Cancer care equities (and disparities) and advocacy go hand in hand. We are our brother’s keeper. Helping each member of our myeloma community overcome disparities, increase cancer awareness, find a myeloma specialist, receive personalized care, and gain access to clinical trials improves outcomes and accelerates cures for all of us.
Marsha Calloway-Campbell, JD, Director of the Black Myeloma Health Initiative at HealthTree Foundation will discuss the statistics, contributing factors and potential solutions to address disparities in the Black Myeloma community. We will also address resources for the Spanish-speaking community.
Luis Lopez, MBA, MPP, Director of Government Affairs at City of Hope will provide an overview of the Cancer Care is Different Coalition, Cancer Patients Bill of Rights, and actions we can take to support the California Cancer Care Equity Act.
We have said many times that the myeloma community learns from each other and supports each other, through this meeting we will build awareness and take steps to ensure improved myeloma care for all.
Marsha's dedication to bringing awareness and education to our communities is personal. She is a caregiver to her husband who has multiple myeloma and has witnessed the blessing of a supportive village as her family continues to navigate this journey. She's led to give back and to do all that she can to help other families obtain the knowledge that will empower and enlighten them regarding myeloma. Prayerfully, this knowledge will lead to the best possible care which, in turn, will facilitate the best possible outcomes. Although a lawyer and consultant, Marsha finds time to work with the myeloma community all while enjoying time with her husband, 3 adult daughters and young grandson.
Todd Kennedy is a Myeloma Coach and grateful patient. His background includes over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical industry until he and his wife Diane retired from their respective first careers to devote their time and talents as patient advocates, Myeloma Crowd coaches, and ambassadors for City of Hope’s expansion to Orange County. Todd is living life to the fullest with his wife and sons in Orange County, CA.
Diane has been an active and engaged care partner with Todd, her husband, since he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017. In January 2020 they retired to devote their time and talents as patient advocates, HealthTree coaches, and grateful patient speakers/ambassadors for City of Hope. They are committed to helping improve and advance cancer care for all patients and feel a collaborative, virtual support group is an excellent way to help educate and empower patients and their families. Diane and Todd have lived in Orange County for over 25 years where they raised their two sons.
As director of government affairs, Luis helps craft and drive City of Hope’s government relations efforts at the federal, state, and local levels. He deploys strategic advocacy programs to enlist policymakers and external stakeholders in supporting policies that expand patient access to expert cancer care and enable the pursuit of innovative life-saving research. Luis has devoted much of his professional career to advocating for access to comprehensive, high-quality care, particularly for underserved and underrepresented communities. Before joining City of Hope, Luis was director of government affairs for AltaMed Health Services, a federally-qualified health center in Southern California. Luis holds an MBA degree in healthcare administration from the University of Colorado, Denver, and a master’s in public policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Pomona College.
Audrey joined the HealthTree Foundation as the Myeloma Community Program Director in 2020. While not knowing much about myeloma at the start, she has since worked hard to educate herself, empathize and learn from others' experiences. She loves this job. Audrey is passionate about serving others, loves learning, and enjoys a nice mug of hot chocolate no matter the weather.
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