current boardBreast Cancer Action is led by a volunteer Board of Directors, a remarkable group of people who set the vision for BCAction and lead the organization by determining organizational policy, assuring the organization’s financial security, and representing BCAction’s views to the world at large. A small, hardworking, and incredibly able staff make the board’s vision a reality.

We’re recruiting new members now – find out about joining BCAction’s Board of Directors.

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Abigail AronsSecretary

Abigail Arons, MPH, is a research associate at the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, both at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Her work focuses on social and behavioral aspects of reproductive health, including teen pregnancy prevention and access to sexual health education and services. She has worked at UCSF for over 10 years, conducting program evaluation and policy research. 

Abigail was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2009, at age 31. While she has a family history of breast cancer, and always knew the possibility that she or one of her sisters might develop breast cancer, it was still a shock. Throughout her experience of treatment, she educated herself about treatment options, worked with her doctors to make decisions that felt informed by both science and her own values, and provided and received support from peers in a local breast cancer group. Through informal and formal networks, she continues to be amazed at the frequency of breast cancer diagnoses among young women, and inspired by the strength with which each newly diagnosed woman faces the disease.

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Lori Baralt

Lori is an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach where she teaches courses on women’s health and sexuality, women and environmental justice, reproductive justice, and feminist methodology. 

Lori holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and her dissertation addressed the potential negative results of Komen’s and Avon’s global expansion, which emphasizes individual behaviors and corporate advocacy over disease prevention and health equity. Additional research has looked at advocate/scientist collaboration, environmental links to breast cancer, and approaches to breast cancer activism. Her current research focuses primarily on breast cancer and the environment. She is deeply committed to advocating for the prevention of breast cancer through the promotion of the Precautionary Principle and chemical policy reform. 

Since moving to Long Beach three years ago, she has been actively building relationships with local organizations that focus on reproductive and environmental justice issues.

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Beverly Canin, Vice Chair

Beverly was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2000.  She became aware of the importance of breast cancer advocacy early on because she found that so much conflicting information fueled by many different agendas made it very difficult for a person to make sense of it all. She was introduced to Breast Cancer Action in 2002.  Beverly had recently completed an Avon 3-Day Walk and was angered because she felt that the company’s advertisements about where the money was going were misleading and there was no community input.  Motivated to take action, Beverly joined an ad-hoc coalition led by BCA, Follow the Money: An Alliance for Accountability in Breast Cancer.

Beverly’s advocacy commitment has been extensive and consistent.  She is vice president of Breast Cancer Options, Inc. (BCO), a survivor-driven, community-based breast cancer support, education and advocacy organization in the Mid-Hudson Valley, NY.  She is secretary of the New York State Breast Cancer Network and the New York State Breast Cancer Support and Education Network.  A graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund’s Project LEAD, she has served as a consumer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and as an advocate reviewer for the California Breast Cancer Research Program.  She is a member of the New York State Department of Health, Health Research Science Board (HRSB) and the federally-mandated NIEHS-NCI Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC).

Beverly worked many years in non-profit administration, including as a consultant for program development and evaluation.

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Karen Klein 
 
Karen has lived in the Bay Area for many years and has significant experience working with community-based organizations on social justice issues. At the Mental Health Association of San Francisco, Karen was responsible for convening diverse groups and motivating action toward a common goal: safe, independent living for those with mental disabilities. Prior to that she had been with HomeBase, a Center for Homelessness Policy, then based at Public Advocates, a nonprofit law firm in San Francisco; and a consultant to Bay Area foundations.
 
While raising her family, Karen volunteered at her children’s school and developed a support group for parents of unique learners, successfully advocated for a new staff position for a learning specialist, and later took on the lead role in the school library program. Karen also worked with the Immigration Legal Resource Center, as a volunteer consultant, designing and implementing a rapid response system to assist those swept up in Bay Area raids and calling for national policy changes. Karen has previously served on two boards of directors, for local and state-wide policy and advocacy groups. She earned her BA from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she was part of creating the Women’s Studies major, and her JD from Stanford University Law School, where she co-chaired the Women of Stanford Law.  
 
