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Volunteer Engagement

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Volunteer Learning Center is better than ever

​New volunteer training experience now offered.

American Cancer Society volunteers can now access their training courses through an easier, more efficient, and visually appealing experience following the launch of the new Volunteer Learning Center on March 15. The new platform alleviates well known pain points and offers a more modern and improved user experience overall including organized courses that align with volunteer roles and demystifying the amount of time required to complete individual trainings.

Volunteers will still log in to the Volunteer Community to sign up for local opportunities and to access training. 

  • ACS celebrates the impact and life of Betty Robinson

    Award winner had provided more than 1,400 rides to treatment.

    It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of a dear friend and member of our ACS volunteer family, Betty Robinson. 

    Betty was a longtime Road to Recovery driver and coordinator in the Lincoln, NE, area, and was recently awarded with the 2021 Patient Support Volunteer Award for ExcellenceShe began volunteering with ACS and the Road to Recovery program in 2004 to honor her late granddaughter. In 2021, Betty played an integral role in preparing and onboarding volunteer drivers in her community to help relaunch the program amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Her efforts led to 15 fully onboarded drives to jump start the program in record time. She was honored by her local community in this moving news report after having received the national honor from ACS.  

    In addition to the Patient Support Volunteer Award for Excellence, Betty was among our Top 100 Road to Recovery drivers for 2022 – coming in at #24 in the nation. During her time as a Road To Recovery driver Betty provided more than 1,400 (one-way) rides to treatment. 

    She was one of the most kind-hearted, giving people I’ve ever met. Her contributions to ACS and the Lincoln community are irreplaceable, and I will miss her so much,” said Lisa McClung, senior development manager. 

    Betty’s passion for ACS was prominently displayed at her funeral with photos of her at Relay For Life events and her Patient Support Volunteer Award for Excellence award. 

  • ACS adds four new members to Board of Directors

    Brian Marlow to serve as chair of the Board.

    This week the American Cancer Society announced four new members of its Board of Directors, as well as officers for 2023. All terms begin on Jan. 1, 2023.

    Brian A. Marlow, CFA, will serve as board chair next year. Terri McClements will serve as vice chair. Mark A. Goldberg, MD, as board scientific officer. Katie A. Eccles, Esq., as secretary/treasurer.  and Michael T. Marquardt, will remain on the Board as immediate past chair. Stay tuned to internal news channels during the coming weeks for more information on our new Board chair.

    The ACS Board of Directors consists of 22 members, which includes five officers and 17 directors. The directors are elected for a two-year term (unless a lesser term is required to fill a vacancy), and officers hold their position for a one-year term. 

    “The four new board members bring fresh experience to our increasingly data-driven organization and will help accelerate the American Cancer Society’s vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone,” Brian Marlow, 2023 Board chair said this week in a media release. “As we drive progress on advocacy, research, and patient support services, the diverse backgrounds of our new members will support ACS’s ongoing commitment to health equity and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer.”

    Joining the board are:

    José C. Buenaga, MBA – Mr. Buenaga, picture at top at right, is the chief executive officer of EIG Group Corp., a company dedicated to insurance services for individuals, corporations, and pets. Mr. Buenaga is a territory partner for Trupanion, a leading international pet health insurance company. He is a successful entrepreneur who brings a wealth of experience and passion for helping others. He has been a volunteer for the American Cancer Society of Puerto Rico for more than 33 years, and a member since co-founding the ACS Puerto Rico Hope Lodge for Children Who Want to Smile (our pediatric program). He has served on the American Cancer Society of Puerto Rico Board of Directors since 1990 including serving as president of the board. Among his accolades, he received an award for a decade of volunteer service in 2000, received the Distinguished Excellence Award in 2004, and participated on the Finance Committee of the American Cancer Society, Inc., from 2014 to 2016. Over the past few years, he has been a leading fundraiser for the “Real Mean Wear Pink” campaign in Puerto Rico. He received his B.S.B.A. at Bryant University and earned his MBA from the Fuqua Businesses School at Duke University and his HSM certificate in Health Sector Management at Duke University.

