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  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender National Advisory Council


    The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) National Advisory Council was created to help the organization identify and address gaps in breast health and breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment specifically as it pertains to this under-represented and often medically-underserved community.

    Role and Responsibilities

    The focus of the LGBT National Advisory Council will be to assist Komen for the Cure in its outreach, program development, research funding allocations and advocacy within the breast cancer community on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The group's overall goal is to reduce disparities in breast cancer morbidity and mortality in this important and underserved population.

    Advisory councils help design strategies to decrease disparities and increase engagement in the fight against breast cancer

    Advisory council members are selected on the basis of written nominations. Advisory council members actively engage in helping Komen to plan strategies designed to decrease disparities in breast cancer mortality rates in specific population groups. Members serve on a voluntary basis for a period of three years.

    "The combined experience and expertise of our priority-population council members enable Komen to wisely allocate resources to meet breast health and breast cancer needs in population groups that are chronically underserved," said Susan Carter, Komen's senior advisor, office of the president, and facilitator for the organization's advisory councils.

    Current LGBT Members

    Council Chairperson: Nurit Shein

    Council Members:
    Mary Anne Adams, MSW
    Leslie J. Calman, Ph.D.
    Darlene de Manincor, Ph.D.
    Kathleen DeBold, BS
    Philip Deitch, MA
    Ann Fonfa
    Rosalba M. Messina
    Anita Radix MD, MPH


    Photo of Mary Anne Adams
    Mary Anne Adams, MSW, of Atlanta, GA, is board chair and former executive director of ZAMI, Inc., "Atlanta's premiere organization for lesbians of African descent." She has lived in Atlanta since 1988, during which time she has served on the boards of Charis Circle, YouthPride, and the Feminist Women's Health Center. She was also an inaugural member of the LGBT National Advisory Council to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. A program director with Georgia State University's Institute of Public Health, Adams was the first black lesbian to win an award as an unsung heroine from the metro Atlanta Coalition of 100 black women. She has also been honored by the National Center for Human Rights Education as a guardian angel of human rights. A recent breast cancer survivor, she lives her struggle out loud as a tool for education and empowerment.

    Photo of Leslie Calman
    Leslie J. Calman, Ph.D. , has been Executive Director of Mautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization since January 2008. Mautner Project, founded in 1990, provides direct service and support to lesbian, bisexual and transgender women with cancer and other serious illnesses, their families and caregivers, in the Washington, D.C. area. Additionally, Mautner Project works around the country to educate healthcare providers about the needs and concerns of their LBT clients in order to increase their cultural competency, reduce stigmatizing behaviors, and create quality services and environments that are welcoming and therefore fully utilized. It educates LBT women about important health issues, including the need for timely screenings and preventive care.

    Dr. Calman is an educator and advocate whose career has centered on building better lives for women and families in the U.S. and in the developing world. She began her career in academia, spending seventeen years at Barnard College as a professor of political science and women’s studies, and Director of the Barnard College Center for Research on Women. She went on to become Executive Vice President of NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she directed its Family Initiative to build support throughout the United States for paid family leave and quality child care, preschool and afterschool. Following this, she served for two years as Vice President of External Relations for the International Center for Research on Women, taking a leadership role in advocacy promoting U.S. policies to end child marriage in the developing world.

    She has published two books and numerous articles and been quoted in a wide range of media. Dr. Calman serves on a number of boards and advisory councils concerned with LGBT rights and health, and is affiliated with the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health of the Fenway Institute as a participating scientist.

    Photo of Darlene de Manincor
    Darlene de Manincor, Ph.D., of Oakland, CA, is a scientist who for more than 25 years worked in medical research. She has a familial and personal history of cancer. Her father, paternal grandmother, many of her grandmothers' siblings and several of their children as well as her partner's mother died of the disease.

    Diagnosed in the 80s with cancer and recognizing that the laboratory environment was not her healthiest option, she returned to pursue a degree in medical anthropology at California Institute of Integral Studies. Her doctoral dissertation was on women in the San Francisco Bay Area who chose complementary cancer treatments. She currently facilitates two support groups at Women's Cancer Resource Center (WCRC) in Oakland, one for lesbians with cancer and one for complementary treatment. She serves on the Board of Directors of the WCRC and has served on the Board of Directors of the Mautner Project. She also teaches a course on the politics of health care and serves as a patient advocate on several National Cancer Institute (NCI) committees.

