2016 Dialogue

2016 Dialogue for Action®: Progress & Prospects in Cancer Screening & Prevention.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation held its eighteenth annual Dialogue for Action, April 6-8, 2016 in Baltimore, MD. Topics covered included patient navigation; Big Data; key legislation; the status of cancer screening guidelines; prevention initiatives to reduce health disparities; the Vice President’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative; updates on screening guidelines; the importance of patient navigation; and a discussion on food and cancer prevention.

2016 Dialogue Resources
Speaker Slides
Networking Resource Guide

Dialogue for Action® is an annual national conference that brings a diversity of stakeholders together to discuss the best ways to increase cancer screening rates in all communities. After the conference, participants are encouraged to take the dialogue back to their communities and workplaces to promote appropriate screening.

Dialogue for Action® provides participants with the opportunity to discuss tools and effective strategies for use in both clinical and public health settings.

Check out highlights from the 2016 Dialogue for Action® conference:

Interview: 2016 Dialogue Top Poster Authors

Annie Thibault and Renay Caldwell, Center for Colon Cancer Research, University of South Carolina, discuss their top-ranked poster, Using Web-based Data Management to Evaluate the Participation of African American in Colorectal Cancer Screening, in a Blended Patient Navigation Approach in South Carolina.

Are you interested in patient navigation and how to increase CRC screenings in uninsured and medically underserved populations? Listen to our 2016 top-ranked Dialogue poster authors discuss their poster and the impact that Dialogue has made on their work.


“I was attracted to this conference because of its inclusion of the American Indian voice. I’m excited to have the opportunity to talk more about the challenges facing this population.” Melanie L. Plucinski, MPH, American Indian Cancer Foundation

“The highlight of the conference so far has been learning about other organizations’ use of social media to educate their networks. It’s an effective tool for programs working with limited resources.” Gailya P. Walter, MPH, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

“The Dialogue is a great opportunity to learn what other states are doing—their challenges, successes and barriers. I learned a lot and made some contacts that I am eager to follow up with.” Felisha Dickey, MSW, MPA, Florida Colorectal Cancer Control Program.


Dr. Kristi Funk gave the opening keynote address on improving health equity and breast cancer incidence and death rates. Dr. Funk runs the Pink Lotus Breast Center in California where she treats the rich and famous, as well as uninsured women in need of education, screening and treatment.

Dr. Walter Willett served as the closing keynote speaker. He is a renowned physician and nutrition researcher from the Harvard School of Public Health. He discussed the importance of eating a lot of fruits and vegetables while limiting red meats, and how food impacts the development of cancer.


Technology advancements are playing a big role in the future of health care, from improving the communication between patients and their providers to increasing screening rates in low-resource communities. Three experts shared how their work is shaping the future of health care.

Santosh Bhavani of SemanticMD discussed what could be the new normal: cheap, portable imaging technologies that can perform skin, cervical, colorectal, breast and other cancer screenings from anywhere.

Susan Hutfless, PhD, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shared her quality metrics research in colorectal cancer screening.

David Newman, PhD, JD, of Health Care Cost Institute shared how his company collects billions of insurance claims every year to help patients make better decisions.


The 2016 Dialogue also featured an advocacy workshop on the 21st Century Cures Act and its companion bill being drafted in the Senate. This was a timely workshop, as the final committee hearing for the Senate bill was being held at the same time. The panel was comprised of Carly McWilliams, a staffer for the House Energy & Commerce committee, Mary Lee Watts, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy for the American Association of Cancer Researchers, and Lisa Schill, a parent advocate and Vice-President of RASopathies Network USA

All three speakers emphasized the importance of this bill in funding research for all diseases, streamlining and updating the regulatory process, and leading to cures for more people in the future. In order to see this pass the Senate, they encouraged those in the room to become engaged in advocacy and write or call their Senators to urge them to bring the Senate bill to the floor and to vote in favor.

If you would like to become more engaged as an advocate, please contact Marisa Vertrees at, or


The American Indian population has a high risk of dying from colorectal cancer due to low screening rates. Each year, Dialogue for Action features an information exchange for health care professionals serving the American Indian/Alaska Native population as a step in combating this problem.

Health care workers ranging from Alaska to New Hampshire came together to discuss their challenges and successes in increasing screening rates in the American Indian community.

Participants were able to discuss their patient navigation programs and ways to train community leaders to encourage others to get others to get screened.


21st Century Cures Act: Where are we now? Apr. 11, 2016

On April 6th the Prevent Cancer Foundation kicked off our annual Dialogue for Action®, bringing together community health leaders, government staff, oncologists, researchers, and advocates to discuss issues of cancer prevention, screening and early detection. Read more

Join Dr. Kristi Funk, breast surgeon to the stars, at the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 2016 Dialogue for Action® Mar. 22, 2016

While I’m known for caring for some high-profile patients such as Angelina Jolie and Sheryl Crow, my career goal is to ensure that all women, regardless of circumstance or ability to pay, are receiving high-quality breast cancer prevention, screening and treatment. Read more

A Multi-State Coalition is formed at the 2015 Dialogue for Action® Feb. 18, 2016

Roy J. Duhé, Ph.D., is Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Professor of Radiation Oncology and Associate Director for Cancer Education at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Read more

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