Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is the Founder of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), a leading NGO that is galvanizing action against breast cancer in Nigeria. BRECAN was started in 1997 after her experience with breast cancer when she decided to do something that would bring about positive and lasting change in the Nigerian society that has deeply entrenched misconceptions about what causes breast cancer and how it can be treated. She has won numerous awards nationally and internationally in recognition of her work and commitment in the fight against breast cancer in Nigeria.
Through her private foundation, BAAF (Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu Foundation) founded in 1995, she has displayed passion in advancing and promoting literacy in children through programmes such as Reading is Fun, Essay Competition, Spelling Bee Competition. She is also interested in advancing the economic status of women, nurturing the interest of young girls in ICT and solar energy, developing talents in arts and sports, promotion of improved sanitation in schools and communities, promotion of quality education for the Deaf, and supporting women’s participation in politics and gender equity in governance.
Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu is a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where she obtained BSc. Zoology in 1977 and later on in 1986, she got her MSc. Fisheries major in Aquaculture from the University of the Philppines, Iloilo. She is a firm believer in continuing education regardless of age which she demonstrated by going back to school (University of Ibadan) in 2016 for Masters in Public Health.
Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu nurtured her career as a fisheries expert while working with the Federal Department of Fisheries and retired voluntarily in 2005 after 28 years of diligent service.
Presently, she is engaged in commercial fish farming and provides consultancy services under the business name, Aquatek Farms Ventures. In addition, she has made a foray into politics since 2007 and active in the present dispensation.
She is married to Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN and blessed with four wonderful children and three grand children. She is widely travelled and her hobbies include reading, gardening, sewing, music, jogging, tennis and yoga.
Kristen Isabel Hopkins, MD, FRCP, FRCR
Dr. Hopkins is a Radiation Oncologist at The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. Prior to joining IAEA she was involved in the development of chemotherapy services in Uganda where she realized the desperate need to for radiotherapy and its expansion in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work at IAEA, encompasses provision of technical advice to member states seeking to develop and enhance radiotherapy services, coordination of clinical research protocols in radiotherapy in low and middle income countries and maintain IAEA regulatory and guideline documents. Presently she supports 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria, with a combined population of 330 million, who a have only 10 functioning government radiotherapy machines, a situation she is working to change.
Sasha Stanton, MD, PhD
Dr. Stanton is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine Division of Oncology at the University of Washington and an assistant member in the Clinical Research Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is currently an ITHS KL2 scholar and member of the University of Washington Tumor Vaccine Group. Her research focuses on antigen discovery and vaccine design for a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) preventative breast cancer vaccine and identifying methods to modify the breast cancer tumor immune environment. Her clinical work is with the Breast Oncology group at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Stanton earned an MD and PhD in molecular genetics from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center and her Hematology Oncology Fellowship at the University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Bridgette is the Founder and Executive Director of Cierra Sisters, Inc. is an African American Breast Cancer organization which uniquely provides education and advocacy about women’s breast and health issues. Bridgette’s personal, hands on approach, has and is changing the lives of women all across the country. Her determination to educate and empower others comes out of her own experience with breast cancer. A 21 year two time breast cancer survivor, Bridgette received her diagnosis on her 35th birthday. At that time, she found no resources for African American women. Therefore, she became the solution, and Cierra Sisters, Inc. was born. She found that women’s fear of breast cancer was due largely to the lack of knowledge. As the late author and entertainer, Earl Nightingale once stated, “Whenever we’re afraid, it’s because we don’t know enough. If we understood enough, we would never be afraid.” Inspired by Ms. Nightingale’s words, Bridgette chose the African word “Cierra” which means “knowing” to identify the community resource and educational organization which she began in February 1996.
Over the years Bridgette has been featured on, City Stream, Channel 9 KCTS Connects; Channel 4 KOMO Fisher Broadcasting, The Good News about Breast Cancer; King 5 News with Jean Enerson featuring a unique door-to-door outreach; K.R.I.Z. Radio with Barbara Laners, Community Potpourri ; The Seattle Times; A National Health Care forum along with Teresa Heinz Kerry; Everyday Health News (A leading provider in health solutions); A documentary on Bridgette’s story through Seattle Theater Group and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has also been produced.
