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American Cancer Society Honors Outstanding Contributions to Fight Against Cancer

Awards Honor Accomplishments in Cancer Control, Volunteerism and Humanitarianism

ATLANTA, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- Six Americans whose unique talents and dedication have helped reduce the burden of cancer today received prestigious awards from the American Cancer Society for their work in cancer control, volunteerism, humanitarianism and advocacy. Each year, the Society, the nation's largest voluntary health organization, honors individuals whose work is helping to make the Society's mission of eliminating cancer as a major health problem a reality. In gratitude for their inspirational service to mankind, the Society's National volunteer Board of Directors presented these awards to these outstanding leaders in ceremonies during its annual meeting in Atlanta.

Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., and David E. Joranson, M.S.S.W., received the Distinguished Service Award in recognition of major contributions and commitment in the field of cancer. Marguerite K. Schlag, R.N., M.S.N., EdD, was awarded the National Volunteer Leadership Award in recognition of long and exemplary volunteer service to the Society. Linda Burhansstipanov, M.S.P.H., Dr.P.H., received the Humanitarian Award for contributions to the health of the Native American population. Charles S. Cleeland, Ph.D., was awarded the Trish Greene Quality of Life Award for his focus on improving the lives for all who have been touched by cancer. Robert T. Brodell, M.D., received the Ted Marrs Award in recognition of outstanding and continuous service in the area of public policy and advocacy.

Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., of California, director of the University of California, Los Angeles Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, received the Distinguished Service Award for her pioneering work in psychosocial research. Dr. Ganz, who holds an American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professorship, has spent the past 20 years doing systematic research on the health-related quality of life impact of cancer and its treatment.

Her tireless work on behalf of cancer patients and survivors positively affects millions worldwide. Dr. Ganz is a professor in the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Public Health and is a founding member of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

David E. Joranson, M.S.S.W., of Wisconsin, Distinguished Scientist and recently retired director of the Pain and Policy Studies Group at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center was recognized with the Distinguished Service Award for dedicating his career to improving cancer pain management. Mr. Joranson's contributions to the study and modernization of narcotics control policies to remove barriers to pain patient access to opioid analgesics are invaluable to the lives of people living with cancer. Mr. Joranson has advised the American Cancer Society and its Divisions; as director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Policy and Communications in Cancer Care, he has led efforts to achieve more balanced national drug control policies and improve patient access to pain relief medications in developing countries.

Marguerite K. Schlag, RN, Ed.D., of New Jersey, assistant dean and director of the Graduate Nursing Program at Villanova University, received the National Volunteer Leadership Award for her distinguished service in the fight against cancer. Dr. Schlag has been a volunteer with the Society for more than 30 years, including serving as the current president of the Society's Eastern Division affiliate. Prior to being elected president, Dr. Schlag served the American Cancer Society in a number of leadership roles, including with the former New Jersey Division as its Chairman of the Board, Executive Committee Chair, Awards, Public Issues and Breast Cancer Task Force Chairs. She has also been awarded the St. George Medal of the American Cancer Society, which is the highest volunteer honor bestowed by the Society.

Linda Burhansstipanov, M.S.P.H., Dr.P.H., of Colorado, former professor at California State University-Long Beach and UCLA, was honored with the Humanitarian Award for her sincere concern for the health of the Native American population. She has long been involved in the health and wellness endeavors of Native Americans, particularly focusing her research and attention on their cancer experience, from prevention to survivorship. Dr. Burhansstipanov, of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and is the director of Native American Cancer Initiatives, Inc.

Charles S. Cleeland, Ph.D., of Texas, director of the Pain Research Group as well as the chair of Symptom Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center, received the Trish Greene Quality of Life Award for his research advancements in the field of cancer symptom and pain management. This award is given in memory of Trish Greene, who was an oncology nurse leader, pain management expert, and friend to the Society. The award was originally given to focus attention on quality of life issues, and to incorporate the philosophy of quality of life into all aspects of cancer care.

Dr. Cleeland's research findings continue to affect millions of lives. His recent research efforts are directed toward quantifying the burden of multiple symptoms for cancer patients, identifying underlying mechanisms of cancer symptoms, and clinical trials in symptom management. He played a major role in the development of the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory, a brief measure used to assess the severity and impact of cancer-related symptoms. He has been awarded numerous significant research grants from both the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health to broaden his study of pain management and symptoms associated with cancer treatment.

Robert T. Brodell, M.D., of Ohio, was honored with the Ted Marrs Award for his passionate belief in the mission of the American Cancer Society and for his ability to influence major change through advocacy. This award recognizes exemplary volunteers in recognition of outstanding and continuous service in the area of public policy and advocacy. Dr. Brodell is being recognized for his efforts in Ohio and his vision of joining together the power of Relay for Life and advocacy. The vision helped to create the two very successful American Cancer Society Cancer Action Networks' Celebration on the Hill events in Washington for the purpose of lobbying legislators about important cancer topics. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network SM (ACS CAN) is the American Cancer Society's sister advocacy organization.

Dr. Brodell has been a longtime supporter of the Society, beginning 15 years ago with his involvement in his hometown Relay For Life(R). He has served as past president of the Ohio Division board of directors among numerous other volunteer positions. Dr. Brodell is also a past recipient of the Society's prestigious St. George Medal.

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. Founded in 1913 and with national headquarters in Atlanta, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across the United States. For more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

SOURCE American Cancer Society
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