FORCE - Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered  University of South Florida

Work Groups

The ABOUT Network Work Groups are composed of patients, researchers, providers and advocates who help guide the efforts of the network and assure that our research is patient-centered. Patient representatives on ABOUT’s Work Groups must first complete FORCE Research Advocate Training.

Communication Recruitment & Engagement Work Group (CREW) CREW members help develop ABOUT’s communications. The work group provides recommendations and feedback on network recruitment and engagement strategies.

CREW

Patricia A. Ganz, MDPatricia A. Ganz, MD
Director, Cancer Prevention & Control Research
Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center,
Los Angeles, CA

Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., a medical oncologist, has been a member of the faculty of the UCLA School of Medicine since 1978 and the UCLA School of Public Health since 1992. Since 1993, she has been the Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. In 1999, she was awarded an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship for “Enhancing Patient Outcomes across the Cancer Control Continuum.” Dr. Ganz was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2007. She served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2002-2007 and on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors from 2003-2006. She received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 2010. Dr. Ganz is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients, and has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention. At the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, she leads the scientific program focused on Patients and Survivors. Her major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly, and quality of care for cancer patients.


Lauren GreenLauren Green
Associate Director of Editorial
Oncology Nursing News and CURE Magazine

Lauren M. Green is Associate Director of Editorial for Oncology Nursing News and CURE, a magazine and website for patients, survivors, and caregivers impacted by cancer. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Rutgers University and worked previously in legislative and communications positions in the government and nonprofit sector, focusing on healthcare and education policy.


Leslie HammersmithLeslie Hammersmith
RISE Legacy Advocate
Young Survival Coalition

Leslie Hammersmith was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer at the age of 36 and soon afterward discovered that she is BRCA1-positive. She began her journey as a breast cancer research advocate after participating in clinical trials during treatment and starting an affiliate of Young Survival Coalition in her hometown. Since 2008, Leslie has graduated from several well-known Cancer Research Advocacy programs including Project LEAD, Research Advocacy Network's Advocate Institute and Focus on Research Scholar Program, AACR Scientist<-->Survivor Program, Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, NCCTG, and DOD Breast Cancer Center of Excellence Research Advocate Mentor Program. She was an advocate member of the Young Survival Coalition Research Think Tank, and continues her work to increase research and improve outcomes for young women facing breast cancer by representing YSC as a RISE Legacy Advocate on the Steering Committee for ABOUT Network and serving as a consumer reviewer for the Breast Cancer Research Program administered by the Department of Defense.

In her professional life, Leslie is Assistant Dean for Technology Enhanced Education at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. She has 20 years of experience in higher education and faculty development in educational technologies.


Angel MosesAngel Moses

Angel is an experienced operations manager who has worked in a variety of health care and nonprofit settings. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor with a BRCA2 mutation and has gone through a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, bilateral mastectomy, plus experiencing many side effects from her treatments. Angel has a passion for helping others. She works with the ABOUT Network and regularly engages in volunteer work.


Carmen Pace, RNCarmen Pace, RN
Dallas Peer Support Group Leader
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Carmen is a 5 year BRCA 2+ breast cancer survivor who has been a member of FORCE for four years and the ABOUT Network since its inception. As a registered nurse by profession, it is her desire to help and educate individuals on FORCE, the ABOUT Network, and the importance for all who are eligible, to be able to participate in research that could be helpful to future patients.


Marisol Rosas

Marisol Rosas
Helpline and Peer Navigator Program Director
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Marisol saw her mother fight breast cancer when she was very young, only to lose her when she was 8 years-old to ovarian cancer. Since then, she always feared she would one day have those same fights.

Several years later, married and with two beautiful sons, she went for her routine mammogram, but given her family history, they suggested genetic counseling. It was time to face her fears and undergo genetic testing.

She tested positive. Knowing very well the pain left behind to those you love, Marisol decided to fight this, and to learn as much as possible. That is when she found FORCE, an incredible source of information with an even more incredible community of fighters like her. She knew she was not alone in this fight.

Marisol has since gone through her mastectomy and oophorectomy; she is a previvor, and proud of it. She knew it was time to give back and she is now in charge of the Helpline at FORCE. She is also involved in her Hispanic community and has participated in several conferences both at home and beyond our borders.


Judy Calabria
Houston Peer Support Group Leader
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Judy’s journey began in 2012 when she learned some of her cousins carried a BRCA1 mutation. Although Judy had no idea what ‘carrying a BRCA1 mutation’ meant at that time, she learned a bit more, and is now a Previvor with the same BRCA1 mutation.

Judy has been connected to FORCE since her journey began, originally attending FORCE Peer Support Group meetings in Houston. Judy is now a Peer Support Group leader in Houston, takes a shift on the FORCE Helpline, is a FRAT Advocate (FORCE Research Advocate Training Program), hosts FORCE exhibit tables at local conferences, and is a participating member of the ABOUT CREW.


Research Work Group

Kristine RecordKristine Record

Kristine Record is a high school Biology and Human Physiology Dual Enrollment teacher at Cactus High School in Peoria, Arizona. She has been teaching for 21 years. Kristine became a previvor four years ago after learning that she is BRCA1 positive.


Amy TixAmy Tix

Amy Tix was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 32 years old. After treatment, she underwent genetic testing and found out that she carries the BRCA2 mutation. Amy has taken her breast cancer experience and used it in advocacy efforts, as a volunteer for various cancer organizations and a consumer reviewer of breast cancer grant proposals, and currently in her job at The Firefly Sisterhood.

Amy is proud to say that, come December, she will celebrate a decade of survivorship.


Carmen Pace, RNCarmen Pace, RN
Dallas Peer Support Group Leader
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Carmen is a 5 year BRCA 2+ breast cancer survivor who has been a member of FORCE for four years and the ABOUT Network since its inception. As a registered nurse by profession, it is her desire to help and educate individuals on FORCE, the ABOUT Network, and the importance for all who are eligible, to be able to participate in research that could be helpful to future patients.


Robin KarlinRobin Karlin
Pittsburgh Peer Support Group Leader
Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered

Robin Karlin discovered that she has a BRCA1 mutation in January 2011 as a result of her 22-year-old son taking a genetic test. She is a Peer Support Group Leader for the Pittsburgh FORCE network and a participant in the FORCE Peer Navigation Program. She also serves as an advocate in the Magee Women's Cancer Research Center (WCRC) Breast Cancer Research Advocacy Network (BCRAN) which is part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.


David BushmanDavid Bushman
Northern New Jersey FORCE Peer Support Group Leader

David Bushman was always aware of the toll breast and ovarian cancer had on his family, from having many relatives, including his mother, who either have died from the disease or tested positive for a BRCA mutation. David, himself, has tested positive for the BRCA1 mutation. Since then, he and his wife have been actively involved in FORCE as Peer Support Group Leaders and also speak at various meetings, symposiums, and panels about FORCE and HBOC.

ABOUT is a Patient-Powered Research Network in PCORnet®,  the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, an initiative funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network
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