Jennifer Dent, PhD
Dr. Dent is the BIO Ventures for Global Health. She has 20+ years of broad-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience, including negotiation and structuring of deals, and management of global discovery and commercial alliances. Jennifer began her career as a sales representative in Canada working in a variety of positions for Parke Davis/Pfizer and Genentech. Following the acquisition of Genentech Canada by Roche, Jennifer held a number of senior management positions in marketing, life cycle management, global product strategy, business development, and alliance management at Roche and Genentech in Canada, Switzerland, New Jersey, and South San Francisco. Jennifer co-founded Sound Biotechnology, and prior to that, served as Vice President, Business Development, Marketing, and Sales at CombiMatrix Corporation in Washington.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc, and she received her executive MBA at Western’s Richard Ivey School of Business.
Danielle Matia, MPH
Danielle Matia is a Director at BIO Ventures for Global Health. She is a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with over 20 years’ experience working in global health. She has worked with various non-profit organizations including Save the Children, Plan International, and the German International Aid Agency (GTZ) in Africa. She brings broad experience in global health program development, administration, implementation, and public/private partnership building. She has also worked at the CDC, Atlanta as a researcher at the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. Most recently, Danielle was the Region Head for Africa and Middle East at The Max Foundation where she was responsible for the implementation of cancer treatment access programs. Danielle received a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the UC Irvine and a Master in Public Health from Tulane University. She holds a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Washington.
Nixon Niyonzima, MD, MPH, PhD
Dr. Nixon Niyonzima is the Head, Research and Training Directorate, Ugandan Cancer Institute and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. His work focuses on building research and training capacity at the Fred Hutch-Ugandan Cancer Institute collaboration. Previously he was a member of the Global Oncology Program at Fred Hutch was he was actively involved in fostering the partnership and the eventual setting up of the Fred Hutch-UCI Cancer Center in Uganda. Nixon’s research is focused on genetic editing for HIV cure. He completed his Medical Degree from Makerere University, MSc in Global Health at Duke University, USA, and PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.
Kingsley Ndoh, MD, MPH
Dr. Kingsley Ndoh is a consultant to the Government of Ondo State on Cancer Control, and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington. He is also an Affiliate Investigator at the Vaccines and Infectious Disease Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch). Previously, he managed the early and late phase clinical trials for AIDS-related malignancies at the Fred Hutch Global Oncology Program and also served as a Senior Fellow. His research and work is geared towards improving healthcare systems in low-and middle-income countries and to reduce the inequities in cancer prevention and control between rich countries and low- and middle-income countries. He served as an Advisor for Women Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network (WE CAN), USA, and is a board member of the Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria and Stand Up to Cancer Nigeria.
Dr Janet Wuraola Ipinyomi
Dr. Janet is Consultant Radiologist and Medical Director of Honeygold and Maternity, Felele, Lokoja. She is a Medical Graduate of University of Ibadan, Nigeria and a fellow of royal College of Radiologists. She has a broad experience in Breast Imaging. She is a passionate supporter of the campaign for Women’s Health and Girl Child Education. She is married with children and grandchildren.
Professor Misauno M Ayedima, MBBS, FWACS
Professor Misauno Michael Ayedima, is a Professor of General Surgery with special interest in surgical oncology. He is the pioneer Head of the Surgical Oncology unit at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, and the current Head of Department of Surgery of the University of Jos. He is a Fellow of the West African College Of Surgeons, dedicated and involved in training and examination of medical students and resident doctors. He has trained and mentored ten General Surgical Oncologists so far. His research interests are in breast cancer and liver cancer, and have published over 52 articles in both local and international Peer reviewed journals. He is an IDEA (International Development and Empowerment) Award recipient of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO), awarded at the ASCO 2013 annual meeting in Chicago, USA. This award came with a complimentary ASCO membership of 3 years. He is a co-principal investigator on the D43 HIV- Malignancy grant of the Jos University Teaching Hospital in partnership with the Northwestern University in Chicago. On this grant, Professor. Misauno serves as the chairman of the breast, colorectal and prostate cancer research subgroup.
