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For Immediate Release: March 6, 2009
Association of Community Cancer Centers to Honor Arizona Oncology Nurse Susan Leigh
ROCKVILLE, Md.—Susan Leigh, RN, BSN, will be honored with the Association of Community Cancer Centers’ Annual Achievement Award for her long-standing advocacy, dedication, and commitment to quality cancer survivorship services and education. Ms. Leigh is a founding member and past president of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS). She also initiated the formation of both the Nurse Survivors Focus Group and the Survivorship Special Interest Group within the Oncology Nursing Society.
The award will be presented to Ms. Leigh on Friday, March 20, 2009, at the Awards Luncheon during ACCC’s 35th Annual National Meeting at the Potomac National Harbor, Md.
Currently, Ms. Leigh works as a cancer survivorship consultant, and focuses on long-term and late effects of disease and therapy. Besides surviving Hodgkin's lymphoma, she has also been treated for breast and bladder cancers.
Ms. Leigh is an advocate for cancer clinical research studies at both local and national levels. Locally, she serves as a consumer advocate at the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson. Nationally, she sits on committees at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and has been a member of CARRA (Consumer Advocates in Research Related Activities) since its inception. Her current work with NCI includes co-chairing the newly formed Patient Advocate Steering Committee.
She has been actively involved with Sunstone Cancer Support Centers, a community-based outreach program in Southern Arizona. She also coordinates Life Beyond Cancer, a national women’s retreat at Miraval Life in Balance outside Tucson.
After receiving her degree in nursing from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ms. Leigh served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and completed a tour of duty in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, in 1971. Soon after her return from Vietnam, she was diagnosed and treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This experience influenced her decision to enter oncology nursing where she worked with various clinical research teams at the University of Arizona from 1976 to 1989.
Ms. Leigh joins a long list of distinguished past recipients of ACCC’s Annual Achievement Award that includes pioneering researcher Judah Folkman, MD; Harmon J. Eyre, MD, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society; H. Lee. Moffitt, an innovator and advocate of community access to clinical trials; and Harold P. Freeman, MD, an early advocate and creator of patient navigation programs.