October CEO Message: Working Together to Conquer Cancer

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month winds down, I wanted to share with you all the many ways we are working actively with our partners to conquer breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer as well as promote state and territorial capacity to address cancer more broadly in our communities. Our extensive cancer portfolio includes projects that range from monitoring the impact of changes in the healthcare system to looking into more effective communications for cancer patients post diagnosis. 


NACDD is working with CDC across the spectrum of cancer prevention and control, from hosting a thought leaders roundtable on FIT test colon screening to helping patients understand treatment options by way of computer-simulated conversations, to helping survivors understand their need for healthy behaviors following treatment. NACDD has also partnered with six states to convene health systems, payers, and providers to find profitable paths to screening. (Listen to a podcast about our partnership with Kognito in creating a conversational platform with virtual humans).


We recently hosted the Comprehensive Cancer Control National Partnership’s semi-annual meeting at our headquarters, including Dr. Lisa Richardson, Director of the CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Dr. Karen Hacker, Director of  CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), and NACDD Member Leah Merchant, Section Supervisor of the Cancer Control Programs at the Montana Department of Health and Human Services to discuss emerging trends and issues.


This past summer, NACDD was honored to host a meeting for tribes and territories as well as a peer-to-peer meeting representing all of the grantees from both the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programs and the Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. 


Some other cancer projects that NACDD has engaged recently with are: 

  • Providing technical assistance to support state-based cancer prevention and control; 
  • Working with states to collaborate with Medicaid to increase breast, and cervical cancer screening as well as ongoing evaluation of these screening programs; 
  • Developing a team-based approach to increase colorectal cancer screening in community health centers; 
  • Improving messaging about skin cancer prevention;
  • Increasing healthy behaviors among cancer survivors in rural communities by increasing capacity and enhancing partnerships to improve quality of life; and
  • Studying information and communications related to colorectal cancer screening that is provided to specific populations post-diagnosis for breast cancer.

We’re also pleased to announce that on Oct. 1, Randy Schwartz became the Senior Public Health Consultant for Cancer Control. His vast experience and subject matter expertise will be invaluable in assisting us as we strategize how to build on the good work we have already accomplished.

We invite all state and territorial health staff who work on cancer issues to join NACDD’s Cancer Council, which is represented by more than 450 professionals working in CDC-funded cancer prevention and control projects in the states, D.C., territories, tribal nations, and Pacific island jurisdictions. 


The Council connects cancer program staff for knowledge sharing, brainstorming, problem solving, and best practice dissemination. The Council also offers professional development and leadership opportunities. If interested in joining, contact info@chronicdisease.org.


We look forward to continuing this challenging and critical work with our partners and our Members. 

Careers at NACDD

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