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Town Hall Meeting Speakers


Breast Cancer
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EST)

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Speakers' Biographies


Photo of Allison A. McGuireAllison A. McGuire, MPH  

Program Manager, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Division of Prevention Medicine

Allison A. McGuire, MPH, currently serves as program manager with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Preventive Medicine. She has extensive experience in managing large, multifaceted research/educational grants focusing on cancer health disparities and prevention among low-income minorities, particularly Latino immigrants. She has directed several successful, community-based, culturally relevant behavioral research initiatives, contributing to her proficiency in project planning, organization, and implementation. McGuire received a master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a bachelor’s of science degree in commerce and business administration in international business and Spanish from the University of Alabama. She also served as a visiting scholar at the Universidad de La Rioja in Logroño, Spain and the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina.

Additionally, McGuire is alumni of the esteemed fellowship, “Ladder to Leadership: Developing the Next Generation of Community Health Leaders.” This collaborative initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Creative Leadership was established to enhance the leadership capacity of community-based, health-related organizations serving vulnerable populations.

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Photo: Marcus Plescia, MD, MPHMarcus Plescia, MD, MPH
Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, joined Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2009 as the director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. In this position, he leads a national program of state cancer coalitions, cancer screening services, and state cancer registries. He also oversees a well-developed research agenda, which includes the national Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network. For the last 20 years, CDC’s cancer division has supported national cancer screening efforts by funding every state to provide breast and cervical cancer screening services to uninsured women. In his first year at CDC, Dr. Plescia led the implementation of a national colorectal cancer control program that funds states to expand screening use across the population and provide screening services to uninsured adults.

Before taking a senior leadership position at CDC, Dr. Plescia served for six years on the senior management team of the North Carolina Division of Public Health. As chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section, he directed the program policy, planning, and evaluation efforts for 12 state- and federally-funded public health programs and the State Center for Health Statistics. During this time, he helped expand the state’s cancer screening programs and enact tobacco, cancer, and obesity-related legislation, including a strong state law banning smoking in all restaurants and bars. He also led major research and surveillance efforts in cancer detection, tobacco control, and health disparities.

Dr. Plescia has an extensive clinical background in family medicine. He started practice in a federally qualified health center in South Bronx, New York, where he also led a multidisciplinary team providing care to the homeless. From 1995 to 2003, Dr. Plescia held an academic appointment at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine as faculty in the Family Medicine Residency Program at Carolinas Healthcare System. During this period, he started a family medicine satellite practice and residency program in an urban, underserved community and implemented a community-oriented primary care demonstration project. This project was awarded an eight year, $7 million grant from CDC to address racial and ethnic disparities and ultimately demonstrated nationally recognized improvements in community-wide health behavior. After changing his career focus to public health, he has continued to practice family medicine in rural, underserved settings.

Dr. Plescia received his medical, master of public health, and bachelor of science degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He trained in family medicine at the Montefiore Residency Program in Social Medicine in the Bronx. He holds an academic appointment as associate professor in the University of North Carolina’s Department of Family Medicine. He has published his academic work extensively in public health and family medicine literature.

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Photo: Nancy WrightNancy Wright, MPH
Director, Cancer Prevention and Control Division, Alabama Department of Public Health

Nancy Wright, MPH, has 20 years experience in the public health management field. She is currently director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Division for the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). As an employee of ADPH for 10 years, she has served as director of Injury Prevention and director of the Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Nancy received her bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of South Alabama and her master’s degree in public health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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