Collaboration in Cancer Control: Who are Our Partners?

Annual Meeting

Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023

Collaboration in Cancer Control: Who Are Our Partners? was the theme of the Connecticut Partnership’s 18th Annual Meeting. Dr. Andrew L. Salner, a radiation oncologist and medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital and its Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center served as emcee of the program. Close to 100 people attended, representing over 50 organizations from around the state. The program was held at the Sheraton in Rocky Hill, the program featured a presentation delivered via Zoom by Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH. She is the director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC), the largest unit within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. As director of DCPC, she works with partners at the national, state, and local levels to break down barriers to good health and create opportunities for everyone to live long and healthy lives. A medical oncologist by training, she has authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles examining multi-sectoral approaches to improving cancer care access, delivery, and outcomes. CLICK TO DOWNLOAD PRESENTATION

She was followed by Dr. Jeffrey Hine (See Slides) who became the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for the University of Connecticut Health System in June 2022. He began his medical career in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, deploying as a battalion surgeon during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He completed a fellowship in Gynecologic Oncology at The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center of Georgetown University Medical Center in 1995. He has held teaching positions at Texas A&M College of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences, Morehouse School of Medicine, and is currently at The University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Hines earned a Bachelor of Science from Brown in 1983 and an M.D. from the Warren Alpert Medical School in 1986.

Next was a talk by Dr. Kimberly Daly, DNP, APRN, FNP-C who is the Northeast Regional Medical Director, Merck addressing HPV-related cancers, vaccination rates and disparities.

Dr. Daly is a Family Nurse Practitioner with more than twenty years of healthcare experience. She received her Doctorate of Nursing Practice and Master of Science Nursing from the University of Massachusetts. She has been a key presenter at various health conferences and has extensive experience in leadership, management, policy development, patient advocacy, program development, and legislative outreach. She is the former President-elect for the New England College Health Association and Vice President for the Massachusetts Coalition for Nurse Practitioners.

Dr. Salner then moderated a panel addressing questions of access barriers and facilitators. The five panelists represented local health departments, oral health providers, cancer centers,  pharmacy and community health centers.

Dr. Lacey Whitmire is a board-certified internist and pediatrician, practicing primary care in an urban underserved community in New Haven, CT. She attended medical school at USCF, and completed med/peds residency training at Yale New Haven. Dr. Whitmire had worked in community and academic settings to increase community engagement in primary care. For the past two years, she has served as the director of population health at Fair Haven Community Health Care, an FQHC in New Haven, CT. She is interested in community-engaged population health initiatives, especially those that involve pediatric populations and adult cancer screening and prevention.

Marissa Salvo, PharmD, BCACP, FCCP, FCPA is an Associate Clinical Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the UConn School of Pharmacy. She teaches in the Pharmacy Communications, Patient Assessment, and Endocrine module courses, and serves as chair of the School’s Curriculum and Curricular Assessment Committee. Dr. Salvo provides clinical pharmacy services at UConn Health within the outpatient Internal Medicine clinic in Farmington, CT. Dr. Salvo is a Board-Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist and Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy as well as the Connecticut Pharmacists Association. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree with a minor in Leadership Studies from the University of Rhode Island.

Rosa E. Pelaez-Shelton, D.D.S., M.D.S. is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist currently holding the position of Assistant Professor in the Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Connecticut. After receiving her B.S. and D.D.S. degrees from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in her native Guatemala City, she completed a two-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program at the University of Connecticut Health Center. She continued her education at Rutgers University in New Jersey where she completed a two-year Pediatric Dentistry residency program and also received a Master of Dental Science.

Stephanie Hynes, Community Health Worker at the Northeast District Department of Health, works with the community to facilitate health promotion and disease prevention education campaigns. Her public health career began with COVID prevention as a contact tracer and vaccination assistant and became a Community Health Worker in October 2022. She had an active role in the Community Health Needs Assessment that was recently completed and is currently in the process of pursuing her bachelor’s degree in public health.

Gean Brown, MSN, RN, OCN, CNML, Gean Brown, MSN, RN, OCN, CMNL is the Clinical Program Manager for Smilow at Bridgeport Surgical Oncology and Breast Center in Bridgeport Connecticut.   An oncology nurse for close to twenty-five years, Gean has vast experience in all aspects of cancer care ranging from outreach and screening to treatment.  She was instrumental in developing a lung cancer screening program in 2012 at an area community hospital and led the program as a Thoracic Nurse Navigator and then Clinical Manager.  During this time Gean worked along with the Lung Cancer Alliance to advocate for lung cancer screening to gain approval by CMS to be paid for as part of health screening, which was approved in 2015.

The program concluded with breakout sessions over a working lunch. Members chose one of four focus areas: HPV Vaccination, Oral Health, Lung Cancer Screening and Early Onset Cancer Survivorship. Reports from the groups and the next steps will be shared in the January Partnership newsletter.