Getting Our Fair SHARE 2023 – Speaker Bios
Day One Speakers
Megan-Claire Chase is the Breast Cancer Program Director at SHARE Cancer Support and their podcast host for Our BC Life podcast. As a 6-year stage IIA invasive lobular breast cancer survivor in Atlanta, GA, she became heavily involved in patient advocacy and research post-treatment. She is a powerful communicator, public speaker, and published writer. Megan-Claire is a passionate advocate who effectively sheds light on the struggles and trials of patients and survivors, especially those diagnosed under 40 years old and those in historically excluded communities.
She serves on numerous panels and is a cancer influencer and content creator. She currently serves on the Bayer Oncology Digital Patient Council, Teen Cancer America’s AYA cancer influencer National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week, an Ambassador for IHadCancer, podcast host for Patient Power’s The Other Side Of Cancer podcast, and a member of the patient advisory board for Patient Power and LYTE Foundation.
In her spare time, Megan-Claire is a Consumer Reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, a Project Lead graduate through the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and a contributing writer for WebMD. Megan-Claire and her work have been featured in the national press, including The New York Times and People Magazine, Cancer Health, CURE, and Cancer Today magazine. She is also a storyteller performing on Stories from the Stage: Living Beyond Cancer which aired on PBS on June 12, 2023, and a voiceover actor.
Dr. Vivian Bea
Vivian J. Bea, MD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY and section chief of Breast Surgical Oncology at New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn NY. Dr. Bea received her master’s degree in biology from Drexel University and her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. She completed her training in general surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina and a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
She is a breast cancer disparities researcher, educator, and community outreach leader. As a leader in the community, Dr. Bea has focused on bridging the gap between multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment and community barriers. Most recently, Dr. Bea was awarded the prestigious American Medical Association’s National Minority Quality Forums Braintrust, “Top 40 under 40 in Minority Health” for her dedication to community outreach and research. Her clinical and research interest include management of the axilla, inflammatory breast cancer management in underserved populations as well as identifying and eliminating breast cancer diagnosis and treatment disparities.
Shannon Weber, MSW
Shannon Weber, MSW is a public health enthusiast and coalition builder. She brings decades of social entrepreneurship experience to her role at Gilead leading global oncology corporate giving.
Lucy Annang Ingram, MD
Dr. Lucy Ingram is the CEO of A.I.R. Consulting and Coaching Services. She is also former associate dean for academic affairs and online education in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, and incoming chairperson for the department of health promotion and behavior in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Emory University and her master of public health and doctor of philosophy degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Ingram conducts research that is designed to ameliorate and ultimately eliminate health disparities, particularly among racial and ethnic minoritized populations. She uses mixed methods approaches, community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods, and promotes sustainable academic-community partnerships to have the most significant, long-lasting impact for the communities with which she works. She has also developed training programs that promote health disparities scholarship in aging and Alzheimer’s disease prevention. Additionally, she teaches courses about racial and ethnic health disparities, socio-cultural perspectives on health, sexual and reproductive health, and planning health promotion programs.
Dr. Ingram’s passion for teaching and conducting research with underserved populations has afforded her the opportunity to serve in many capacities as mentor, speaker, moderator, researcher, and consultant in the area of health disparities, women’s sexual and reproductive health, aging, and cancer prevention and control.
I am Jade. I have 2 children. My son, Jaden is 16 and my daughter, Kawaii is 2. I am currently 38 years old. I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer Stage 2B in 2016. I had mets(Stage IV) to my lung in January 2018. I love to cook and travel.
Ife Lenard, MSW, Ed.M.
Ife Lenard, MSW, Ed.M., has a profound commitment to intentional spaces that encourage self-awareness and critical reflective practices. Her ability to serve as a catalyst, share stories, and unpack inequities that cause harm assists many in their journey. Ife beautifully uses the transformational movements of educational leadership, clinical social work, and restorative and contemplative practices to supportively guide holistic development and collective humanity. She serves as a Professor, Executive Coach & Consultant, nationally and internationally. Ife holds a B.S. in Human Ecology from HBCU Morgan State University and two Masters–Clinical Social Work and Educational Leadership–both from Columbia University. A mother of two young adults, Ife is devoted to them receiving messages and being in places where they know and believe that they both are worthy, beautiful and divine.