    Karen Etzkorn – Ms. Etzkorn, picture at second from right, is the chief information officer of Qurate Retail Group, leading information technology and digital strategy spanning applications, data, cybersecurity, and infrastructure, which are vital to driving long-term growth, innovation, and productivity. Ms. Etzkorn has held senior IT positions at some of the world’s most powerful retailers, including Home Depot, Gap Inc., and Williams-Sonoma. She has an established record as a leader and business partner who builds strong technology teams and collaborates to transform and simplify business processes that deliver robust, cost-effective IT solutions. Among her many accomplishments, she is currently helping Qurate Retail Group usher in a new age of technology capability. Ms. Etzkorn is a dynamic and inclusive leader with a passion for people development. She is on the Board of Directors for Hibbett Sports, Inc. and has been recognized as a recipient of Top Women in Retail Tech, RIS News, 2017; CIO of the Year for Strategic Impact, RIS News, 2014; and Top 10 Women in Tech, Chain Store Age, 2014.

    Michael Pellini, MD – Dr. Pellini, picture at second from left, is a managing partner of Section 32, a venture capital fund investing at the frontiers of technology, healthcare, and life sciences. Prior to joining Section 32 in 2017, he served as CEO and then chairman of Foundation Medicine, a company which transformed the way pharmaceutical companies and physicians evaluate the genomic changes underlying a patient’s cancer, through the close of Roche’s acquisition in August 2018. Previously, he was president and COO of Clarient, a national leader in molecular pathology, which was acquired by GE Healthcare in 2010. Dr. Pellini brings a breadth of understanding in personalized medicine, with a lifetime interest and focus on defeating cancer. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for TwinStrand Genomics, Nusano, Singular Genomics (‘OMIC’), Adaptive Biotechnologies (‘ADPT’), Octave BioSciences, Sema4 (“SMFR”), Exai Bio, and the Personalized Medicine Coalition. He previously served on the board of Thrive Earlier Detection, which was acquired by Exact Sciences (‘EXACT’) in January 2021, as well as Tango Therapeutics (‘TNGX’). He is also a member of the President’s Leadership Council at Thomas Jefferson University.

    Kenneth R. Stoll – With more than 30 years in the financial services industry, Mr. Stoll, picture at top at left, is a former partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and retired president of Weitz Investment Management. He has served as a resource member of the ACS Finance Committee for five years and as a member of the ACS Investment Sub-Committee for five years, including his service as chair since 2020. Mr. Stoll currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of the FAM Funds (Fenimore Asset Management), a $3 billion mutual fund group, where he is responsible, on behalf of the funds’ shareholders, for the governance and oversight of its investment manager and servicing agents. 

    Board members John Alfonso, CPA, CGM, Laura Hertz, Amit Kumar, PhD, and Joseph M. Naylor will end their service at the close of 2022. 

    “We are grateful to the outgoing American Cancer Society board members for their dedication and commitment to improving the lives of people with cancer and their families,” Michael Marquardt, 2022 Board chair said this week. “ACS volunteers are the backbone of our work in changing the course of cancer for more than 100 years and serve as an inspiration to all of us.”

    2023 re-elected Board members are: 

    • Michelle M. LeBeau, PhD
    • Edison T. Liu, MD
    • Robert Winn, MD

    In addition, directors include:

    • Bruce N. Barron 
    • Jennifer R. Crozier 
    • Asif Dhar, MD, MBA
    • Wayne A. I. Frederick, MD, MBA, FACS 
    • Kathy Gallagher, MSN
    • Carmen E. Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP 
    • Othman Laraki, MS, MBA 
    • Connie Lindsey
    • Margaret McCaffery 
    • Oyebode Taiwo, MD, MPH

  • Volunteer Engagement Survey is live!

