that time.  In her current capacity, she works with registrars, software providers, and NCDB staff to maximize registry data quality.  She has produced numerous publications and presentation in each position, and served on a variety of cancer-registry related committees.  She was given the National Cancer Registrars Association "distinguished member" award for 2009.

Karen Stachon
Karen Stachon currently serves as the Cancer Program Advisor for Cancer Programs at the American College of Surgeons.

Thomas Tachovsky
Dr. Thomas Tachovsky is a surgeon and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He completed his medical education the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, completed his internship at St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and his residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.   He is current an attending staff surgeon and is the Chairman of the Continuing Medical Education Committee for St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He has been a surveyor for the Commission on Cancer for over 10 years and is current the Chairman of the Field Staff Subcommittee.  He has numerous medical publications and presentations to his credit.

Virginia Vaitones
Virginia Vaitones, MSW, OSW-C is employed at PenBay Medical Center in Rockport, Maine as an oncology social worker. She did her graduate work at Simmons College School of Social Work and has worked in field of oncology for 35 years. Virginia is past President of the Association of Oncology Social Work and represents this association at the Commission on Cancer. Virginia was involved in the writing and updating the Cancer Program Standards 2012: Ensuring Patient-Centered Care. Her areas of interest and expertise are Patient Navigation and Psychosocial Distress Screening.

Lynne Wagner
Lynne Wagner, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Social Sciences and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Wagner is a Member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University (RHLCCC). She served as the Director of Supportive Oncology at RHLCCC from 2007-2011, where she developed a robust inter-disciplinary psychosocial oncology program. Dr. Wagner is a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise in health psychology, specifically in oncology, and she maintains a clinical practice at the Lurie Cancer Center. Dr. Wagner serves as the member representative from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society.

 

Dr. Wagner's research focuses on improving quality of life for adults with cancer through conducting research in psychosocial oncology, cancer symptom management, measuring patient-reported outcomes in cancer clinical trials, and developing and validating patient-reported outcomes measures to assess quality of life from the patient perspective.  She is the lead investigator or co-investigator on numerous federally-funded research studies and has authored or co-authored over 35 peer-reviewed publications and 10 textbook chapters. As Chair of the National Cancer Institute-funded Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Patient Outcomes and Survivorship Committee, Dr. Wagner provides leadership at the national level in overseeing the measurement of patient-reported outcomes in cancer clinical trials and in advancing a program of psychosocial and cancer survivorship research. Additional national leadership roles include ongoing service as an expert panel member on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Cancer-Related Fatigue Panel and on the Distress Management Panel, serving as an RHLCCC and ASCO representative on the Alliance for Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care, and serving on the ASCO Scientific Planning Committee.

 

David E. Weissman
Dr. Weissman is a Professor Emeritus, and Founder of the Medical College of Wisconsin Palliative Care Center.  He is Board Certified in Medical Oncology, Hospice and Palliative Medicine.  In 1991 he began one of the first academic palliative care programs in the United States.  In 2003, the Medical College of Wisconsin's Palliative Care Program was designated as one of six United States Palliative Care Leadership Center's by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.  Dr. Weissman is director of EPERC, End-of-Life Palliative Education Resource Center and he was the Founding Editor of the Journal of Palliative Medicine.   Currently, he serves as a consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care and runs a consulting practice, Palliative Care Education, LLC.

Scott Weissman
Scott Weissman graduated from the University of Illinois- Urbana/Champaign in 1998 with a B.S. in Biology. After graduation, he spent two years at the Molecular Oncology Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago developing expertise in molecular genetic techniques used in various hematologic and oncologic disorders. He completed the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University, receiving a Master of Science degree and became a Certified Genetic Counselor in 2002.

 

Scott joined the Center for Medical Genetics at NorthShore University HealthSystem after graduation and has been counseling patients in a variety of adult onset genetic disorders with a focus on hereditary cancer syndromes.  He is an active faculty member at the Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling at Northwestern University as well as an Instructor of Clinical Medicine in the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University.  Scott served as Co-Chair of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Familial Cancer Risk Counseling Special Interest Group from 2004-2006 and is currently the NSGC liaison to both the Commission on Cancer and NAPBC.