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Winkfield named to American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s national board of directors

Dec. 5, 2022, 1:09 PM

Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD

by Kathy Whitney

Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, has been named one of three new members of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s (ACS CAN) national board of directors, beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

The board provides leadership and guidance for ACS CAN, which supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to end cancer.

Winkfield is a professor of Radiation Oncology, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, and professor of Medicine at Meharry Medical College. She is a national expert on design and implementation of programing to reduce sociocultural and economic barriers that contribute to disparate health outcomes. A radiation oncologist, she specializes in the treatment of hematologic malignancies and breast cancer.

“For more than 20 years, ACS CAN has been empowering individuals, families and communities to use their voices to help end suffering and death from cancer,” Winkfield said. “I have witnessed first hand how advocacy impacts policy and look forward to joining this esteemed group of leaders to identify legislative priorities that can change the face of cancer as we know it.”

In 2021 Winkfield was appointed by President Joe Biden to the National Cancer Advisory Board and will serve a six-year term to help guide federal initiatives that focus on cancer.

“ACS CAN is proud to welcome these distinguished, passionate and effective leaders to our board of directors,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “Our mission to reduce the cancer burden through public policy advocacy will be bolstered by the extensive cancer research, health care technology and health equity-related knowledge and expertise these advocates bring with them.”

Winkfield will serve alongside new board of director members Roy Jensen, MD, vice chancellor and director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center and the William R. Jewell, M.D. Distinguished Kansas Masonic Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Susan Penfield, chief technology officer and executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton.

The ACS CAN board of directors consists of 19 members, including five officers and 14 directors.

ACS CAN, the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change, as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden.

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