Prevent Cancer Foundation to celebrate leaders in the fight against cancer at Laurels Awards during annual Dialogue conference


Kyra Meister

Alexandra, Va. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® will present the 2022 Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Laurels Awards to four recipients on June 9 at the 24th Prevent Cancer Dialogue conference, where this year’s theme is: Advancing health equity through innovation. The Foundation created the Laurels in 2003 to recognize and celebrate innovators and leaders in the fight against cancer.

The awards are presented annually in partnership with the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. The Laurels Awards will be emceed by entertainer, producer, survivor and Prevent Cancer advocate Tim Kavanagh. This year’s Laurels recipients include Candace Henley, CPN; Robert A. Winn, M.D.; Edith P. Mitchell, M.D., MACP, FCPP, FRCP; and Karen Peterson, Ph.D.

Candace Henley, CPN, recipient of the Laurel for Dedication to Community Service, is the Founder and Chief Surviving Officer of the Blue Hat Foundation, Inc. Candace has over 17 years of advocacy experience in colorectal cancer prevention, education and support. Her battle with colorectal cancer inspired her to start the Blue Hat Foundation in 2015, a community-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting minority and underserved communities with information about and free screening for colorectal cancer through partnerships with healthcare providers, hospital systems and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). In addition to her work at the Blue Hat Foundation, Candace is an adjunct lecturer at the Northwestern University Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, Psychosocial Issues in Genetic Counseling II course and Anti-Racism in Clinical and Translational Science MSCI course.

Recipient of the Laurel for Increasing Health Equity, Robert A. Winn, M.D. is the director of VCU Massey Cancer Center. He oversees the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center that provides advanced cancer care, conducts groundbreaking research to discover new therapies for cancer, offers high-quality education and training and engages with the community to make advancements in cancer treatment and prevention equally available to all. Dr. Winn is leading the nation in establishing a 21st-century model of equity for cancer science and care, in which the community is informing and partnering with the Massey Cancer Center on its research to best address the cancer burden and disparities of those the cancer center serves, with a local focus but global impact.

Edith P. Mitchell, M.D., MACP, FCPP, FRCP is the recipient of the Laurel for National Leadership. Dr. Mitchell is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and is the Clinical Professor of Medicine and Medical Oncology at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Associate Director for Diversity Programs and Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities for Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. A member of the President’s Cancer Panel, Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas and has demonstrated the importance of community service and outreach, especially to underserved populations.

A Special Award for Outstanding Commitment will be presented to Karen Peterson, Ph.D. Dr. Peterson has a deep background in social science applications to health and medicine. Before retiring from the Prevent Cancer Foundation in early 2022, Dr. Peterson was vice president of programs and oversaw mission-driven cancer prevention and early detection programs in research, education and community outreach. Under her leadership for nearly two decades, signature Foundation programs, including the Prevent Cancer Dialogue and ¡Celebremos la Vida!, grew in stature. Dr. Peterson dedicated her career to ensuring all Foundation programs addressed health inequities and championed ‘telling the story’ of the Foundation’s substantial contributions to cancer prevention and early detection. Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Peterson was head of educational development and evaluation for disease prevention education at the American National Red Cross and served on the sociology faculties of Drake University (with tenure) and Georgetown University.

For a complete list of past Laurels awardees, visit the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s website.


About the Prevent Cancer Foundation® 

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated.

The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.

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