Melanie Royce, MD, PhD, was recently named to the American Cancer Society Great West Division Board of Directors. Dr. Royce is a Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and is Director of the Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic and Program at the UNM Cancer Center. “The American Cancer Society strives to include medical professionals in their boards,” says Dr. Royce. “I’ll participate on the board not just as a breast cancer specialist but as a cancer specialist.”
The Great West Division of the ACS is one of eleven divisions in the country and comprises more states and land area than any of the others. In each division, a board of directors sets the priorities and oversees the programs that adapt the national ACS’s focus to the region’s specific needs. Dr. Royce will be one of 24 board members on the Great West Division’s board. She has committed to a one-year term which she could extend for up to 3 years.
As a cancer expert and a cancer physician, Dr. Royce will help the board ensure that the guidelines it adopts are based on scientific principles and strong evidence. “The American Cancer Society has a lot of impact when it establishes guidelines for screening,” says Dr. Royce. So, her role will be to help others understand and interpret information that may or may not support a particular guideline change or proposal. Dr. Royce recently met with Otis Brawley, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer for the ACS. “He said people are motivated and have good hearts but are not always highly scientific,” she recalls, “and that as a healthcare professional, I must help people to do what’s right.”
Dr. Royce will also help the Great West Division board determine which areas the region should focus on and how it should allocate the money it raises to make the greatest impact. “Raising awareness, setting priorities, making recommendations,” says Dr. Royce, “that’s where I could be most helpful.”
About the UNM Cancer Center
The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the state. One of just 68 premier NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide, the UNM Cancer Center is recognized for its scientific excellence, contributions to cancer research, the delivery of high quality, state of the art cancer diagnosis and treatment to all New Mexicans, and its community outreach programs statewide. Annual federal and private funding of over $72 million supports the UNM Cancer Center’s research programs. The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 60 percent of the adults and virtually all of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer, from every county in the state. It is home to New Mexico’s largest team of board-certified oncology physicians and research scientists, representing every cancer specialty and hailing from prestigious institutions such as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic. Through its partnership with Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, the UNM Cancer Center brings world-class cancer care to the southern part of the state; its collaborative clinical programs in Santa Fe and Farmington serve northern New Mexico and it is developing new collaborative programs in Alamogordo and in Roswell/Carlsbad. The UNM Cancer Center also supports several community outreach programs to make cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment available to every New Mexican. Learn more at www.cancer.unm.edu.