Carolyn Bruzdzinski, PhD

American Cancer Society

Carolyn Bruzdzinski, PhD is the vice president, Cancer Control for the American Cancer Society North Central Region, which serves communities in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.

In this role, Carolyn develops and leads implementation of the regional strategy for cancer control, which includes state-based systems, hospital systems, primary care systems, and mission program delivery. Her team of 109 staff works within systems and communities to increase utilization of cancer prevention strategies and cancer screening tests; to reduce barriers to care for cancer patients; and to engage partners in fighting cancer through the Society’s advocacy, corporate, community, and fundraising initiatives. Carolyn serves on the Region Leadership Team, which comprises the North Central Region’s senior-most staff.

Also known as “Dr. B” by many staff, Carolyn joined the Society in 2002 as the Scientific Program Director of two peer review committees, based in Atlanta. In addition, she served as the national research liaison to the California, Illinois, and South Atlantic Divisions, before serving as the Chief Mission Delivery Officer in the California Division for seven years, beginning in 2006. A scientist at heart and by training, Carolyn was funded by the American Cancer Society and National Institutes of Health early in her career at the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois-Chicago, and was well known for her international scientific presentations. In 2013, Carolyn joined the Lakeshore Division as vice president, Health Systems, where she led a team of more than 80 staff.

Carolyn earned her BS in Biological Sciences at the University of Illinois-Chicago and her PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Michigan. Following a post-doctoral fellowship that was funded, in part, by the American Cancer Society, Carolyn returned to her alma mater in Chicago as a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry and the Center for Molecular Biology of Oral Diseases. Her research focused on key aspects in the growth and spread of cancerous cell.

Currently, Dr. Bruzdzinski resides in her hometown of Chicago, Illinois.


Katie Bathje, MA, LPCC

Kentucky Cancer Consortium

Katie Bathje, MA, LPCC is the Program Director for the Kentucky Cancer Consortium (KCC), the state’s comprehensive cancer control coalition comprised of more than 70 state-level organizations spanning healthcare, non-profit, academic and governmental sectors. Ms. Bathje works to find collaborative opportunities for organizations to reduce the significant cancer burden in Kentucky through facilitation of policy and environmental approaches to cancer prevention and control, and maintenance of the state’s Cancer Action Plan.  Ms. Bathje has worked within the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Control Program since 2001, previously as Information Specialist and Training Manager for the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service of the Mid-South. Ms. Bathje serves on multiple state and national cancer control committees, including the Steering Committee for the GW Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Control Technical Assistance Initiative, member of ACS’s National Patient Navigation Roundtable and is Chair of the Kentucky LEADS Collaborative Community Advisory Board. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Social Work from Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and her Masters of Arts in Counseling from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY.

Tricia Strusowski, MS, RN

With over 34 years of experience in the oncology field, Mrs. Strusowski has worked in a variety of roles including an oncology nurse, nurse manager, case management, and most recently a clinical director overseeing a multitude of departments, including chemotherapy infusion, rehabilitation program, navigation, survivorship, multidisciplinary disease site centers, thoracic surgery, palliative care, oncology medical home program, wellness programs and bone marrow coordinators and accreditation program. Her passion is in navigation and patient and family centered care in the oncology landscape and in conjunction with serving on multiple advisory boards, she implemented 15 multidisciplinary cancer centers including breast, lung, head and neck, pancreatic and various other tumor site specific teams. Mrs. Strusowski puts this rich work history to practice in consulting on the strategic development and implementation of oncology clinical programs within private practices, hospitals, and health systems across the country.  She has presented and published nationally, expert reviewer for the ONS oncology nurse navigator core competencies and project lead for the AONN+ evidence based navigation metrics. 

Patti Valverde, PhD, MPH

Colorado School of Public Health

Patricia Valverde PhD, MPH is a senior instructor in the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She directs the Patient Navigator Training Collaborative, a national training program dedicated to improving the knowledge and skills of the patient navigator workforce. Her research concentration is in the use of patient navigators and community health workers in cancer prevention and control, particularly in tobacco cessation. She is currently a Health Services Research Fellow at the Denver-Seattle Center of Innovation (COIN) of the Department of Veteran Affairs, Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, ONN-CG

Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators

Lillie D. Shockney has been the administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Breast Center since 1997 and serves as the director of the Johns Hopkins Cancer Survivorship programs in November 2011. A two-time breast cancer survivor, Lillie has worked tirelessly to improve the care of breast cancer patients around the world. She has worked at Johns Hopkins since 1983. She is a registered nurse who holds a BS in Healthcare Administration from St Joseph’s College and a Masters in Administrative Science from the Johns Hopkins University. Lillie is a published author and nationally recognized public speaker on the subject of cancer with a focus on cancer survivorship as well as metastatic breast cancer. She has written 14 books and more than 250 articles on cancer care. Lillie is also editor-in-chief of Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship. She is the founder and Director of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+). She is the consultant for breast cancer for national ABC News and Good Morning America, and is also consulted regularly by the Today Show and CNN. Lillie serves on 34 medical advisory boards currently. In 2008, The President of The Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees appointed her to a faculty chair as a University Distinguished Service Assistant Professor of Breast Cancer. This is the first time in the history of the institution that a hospital nurse has been appointed to a distinguished service designation. She was promoted to a Distinguished Service Associate Professor of Breast Cancer in 2009. In 2016, she was promoted to full professor and is the only nurse at Johns Hopkins to have a primary appointment in the School of Medicine and the only nurse to have reached the highest academic (physician) faculty ranking and appointed chair as a University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer.

Elizabeth Rohan, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. Elizabeth Rohan is a health scientist in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She graduated summa cum laude from Boston College in 1989 with a degree of sociology and earned her master of social work in Boston College’s accelerated program a year later. She then began a career in clinical oncology social work, counseling cancer patients and their families, first at the Massachusetts General Hospital (1990 to 1995) and later (1995 to 2002) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both designated Centers for Excellence in Oncology by the National Cancer Institute. She found her work with cancer patients extraordinarily rewarding and developed a research interest in the multidisciplinary oncology health care team. In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Rohan has experience teaching social work courses at Boston University and sociology courses at Boston College (1999 to 2002) and was ranked third among Boston College faculty by online student evaluations one semester. Dr. Rohan moved to the Atlanta area in 2003 and completed a joint doctorate of sociology and social work from Boston University in 2005. Soonthereafter, she worked at a small private practice in Atlanta, providing supervision for master’s level social workers seeking licensure. In 2009, Dr. Rohan published a book, Laboring at the Edge: Effects of Repeated Exposure to Death and Dying on Oncology Doctors, Nurses, and Social Workers, a result of her dissertation work on the multidisciplinary oncology health care team. Since August 2009, Dr. Rohan has been translating her clinical knowledge into public health practice in DCPC as a health scientist on the Scientific Support and Clinical Translation Team in the Comprehensive Cancer Control Branch. She is the lead of the Division’s Community Health Worker/Patient Navigation Workgroup and is an active member of CDC’s Community Health Worker Workgroup. Dr. Rohan is involved in many cancer-related health services research and evaluation projects, with a particular focus on patient navigation/community health workers and cancer survivorship. As well, Dr. Rohan is an adjunct instructor of Sociology at Oglethorpe University.

Angie Patterson

Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education

Angie Patterson is Vice President of the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education, a public-private partnership designed to bring higher quality, better organized and more cost-effective cancer care to patients and survivors. She is a devoted survivor advocate, a published author on cancer survivorship and an active presenter on survivorship. Ms. Patterson is also co-founder of Cancer Patient Navigators of Georgia, one of the first statewide organizations formed to connect people who guide individuals and their families throughout the cancer care continuum. In directing this program within Georgia CORE and managing several other of its initiatives, Ms. Patterson is focused on improving quality of life and outcomes for Georgia’s cancer survivors through the implementation of statewide patient navigation and survivorship programs. As a 16-year cancer survivor, Ms. Patterson left her corporate career at BellSouth twelve years ago to focus on improving the quality of life and outcomes for Georgia’s cancer survivors. She serves as the chair of Georgia’s Cancer Control Consortium (GC3) and chair of the statewide Survivorship Working Group. Ms. Patterson directed the implementation of Georgia’s Cancer Survivorship Connection (, an interactive web portal designed to meet the needs of Georgia’s 410,740 cancer survivors. On November 3, 2016, Ms. Patterson hosted Cancer Survivorship:Up Close & Personal, a one-day statewide conference exploring the unmet needs and unseen challenges of Georgia’s Cancer Survivors. Ms. Patterson received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Georgia and currently serves on the University of Georgia Computer Science Advisory Board.