Latoya Cauley is an 11-year triple negative breast cancer survivor, diagnosed at the age of 34. Searching for ways to process such a diagnosis, she started her advocacy journey with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) in 2013 where she serves as breast cancer survivor helpline volunteer and Young Advocate. She is also a member of National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBBC), a 2019 graduate of their Project Lead Institute, Susan G. Komen Center for Public Policy Advocacy Ambassador, and Baddie Ambassador with For the Breast of Us. She is also an alumni of A Fresh Chapter (AFC), a program that helps people impacted by cancer grapple with the emotional effects of the disease. She currently serves as an Ambassador on the selection team as well as facilitator of Ignite Programs and Empower workshops with AFC. Latoya is a Chicago native, receiving her B.A. from Saint Xavier University. She finds great joy in spending time traveling with family and friends.
Deltra is a Connecticut based mama of 5 girls who she strives to raise with cultural and health awareness. She's a chain tea drinker, wig hoarder, and lover of singing unabashedly. Since being diagnosed with Triple Negative MBC de novo in 2019 she has focused on thriving through education, advocacy, connecting and radical self-care. She is passionate about mental and emotional wellness, creative expression as a means of coping, community building and connecting BIPOC women with people and spaces that can care for their whole selves. She is a member of Cactus Cancer Society's YAC advisory board, the inaugural class of For the Breast of Us Baddie Ambassador, Project Life MBC team member and creator of The Beatnik Boob, a space for those affected by cancer to connect through creativity.
Katrina joined Pfizer in 2003 and became part of the Advocacy & Professional Relations in the Spring of 2021. She leads national external relationships with strategic Patient Advocacy groups in the Breast Oncology area and Professional pan tumor organizations focused on Supportive Oncology and Survivorship. Her key areas of focus for 2021 include patient centricity with a focus on Clinical Trials and Health Equity, impacting standards in care for patients in the U.S.
Katrina embodies patient centricity. As a breast cancer survivor, she has turned her personal adversity into a strength and committed her passion to ensuring the patient voice remains at the center of our work. She has served in several other roles within Pfizer over the past 20 years most recently focused on Key Account Management in the Chicagoland area and co-leading the KAM’s National Equity Incubator. She worked tirelessly to engage colleagues across the matrix to participate in this collaborative forum that connects regional insights and ideas to plans that actively address variation in care for historically disregarded patient populations.
Katrina currently resides in the San Antonio area with her two children, Kaelyn (16) and Gavin (14). Katrina enjoys yoga, travel, spending time on Lake Travis and hiking the Texas Hill Country with her family and friends.
Jo Holz, PhD
Jo Holz is a long-time Board member and former Board President of SHARE, and a breast cancer survivor. She spent four decades as a market research executive in the television industry, in senior management positions at NBC News, Sesame Workshop, the Oxygen cable network, and Nielsen, the TV ratings company. She served on the Executive Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research and was President of its New York chapter, and she was a member of the Executive Council of the Cable Television Association for Marketing. She is a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and she was recently a Visiting Scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. She holds a Ph.D. in Communications from the Annenberg School.
Jeannine Kelly, MPH
Jeannine Kelly is a compassionate US Patient Advocacy leader at Merck. She has worked at Merck over 20 years in a variety of roles including sales, marketing, and her favorite & current role as part of the Patient Innovation & Engagement team. Jeannine engages with organizations focused on breast, head & neck cancers as well as vaccines. Jeannine will tell you that the best part of her day is talking to patient advocates and better understanding the needs & experiences of patients, their family members, and caregivers.
Tricia Strusowski MS, RN
With over 40 years of experience in the oncology field, Mrs. Strusowski has worked in a variety of roles including an oncology nurse, nurse manager, case management, and clinical director overseeing a multitude of departments, including chemotherapy infusion, rehabilitation program, multidisciplinary disease site centers, thoracic surgery, palliative care, oncology medical home program, wellness programs, navigation, survivorship, bone marrow coordinators, and FACT accreditation program. Her passion is in patient and family-centered
are in the oncology landscape. In conjunction with serving on multiple advisory boards, she implemented fifteen multidisciplinary cancer centers, including breast, lung, head and neck, pancreatic, and other tumor site-specific teams. Mrs. Strusowski puts this rich work history to practice within private practices, hospitals, and health systems across the country. She has published and presented nationally. She chairs the Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (AONN+) Navigation Metrics Subcommittee, co-chair of the AONN+ Navigation Acuity project, past co-chair the ACS National Navigation Roundtable Evidence-Based Promising Practice Committee and participated in the Biden Cancer Initiative for Patient Navigation. She recently was awarded the 2023 Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigator Lillie D. Shockney Lifetime Achievement Award.
