Members of the Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women

CHAIR: Elana Silber, MBA

Ms. Silber is the Executive Director of Sharsheret. She has overall strategic and operational responsibility for the organization’s breast cancer support and education programs. With more than 15 years of experience, her close partnership with clinical staff, and her deep understanding of Sharsheret’s growing community, Ms. Silber has the requisite experience in both medical and psychosocial issues pertinent to breast cancer survivorship in young women. She conducts cultural competency trainings for health care professionals and major medical centers focusing on the unique issues of young Jewish women facing breast cancer, including challenges related to their increased risk for hereditary breast cancer.

Lindsay Avner

Ms. Avner is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Bright Pink. Ms. Avner made history in 2006, becoming the youngest woman in the country to have risk-reducing double mastectomy after being diagnosed with a BRCA1 gene mutation. Based on her own experience, she founded Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. Inspired to educate women on risk assessment and risk management, she has assembled a portfolio of innovative, life-saving education and support programs reaching millions of women and health providers nationwide each year.

Michele Maria Cerullo, JD

Ms. Cerullo is a health care attorney and was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2017 at the age of 39. Even with a strong understanding of health care, insurance, and the health care laws, she found the diagnosis of breast cancer as a young woman to be confusing and overwhelming. Ms. Cerullo is a member of the Young Survival Coalition and regularly connects with young women seeking treatment for breast lumps or abnormalities and those diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She openly shares her personal experiences, acts as a sounding board for those recently diagnosed, and assists women in advocating for themselves and their health. Ms. Cerullo brings a unique perspective as both a breast cancer survivor and attorney working in in the health care field.

Lisa Astalos Chism, DNP, APRN, NCMP, FAANP

Dr. Lisa Chism is the clinical director and certified nurse practitioner at the Women’s Wellness Clinic, Karmanos Cancer Institute. She has been a registered nurse for over 29 years and a certified nurse practitioner for 25 years. Dr. Chism is also a Certified Menopause Practitioner through the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and an AASECT certified sexuality counselor. Dr. Chism has established a dedicated menopause and sexual health clinic caring for the menopausal and sexual health needs of women who have a history of breast cancer or are at elevated risk for breast cancer. Dr. Chism also published a text in 4th edition entitled “The Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree: A Guidebook for Role Development and Professional Issues.” She serves as adjunct assistant professor at Madonna University School of Nursing and adjunct assistant professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine. She has presented nationally and published on topics related to the DNP degree, menopause, sexual health, and breast health. Dr. Chism is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and was selected as Menopause Practitioner of the year 2011. She serves on the Board of Directors at the North American Menopause Society.

Anna Crollman

Anna Crollman is a blogger, breast cancer survivor, and founder of My Cancer Chic, an online support platform for young women battling breast cancer. She was diagnosed at age 27 with stage II, triple-positive (ER+, PR+, HER2+) IDC breast cancer. Anna is using her compelling experience of facing a life-threatening disease in her 20s to support and inspire young women to thrive in the face of adversity with strength, confidence, and style. As the founder and writer behind My Cancer Chic, Anna’s writing, personal experiences, and advocacy efforts have been widely recognized with health care providers, non-profit organizations and media agencies. She founded and runs the Raleigh support group for young women with breast cancer and serves as the North Carolina State Leader for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC). Anna serves on the Advisory Board for Lacuna Loft, a non-profit focused on young adult cancer advocacy and support. She is passionate about supporting the breast cancer community, advocating for patients, and collaborating with health care providers, organizations, and individuals to ensure the needs of young women battling breast cancer are recognized and addressed.

Carletta Cunningham

Ms. Carletta Cunningham has been on a “keep-it-moving” mission since being diagnosed and treated for triple-negative breast cancer in 2013. When treatment concluded, she set out to accept and explore her “new normal” by establishing and conquering challenging goals. From Sprint Triathlons to 130-mile multi-day adventures, she hoped to build awareness while inspiring and motivating others to continue to keep moving forward. Carletta received a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Louisville. She enjoys playing tennis and spending time with family and friends. From time to time, she blogs about her wild and crazy adventures.

Ellyn Davidson

Ms. Davidson, a managing partner at Brogan & Partners, has more than 22 years of experience at managing advertising and marketing programs for health care, government, nonprofit, economic development, and other governmental agencies. She is also a long-term survivor of young-onset hereditary breast cancer caused by a BRCA2 mutation. Ms. Davidson has focused her endeavors on educating young women and helping them navigate the complexities of a breast cancer diagnosis or inherited risk. She is a passionate advocate for young breast cancer survivors and young, high-risk women. Ms. Davidson uses her experience and well-honed skills in marketing and advertising to improve public health.

