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Cancer consortium names Kent County supervisor to board

October 20, 2014
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KCHD supervisor joins cancer consortium
Sally Cory. Courtesy Kent County

A Kent County Health Department supervisor with a diverse public health background is joining the board of the Michigan Cancer Consortium.

The Kent County Health Department announced recently that Sally Cory, supervisor of the women’s health network program of community wellness at the health department, was selected to join the board of directors at Michigan Cancer Consortium, a statewide collaboration committed to reducing the burden of cancer among Michigan residents.

Cory will assume her role on the board of directors as of Jan. 1 and serve a three year term. Susan Hoppough, co-chair of the board at MCC, said Cory’s addition to the board will increase opportunities and information sharing regarding cancer initiatives across the state.

“Sally is an active member of the MCC and brings years of cancer prevention and control experience and expertise to the board of directors,” said Hoppough in a statement. “This translates to improved knowledge sharing and also additional opportunities for advancing cancer prevention and control initiatives statewide.”

Cory has 25 years of experience in the field of health care overseeing programming, delivery and administration, and for 18 years has served as supervisor and coordinator of the Kent County Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program. When first approached earlier this year by a couple of MCC’s board members to consider the role, Cory said one member felt passionate about having a voice for public health represented on the board.

“I thought I just won’t be qualified enough to serve in this capacity because it is … a very esteemed board. I don’t hold a Ph.D., I’m not an M.D., I don’t have that alphabetical soup,” said Cory. “I am very honored. I am very hopeful; it is a great coalition, it is a great consortium, and they make a lot of significant decisions that impact all of our health care.”

With her background rooted in public health concerns, Cory said one benefit will be her ability to empathize with certain issues that may not seem significant at the outset.

“I believe my voice will be that of the consumer as well as somewhat of a patient advocate. I am a health care consumer, I am a woman, but I’ve also worked with a lot of populations consistently and daily who haven’t had great access or even any access to health care,” said Cory. “ I feel that by those I work with and serve, I can bring that voice to the table and keep us focused on the real issue, which is serving our communities as best as we can with the best quality standards.”

The MCC’s mission to reduce the toll of cancer in Michigan is achieved through focusing on health disparities, access to care, emerging science and technology, and encouraging members and partners to implement strategies and impact existing policies and systems.

Although there are numerous collaborative efforts across the state, Cory said some of them seem focused on a singular event of cause before the partnership evaporates. One goal she would like to see accomplished while serving on the board is bringing the West Michigan collaborative spirit to the forum.

“They have some remarkable goals at the consortium and I do believe they are all very achievable. I would really like to see enhanced collaboration in our communities. I would like to see more collaboration statewide and I do think MCC is the right mechanism,” said Cory. “We’ve enjoyed it immensely here in West Michigan; everybody joining resources, coming to the table, dropping their agendas, and looking at the big picture. For MCC, we are focused on a couple of cancer priorities and I think if we can bring that collaborative spirit to these initiatives, we are going to see even greater change then.”

Headquartered in Okemos, the Michigan Cancer Consortium comprises roughly 100 public and private organizations partnering to implement strategic plans to impact cancer and improve access to quality care. The member partners represent fields such as academics, health care, public health agencies, advocacy organizations and health insurers.

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