September 22nd, 2011

Professional Seminar to Raise Awareness, Funds for Melanoma Prevention

By msequeira
Jeff Diamond Law Firm sponsors continuing education opportunity for medical and legal professionals and the public; proceeds to benefit the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund at the UNM Cancer Center

The Jeff Diamond Law Firm and the University of New Mexico Cancer Center are pleased to announce the 2011 First Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients Seminar, scheduled for Friday, October 21, at the Pecos River Village Conference Center in Carlsbad, New Mexico. This cutting-edge continuing education seminar has two tracks, one geared to healthcare professionals, the other to legal professionals. The fee for professional attendees is $250; Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit is available. In addition, a separate program of public presentations is available at no charge for all interested members of the public not seeking continuing education credits (see details below).

The seminar is funded by Jeff Diamond, Esq., and his wife Evy, with help from lawyers, physicians and other volunteers who are donating their time and expertise to the cause. As a result, 100 percent of continuing education fees and all fundraising proceeds will benefit the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund at the UNM Cancer Center. Established in honor of Jeff and Evy’s son Shannon Shaw, who died of melanoma in 2009, the Fund supports melanoma education, early diagnosis and treatment in medically underserved communities in New Mexico.

“We are thrilled to assemble some of our state’s top experts in the medical and legal fields and make their knowledge and experience available to the Southeast New Mexico community,” said Jeff Diamond, Esq., founder of the Jeff Diamond Law Firm, a practice focused on Social Security Disability law with six locations in New Mexico and Texas. “Whether you are a physician, lawyer or member of the public with a compelling interest in cancer advocacy, we believe you will find the information – and inspiration – you need.”

“It is a pleasure to partner with Jeff and his team on this important professional education and public awareness program,” said Cheryl Willman, MD, Director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center. “The UNM Cancer Center is committed to making cancer education, research and care available to New Mexicans throughout the state. The first annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients seminar is an important addition to our multi-faceted efforts in statewide outreach and treatment.”


2011 Advocacy for Cancer Patients Seminar Overview

The 2011 Advocacy for Cancer Patients Seminar features a medical track and a legal track. The medical track – presented by distinguished clinicians from the UNM Cancer Center and private practice, as well as legal experts – will cover critical issues in cancer treatment (with a focus on melanoma and breast cancer), patient and family interactions and community advocacy. The seminar’s legal track – presented by practicing lawyers with healthcare-specific expertise – will offer insights into insurance, employment and disability law pertinent to legal professionals advocating on behalf of cancer patients and their families. A roundtable session, the last event of the day, will convene medical and legal presenters to discuss issues of shared relevance.

The UNM Cancer Center’s Dr. Cheryl Willman will moderate the medical seminar; Jeff Diamond, Esq., and Anita Miller, Esq., will introduce the legal seminar. All seminar attendees will join together for a luncheon hosted by Jeff and Evy Diamond on behalf of the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund. Luncheon keynotes will be delivered by special guest Senator Timothy Z. Jennings (D-Roswell), Senate President Pro Tempore, and Dr. Willman. There will also be a special presentation honoring Patty Jennings, wife of Sen. Tim Jennings, a longtime patient advocate who passed away in 2009.


For more information or to register, please visit the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund’s website at

Members of the public are invited to attend a separate series of public presentations at no charge. See details under “Public Presentations” below.

Consistent with the day’s focus on cancer awareness and education, the seminar site will also host a blood drive and bone marrow drive. All participants and members of the public are encouraged to donate.


Additional Fundraising Events

The seminar will be followed by a cocktail party and fundraiser at the Living Desert Zoo & Gardens State Park to benefit the UNM Cancer Center, sponsored by Jeff and Evy Diamond. The next day, the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund will inaugurate its First Annual Shannon Shaw Memorial Team Roping Event. The fundraiser, dubbed “Gatherin’ His Slack,” will be held on Saturday, October 22, at 10 a.m. at the Carlsbad Sheriff’s Posse Arena. The No B.S. Cattle Company is in charge of the event; all proceeds will benefit the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund at the UNM Cancer Center. The public should call 575-626-6729 for more information.