Zilipah Cruz, MSN-RN
Zilipah Cruz, is Senior Director of Oncology Navigation, Survivorship, and Community Outreach for the oncology service line at Orlando Health Cancer Institue, an integrated healthcare system across central Florida that includes eleven hospitals and six cancer centers. She works alongside physicans and leadership to develop, implement, and sustain operations involving care coordination, timeliness of care, process improvement projects, education, prevention and screening programs for patients and the community.
Zilipah holds a Master of Science in Nursing from East Tennessee State University. She is part of BOLD: Mentorship Academy under the Academy of Oncology Nurses and Patient Navigators where she serves as a mentor for other navigators across the country. She also serves as the president elect for Florida’s local navigation network that brings navigators across the state to learn, network and share best practices within the field of oncology navigation.
Mark Liu, MHA
Mark Liu, MHA, is Senior Director of Oncology Strategy, Transformation and Analytics for the oncology service line at the Mount Sinai Health System, an integrated health system across the five boroughs of New York City that includes eight hospitals and multiple ambulatory sites. He works closely with senior leadership to develop long-term strategy and collaborates on critical projects in clinical quality, alternative payment models, new technologies, and process improvement. Prior to joining Mount Sinai in 2015, Mark managed outpatient operations for solid and hematologic cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Mark holds a Master of Healthcare Administration from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Science in both Integrated Neuroscience and Sociology from Binghamton University. He was named a Fellow in the Association of Cancer Executives Administrative Fellowship Program in 2021 and was elected to serve on their Board of Directors in 2022. Mark was selected as one of 25 scholars in the 2022 American College of Healthcare Executives' Thomas C. Dolan Career Accelerator Program. Most recently, he was inducted as a lifetime Fellow of the Association of Community Cancer Centers and is the 2023-2025 Editor in Chief of their official journal, Oncology Issues.
As assistant vice president of the Orlando Health Cancer Institute, Alyssia Crews is responsible for developing, leading and implementing the operational direction for cancer services.
Prior to joining Orlando Health, Alyssia held executive positions with the Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida and University of Miami Health System’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. She has more than 22 years of administrative experience in healthcare, including clinical program startups, multidisciplinary collaboration, and incorporating the voice of patients and families into the framework of clinical operations.
Alyssia earned her MBA, with a specialization in finance and marketing, from the Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston. Her professional memberships include the Association of Community Cancer Centers (currently serving on strategic planning committee), American College of Healthcare Executives, Association of Cancer Executives, Florida Society of Clinical Oncology and the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators. She previously served on the Florida Department of Health Survivorship Committee, Access to Care and Navigation Committee, and Association of Cancer Executives Board Director.
Jennifer Brown (she/her) is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, author, and diversity, equity, and inclusion expert who is deeply passionate about building more inclusive workplaces where all of us can thrive. As the Founder and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting (JBC), a 20-year-old certified woman- and LGBT-owned firm, Jennifer and her team design and execute inclusion strategies that have been implemented by some of the biggest companies and nonprofits in the world. She is also the bestselling author of four books on inclusive leadership, including her most recent, a second edition of How to Be an Inclusive Leader, which addresses some of the most pressing challenges of our times and how identity, privilege and equity can drive opportunity for all. Her keynoting has taken her from everywhere from Google to IBM to the NASA Space Flight Center to leading business schools around the world, and her podcast, The Will to Change, is in its fifth year, and recognized as one of the top DEI podcasts.
Day Two Speakers
Hetty Cunningham, MD
Dr. Hetty Cunningham is an associate professor of pediatrics and director of equity and justice in curricular affairs at Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. For more than two decades, Dr. Cunningham has been at the forefront of anti-racism work in an effort to improve patient outcomes. Her early work included working with medical residents to promote empathetic communication, build cultural competency, and address health disparities in people of color. In her current role, as the director of equity and justice in curricular affairs, Dr. Cunningham oversees efforts of students leading anti-racism efforts to improve curricular programming. As part of this program, Dr. Cunningham co-leads the Anti-Racist Transformation in Medical Education project. (ART). ART seeks to replicate a model originally developed by the Icahn School of medicine to dismantle systemic racism and bias in work and learning environments.
