New York, NY, January 22, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- The Metastastic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) announced the following leadership changes, effective as of January 1, 2013. Shirley Mertz is the new President, replacing former president Michele Przypyszny. Ginny Knackmuhs will serve as Vice President. New board member Katherine O’Brien replaces Kathy Coursey-Boes. Katherine will serve as Secretary and Public Relations Chair. Board members Joani Gudeman and Deb Tincher continue to serve as Chair of Outreach and Volunteers and Chair of Conferences and Fundraising, respectively.
“I would like to thank Michelle and Kathy for their exemplary service,” Mertz said. “MBCN grew from Michele’s non-profit experience, and our organization has been the beneficiary of Kathy’s communication skills. We will miss Kathy’s trademark 'y’all' and her gracious notes to our supporters. She will now devote more time to her health and family.”
Mertz, who joined MBCN in 2007, is looking forward to her expanded role. “My passion is being a voice for metastatic breast cancer patients,” she said. “I have not hesitated to share my experiences with this disease because I want to motivate others to speak up. Joining together with a focused message, metastatic breast cancer patients can improved outcomes in the clinic.”
Mertz, a former high school principal from northwest suburban Chicago, was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2003, twelve years after being treated for DCIS. After seeking training in the biology of breast cancer and political advocacy, she became a consumer reviewer for the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program and advocate for national health care reform. In 2008, she personally asked Senator Evan Bayh to sponsor a Senate Resolution for MBC Awareness Day and then co-chaired the team that traveled to Washington to lobby for Congressional passage. In 2011, she was honored as a Champions of Change in breast cancer at the White House.
As President, Mertz’s priorities include expanding MBCN’s outreach beyond its annual conference. In addition to targeting underserved areas of the US, she’s committed to raising the group’s profile with metastatic researchers. “If scientists could meet us and personally hear our needs, that would be a powerful message,” she said. “With the board’s help and enthusiasm, we will take our commitment to patients to another level.”
About Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
Metastatic breast cancer claims 40,000 lives annually in the US. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN) is a national, independent, nonprofit, patient advocacy group dedicated to the unique concerns of the 155,000 US people living with metastatic breast cancer. MBCN was founded in 2004 by Jane Soyer and Nina Schulman. Our patient-directed group is comprised of volunteers, who are living or caring for someone with a Stage IV diagnosis.
About MBCN’S Annual Conference
MBCN is committed to educating people about this incurable disease and urging them to support research that helps people with advanced breast cancer live longer. MBCN held its first conference at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in 2006. Subsequent conferences have been held at M.D. Anderson, Dana-Farber, Indiana University’s Simon Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins and Northwestern University. Plans are currently under way for the 2013 conference.