2019 Winners

We’re excited to celebrate the four changemakers helping to make a difference in the lives of people affected by cancer. Learn more about their stories.

C2 Catalyst for Change Award

Keith Winfrey, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer, New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center

After hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, Keith Winfrey, a physician with a degree in public health, prayed to be sent to where he was needed. The answer was New Orleans. There, he opened New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center to give the neglected eastern parishes the same kind of care that affluent areas receive. Since then, Winfrey — winner of the 2019 Catalyst for Change Award — and his team have provided colorectal screening to 80% of their patients, giving an underserved community valuable early detection for a treatable cancer.

C2 Catalyst for Care Award

The Centers of Excellence program of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer

Represented by Leah Fine, Senior Director

More than 80% of cancer patients turn to local healthcare facilities for care. But it is often more challenging for patients to access treatments available in big cities. To take on this geographic inequality, the Centers of Excellence program (COE) — winner of the 2019 Catalyst for Care Award — is bringing top-tier multidisciplinary cancer care teams to community hospitals across the country. The program is patient-focused; COE senior director Leah Fine describes it as all about hugs, not handshakes. And it’s working. With 30 COEs across 14 states, the organization has treated more than 20,000 patients.

C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine Award

Barbara Gitlitz, MD and Geoffrey Oxnard, MD

Co-Principal Investigators, The Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study

Young lung cancer patients under the age of 40 represent about one percent of all cases. When oncologists Drs. Barbara Gitlitz and Geoffrey Oxnard, co-principal investigators, The Genomics of Lung Cancer Study, examined this little studied group, they found that 80% of the patients shared a genetic mutation that was targetable with known treatments.

President’s Award

Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance’s Survivors Teaching Students®

Represented by Susan Leighton, National Program Director Audra Moran, President & CEO

With few clear warning signs, ovarian cancer frequently evades detection until it’s too late. Only about half of the patients diagnosed with it survive more than five years. The Survivors Teaching Students® program, which is part of Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance and the winner of the 2018 President’s Award, takes a unique approach toward this silent killer. Disease survivors help educate medical students in how to spot ovarian cancer. In 2018, the network of survivors trained more than 13,000 healthcare professionals — an increase of almost 20% over 2017.

2019 Finalists

Congratulations to the finalists who have been recognized by their peers for the inspiring work they do each day – all to create a brighter future for those living with and affected by cancer.

C2 Catalyst for Change Award

Finalists for this award bring high-quality cancer care to underserved populations. Consequently, their work drives change at the community-, neighborhood or hospital-level that results in better cancer care for more people.

Headshot of Dian 'CJ' Corneliussen

Dian “CJ” Corneliussen

Founder and Director Emeritus,

Headshot of Dora E. Arias


Represented by Dora E. Arias,
Founder and Executive Director

Headshot of Keith Winfrey

Keith Winfrey, MD, MPH

Chief Medical Officer,
New Orleans East Louisiana Community Health Center

C2 Catalyst for Care Award

This group of finalists improves the cancer-care experience for people with cancer and their loved ones. As a result, the work of these finalists makes a patient’s experience as easy as possible during an extraordinarily difficult time.

Headshot of Leah Fine

The Centers for Excellence Program of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer

Represented by Leah Fine,
Senior Director

Headshot of John and Christine Lederer

John and Christine Lederer

Zaching Against Cancer Foundation

Headshot of Patricia Goldsmith

Patricia Goldsmith


C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine Award

A finalist for this award significantly advances precision medicine in oncology to bring new, more personalized tests or treatments to patients. As such, these finalists enhance the ability to provide the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

Headshot of Barbara Gitlitz and Geoffrey Oxnard

Barbara Gitlitz, MD & Geoffrey Oxnard, MD

Keck School of Medicine of USC, Voluntary Faculty
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Thoracic Oncologist

Headshot of Janet Freeman-Daily


Represented By Janet Freeman-Daily, Lisa Goldman & Tori Tomalia Cofounders

Headshot of Roman Yelensky

Roman Yelensky

Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer,