Roster of the Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women

Executive Secretary

Committee Management Specialist

Kimberly E. Smith, MBA, MHA
Designated Federal Official

Office of Policy, Partnerships, and Communication
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Highway NE, MS S107-4
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone: 404-498-0073
Fax: 770-488-4760

Carolyn P.R. Headley, MSPH, CGMP
Public Health Analyst

Office of Policy, Partnerships, and Communication
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
4770 Buford Highway NE, MS S107-4
Atlanta, GA 30341
Phone: 770-488-4237
Fax: 770-488-4760


Cristina M. Checka, MD

Associate Professor
Breast Surgical Oncology
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
League City, TX 77573
Term: May 17, 2021 to November 30, 2024

Dr. Cristina M. Checka is an assistant professor in the Department of Breast Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She works within a community-based practice that is uniquely positioned in the longitudinal care of young women. Dr. Checka’s day-to-day work involves breast cancer risk assessment and reduction, survivorship, and the surgical treatment of breast cancer. Her clinical interests include management of women with an increased risk of and with breast cancer. Dr. Checka has worked closely with young, underserved breast cancer patients in urban settings, as well as rural patients with the unique burden of travel time and costs. Dr. Checka earned her medical degree from Michigan State University, completed her residency in general surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and her breast surgical oncology fellowship in 2008 at New York University.


Heather Caro, MBA-HM, BSN

Alliance Manager
Caris Life Sciences
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
Term: May 13, 2021 to November 30, 2022

Ms. Heather Caro is an alliance manager with Caris Life Sciences. She is a registered nurse with experience in intensive care, cardiology research, and the pharmaceutical industry, and is a freelance writer. Despite more than 15 years of experience as a nurse, her most valuable resource has been as a patient, having been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2012 at age 32. Since completing her treatment, she has dedicated herself to helping others through advocacy. She serves as Idaho state lead for the Young Survival Coalition and as a consumer reviewer with the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

Ashley Dedmon, MPH, CHES®

Breast Cancer Patient and Research Advocate
Manvel, TX
Term: April 1, 2022 to November 30, 2025

Ms. Ashley Dedmon is a native Houstonian. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Community Health from Prairie View A&M University. She also earned a master of public health from Florida A&M University. She is a certified health education specialist and holds a Lean Six Sigma green belt. Ashley has a diverse and multisectoral career background ranging from non-profit, education, health care, policy, and government. Her experience has positioned her with unique business acumen. Ashley is a BRCA2+ previvor and was a teen caregiver of two parents with cancer. During her journey, she authored The Big Discovery, a children’s book that guides families through a breast cancer diagnosis. Ashley is a research advocate with Houston Methodist Research Institute and a member of the National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health Physical Sciences-Oncology Advocacy Network, and the Penn Medicine: Basser Center for BRCA Young Leadership Council. She volunteers with the Tigerlily Foundation on various health equity initiatives, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) as a peer navigator, and Angels Surviving Cancer. Ms. Dedmon serves on a myriad of related workgroups and committees and has presented at institutions such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Yale University, Houston Methodist Research Institute, and CURE® Education. Her greatest accomplishment is being a wife to her husband and a mother to their two children. When she is not working, she loves to spend time with family, work out, and spin.

Jana E. Halaby, MBA

Senior Director, Corporate Strategy
La Jolla, CA 92037
Term: May 12, 2021 to November 30, 2022

Ms. Jana Halaby is the senior director of corporate strategy at Illumina. She has more than 15 years of strategy, marketing, and brand building experience across an array of industries, giving her a unique perspective on various issues. Her experience across the health care system includes optimizing operations in major health systems, advancing disease self-management through education, and developing and interpreting research to design oncology support programs. Ms. Halaby is also a breast cancer survivor who has a passion for self-advocacy. Her approach to informing herself and others is rooted in a combination of data, evidence, and compassion.

Arin Ahlum Hanson, MPH, CHES

Director of Outreach
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Bala Cynwyd, PA
Term: April 4, 2022 to November 30, 2025

Ms. Arin Ahlum Hanson directs Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s strategy for engagement and outreach to under-resourced and special populations, health care providers, and volunteers. As LBBC’s director of outreach, she manages LBBC’s Young Women’s Initiative, which provides educational programs, resources, and support services to women diagnosed with breast cancer before age 45 and educational offerings to health care providers who serve this unique patient population. Ms. Ahlum Hanson is an experienced non-profit program director with 17 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating public health programming for under-resourced populations. She has worked at Living Beyond Breast Cancer since 2009. She lives a dual city and country life by living in West Philadelphia and rural Maryland, with her husband and son.

Samantha Lynn Heller, PhD, MD, FSBI

Associate Professor of Radiology
Perlmutter Cancer Center
New York University School of Medicine
New York, NY
Term: March 31, 2022 to November 30, 2025

Dr. Samantha Lynn Heller is an associate professor of radiology in the Breast Imaging section at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. She is committed to improving screening outcomes and utilization as well as breast imaging specificity. Dr. Heller is the associate section chief of breast imaging and a director for radiology quality and safety at NYU Langone Health. Dr. Heller graduated from Harvard College and received her doctorate in English literature at Columbia University. She obtained her medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical School followed by an internship at Memorial Sloan Kettering and radiology residency and fellowship training at NYU. After fellowship, she worked as a breast radiologist in the United Kingdom in the National Health South West London Breast Cancer Screening Service before joining the faculty of NYU School of Medicine.

Michael A. Howard, MD

Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
Northwestern Medicine
Division of Plastic Surgery
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Term: May 14, 2021 to November 30, 2024

Dr. Michael A. Howard is the clinical associate professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Northwestern Medicine. He is a board-certified plastic surgeon. His practice focuses on reconstructive and aesthetic breast surgery. Dr. Howard’s innovative techniques and experience with reconstruction following nipple-sparing mastectomy led to an invitation to co-lead a recurring instructional course for plastic surgeons on this topic at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ annual meeting. Dr. Howard devotes significant time to education and clinical research. Outside of his medical practice, in keeping with his family’s own experience with breast cancer and the breast cancer (BRCA) gene, Dr. Howard serves on the medical expert panel at Bright Pink, an organization focused on young women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

Leigh Hurst

Founder and Executive Director
Feel Your Boobies Foundation®
Harrisburg, PA
Term: May 13, 2021 to November 30, 2024

Ms. Leigh Hurst is the founder and executive director of the Feel Your Boobies Foundation. She is a recognized leader in breast cancer advocacy and a noted social entrepreneur. She is a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed at age 33. Her organization, founded in 2004, was the first to focus on the innovative use of technology and social media to promote proactive breast health in young women. Ms. Hurst is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of design experience and a deep expertise in eLearning, business, and management consulting. She has a unique pedagogical understanding of both cognitive and behavioral learning sciences and their application to technology solutions that create behavior change.

Maryam B. Lustberg, MD, MPH

Associate Professor
Yale School of Public Health
Department of Internal Medicine
Yale Cancer Center
New Haven, CT
Term: April 18, 2022 to November 30, 2025

Dr. Maryam B. Lustberg is a breast medical oncologist. She serves as chief of breast oncology and director of the Breast Center at Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut. She is the co-chair of symptom intervention for Alliance Clinical Trials and president of MASCC, an international organization devoted to improving cancer supportive care. She treats men and women with all stages of breast cancer with a focus on personalizing all aspects of cancer care. Dr. Lustberg received her medical degree from the University of Maryland, where she completed her residency. She completed a fellowship in medical oncology and breast medical oncology at Ohio State University before joining the faculty in 2010. She earned a master’s degree in public health from Ohio State University in 2013.