Shilpen Patel, MD, FACRO
Dr. Shilpen Patel is a radiation oncologist on faculty at the University of Washington/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and also serves as an associate professor in the UW Department of Global Health. He specializes in the treatment of tumors in the thoracic cavity and gastrointestinal system. He also leads the SBRT program.
He is actively involved in cancer clinical care, education and research and has served as Principal Investigator on local and national clinical trials. Dr. Patel joined the UW faculty in 2006 and is board-certified in radiation oncology. He attended medical school at the University of Texas and trained at the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland for his residency. He leads the thoracic group in the Department of Radiation Oncology and cares for patients at the Proton Center, Harborview Medical Center, the SCCA and UW Medical Center. In addition, he is the medical director at the Foundation for Health Care Quality which improves healthcare on a statewide level through transparency in patient management.
He has been actively involved in organizations including serving in the American Medical Association (serving as chair of the young physician Section from 2012-2013), Phi Chi Medical Foundation (Chairman of the Executive Trustees), and Co-Chair of the board of Generations Aging with Pride.
Dr. Patel’s research interests are in evaluating the safe use of therapy in the treatment of malignancies both locally and internationally, evaluating the efficacy of national treatment recommendations, and creating novel treatment techniques to be used in lower and middle income countries. He also leads ASTRO Payment Reform Workgroup which continues to develop an Alternative Payment Model for Radiation Oncology.
Dr. Patel believes his patients should be treated as if they were family members. “I believe in informing patients with as much detailed information as they desire,” he says. “Cancer affects not only the individual but also their family. It is important to care for both the patient and the family.”
Philippa Kibugu Decuir
Philippa Kibugu Decuir
Philippa is the Founder and President of Breast Cancer Initiative East Africa (BCIEA) Inc., the first entity to break the silence about the devastating impact of breast cancer on African women in Rwanda. The loss of her sister in Africa to breast cancer and her own diagnosis and survival in USA compelled Philippa in 2008 to form BCIEA Inc. to address a gnawing question: “Should where one live determine if she survives or dies?” Through BCIEA, guided by the Fact: Knowledge is Power”, Philippa determined to use awareness, education, empowerment, support and research to address breast health disparities in Rwanda and East Africa. Philippa’s work is backed by over 18 years of extensive volunteer work with Sisters Network and Susan G Komen, Houston Chapter; her 28 years in classroom as a Texan Educator; and as a 23 year breast cancer survivor and patient advocate. Using lessons learned from seminars/workshops, conferences and USA evidence-based resources, Philippa developed culturally appropriate breast health awareness/educational curriculum and materials for adults and youth. In addition, she created an innovative Mobile Application which is being successfully utilized in Rwanda, to exponentially increase awareness in her program: “Fighting Breast Cancer One Smartphone per Village.” BCIEA has currently 23 Smart villages in Rwanda and still counting—since Rwanda has 14,847 villages. Philippa sees education as the key frontline weapon against lack of awareness, fear, misinformation and stigma associated with the prevalent late stage presentations of breast cancer when treatment is difficult, expensive or impossible — resulting in unnecessary suffering and death. Philippa believes in collaboration, just as nobody can go through cancer alone, we must work Together to fight this disease. BCIEA works in partnership with Rwanda Ministry of Health, RNCDA, and KK Foundation; and is a member of ASCO, AACR, NBCC, WE CAN East Africa. Philippa’s work has been featured on local TV, Radio, newspapers and magazines: “Fighting Cancer in a country Without a Word for It”, Kellie Walsh. She has received numerous awards and presented her work nationally and internationally. She recently retired from teaching to devote all her time to BCIEA Inc. Philippa’s is mission is to reach out, touch, teach, change and save lives. Her vision is an Africa with sustainable healthcare access for all with effective cancer treatments that will ensure survival Stories just like hers. “My wish is to live to see the Cure.”
Professor F E Okonofua: Summary Citation
Professor Friday Okonofua is the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences in Ondo State of Nigeria. He graduated MB ChB from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1978 and also has PhD (Public Health) from the Karolinska University in Sweden. He is a fellow of the West African College of Surgeons, the Nigerian Postgraduate Medical College, the International College of Surgeons, the Takemi program in International Health at Harvard University, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Nigerian Academy of Science.