Like all of us, Karen feels she has had an unacceptable number of personal colleagues, friends and relatives who have had or currently suffer from breast cancer.  Her work has long been about addressing social, economic and political inequities. Joining the Board of BCAction is another way of addressing these issues and is especially dedicated to those women. 
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Ngina Lythcott
 
Ngina served as a dean of students at Dartmouth and Swarthmore Colleges, and Columbia and Boston Universities for more than 20 years, retiring in 2011. She holds an M.A. in Clinical Social Work, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Public Health, and has done extensive community organizing for health promotion/disease prevention in African American urban, Latino urban and rural white communities. Her current advocacy work includes breast cancer liaison for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, founding member of Consumers Unified for Evidence Based Health Care, a seat on the Governing Board  of the Intercultural Cancer Council, and a seat on the Integration Panel of the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. She is also currently on the Simmons College Board of Trustees.
 
Ngina has a long history of dedication to social justice, particularly as it relates to the health care needs and health disparities of America’s disenfranchised communities. She is especially concerned about how exposure to carcinogens has impacted the incidence, prevalence, specific diagnosis of, and premature mortality due to breast cancer. 
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Julie Morgan
 
Julie Morgan started her career in nursing in 1996 at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation after graduating from Case Western Reserve University.  She continued to practice hospital-based medical/surgical nursing in Fresno, Columbus, Denver, Houston, Seattle, Berkeley and San Francisco. She has been working at UCSF since 2003.  Through the years she has yearned for complementary and integrative therapies to be the standard of care in her patients. She had also started to wonder who among her peers would be diagnosed with breast cancer given the epidemic rates of diagnosis. She became one of the breast cancer statistics in 2011 at the age of 37.  Although a trying experience, she felt extremely fortunate to have an overwhelming amount of support and kept herself extremely busy during treatment incorporating a variety of healing modalities. She wishes every cancer patient had the financial, emotional, and physical support that she had. Early in treatment she attended a BCAction movie screening of Pink Ribbons, Inc. and knew she found the voice she wanted to listen to in the breast cancer movement. She contacted BCAction shortly after and began volunteering in the office before joining the Board of Directors.  
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Belle Shayer, Emeritus

Belle Shayer turned from breast cancer patient to breast cancer advocate after her second bout with breast cancer in 1988. She is a founder of BCA, was the organization’s first treasurer, and has served on the board of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Belle is an active member of BCA’s Speakers’ Bureau, and currently serves as well on the Board of the State of California Women’s Health Council. Belle is self-employed as a bookkeeper/accountant and private conservator.

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Elana Silver

Elana Silver is an epidemiologist with over 15 years of experience working in environmental and genetic health research and practice in the biotech industry, government health agencies, and academia.  Currently she works as a consultant specializing in innovative approaches to improving health care delivery.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, knitting, and spending time with her husband, young son, and two old dogs.

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Lee Ann Slinkard, Treasurer

Lee Ann is a senior vice president, services, for Accela, a company that provides software solutions to government agencies, in San Ramon. She has a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University.

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Tracy Weitz, President

Tracy Weitz, PhD, MPA, is the Director of the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) program and Associate Director for Public Policy at the National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, both at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  She holds a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the UCSF School of Medicine and the Department of Social and Behavioral Science in UCSF School of Nursing.  Tracy has a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in health care from Missouri State University and a doctoral degree in sociology from the UCSF.

Tracy’s passion is for those aspects of women’s health which are marginalized either for ideological reasons, or because the populations affected lack the means or mechanisms to have their concerns raised.  Her current research focuses on innovative strategies to expand abortion provision in the U.S. and new models for addressing the gap in research related to Asian and Pacific Islander women.  She serves on the EJ-RJ Collaborative of the California Women’s Foundation, exploring the intersection of environmental justice and reproductive justice.  She also serves on the California Women’s Health Council, an advisory body to the California Departments of Public Health and Health Care Services.  In 2008 Tracy received the Felicia Stewart award from the Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health section of the American Public Health Association.  Tracy previously served on the board of the National Women’s History Project and the California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (CARAL, now NARAL Pro-Choice California) and is a current Board Member of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California as well as Breast Cancer Action.

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Jasmaine Williams

Jasmaine Williams is a PhD candidate in Cancer Biology at Stanford University. She also completed a Masters’ degree in Medicine in March 2012. Her dissertation research focuses on understanding the mechanism for vitamin D’s inhibitory effect on breast cancer progression and metastasis. After witnessing friends and family experience the tragedy of cancer, Jasmaine hopes to use her academic research in parallel with community engagement to understand and eliminate health inequities in breast cancer. Since moving to California in 2010, Jasmaine has volunteered for organizations that strive to educate and engage communities of color to improve outcomes for underserved populations. She plans to continue this work as a member of the Board of Directors for BC Action. 

 

In her free time, she enjoys attending spin and yoga classes, trying new recipes, and exploring the Bay Area.