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Ana Sanchez-Birkhead

University of Utah School of Nursing
Co-chair

Position Description: The Co-chair presides at all general meetings of UCAN and the UCAN Executive Committee. The Co-chair provides a coalition status report, including actions of the Executive Committee, during the UCAN quarterly general meetings. Co-chairs also ensure the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) is fulfilling its purpose, mission, and vision as defined in the UCAN bylaws.

Dr. Ana C. Sanchez-Birkhead was born in Costa Rica and raised in Northern California. She received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco. She is a nationally certified Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and an Associate Professor at the University of Utah. Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead is a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and NCI Cancer Control Scholar. She has served as a nurse and clinician for 20 years caring primarily for Hispanic/Latino families. She is involved in many community efforts that aim at eliminating health disparities and advocating for social justice. Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead is President of the Hispanic Health Care Task Force, Council member for Region VIII Health Equity Council, President of the Unidos en Utah Chapter of the Hispanic Nurses Association, and Director of Social Media and Communications for the National Latina Researchers Network. Dr. Sanchez-Birkhead is a mother, wife, and “young” grandmother and is the first in her family to earn a PhD. She enjoys hiking, swimming, dancing, reading, and mentoring young people who have a desire to go to college.


Craig Nichols

Intermountain Healthcare
Co-chair

Position Description: The Co-chair presides at all general meetings of UCAN and the UCAN Executive Committee. The Co-chair provides a coalition status report, including actions of the Executive Committee, during the UCAN quarterly general meetings. Co-chairs also ensure the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) is fulfilling its purpose, mission, and vision as defined in the UCAN bylaws.

Dr Craig Nichols recently joined Intermountain Health Care to direct the Precision Genomics Cancer Research Clinic. Dr. Nichols did his medical oncology training at Indiana University and remained on the faculty there for 15 years with clinical specialization in testicular cancer and lymphoma. He then was recruited back to his native Oregon where he was the division chief of hematology/oncology at OHSU and vice chair of the NCI-designated OHSU Cancer Center (now the Knight Cancer Center). Subsequently, he has experience in community-based institutions and was the PI for the Providence NCCCP application and currently the PI of the Cancer Care Delivery Research component of the NW NCORP (CCDR component now resides at Intermountain Healthcare). He serves as the executive officer for SWOG with responsibilities for digital engagement, member engagement, adolescent and young adult oncology and NCORP affairs. He was recently elected to the ASCO board and is a member of the ASCO executive committee and serves as ASCO’s treasurer.


Garrett Harding

Huntsman Cancer Institute
Implementation Team Chair – Skin Cancer

Position Description: Implementation Team Chairs outreach to and convene organizations interested in implementing the Utah Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan (State Cancer Plan).

Garrett Harding, BS, is the Outreach Coordinator of the Community Outreach and Prevention Education program at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. His program educates the public about cancer risk, screening, and prevention throughout Utah and the Intermountain West. In addition to his position on the UCAN executive committee, he is an active member of USOPHE and SOPHE, speaks fluent Spanish, and is a trained patient navigator and certified tobacco cessation facilitator. His interests include community-based education, social marketing, skin cancer, tobacco prevention and control, and lifestyle factors related to primary prevention and cancer risk.


Shay Bilinski

American Cancer Society
Implementation Team Chair – Cancer Screening

Position Description: Implementation Team Chairs outreach to and convene organizations interested in implementing the Utah Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan (State Cancer Plan).

