"Greetings from Louisville, Kentucky! My sincere regrets on being unable to join all of you due to previous work commitments.
Stephen Wyatt, DMD, MPHDirector, CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, 1990 - 1998
Amazing, that the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is 30 years old-30 Years of making a difference in the lives of individuals and in supporting an infrastructure that facilitates routine screening and early intervention.
Congratulations to the CDC as organizers of the event for both pausing to celebrate and for assembling such an impressive panel on the beginnings of the program. Having legislative icons in former Senator Mikulski and former Representative Waxman-who made this historic program happen is exciting. I know their insights and perspectives will be informative and interesting. Dr. Jeffrey Koplan, Dr. James Marks and Rosemarie Henson created a vision for the program’s organization and implementation that clearly laid a foundation for long-term impact. These three public health leaders have had amazing careers for a reason.
As I reflect on the early days of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and this important foundational Division program, clearly one challenge was assembling a team of senior leaders to build infrastructure and partnerships to guide such a complex and visible program. The team of Rosemarie Henson, Dr. Nancy Lee, Louise Galaska, Kevin Brady, Barbara Reilley, and Faye Wong was indeed special. They worked so well together and with CDC’s state and voluntary partners. They were the best group of folks I have ever worked with!
In noting partnerships, I am reminded of how important APHA, ACS, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, YWCA, and many others were in helping build and grow the NBCCEDP. Barbara Levine from APHA and Kerrie Wilson from ACS were instrumental in achieving CDC and our partners vision of a comprehensive nationwide program.
I was asked to provide one of my favorite “memories” related to the NBCCEDP. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present NBCCEDP data to a Committee chaired by then Senator Mikulski. Of course, the text was pre-approved by both CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services. I was strongly encouraged to follow the “script.” I did so with “impressive speed.” In fact, I was presenting the text so rapidly that Senator Mikulski had to ask me to “slow down young man so we can digest those numbers.” I still chuckle when I remember that day and how kindly she asked me to slow down.
As you reflect and celebrate, keep in your vision the individuals and families that have been impacted over the past 30 years. Thirty years of success!"