    ​Survey will be available Oct. 20 through Nov. 10.

    Volunteers serving on Boards, national leadership teams, and patient support programs should be on the lookout for an email from with a link to the 2022 Volunteer Engagement Survey. Volunteers who receive the survey are asked to provide their honest, candid feedback about their experience volunteering for ACS. The results of the survey will help ACS understand how to improve the experience for all volunteers.

    This year’s survey design was overseen by the ACS Customer Insights team. InMoment, an independent market research firm, will collect and manage the responses, which will be kept confidential and used to provide overall insights. 

    Thank you in advance for completing the survey and providing us with valuable input. If you have any questions about the survey, please reach out to

  • ACS volunteer leaders receive cancer awards

    Leaders honored with 2022 Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Laurels Awards.

    Several American Cancer Society volunteers were recently named recipients of the 2022 Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Laurels Award, given by the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. These awards recognize and celebrate innovators and leaders in the cancer fight. 

    NCCRT co-directors Emily Bell and Kaitlin Sylvester joined Prevent Cancer Foundation leadership to present the following awards at a June Prevent Cancer Dialogue conference:

    • Candace Henley, CPN, member, NCCRT Steering Committee; 
    • Robert Winn, MD, member, ACS, Inc., Board of Directors; 
    • Edith P. Mitchell, MD, MACP, FCPP, FRCP; member, ACS National Consortium; and
    • Karen Peterson, PhD, chair, NCCRT Nominating Committee. 

    Candace Henley received the Laurel for Dedication to Community Service. She is the founder and chief surviving officer of the Blue Hat Foundation, Inc. Candace has more than 17 years of advocacy experience in colorectal cancer prevention, education, and support. Her battle with colorectal cancer inspired her to start the Blue Hat Foundation in 2015.

    Robert Winn received the Laurel for Increasing Health Equity. Dr. Winn serves as director of VCU Massey Cancer Center, overseeing the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center. Dr. Winn is leading the nation in establishing a 21st-century model of equity for cancer science and care, in which the community is informing and partnering with the Massey Cancer Center on its research to best address the cancer burden and disparities of those the cancer center serves, with a local focus but global impact.

    Edith Mitchell earned the Laurel for National Leadership. She is the clinical professor of medicine and medical oncology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and associate director for diversity programs and director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities for Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

    Karen Peterson earned a Special Award for Outstanding Commitment. She served as vice president of programs for the Prevent Cancer Foundation for two decades.

  • Genentech named Corporate Partner of the Year

    Partner honored for multi-year leadership commitment to Get Screened initiative.

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) announced in a press release that Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has been awarded the 2021 Corporate Partner of the Year Award, a national honor presented in recognition of its incredible impact on the development goals of ACS. The company was also recognized in a tweet.

    Genentech made a multi-year leadership commitment as a founding sponsor of ACS’s Get Screened initiative, a comprehensive multi-sector national movement to restore cancer screening rates to pre-pandemic levels. As a shared priority to advance health equity principles and increase cancer screening, Genentech activated its employee network to accelerate social media activities, drove local activation of campaign efforts, advised regional cancer control projects, and participated in the National Consortium. 

    “The initiative reflects Genentech’s broader commitment to support the development of interventions to advance health equity,” said Jennifer Lombardo, vice president of Corporate Alliances & Solutions for the American Cancer Society. “Their investment has enabled ACS to initiate this transformative campaign and execute a variety of key components nationwide.”

    "We believe every person with cancer deserves the best possible care, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and monitoring," said Fritz Bittenbender, senior vice president of Access & External Affairs at Genentech. "Realizing this is only possible through the power of partnerships. We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the American Cancer Society and to be recognized as their Corporate Partner of the Year."

