Media Advisory: Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur to share personal cancer story and talk about the importance of HPV vaccination

Media Advisory: Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur to share personal cancer story and talk about the importance of HPV vaccination


Contact: Brian Franklin 

Tony Award Winner Marissa Jaret Winokur to Highlight Need for HPV Vaccination and Screening at Tennessee Cancer Consortium’s 2017 Cancer Conference

Nashville, TN – Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur will deliver the keynote speech and share her personal story about developing cervical cancer at the young age of 27 during the Tennessee Cancer Consortium’s Annual Cancer Conference to be held July 20 in Nashville. Now cancer-free, Winokur is committed to spreading the word about the link between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer, and the importance of getting vaccinated and screened.

Winokur is a national spokesperson for Think About the Link®, an education campaign developed by the Prevent Cancer Foundation® to increase awareness of the connection between certain viruses and cancer. She is best known for her Tony Award- winning role as Tracy Turnblad in the hit Broadway musical “Hairspray.”  Winokur was co-host of the CBS talk-show “The Talk,” competed on “Dancing with the Stars,” and has appeared in several other television shows and movies.

The Tennessee Cancer Consortium’s Annual Cancer Conference, featuring health care experts from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Tennessee Department of Health, will bring together 300 volunteers and leaders in the cancer community to share ideas and develop strategies to reduce the cancer burden in the state.

The morning portion of the conference, held in collaboration with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, will highlight the Think About the Link® campaign followed by afternoon sessions on advocacy, women’s health, tobacco, affordable health care, palliative care and cancer support services.


  • Marissa Jaret Winokur, Tony Award winner, Think About the Link® spokesperson
  • Carolyn R. Aldigé, president and founder, Prevent Cancer Foundation®
  • Kelly Moore, M.D., Director of the Tennessee Immunization Program at the Tennessee Department of Health 
  • Ronald Alvarez, M.D., Chairman and Clinical Service Chief, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Betty and Lonnie S. Burnett Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Pam Hull, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Krystle Lang Kuhs, Ph.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Otolaryngology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

All reporters interested in an interview with Marissa Winokur MUST contact Brian Franklin in advance at 


Millennium Maxwell House Hotel & Conference Center
2025 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37228                      


Thursday, July 20, 2017
8:30 A.M. – 6:30 P.M.


  • Too few people understand the link between certain viruses and cancers. About 91 percent of cervical cancers are caused by HPV, but the virus can also cause vulva, vaginal, penile and anal cancers as well as cancers of the head, neck and throat.
  • Every year, more than 12,000 women and men are diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV.
  • 62 percent of parents agree their pediatricians have not stressed the importance of vaccinating their children against HPV.

For conference registration:           

About Think About the Link®

Think About the Link® focuses on three viruses that can lead to cancer: HPV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The campaign travels the country to increase awareness of the link between viruses and cancer, increase immunization rates for HPV and hepatitis B, and increase awareness of and access to treatment for hepatitis C. The ultimate goal of Think About the Link® is to prevent virally-induced cancers.