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Susanne Johnson-Berns Named President of Georgia Chapter of National Cancer Organization

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) named Susanne Johnson-Berns the Georgia Chapter President of the Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN).  A cancer caregiver and a staff member at Northwest Georgia Oncology Center in Marietta, Mrs. Johnson-Berns brings to CPAN a diverse range of cancer advocacy experience.

"We are pleased to welcome Susanne as the first state chapter president of the COA Patient Advocacy Network," said Rose Gerber, COA's director of patient advocacy. "Susanne exemplifies a blend of personal experience and advocacy expertise that is critical to leading community cancer care advocacy in Georgia."

As the Georgia Chapter President, Mrs. Johnson-Berns will be responsible for leading state-wide and local activities to communicate the benefits of community cancer care (including convenience and lower costs), to educate cancer patients and their families about the services CPAN offers and the importance of patient advocacy, and to recruit additional advocates.

"Advocacy benefits patients and can take many forms, from caregiving for an individual patient, to offering support and advice to other patients and families, speaking publicly about personal experiences, and working with groups that develop policy to improve systems or processes for patients," commented Ted Okon, executive director of COA.  "We are proud to have reached this important milestone in the organization's history and we look forward to broadening our outreach efforts in the coming months."

"It is an honor to lead advocacy activities here in Georgia," said Mrs. Johnson-Berns.  "As a caregiver and a long-time advocate, I am excited to expand my efforts for this important cause.  It is important for cancer survivors and their families to be involved in advocacy efforts when possible, because they have experienced firsthand the importance of receiving quality care in our own communities."

Mrs. Johnson-Berns experience includes participating in fundraising events, walking with the group "Mommas On The Move" to raise cancer awareness, and assisting in counseling cancer patients at the Northwest Georgia Oncology Center in Marietta.  She has served as a hospice volunteer, is a published author, and personally experienced the impact of a cancer diagnosis when her mother lost her battle with cancer, which prompted her to become an advocate.

About Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN)

The Community Oncology Alliance Patient Advocacy Network (CPAN) was formed to provide an inclusive forum, regardless of cancer type, for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors to network and become more active participants in understanding and advocating for cancer care.  An established agenda of an annual meeting, an annual Lobby Day in Washington, DC and on-going legislative outreach program allows CPAN to advocate for patients and family members affected by cancer.  CPAN also provides community oncology practices with information and resources to help their patients deal with the economic pressures impacting their cancer care.  More information can be found at

About the Community Oncology Alliance (COA)

COA is a non-profit organization dedicated solely to community oncology. COA was founded by community oncology to advocate for patients and providers in the community oncology setting, where 84 percent of Americans with cancer are treated. In only seven years of existence, COA has mobilized community oncology to become more politically active, and increased awareness on Capitol Hill about the community cancer care delivery system. Additionally, COA has brought together community oncology practices from across the country to share information in order to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the cancer care they provide to their patients.  More information can be found at

SOURCE Community Oncology Alliance
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