    In addition to the Get Screened campaign, Genentech partnered with ACS on various impactful initiatives to further its commitment to the mission of the ACS. Some of these included:

    • Cancer Screen Week, is a collaborative effort among ACS, Stand Up To Cancer and Optum to increase public awareness and understanding of the potentially lifesaving benefits of early cancer detection through screening.
    • Screen Your Lungs campaign, sponsored by Genentech, focused on highlighting the importance of lung cancer screening through a public service announcement and robust advertising campaign, complete with a website for consumers to determine screening eligibility through a quiz.
    • Serving as a member and sponsor of The National Lung Cancer Roundtable (NLCRT): Launched in 2017 and has brought together and galvanized more than 170 leading organizations, professional societies, government agencies, cancer centers, academic institutions, and health plans to help to reduce lung cancer mortality.
    • Long-time sponsor of the National Navigation Roundtable (NNRT): Launched in 2017, the NNRT is a national coalition of organizations and invited individuals dedicated to advancing navigation efforts that eliminate barriers to quality care, reduce disparities, and foster ongoing health equity across the cancer continuum.
    • Extensive engagement and partnership elevating mission activities and addressing health disparities and awareness

    Dr. Karen Knudsen, chief executive officer of ACS, is a member of Genentech’s Scientific Resource Board.

  • Partnership honored with Faces of Philanthropy Award

    ACS and Philadelphia cancer center lauded for community impact.

    The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC) along with ACS have been selected as a Faces of Philanthropy honoree by the Philadelphia Business Journal. The Faces of Philanthropy honorees were recognized at an event on April 7. Pictured above, at the ceremony, are, left to right, Alex Khariton, SKCC vice president of Cancer Services; Paula Green, vice president of the Philadelphia area; Dr. Andy Chapman, enterprise director of SKCC; and Dr. Matt Huesser, SKCC vice president for Cancer Research Administration.

    Each year, the Philadelphia Business Journal recognizes philanthropic partnerships between for-profit and nonprofit organizations in Greater Philadelphia. Honorees are chosen based on their impact on the community during the past year and their overall charitable work across multiple years. The partnership between SKCC and ACS is one of 23 being honored this year.

    The long-standing relationship between SKCC and ACS has been able to aid patients across the community, as well as support a shared commitment to accelerating the pace of discovery in cancer research.

    “SKCC helps so many patients in our community, and the American Cancer Society is proud to have them as a partner in our shared goal of improving the lives of cancer patients and their families,” said Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, chief executive officer. “Both SKCC and ACS put the patient at the center of all we do. From providing lodging for SKCC treatment at our Philadelphia Hope Lodge facility to collaborating on activities like local screening campaigns, SKCC has been dedicated to working with ACS to reduce cancer disparities and enhance lives.”

    Through ACS grants, SKCC provides transportation and housing support to patients in need, thus eliminating some of the most common barriers preventing people from receiving timely access to cancer care. ACS patient navigators are also onsite to provide support to patients; in the past several years, ACS navigators helped more than 1,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients at SKCC, approximately 30% of whom were uninsured or on Medicaid.

    Additionally, SKCC and ACS both recognize that early-career researchers are at the forefront of scientific discovery. ACS has awarded grants to many early-career investigators at SKCC who are conducting innovative research that will lead to new ways to detect, treat, and prevent cancer. ACS is currently funding five research projects at SKCC totaling $1.8 million.

    SKCC also works with ACS to advocate for legislative solutions to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. Together with ACS CAN, SKCC representatives champion the needs of patients and the community at large and encourage legislators and other government officials to make cancer research a priority, both nationally and locally.    

    "The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center is grateful for close relationship we have had with the American Cancer Society over the years,” said Andrew Chapman, DO, enterprise director of SKCC and executive vice president of Oncology Services at Jefferson Health. “Together, we are making a difference in the lives of patients throughout the Philadelphia region and beyond by ensuring individuals are able to access the high-quality care that our NCI-designated cancer center offers, as well as by supporting the next generation of scientists and their groundbreaking research.”

  • Trish Greene Quality of Life Award winner named

    Dr. Abby Rosenberg honored for outstanding research work.

