Cancer Coalition names top executives - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cancer Coalition names top executives

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August 22, 2005

Albany -- It's been almost three years since then-Governor Roy Barnes announced the creation of Georgia's Cancer Coalition. Southwest Georgia has the highest incidence of cancer deaths in the state.

Now, two women have been hired as this regional center's directors, and they are ready to start a battle against this deadly disease in our community.

 Diane Fletcher is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition. Denise Ballard is the Coalition's new Research Director. Fletcher headed Pennsylvania's Cancer Control Consortium, and now will head the effort in Southwest Georgia's 33-county area.

 Fletcher said "There is a large under served population. There are people that are not able to get the same quality of services. That don't even know how to they should take care of themselves. And aren't living a healthy lifestyle."

The Coalition will gather information on factors that could lead to cancer, like environment, smoking, obesity, and lack of health care. Ballard said "People who don't have insurance, or who have limited education, or low literacy skills. Our educational messages need to be designed to make a difference in their lives."

 The Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition will design prevention, treatment and research practices, to reduce cancer incidences and mortality rates. Ballard said "Actually put some meat on the bones, if you will. To make sure programs are actually being not just planned on paper at the statewide level, but actually delivered."

The Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition Offices will be in Albany.

 They will work through the region's four major cancer hospital centers, Phoebe Putney in Albany, Tift Regional in Tifton, Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville, and South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.

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