Liz Balakhani is an attorney with the national law firm of Dechert LLP. Liz lives and works in Philadelphia and focuses her legal practice on defending major pharmaceutical companies. In November 2007, after a long and heroic fight, Liz's husband Mike Filippone lost his battle with melanoma at the young age of 34. To honor his legacy, Liz created "Mike's Team" for the 2008 Villanova Safe from the Sun event. Liz will continue to honor Mike by staying active in the Melanoma community, helping to raise awareness about this insidious disease , and providing patient support so that other young families do not have to face the daunting nightmare of a metastatic melanoma diagnosis alone.
Patricia Garcia-Prieto Chevalier, PhD
Prof. Garcia-Prieto is the Chair in Organisational Behaviour at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Geneva. She was diagnosed with melanoma on European Melanoma Day in 2008, when her sons were 3 and 8. She has been stage IV since November 2009. She fought for access to clinical trials. After a long struggle, she obtained the E112 form to allow her to participate in one of the first BRAF inhibitor trials in Paris. She was assigned to the chemotherapy ‘arm’ of the phase-III randomized non-blind trial, but given low disease burden was allowed to leave the study. She has also been blocked from a cancer vaccine study in the UK for not being a UK citizen. After this she decided to found the Melanoma Independent Community Advisory Board (M-ICAB) http://www.m-icab.org in Brussels to establish a political voice for all EU melanoma patients.
Jonathan Friedlaender, PhD
Jonathan first contracted melanoma in 1996, and is a stage 4 survivor active in the patient community. He has become active as a patient advocate through the MIF forum, and with the Food and Drug Administration. He is Emeritus Professor of Biological Anthropology at Temple University, and previously taught at Wisconsin and Harvard. He was also Director of the Physical Anthropology Program at the National Science Foundation, and served on the Advisory Board of the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
Jamie Goldfarb is the Director of Proposals at a global health communications company that is dedicated to clinical trial recruitment and public health awareness programs. She was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma in January 2011. After undergoing one of the National Cancer Institute’s Adoptive Cell Therapy clinical trials, she is almost completely disease free today. Her work in clinical trials paired with her personal experience participating in one gives Jamie unique insights into medical research from both the industry and patient perspectives. She is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of clinical trials and helping others with melanoma navigate treatment options, and blogs at http://www.melanomamom.com/. Jamie also serves as a Research Advocate for the National Cancer Institute.
Jeff Goldfarb is the Vice President of Oncology and Public Health Programs at a global communications company dedicated to clinical trial recruitment and public health awareness programs. In this role, he oversees several contracts with the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences as well as NCI’s Center for Cancer Research where he manages patient recruitment efforts for over 150 cancer clinical trials. As the husband of a stage 4 melanoma patient, Jeff is deeply ingrained in the melanoma community and has unique insights into the mindset of patient caregivers. He is personally driven to ensure people with melanoma have access to information regarding the most current treatment options and other important findings, and tweets @melanomamom to further this mission.
Dr. Houldin is the Executive Director and Founder of HEAL (Holistic Enrichment of Adult Living), a non-profit home care agency committed to providing high quality care delivered with compassion. She a doctorally prepared nurse with over 40 years of nursing experience. Dr. Houldin's passion and commitment to provide personalized, holistic care came from her experiences with the obstacles that both her patients and family members faced in ﬁnding high quality, coordinated, compassionate health care. Dr. Houldin is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BSN, MSN) and Temple University (PhD.In her most recent position, Dr. Houldin was the Nursing Director of Palliative Care Services at Philadelphia VA Medical Center. For the past 20 years, she was a member of the Standing Faculty, Clinician-Educator, at University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. While at Penn, Dr. Houldin directed the Adult Oncology Nurse Practitioner Program and served as Psycho-oncology Consultant to the Abramson Cancer Center. Currently, Dr Houldin is an Associate Professor Emerita of Psychosocial Oncology Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing. She holds National Board Certifications as an Advanced Certified Hospice- Palliative Care Nurse and as an Adult Psychiatric-Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. Dr. Houldin is a member of NAPGCM (National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers). NAPGCM is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance professional geriatric care management and maintain high quality standards for excellence in practice. Dr. Houldin is an Associate Geriatric Care Manager. A Geriatric Care Manager is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide, advocate, and resource for families caring for older relatives and persons with disabilities.