    Photo of Kathleen DeBold
    Kathleen DeBold, BS, of Washington, D.C., is the interim executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a national, non-profit legal services, watchdog and policy organization dedicated to ending discrimination against and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and related forms of intolerance. From 1999 to 2007, she served as Executive Director of the Mautner Project, the National Lesbian Health Organization. During Kathleen's tenure, the Mautner Project won numerous awards for outstanding service in health advocacy, including those from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Gay Activists Alliance, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Pride at Work and the Feminist Majority. Before joining the Mautner Project, DeBold served as deputy director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, where she ran the organization's communications, training and political programs. An articulate advocate for the LGBT community, DeBold has been a featured speaker and trainer at hundreds of events, workshops, and seminars, including the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), Physicians for the Underserved, Feminist Expo, Bridgebuilder's Conference, American Cancer Society Diversity Conference, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Mission Conference, Women's Information Network, National Lesbian Health Conference, OutVote, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Summit.

    Photo of Philip Deitch
    Philip Deitch, MA, of St. Louis, MO, is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial. His personal commitment to cancer care began in college when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died three years later as he was beginning what would be a 20-year career as a hospital administrator along with CPE certification as a hospital chaplain. His mother's experiences and those of his several hundred other friends who have dealt with cancer, HIV and disability made him especially sensitive to the comprehensive needs people (not just patients) have to deal with. This has been incorporated into his civil rights work which has included 25 years of work as a professional diversity facilitator; Secretary of the founding National Board of Directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD); the youngest member ever appointed to the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and one of the first out gay members of the National Commission on Social Action of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Deitch is currently the community education chairperson of the U.S. Attorney's Hate Crimes Task Force.

    Photo of Ann Fonfa
    Ann Fonfa of Delray Beach, FL, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 1993. She decided that activism was her best method for recovery. She served as an advocate on the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Center's grant (NIEHS) and founder of the Annie Appleseed Project, which provides information, education and advocacy for people with cancer on complementary and alternative therapies. Ann has testified before Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and attends many medical, scientific and research meetings annually, giving community-based talks while on-site. She identifies as bisexual and boasts three lesbians in her close-knit family. Ann has always spoken up about LGBT issues at conferences, gave a talk at the First Lesbian Health Conference in San Francisco, CA, met with the Oncology Nurses' Society's LGBT Task Force, and presented at the 2009 LGBTI National Health Summit.

    Ann also serves as Chair of the Women's Health Advisory Council for Compass GLCC (Palm Beach County, Florida’s LGBT center).

    Photo of Rosalba M. Messina
    Rosalba M. Messina of New York City is Principal and Founder of Messina Consulting Group and has more than 25 years experience as an effective transformational leader, manager and coach. Messina Consulting Group (MCG) is a management consulting firm that assists national and international non-profit organizations in fulfilling their mission by cultivating and increasing the effectiveness of individual and organizational performance – leading to greater institutional power and impact. Specializing in change management and human capital development, the firm’s services include comprehensive organizational assessments, interim leadership, leadership transitions, strategic planning, strategic restructuring, financial assessments, and board/staff development. The firm’s clients include social service, advocacy and philanthropic organizations such as The Rodale Institute, Canine Companions for Independence and Women In Need, Inc.

    Prior to launching her own consulting firm, Messina held executive-level positions for various organizations in both non-profit and corporate environments. Her leadership in the LGBT community has been instrumental in facilitating women’s educational programs on breast cancer and HIV/AIDS and securing funding for those programs. Professionally and personally, she has made a life-long commitment to affect positive change for the LGBT community and women’s health. She was inspired by the work of Komen and after her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, she committed to doing all that she could to help Komen find a cure.

    Photo of Anita Radix
    Anita Radix MD, MPH, of New York City, is the Associate Medical Director of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, a center that primarily serves the LGBT communities. She was raised in Grenada and attended medical school at St. George's University before migrating to the USA. She trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases and public health at the University of Connecticut. Before working at Callen-Lorde, she was a director of public health in the Netherlands Antilles where she established several women's health programs and improved access to breast and cervical cancer screening. Her other interest is in HIV/AIDS prevention and improving access to HIV services for marginalized populations. Dr. Radix also serves on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA).

    Photo of Nurit Shein
    Nurit Shein of Philadelphia, PA, has been the executive director of Mazzoni Center since 1995. Under her leadership, the organization has moved closer to fulfilling its original mission of providing quality primary healthcare to the LGBT community. The organization is the only LGBT-specific health center in Philadelphia. A native of Israel, Nurit was a career officer in the Israeli Army. She served in intelligence, women's corps and commanded the education corps of the Israeli army. She retired as a colonel, and represented her native country as the west coast director for education and culture in Los Angeles, CA. She later worked as the director of programs for the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center. She sits on a number of boards, including the Board of the Ethics Committee for Physicians at Graduate Hospital; the Circle of Care board, an organization devoted to serving women and children with HIV/AIDS, and as board member and past treasurer for OutFront!, a political action group based in Philadelphia. She is also an active member of the Regional HIV Planning Council and co-chair of its collaborative Prevention/ Care working group.


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