Seminar Speakers and Topics

2011 Advocacy for Cancer Patients Seminar speakers and topics are listed below. For a full agenda, please see


Medical Seminar

  • Cheryl L Willman, MD, Director and CEO, UNM Cancer Center
  • Carlos Hadzic, MD, Radiation Oncologist, Carlsbad Advanced Radiation Oncology Center

Radiation therapy

  • Alvaro J. Alencar, MD, Kymera Independent Physicians

Skin cancer, breast cancer

  • Will Parsons, PhD, Private practice

Psychology and counseling

  • Greta B. Fischer, Esq., The Jeff Diamond Law Firm, Odessa, Texas

Cynthia Hall, Esq., Counsel, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission

Rita Siegel, Esq., Siegel Law Firm

ADA, EEOC, human rights laws

  • Melanie Royce, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist, UNM Cancer Center; Professor, UNM Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology; Director, UNM Cancer Center Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Program; Director, UNM Cancer Center Hereditary Cancer Assessment Program

Breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer, clinical trials

  • Monte Shaheen, MD, Medical Oncologist, UNM Cancer Center; Assistant Professor, UNM Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology

Melanoma, clinical trials

  • Rod Schumacher, Esq., CEO, Roswell Regional Hospital

Masoud Khorsand-Sahbaie, MD, Kymera Independent Physicians

Cancer in the community


Legal Seminar

  • Jeffrey B. Diamond, Esq., The Jeff Diamond Law Firm, Carlsbad

Anita P. Miller, Esq., Member, ABA Breast Cancer Committee; Adjunct Professor, UNM Law School

Introductions; Anita Miller will also present a session on the SCALES program of the NM bar

  • Julie Neerken, Esq., Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, PA


  • Cynthia Hall, Esq., Counsel, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission

NM insurance codes and regulations

  • Kyle Stock, Esq., Southwest Women’s Law Center

Federal healthcare legislation

  • Greta B. Fischer, Esq., The Jeff Diamond Law Firm, Odessa, Texas

Social Security compassionate allowances, TERI

  • Rita Siegel, Esq., Siegel Law Firm

ADA, EEOC, human rights laws


Keynote Speakers

  • Sen. Timothy Z. Jennings (D-Roswell), President Pro-Tempore of the Senate
  • Cheryl L. Willman, MD, Director and CEO, UNM Cancer Center


Public Presentations

The following sessions are designed for members of the public. They are free of charge and open to all interested individuals not seeking continuing education credit. Members of the public should call 877-622-3065 for more information about attending one or more of the below presentations. Schedule is subject to change; please visit for updates.


  • 8:00-8:30 a.m. – Welcome by Kenneth Thompson, CFRE, Director of Development, UNM Cancer Center
  • 8:30-9:15 a.m. – Will Parsons, PhD

Coping with psychological problems for patients and their families

  • 9:15-10:00 a.m. – Carlos Hadzic, MD

IMRT and less invasive and less tissue-destructive therapies

  • 10:15-11:00 a.m. – Rita Siegel, Esq.
    Keeping your job while getting cancer treatment
  • 11:00-11:45 a.m. – Julie Neerken, Esq.
    Employment and insurance rights of cancer patients
  • 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:15-2:00 p.m. – Monte Shaheen, MD
    The latest information about clinical trials
  • 2:00-2:45 p.m. – Kyle Stock, Esq.
    New insurance laws going into effect in 2012
  • 2:45-3:15 p.m. – Alvaro J. Alencar, MD
    Advances in cancer treatment in southeastern New Mexico
  • 3:30-4:15 p.m. – Melanie Royce, MD, PhD
    Latest developments and treatment for inflammatory breast cancer and other high-risk cancers
  • 4:15-5:00 p.m. – Roundtable Q&A


About the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund

Shannon was a loving father and husband who died from malignant melanoma on August 31, 2009. He had been a patient of the UNM Cancer Center. He was the supervising petroleum engineer for the Bureau of Land Management in Santa Fe with oversight responsibilities in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.


As brilliant, sophisticated and good a man as he was, Shannon refused to listen to his wife, Christine, or his mother, Evy Diamond, to have a doctor examine a nasty mole on his hip. Several years after they began nagging him, he finally saw a dermatologist, who diagnosed Stage IV melanoma. He fought the battle with surgery, radiation and chemo for about a year before he died. He told his children, Jacob and Marlena, “Listen to your mom.” He asked his wife and mother to launch a campaign to help others avoid the pain suffered by his loved ones.


Shannon’s family and friends established a fund in his memory at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. It opened on the day of his death. The Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund exists to create educational programs and clinics in medically underserved communities for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. Learn more at


About the UNM Cancer Center

The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center in the state. One of just 66 NCI-designated cancer centers nationwide, the UNM Cancer Center is recognized for its scientific excellence, contributions to cancer research and delivery of medical advances to patients and their families. It is home to 85 board-certified oncology physicians representing every cancer specialty and 127 research scientists hailing from prestigious institutions such as MD Anderson, Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic. The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 65 percent of the adults and virtually all of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer, from every county in the state. In 2010, it provided care to more than 15,800 cancer patients. The Center’s research programs are supported by nearly $60 million annually in federal and private funding. Learn more at


Media contact information
Dorothy Hornbeck, JKPR, 505-797-6673,
Kyle Marksteiner, 575-706-2324,






Tags: community, Melanoma, Press Release Archive 2011, Screening/Prevention Melanoma