Professor Okonofua rose to the post of Professor at the Obafemi Awolowo University in 1992. He transferred his services to the University of Benin in 1996, where he has been Head of Department, Dean, Provost, and member of the University’s Governing Council.
He has been Secretary of the Faculty of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the National Postgraduate College of Nigeria, as well as the Secretary-General of the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria. Between April 2005 and November 2009, he served as the Executive Director of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) after a highly competitive interview in London in which more than 70 professors around the world participated. He was Honorary Adviser on Health to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2006 to May 29, 2007.
Professor Okonofua is a global champion of women’s health, a discipline where he has published 252 refereed articles. His publications are in the fields of maternal health, reproductive health, and adolescent reproductive health. In recognition of this, he was honored with the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, UK in 2008 and with a special award as “champion of women’s health” by the University of California, Berkeley in 2009. He founded the Women’s Health and Action Research Centre, one of Nigeria’s leading NGOs in 1995. He is the founding editor of the African Journal of Reproductive Health that was adjudged by the National Universities Commission in 2005 as the best Nigerian journal (in all disciplines) that “meets international standards”.
He is the lead recipient of 45 research grants, including grants from the Ford Foundation, Macarthur Foundation, Packard Foundation, the Population Council, World Health Organization, the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the World Bank among several others. He is a reviewer to 20 international journals, including the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology where he has served as a member of the Editorial Board for over 15 years. He served as a policy analyst and grant maker at the West African office of the Ford Foundation between 2010 and 2015.
Professor Okonofua is a recipient of several honors including the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Special Achievers Award by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Distinguished Services Award by the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), Award of “the most outstanding professor of the people” by the Students Union Government of the University of Benin, and two Chieftaincy awards – High Chief Efe of Okpella by the Okukpellage of Okpella Kingdom, and the Gbekoleke of Ondo Kingdom by the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom. He is married to Mrs. Patience Okonofua (nee Okhiulu) and they are blessed with children.
Funmi Adefila – Osiegbu
Funmi Adefila – Osiegbu is a mother, educationist, entrepreneur, public speaker, author & a cancer survivor. A graduate of Ahmadu Bello university zaria & member of Enterprise Development Centre (EDC). She is active in various entrepreneurial, NGO, educational & support groups. She recently finished writing a book yet to be published. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 & has been an advocate for other survivors & those still battling same.
Dr Olasehinde is a Consultant General Surgeon and a lecturer in the department of surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. He obtained his medical degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University and holds a Master’s degree in Clinical research from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, NY U.S.A. He is a fellow of the West African College of Surgeons, National Post-graduate medical college of Nigeria and a member of various local and international professional associations.
Dr Olasehinde’s research interest is in Breast cancer and surgical gastroenterology and he has several publications to his credit. He is particularly interested in improving breast cancer outcomes in Nigeria. Trained in clinical epidemiology and health services research, Dr Olasehinde is currently researching into the development of clinical pathways as well as innovative modalities for early detection and management of breast cancer in Nigeria.
Dr. Margaret O. Isabona
Dr. Margaret O. Isabona is a Doctor of Optometry (OD) Graduate from the University of Benin who bagged the prestigious ODORBN award for Best Graduating Student in her Class. She also has a Masters degree in Health Management (MHM).
She practiced clinically in both the Public and Private sectors before taking up appointment in this Organization. She has taken several professional Development Courses through on-line offerings of schools like; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, University of California, Pennsylvania State University and University of Manchester. She has also attended several trainings on health insurance processes with professional certificates on Claims and medical Billings, Rating and underwriting health Insurance products and Utilization Review and management in health Insurance and managed care as organized by the Institute for Health Insurance and Managed Care of Nigeria (IHIMN) and the Institute for Healthcare Finance and Management (IHFM).
She is an active member of The Nigerian Optometric Association (NOA), Registered with the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Registrations Board of Nigeria (ODORBN) and an Associate Member of the Institute for Health Insurance and Managed Care of Nigeria (IHIMN).
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