Megan C. Edmonds, PhD
Dr. Megan C. Edmonds is a population health disparities researcher. Her research focuses on assessing breast cancer disparities using population level data and mixed method approaches to improve late-stage detection of cancer, the use of mammography and other survivorship care services in Black and underserved breast cancer survivors. Dr. Edmonds program of research is centered on improving the implementation of follow-up care and late effects from cancer treatment among Black women.
I am a 3 time cancer survivor of twice uterine cancer and then ovarian cancer. My role at SHARE involves managing the uterine cancer helpline, facilitating support groups and to continue building the support for women who experience uterine cancer. As an Advocate and due to my passion to educate people about gyn cancers, I participate in many community events offering information on screening ,diagnosis, symptoms, risk factors, and often share my story of being diagnosed with both uterine and ovarian cancer in hopes that it will help someone else.
Neftali Perez has been navigating patients through care for over 12 years. He began navigation at Woodhull Medical Center, piloting their Center of Integrated Health clinic. This clinic specialized in coordinating mental health patients with medical services, in a one-stop-shop clinic for psychiatric and medical care. In 2016 he joined the Welter’s Program at NYU where his focus shifted to cancer care around breast health. While there, he assisted in reestablishing the NYS Cancer Services Program at Bellevue, which provides no cost screening to those who do not have health insurance. Neftali believes that a core part of navigation lies in educating the patient so that they are empowered to meet their own needs as issues arise. Barriers to care are a main factor in poor health management, and he aims to remove those in any way he can.
Vanessa Lucero Cruz
Vanessa Lucero Cruz is a Community Outreach Associate working with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Immigrant Health & Cancer Disparities Service (IHCD). The IHCD has worked to identify and eliminate disparities in health and cancer treatment among immigrants and minorities. As a Community Outreach Associate, Vanessa works to coordinate events and establish partnerships, among the communities we serve to better identify their needs while also working to address them. Vanessa primarily works with 2 programs on the IHCD: the Ventanilla de Salud (or Health Window) located at the Mexican Consulate of New York and the MSK Mobile Health Unit which travels to various communities across New York City bringing resources and health education to communities who need it the most. As of January 2023, 68 partnerships have been formed, these partnerships play an essential role in establishing trust within the communities we work with while facilitating logistics. Recently, through the Ralph Lauren Center, both programs are able to provide on-site scheduling of cancer screening appointments so community members are able to complete screenings free of charge. These screenings include breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer screenings. She hopes that through these programs community members are better equipped to manage their health and well-being while being better informed on the importance of preventative care, especially through cancer screenings.
Sandra Morales has been an integral member of the LatinaSHARE Program since 2014. She serves as an Outreach Ambassador providing crucial health, screening and treatment information to at-risk, underserved community members.
For the past seven years Sandra has also worked as a Patient Navigator for the Breast Cancer Surgery Department of a major NYC hospital center. She assists patients and their families in navigating the complicated process of authorizations, approvals, and scheduling. Sandra also engages in Community Outreach and refers patients to outside resources such as housing, financial assistance, support groups and more.
The American Association for Cancer Research recently featured Sandra's journey from Cancer Survivor to Outreach Ambassador with LatinaSHARE in the AACR Cancer Disparities Progress Report 2022.
Through her work with LatinaSHARE, Sandra has also become involved with the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). She has participated in educational conferences and graduated from NBCC's premier Science Course, ProjectLEAD. Sandra has also traveled to Washington, DC as a patient advocate to meet with New York Congressional staff as part of NBCC's lobbying efforts.
With more than a decade of experience working in both hospitals and nonprofit organizations, I am excited to help expand SHARE’s mission into the Chinese community. I am thrilled to be joining this team of passionate staff and volunteers in order to support SHARE’s values, especially to the monolingual and medically underrepresented group. My Chinese background allows me great understanding of the unique cultural variations in the disparate Chinese community when handling cancer. With the wide variety of cultural values, that sensitivity will be used to bring the best services from SHARE to the Chinese community.
Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH
Simona C. Kwon, DrPH, MPH is an associate professor and the vice chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Department of Population Health at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Dr. Kwon is the director and multi-PI of the NIH National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities-funded Center of Excellence, the NYU Center for the Study of Asian American Health. She is a socio-behavioral epidemiologist with extensive experience in the use of, among other methods, community-based participatory research, mixed methods approaches, dissemination and implementation science, and multidisciplinary teams to address community-level health disparities. Dr. Kwon employs a social determinants of health framework to implement and evaluate evidence-based strategies in community settings, focusing on cultural relevance and impact and identifying effective channels through which to translate research into practice.
