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AMWA Attends White House Cervical Cancer Forum

On January 25, AMWA was honored to participate in the White House Cervical Cancer Forum as part of the Biden Cancer Moonshot.
We were welcomed by Dr. Danielle Carnival (Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot and Deputy Director for Health Outcomes, Office of Science and Technology Policy – OSTP), Dr. W. Kimryn Rathmell (Director, National Cancer Institute – NCI), and Dr. Emily Kainne Dokubo (Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator for Program Quality, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – PEPFAR).

Patient and advocate voices identified priorities to address. Eve McDavid, a cervical cancer survivor, CEO and co-founder of Mission-Driven Tech spoke of the need to “bend the arc of change towards elimination” and the sobering reality that despite cervical cancer being a preventable cancer, that survival rates had been stagnant – in stark contrast to prostate cancer which through investment, research, and innovation, has seen significant improvements in mortality. More investment, research, and innovation is needed for cervical cancer. McDavid has dedicated her second life to these efforts and charged attendees to “shift the elimination of cervical cancer from a vision to a verb in action.” Co-founder of Mission Driven Tech, Dr. Onyinye Balogun, was a speaker during HPV Prevention Week.

Panel 1 included:

Moderator: Tamika Felder, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Cervivor, Inc.


  • Andi Lipstein Fristedt – Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Director for Policy, Communicatios, & Legislative Affairs,Ceners for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Francisco Garicia – Deputy County Administrator & Chief Medical Officer, Health and Community Services for Pima County, Arizona and President-elect of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP)
  • Kate Mevis – Executive Director, U.S. Federal & State Vaccine Policy, Merck & Co., Inc
  • Debbie Saslow – Stratetic Director, Screening & Vaccination, American Cancer Society (ACS), and Jane Segebrecht, Strategic Initiatives Lead, Office of Women’s Health, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA).

Panel 2 included:

  • Heather White – Executive Director, TogetHER for Health and included Vanessa Bennett, Senior International Business Leader, Oncology Disease Area, Roche Diagnostics
  • Satish Gobap – Director, Center for Global Health, NCI
  • Hannah Johnson – Program Manager, Global Policy, George W. Bush Institute
  • Pavani Ram – Chief, Child Health and Immunization Division, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Kathleen Schmeler – Professor of Gynecologic Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Associate Vice President of Global Oncology for the MD Anderson Center Network.

Highlights from the discussion included the need for more than incremental change, breaking down silos among stakeholder groups, optimizing use of the immunization registry, earlier discussions with patients, recruitment of trusted community leaders, leveraging partnerships, and the anticipation of self-collection tests, now under FDA review. Andi Fristedt (CDC) reiterated the fact that cervical cancer is preventable, treatable, and curable but the work relied on the engagement of all stakeholders. Dr. Pavani Ram spoke of the need to work with families to instill confidence in the vaccine because ultimately, vaccination is a partnership between a mother, child, healthcare worker.

“We have the technology, we have made the progress, we need to do the work.” — Dr. Debbie Saslow (ACS)

“My role as an advocate is not to accept the status quo.” – Dr. Heather White (TogetHer for Health)

Dr. Catharine Young, Assistant Director for Cancer Moonshot Policy and International Engagement for the White House Office of Science and Technology Progress (OSTP) issued a call to action with “hope grounded in science.”

AMWA participated in a breakout with other allies in HPV and cancer prevention (Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer – GIAHC, Women in Global Health), federal agencies, and institutions.

The Biden Cancer Moonshot is an initiative which was first launched in 2016 during the Obama Administration, and re-ignited in 2020 to “end cancer as we know it.” This ambitious initiative aims to reduce the cancer death rate by at least 50 Percent Over the Next 25 Years.

Panel 1

Panel 2

Dr. Shobha Krishnan (GIAHC) (L) and Dr. Eliza Chin (R)

L-R: Dr. Shobha Krishnan, Dr. Catharine Young (OSTP), Dr. Eliza Chin

Tamika Felder (Cervivor) (L) and Dr. Eliza Chin (R)

Dr. Eliza Chin

L-R: Alayna Effron (HealthyWomen), Dr. Shobha Krishnan, Dr. Eliza Chin

Dr. Roopa Dhatt (L, Women in Global Health) and Dr. Eliza Chin (R)


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