Shubhada Dhage, MD, FACS

Dr. Dhage is the Associate Director of Diversity in Cancer Research and Center for the Environmental of Cancer Disparities at the New York University (NYU) Perlmutter Cancer Center. Dr. Dhage is a breast surgeon and scientist dedicated to treating New York’s underserved, ethnically diverse women, as the co-founder of the cancer disparities program at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center and the Co-Director of the Bellevue Hospital Breast Clinic, NYU Medical Center. As a surgeon conducting genomic research, her focus has remained treating the patient as a whole person and she aims to have an impact on the elimination of disparities and the prevention of breast cancer. Dr. Dhage has created programs for molecular research, patient prevention, decision making, health literacy, survivorship, physician training, and wellness.

Kenneth Lin, MD, MPH

Dr. Lin is Professor of Clinical Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Deputy Editor of American Family Physician, the most widely read journal in primary care. Dr. Lin obtained his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a Family Medicine residency at Lancaster General Hospital (PA) and medical editing and faculty development fellowship at Georgetown University. Dr. Lin chaired the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Subcommittee on Clinical Practice Guidelines from 2015 to 2017, and serves on the AAFP’s Science Advisory Panel. He posts regularly to his personal blog, Common Sense Family Doctor; is an expert video commentator for Medscape Family Medicine, and previously authored U.S. News and World Report’s consumer health blog Healthcare Headaches. Dr. Lin is a nationally recognized speaker on the benefits and harms of cancer screening, medical writing and publication, and the uses of social media in health advocacy and policy.

Rachel M. Mayo, PhD, MA

Dr. Mayo is a professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson University. She has worked in cancer control for the past 20 years in South Carolina. Her research interests include cancer prevention and control and health disparities among minority and underserved populations. Her current work is on disparities among the uninsured and cultural competence in provider education. She is a two-year breast cancer survivor who now has a greater appreciation of issues facing young women with breast cancer.

Tara Sanft, MD

Dr. Sanft is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is board certified in medical oncology and hospice and palliative medicine. Dr. Sanft provides oversight for three survivorship clinics, a multidisciplinary clinic, a survivorship care plan clinic, and a long-term survivorship clinic. Her research focus is on care plan delivery, distress in survivors, and healthy lifestyle behaviors in breast cancer survivors, including diet and exercise interventions to improve cancer-related biomarkers and quality of life. Dr. Sanft is a member of the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Cancer Partnership, a CDC-supported organization focusing on statewide cancer prevention and control.

Nicole B. Saphier, MD

Dr. Saphier is a Diplomat of the American Board of Radiology. She is a fellowship-trained radiologist, expertly skilled in women’s oncologic imaging with a primary focus in breast imaging radiology. In addition to her clinical knowledge, Dr. Saphier is vetted in the realm of health care policy. In her prior position, she was the sole physician champion of the Arizona state breast density legislation. Dr. Saphier is on the Department of Health Breast Imaging Work Group as well as on the executive and legislative committees of the Radiological Society of New Jersey and the Morris Township Board of Health. She is an accomplished radiologist who is extremely knowledgeable in other areas of breast oncology.

Joyce Tannenbaum Turner, MS, CGC

Ms. Turner is a board-certified genetic counselor with over 17 years’ experience. She is also a faculty member within the Division of Genetics and Metabolism at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC). After being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35, Ms. Turner transitioned her career from research on rare diseases and high-risk prenatal care to hereditary cancer and launched CNMC’s cancer genetics clinic. Through the clinic, she provides genetic counseling, testing, and screening to families suspected of or known to have a cancer predisposition syndrome including hereditary forms of breast cancer.

Elissa Thorner, MHS

Ms. Thorner was a two-time breast cancer survivor by the age of 25. She has become an advocate for patients living with this disease—appearing in television interviews, newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and radio—speaking out about the barriers and challenges they often face, including survivorship in early and advanced breast cancer care, long-term side effects, patient/caregiver/provider communication, improvements in quality and outcomes of care, technology as a communication tool, the mind/body connection, and healthy living after breast cancer. Ms. Thorner is involved in several communication and research initiatives including national guideline development, survivorship care planning, health education for patients and providers, caregiver communication, and improvement of health outcomes. She has an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University in Women’s Health and a graduate degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Health Education and Communication. Ms. Thorner oversees breast cancer communication, education, and survivorship at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, manages the Breast Cancer Survivorship Program, and co-directs the Young Women with Breast Cancer Program.

Mylin A. Torres, MD

Dr. Torres is an Associate Professor in the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology. She specializes in the treatment of breast cancer and is the co-leader of the Cancer Prevention Control Research Program of Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University. Her research program is dedicated to understanding the biology underlying treatment-related side effects, including chronic inflammation and cancer-related fatigue in breast cancer patients. Dr. Torres has received highly competitive grants from the National Cancer Institute, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Susan G. Komen, Avon Foundation, NCCN, Pfizer Oncology, and Winship Cancer Institute to support her research and efforts to improve disparities among African-American patients. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Torres graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and received her medical degree from Stanford University before completing her training in radiation oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Liaison Representative Organizations

Page last reviewed: November 20, 2019