    The Trish Greene Quality of Life Award, a national honor, is presented to an outstanding investigator in the field of quality of life. The 2021 recipient is Abby R. Rosenberg, MD, MS, MA, from Seattle, WA. 

    “Dr. Rosenberg is a leader in the field of pediatric oncology. Her research helps adolescent cancer survivors build resilience skills throughout their cancer journey,” said Ellie Daniels, MD, MPH, senior vice president, Extramural Discovery Science. “Her evidence-based approach developed with support from ACS funding has led to multiple large grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

    The Trish Greene Quality of Life Award recognizes the importance of the contributions of researchers who have devoted a significant portion of their careers to the various areas of quality of life and have accomplished outstanding research that benefits cancer patients and their families. The award honors the life and work of the late Patricia (Trish) Greene, RN, Ph.D., who served in a variety of roles as both a volunteer and staff member throughout her 20-year association with the ACS.

    More about Dr. Rosenberg

    Abby R. Rosenberg, MD, MS, MA, is an Associate Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Washington (UW). She serves as the director of the Palliative Care and Resilience (PCAR) Lab at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute (SCRI), the Director of Pediatrics at the UW Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence, and the Director of Survivorship and Outcomes Research in Pediatric Oncology at the UW. She is also involved in various national organizations at the leadership level – this includes serving as the Chair of the Ethics Committee within the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Co-Chair of the Scientific Program for the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the Associate Editor-in-Chief of "Palliative Care Fast Article Summaries for Clinicians." Dr. Rosenberg is an ACS peer reviewer and is chair for the Cancer Treatment, Survivorship and Palliative Care Peer Review Committee. 

    Dr. Rosenberg's research focuses on developing programs to help patients and families with serious illness build resilience, thus alleviating suffering and improving quality of life. Through her work as program co-director for the University of Washington T32 program in Palliative Care Research and lead mentor in the PCAR lab, Dr. Rosenberg is active in training the next generation of palliative care and supportive oncology clinician–scientists at the postdoctoral and junior faculty level.

  • Discovery Volunteer Award honors Seattle volunteer

    Michele Rhilinger wins the 2021 award.

    The Denise Noel Discovery Volunteer Award honors a volunteer who has provided outstanding contributions to the Discovery Shop program. The 2021 recipient is Michele Rhilinger from Seattle, WA

    The Denise Noel Discovery Volunteer Award recognizes an American Cancer Society volunteer who has shown exceptional achievement, performance, and dedication to the Discovery Shop program. This individual adheres to the Discovery Shop program’s mission and values, is particularly dedicated to elevating the customer and donor experience and performs above and beyond their duties as a Discovery Shop volunteer. An appointed task force comprised of ACS team members from all active Discovery Shop regions select the awardee based on a set criteria scale.  

    About our award winner

    Michele Rhilinger has been the heart and soul of the West Seattle Discovery Shop for more than 10 years. She is extremely professional in all her work at the Discovery Shop and well-known throughout the West Seattle community as a representative of the American Cancer Society.  Through her talents in merchandising, she has created a standard for a very high level of appearance of the Shop and an exceptional level of customer service. Michele has worked endless hours to keep her local Shop open when so many other volunteers did not return after the initial COVID-19 shut down. She has spent hours in the Discovery Shop and at her home, working with volunteers, answering questions, bringing in new volunteers, and keeping current volunteers apprised of what was going on throughout shop remodeling and COVID-19 closures. 

    Michele served as the chair of the West Seattle Shop, Vice-Chair, then chair again before the business transitioned to an employee-run Shop. Despite her retirement from her professional career, Michele stayed in the role and has sacrificed countless days for the benefit of the Shop. 

    Her support of the Discovery Shop and American Cancer Society’s mission is unmatched and respected by so many in her community and across the Discovery Shop program.

    A sidewalk sale at the Discovery Shop in West Seattle earlier this month. Photo courtesy of the shop's Facebook page. 

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