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Jamie Larson

Young Survival Coalition Welcomes New Board Leadership and Members

by Jamie Larson, Director of Marketing & Communications on March 03, 2020

Media Contact:
Jamie Larson
Associate Director Marketing & Communications
[email protected]

New members bring their industry expertise to young adult breast cancer organization.

New York, NY -- Young Survival Coalition (YSC) announces new leadership for its Board of Directors. Desirée A.H. Walker, President, and John Hennessy, Vice President, will lead the YSC Board in fulfilling its mission that no young adult face breast cancer alone.

In addition to new leadership, YSC welcomes Dr. Christine M. Duffy, Karen Kochevar, Dan Persad, and Megan Rouse, who each bring expertise and the desire to envisage a bold future for YSC to meet the needs of young adults diagnosed with breast cancer and their co-survivors. View a complete list of the YSC Board of Directors.

Jennifer Merschdorf, Chief Executive Officer, says, “These new board leaders and members join an already strong and dedicated Board of Directors. As we look toward reaching even more young adults impacted by breast cancer, we’ll need the expertise they all bring from their respective industries.”

Ms. Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38. A reoccurrence at age 47 illuminated her passion and resolve to live a purpose-driven life. Her varied career, which spanned twenty-five years, took place at global powerhouses in the financial industry and equipped her with skills and fortitude to enter the realm of advocacy.

Ms. Walker serves as a patient advocate, openly speaks about her diagnoses to audiences domestically and internationally, shares her talents, and aids diverse communities. She has earned a seat on The Central Institutional Review Board for the National Cancer Institute and other research review panels, sits on several research Patient Advisory Boards, and effects change in public policy on Capitol Hill with the American Association for Cancer Research and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. She ensures she’s a voice for the voiceless at each advocacy opportunity she has. She is also dedicated to educating and empowering people around the world on cancer and addressing health inequities. Read her full bio here.

Mr. Hennessy has held several leadership positions in oncology for over twenty years, including his role as the executive director of the Kansas City Cancer Center, as well as service line leadership for HCA/Sarah Cannon. He is currently a Senior Vice President and Strategist with Valuate Health Consultancy, an affiliate of Entree Health. Through this leadership, he has pioneered the adoption and implementation of cancer care pathways, in addition to other innovative programs. Having served in the healthcare industry for more than twenty-five years, he has experience in physician practice, hospitals, managed care and health plans. Read his full bio here.

Michael Wirth, Treasurer, Dr. Don S. Dizon, Secretary, and Karen Kochevar, Ad Hoc Member, will join Ms. Walker and Mr. Hennessy to round out the new leadership team of the Board of Directors. This leadership team will work very closely with Ms. Merschdorf to usher the organization through its twenty-second year, reassessing and addressing the needs of young adults diagnosed with breast cancer and continuing to execute the new strategic plan which will ensure the mission is achieved.

About Young Survival Coalition (YSC) ®

Established in 1998, Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the largest nonprofit dedicated exclusively to young adults diagnosed with breast cancer age 40 and under and their co-survivor support networks. YSC also educates and influences the medical, research and legislative communities to address breast cancer in young adults.

Through educational resources and programming, annual conferences, and local and online support networks, YSC ensures no young adult faces breast cancer alone.