Rebecca Muñoz, MPH, CHES®

Breast Cancer Survivor and Patient Advocate
Del Valle, TX
Term: March 31, 2022 to November 30, 2023

Ms. Rebecca Muñoz is a young adult breast cancer survivor, diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in 2017. As she approached her treatment, she experienced many barriers as she attempted to receive cold capping to preserve her hair—and her identity—during her chemotherapy. In 2018, she founded Chemotherapy Cold Cappers, the first global peer-to-peer network to support individuals and their loved ones using scalp cooling methods while undergoing chemotherapy. Ms. Muñoz is passionate about serving the cancer community and her work focuses on patient research and advocacy. She holds a master of public health degree from Baylor University and a bachelor of arts in organizational and corporate communication from the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2021, she participated in the Éxito Latino Cancer Research Leadership Training by the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio. She is pursuing her EdD degree in learning and organizational change with a focus on patient education at Baylor University. She also serves on the Livestrong Cancer Institutes’ young adult and community cancer advisory boards.

Heather Ochs-Balcom, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
University at Buffalo, School of Public Health and Health Professions
Buffalo, NY
Term: May 12, 2021 to November 30, 2023

Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University at Buffalo, School of Public Health and Health Professions. She has an active research program characterizing how genes contribute to disparities in breast cancer risk for African American women. She has published on her experiences with minority recruitment to cancer epidemiology studies and has been recognized for these efforts. Dr. Ochs-Balcom is committed to the study of cancer health disparities and shedding light on how inherited and behavioral factors contribute to breast cancer risk. She is an outstanding independent researcher whose work is centered on the genetic epidemiology of cancer, particularly breast cancer, with a focus on health disparities.

Melissa A. Peters, CPO, MSPO

Survivor, Founder, Executive Director
Young Breast Cancer Project
Sisters, OR
Term: March 31, 2022 to November 30, 2024

Ms. Melissa A. Peters is a breast cancer survivor, founder, and executive director of the 501(c)3 Young Breast Cancer Project. At 34, with no family history of disease, Ms. Peters faced a delayed diagnosis of 11 months while pregnant. Her primary care physician, obstetrician, and radiologist did not express concerns about her breast health. Four days before giving birth, she was diagnosed with stage IIB invasive ductal carcinoma, and soon learned that she has the BRCA1 gene. While in treatment, she started photographing other young women to raise awareness. Through this work, titled the Breast Cancer Portrait Project, Ms. Peters captured 100 diagnosis stories of adolescent and young adult breast cancer. Her efforts have evolved into community-based research to quantify why women are slipping through the cracks.

Nicole B. Saphier, MD

Director of Breast Imaging
Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Monmouth
Department of Radiology
Middletown, NJ
Term: May 14, 2018 to November 30, 2022

Dr. Nicole B. 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 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.

Rebecca Seago-Coyle

Breast Cancer Survivor
Bend, OR
Term: May 12, 2021 to November 30, 2022

Ms. Rebecca Seago-Coyle is an advocate for breast cancer research. She began advocating for breast cancer patients and breast cancer research after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2010 at age 35. She has collaborated with talented and motivated research investigators, and her intention is to represent the overall patient perspective. Her professional experience as a project manager, combined with her survivor status, gives her a unique background that naturally lends itself to research and patient advocacy. Her goal is to further her contribution through research as well as the design and implementation that brings the best research to the clinic to benefit patients.

Joyce Tannenbaum Turner, MS, CGC

Director, Cancer Genetic Counseling Program
Children’s National Medical Center
Washington, DC 20010
Term: April 20, 2018 to November 30, 2022

Ms. Turner is a board-certified genetic counselor with more than 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 age 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.