Vanessa Leung joined CACF as Co-Executive Director in April 2017, co-leading the organization’s work in policy advocacy, leadership development, and coalition building. Since their tenure, the co-executive directors increased CACF’s organizational budget over 300%, led the advocacy on the passage of data disaggregation law, and coordinated collective community advocacy for historic City and State investments in Asian American community- based organizations. She is dedicated to improving public education, advocating on behalf of Asian American Pacific Islander students and English Language Learners in New York City public schools. She served 8 years as Chair of NYC’s Panel for Educational Policy. Previously as Education Policy and Program Coordinator of CACF, she authored Hidden in Plain View, a report detailing Asian American students’ needs, and worked alongside other advocates on the creation of Chancellor’s Regulation A-663, mandating comprehensive interpretation and translation services, as well as the Dignity in All Schools Act which reduces bias-based harassment in schools. Vanessa launched CACF's high school youth leadership project, the Asian American Student Advocacy Project (ASAP) which trains a diverse group of young people to be effective advocates.
Monica Bartley is a Disability Advocate and researcher. She worked at the Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY) where she was involved with the CIDNY Action Network (CAN) to educate people with disabilities and help them become leaders through community advocacy. Ms. Bartley trained people to survey polling sites, street access, restaurants, and green markets. Her voting rights advocacy efforts contributed to a civil rights victory in the federal courts for people with disabilities in New York City. Ms. Bartley educates the media about the life of people with disabilities and access issues in New York City. She is a member of Disabled In Action where she continues to advocate for the rights of people with Disabilities. She has been recognized for her work promoting social justice for people with disabilities and a pioneer of the disability rights movement of Jamaica. Ms. Bartley is a person with a disability. She holds a Masters in Special Studies from George Washington University (GWU) and an Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies from City University of New York (CUNY). She is a Deaconess in New York Annual Conference (NYAC) and attends Bethany United Methodist Church, Brooklyn, where she is the President of the local Unit of United Women in Faith.
April Castillo, MD, MPH, IBCLC
April Castillo, MD, MPH, IBCLC is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. She completed her undergraduate at Princeton University, with a B.A. in Anthropology and certificate in African American Studies. She went on to complete medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She initially trained in anesthesiology for three years, and later completed her General Preventive Medicine and Public Health residency at Stony Brook University, during which she also earned her MPH and an advanced graduate certificate in Nutrition.
Dr. Castillo is currently engaged in breastfeeding medicine research and clinical practice in Breastfeeding and Preventive Medicine. She is continuing her research career with a mentored LINCATS-K research career development award, studying the effect of antenatal colostrum collection on lactogenesis. Her clinical work includes breastfeeding and fourth-trimester support including peripartum mood and anxiety disorders, nutrition, re-lactation support, and induction of lactation with a focus on the queer and transgendered population. She works closely with Stony Brook’s WIC program and has a strong interest in improving health equity and decreasing disparities, particularly in maternal and infant health. She is an active member on multiple maternal morbidity and mortality task forces. She also teaches within Stony Brook University's Program in Public Health, currently teaching the course Race, Racism and Health.
Nancy Di Dia
Nancy J. Di Dia is a PCC certified executive and life coach with more than 30 years of leading and developing talent globally in Fortune 100 Businesses. Nancy’s career spans Financial Services, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, Retail Banking, Sales, Marketing and Operations as well as Information Technology. Nancy’s main focus is facilitating solutions and insights for her clients. She is a certified diversity and inclusion executive and the former chief diversity and inclusion officer for a global pharmaceutical firm. Nancy is also an active Board Member on the Connecticut Governor’s Prevention Partnership which builds statewide capacity to prevent underage drinking and substance use while building strategic alliances to promote the overall well-being of Connecticut’s future workforce. One of Nancy’s key focus areas is helping organizations, healthcare professionals and executives to harness their talents across the divides of gender, generations, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression as well as geography and culture. She has coached executives for more than 25 years with clients ranging from the C-suite to middle managers. Nancy is a sought-after coach based on her ease of interacting with others, her patient centric mindset as well as her diverse global experiences. She is a true model of authenticity. Nancy holds a variety of board positions at a national and local level in the northeastern United States.