Shay Bilinski, M.P.A. is a Senior Manager for Primary Care Systems at the American Cancer Society, Inc where she is grateful to belong to a team dedicated to working within health systems to promote cancer prevention and early detection throughout the North Region with a focus on CO, ID, MT, UT, and WY. Most recently, Shay served as a Health Systems Manager for Primary Care and State Based Systems, working with external partners to implement public health strategies to reduce health inequity and cancer mortality in Utah’s communities. Shay’s office is based in Salt Lake City and can be found in the new Hope Lodge facility that serves as a home away from home for patients and their caretakers when undergoing cancer treatment. Prior to joining ACS in 2015, Shay was the Director of Health Programs for the American Indian Community House in New York City; one of 33 Urban Indian Health Program sites in the Indian Health Service system dedicated to improving and promoting the health and wellbeing of urban American Indians. Shay continues her work with urban American Indians in Utah by serving on the Board of Directors for the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake and is a member of the Quality Improvement Committee. Shay is from the Ramah Navajo community in Pine Hill, New Mexico. She graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in community health. In 2009, Shay received her M.P.A. in health policy and management from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.


Kendra Babitz

Utah Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
Implementation Team Chair – Physical Activity and Nutrition

Position Description: Implementation Team Chairs outreach to and convene organizations interested in implementing the Utah Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan (State Cancer Plan).

Kendra Babitz, MPP, currently works as the Health Program Policy Specialist with the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program at the Utah Department of Health.  In this position, she coordinates policy, systems, and environmental change approaches to reduce the burden of chronic disease in Utah. Kendra has a Masters in Public Policy, and believes the way to achieve sustainable, population-level impact on chronic disease is through effective policy change. During her three years at the Department of Health, she has focused her efforts on providing opportunities for active lifestyles to people of all ages, improving healthy food access, reducing barriers to preventative screening services, and developing a health policy tracking database for Utah policies.


John Librett

Survivor Healthcare
Implementation Team Chair – Survivorship and Quality of Life

Position Description: Implementation Team Chairs outreach to and convene organizations interested in implementing the Utah Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Plan (State Cancer Plan).

As a cancer survivor, Dr. Librett is a past member of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Public Health Advisory Board, Clinical Director of the American Medical Athletic Association’s Clinical Advisory Board and past chair of a White House Federal Interagency Health Council. Dr. Librett’s health policy research has appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, World News Tonight, and NPR’s Morning Edition, to name a few. Dr. Librett is currently Executive Chairman of the Cancer Wellness House, Founder and CEO of Survivor Healthcare, Founder and CEO of Private Medical Research, and Adjunct Professor with the University of Utah, College of Health.


Kim Herget

Utah Cancer Registry
Utah Cancer Registry Representative

Position Description: The Data and Evaluation Chair oversees the UCAN Data and Evaluation Subgroup. This position is responsible for understanding and meeting the data needs of the coalition and assisting members in project evaluation.

Kim Herget, MStat, is a biostatistician at the Utah Cancer Registry. She graduated with a Master’s in Statistics from the University of Utah, and started working at the Utah Cancer Registry in 2008.  As a biostatistician, she assists researchers, public health professionals, and community members understand the impacts of cancer on our population. Her research interests include following trends in incidence and survival for the state of Utah and the U.S. to help better inform cancer control efforts for our state.


Jeff Yancey

Huntsman Cancer Institute
Conference Planning Chair

Position Description: The Conference Planning Chair is responsible for responsible for the planning and coordination of the annual UCAN conference.


Brad Belnap

Utah Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
Utah Comprehensive Cancer Control Representative

Position Description: The Comprehensive Cancer Control Representative ensures the coalition has a defined purpose that meets the requirements of the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.

Brad manages the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program within the Utah Department of Health. There, he strives to build successful policy, systems, and environmental change approaches to reduce the burden of cancer in Utah.  While chronic diseases are complex problems, he believes that poor health is the result of social determinants and can be solved through effective public policy. Brad’s education and experience bring this unique perspective to the public health world.  Brad has a Masters in Public Policy with an emphasis in environmental health and food policy and has focused his research on community health and urban redevelopment. He believes that there is a direct connection between our health, the environment, and the policies that influence both. Brad has been a member of UCAN since 2012.


Joelle Fierro

Utah Cancer Control Program
Communication Chair

Position Description: The Communication Chair is responsible for communication efforts of Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) and ensures the UCAN Communication Plan is implemented.