Mike Malloy, Esquire
Mike is the General Counsel and oversees all legal matters for The Hankin Group. The Hankin Group is a large real estate development, construction and management company in the Exton, PA area. Mike is a graduate of Temple Law School and a champion forensics (speech) contestant.
Lois McCarthy, PhD
Lois McCarthy is a medical writer for a contract research organization. In this role, she drafts and submits to the FDA regulatory documents for oncology clinical trials. Previously she worked as a medical writer drafting journal articles, poster presentations, monographs, and patient education material for neurology clinical trials. Lois also has experience in basic biomedical research. She holds a doctorate in immunology from The Medical College of Pennsylvania, and completed post-doctoral research fellowships in immunology, hematology, and neuroscience at Temple University School of Medicine and Thomas Jefferson University College of Medicine. A melanoma survivor, she promotes the importance of increased public awareness, education, and research in combating melanoma.
Jennifer is a staff nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In this position,she cares for and educates patients and family members that are facing bone marrow transplants. In addition, Jennifer is a Clinical Adjunct Faculty Member at Jefferson, educating and supervising student nurses in the physical, biological and and psychological subjects related to nursing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and from University of Scranton and Master of Science in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University. Jennifer was nominated for a mentoring award from Nurses Week in both 2007 and 2008 and she received the Melanoma International Foundation's Courage Award in 2012. She is a member of the the Oncology Nurses' Society and the American Nurses' Association.
Peter is the former Tacoma Deputy Mayor and City Councilman, and is deeply involved in civic activities. He is a member emeritus and past chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, past chairman of the Tacoma Civic Arts Commission, and past chairman of the Tacoma Planning Commission. He has served on the Pierce County Historic Preservation Commission and is a past board member of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. He was selected to participate in the American Leadership Forum and is a Senior Fellow. He was appointed to a six-year term on the state Architects Registration Board by Governor Mike Lowry and was re-appointed to another six-year term by Governor Gary Locke. Currently he serves as the elected Secretary on the Executive Board of the National Council of Architects Registration Board. Peter was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. In recognition of Peter’s civic dedication, he was honored with the 2005 Charles T. Pearson Community Service Award by the Southwest Washington Chapter of the AIA. Peter lost his daughter Shelley to melanoma, who was 34 when she passed away September, 2002.
Sally Reis, PhD
Sally M. Reis is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor a Teaching Fellow of Educational Psychology Department at the University of Connecticut where she also serves as a Principal Investigator for the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. She was a teacher and administrator in public schools for 15 years, 11 of which were spent working with academically talented students on the elementary, junior high, and high school levels. She has authored more than 150 articles, 12 books, 55 book chapters, and numerous monographs and technical reports. She has been a consultant to numerous schools and departments of education throughout the U. S. and abroad and her work has been translated into several languages and is widely used around the world. Her most recent work is a computer-based assessment of student strengths integrated with an Internet based search engine that matches enrichment activities and resources with individual student profiles [www.renzullilearning.com]. Her husband had a stage 1 melanoma that recurred as a stage 3 metastatic intransit. Following surgery, he is doing very well!
Peggy Coyle Seaver
Peggy lives in Calgary, Canada with her husband, Chris and their two young daughters Sarah and Rose. Her involvement with melanoma came as a result of her brother Wesley's 13 year battle with the disease. He died in July of 2010. She worked side by side with her brother throughout his illness and saw first hand what this horrible disease can do to patients and their loved ones. To honor Wesley's memory she provides support for melanoma research. She hopes that by joining the MIF Advisory Board she can assist in increasing visibility to the general public about how truly lethal melanoma is. Peggy also wants to see the MIF website become more easily accessible to newly diagnosed melanoma patients. She started college at the age of 29 and received her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Houston. Prior community service has focused primarily on children and educational support.
UPDATE: January 29, 2013