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2011 Spirit of Empowerment Award Recipients

by Sue Friedman


Dr. Francis Collins heads the National Institutes of Health. Prior to his appointment in 2009, he led the Human Genome Project, a 13-year effort that identified all the genes in human DNA. A recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Dr. Collins has invited FORCE’s input on research and regulatory topics of importance to our community.


Ellen Matloff is Director of the Cancer Genetic Counseling Program at Yale Cancer Center. She’s been a member of FORCE’s Scientific Advisory Board since 2002, helping us develop educational materials and draft position statements on key topics. Ellen has been a strong outspoken advocate for the importance of genetic counseling for people concerned about hereditary cancer. As lead plaintiff in the ACLU gene patenting lawsuit, she strives to improve patient access to testing.


When Komen for the Cure® extended its mission to include advocacy the organization embraced the hereditary cancer community’s perspective. By inviting FORCE to participate and provide input into their policy work, Komen acknowledged us as important stakeholders in cancer advocacy. FORCE has proudly worked side by side with Komen for the Cure on important issues, including passage of the EARLY Act, response to the USPSTF mammography guideline changes, continued access to Avastin for women with metastatic breast cancer, and promoting PARP inhibitor research.

Arts and Media

Kathy Steligo’s The Breast Reconstruction Guidebook has been a roadmap for many women navigating hereditary breast cancer issues. She has also been a tireless supporter of our community. As FORCE’s Editorat


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