Ex-Officio Members

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality


Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health


Health Resources and Services Administration
Nancy Mautone-Smith, MSW, LCSW

Ms. Nancy Mautone-Smith is the director of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Office of Women’s Health. In this role, she leads cross-agency initiatives and consultations to advance the health, safety, and well-being of women served by HRSA programs. She oversees activities and initiatives that support the prevention of intimate partner and interpersonal violence, care coordination for women with opioid use disorder, and advancing cervical health within HRSA settings of care. Ms. Smith previously served as the deputy director of the Office of Women’s Health from 2016 to 2020. Prior to coming to HRSA, she served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population Affairs Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, where she led service delivery program activities of the Title X family planning program. She also worked at the Region 9 Office of the Regional Health Administrator, where she oversaw Title X family planning programs throughout the region. In particular, she enjoyed developing and bringing in-person training and technical assistance to award recipients in the Pacific Region, including Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. A graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, Ms. Smith received the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for her noteworthy contributions to the social work profession. She retired from the U.S. Public Health Service in 2020 after a career spanning 20 years. Ms. Smith is also a proud Air Force veteran and served as a clinical social worker within mental health and family maltreatment programs at Travis Air Force Base and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Indian Health Service


National Institutes of Health
Jung-Min Lee, MD

Dr. Jung-Min Lee is the assistant clinical investigator in the Women’s Malignancies Branch of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Lee is a graduate of Yonsei University, Wonju College of Medicine in South Korea. She completed residency training in internal medicine at Albert Einstein Medical College, followed by a clinical research fellowship on breast cancer functional imaging at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Lee came to the National Cancer Institute for medical oncology training in the Medical Oncology Branch. Subsequently, she joined the Molecular Signaling Section/Women’s Cancers Clinic to investigate potential biomarkers and develop rational combinations of targeted therapies for rare subsets of women’s cancers. Dr. Lee maintains her clinical focus in the development of early clinical trials for ovarian cancer and rare subsets of women’s cancers, such as BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with ovarian and/or breast cancers, or women with triple-negative breast cancer. Dr. Lee is a member of the Gynecologic Oncology Group, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society for Clinical Oncology, and the Breast and Gynecologic Malignancies Faculty of the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research.

Liaison Representatives

American Cancer Society


American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Myrlene Jeudy, MD

Assistant Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology
American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
1250 East Marshall Street, 6th Floor
P.O. Box 980034
Richmond, VA 23298
Phone: 804-828-7877
Fax: 804-628-3585

Black Women’s Health Imperative

Lisa N. Kline

Vice President, Marketing & Communications
40 E. Montgomery Avenue, 4th Floor
Ardmore, PA 19003
Phone: 610-642-6550
Fax: 610-642-6559

Bright Pink
Lindsay Avner

Founder and Chairman of the Board
Bright Pink
2045 W Grand Avenue
Suite B #54599
Chicago, IL 60612-1577
Phone: 312-787-4412

FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
Verinda Hobbs

Partnership Strategy Manager
FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
16057 Tampa Palms Boulevard. W., PMB #373
Tampa, FL 33647
Phone: 954-255-8732

Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Arin Ahlum Hanson, MPH, CHES

Current Committee Member

The National Patient Advocate Foundation
Shonta Chambers, MSW

Executive Vice President, Health Equity Initiatives and Programs
Patient Advocate Foundation
421 Butler Farm Road
Hampton, VA 72366
Phone: 757-952-2544
Fax: 757-952-2533

Adina Fleischmann, LSW, OSW-C

Chief Services Officer
1086 Teaneck Road, Site 2G
Teaneck, NJ 07666
Phone: 201-833-2341
Fax: 201-837-5025

Sisters Network, Inc.


Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Susan Brown, MS, RN

Senior Director, Education & Patient Support
Susan G. Komen
5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 526
Dallas, TX 75244
Phone: 972-855-1635

Tigerlily Foundation
Maimah S. Karmo

Chief Executive Officer
Tigerlily Foundation
11654 Plaza America Drive, #725
Reston, VA 20190
Phone: 888-580-6253
Fax: 703-663-9844

Young Survival Coalition
Jennifer Merschdorf, MBA

Chief Executive Officer
Young Survival Coalition
80 Broad Street, Suite 1700
New York, NY 10004
Phone: 646-257-3001
Fax: 646-257-3030