Who we are
Unite to Prevent Cancer was created in 2018 by a diverse group of leaders to develop and implement sustainable solutions that bridge the gap between "knowing and doing" in the prevention of non-communicable diseases beginning with cancer. Major social shifts and demographic trends are often neglected in the context of short-term political and/or investment return cycles. Unite to Prevent Cancer will support leaders and organizations with the moral courage and commitment to care about societal progress and the future health and well-being of future generations.
Closing the Gap is Critical.
Ron DePinho, M.D.
Ron is Past President and a Distinguished University Professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is an internationally renowned physician-scientist who continues to make groundbreaking discoveries illuminating the fundamental mechanisms of cancer, aging and age-associated degenerative disorders. His pioneering work and collaborative initiatives across multiple disciplines has yielded better methods of early cancer detection, improved cancer patient care, and new cancer drugs. Ron’s life and work is devoted to reducing the burden of cancer, particularly for the underserved.
Co-Founder & Director
Margery Kraus is the founder and executive chairman of APCO Worldwide, a global consulting firm headquartered in Washington, DC, and specializes in public affairs, communication and business consulting for major multinationals. She pioneered one of the industry’s earliest practices in corporate responsibility and the development of public/private partnerships. Prior to starting APCO, Margery assisted into the creation and development of the Close Up Foundation. She is chairman of the board of the Women Presidents’ Organization and a trustee of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, Institute of Public Relations, and American University.
Co-Founder & President
Rick is a serial social entrepreneur having founded a dozen organizations that now operate in more than 100 countries impacting millions of people each year. His life’s work has focused on changing the odds for young people where they live, learn, work and play. His passion is to help organizations and leaders thrive – deepening their impact, scaling their reach, and financially sustaining their efforts.
Katie is the director at APCO Worldwide and serves as a strategic consultant to Unite to Prevent Cancer using her strong command of disease prevention and health promotion to help guide the planning and development of the initiative. At APCO, Katie specializes in creating, launching and managing public health campaigns, as well as stakeholder engagement, issues management and executive visibility programs. Katie holds her master’s in public health at Northwestern University where she focused her research on behavior change, disease prevention and health promotion.
Robin Smith, M.D.
Co-Founder & Director
Robin is a business leader, entrepreneur, doctor and philanthropist. She is a pioneer and global thought leader in the regenerative medicine industry, one of the fastest growing segments of modern-day medicine and has authored two books, The Healing Cell and Cells Are The New Cure. She has forged unique relationships with enterprises such as the Vatican enabling her to build bridges and bring people together in an effort to Unite to Prevent Diseases and Unite to Cure them. She received her M.D. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business.
Co-Founder & Executive Vice President
Stephanie is a healthcare strategist and fundraising executive with over 20+ years of experience in healthcare management, strategy development and resource mobilization. Her extensive work with healthcare leaders, organizations, private foundations, philanthropists and global initiatives combined with her marketing and communication background, strategic mindset, customer focus and in-depth knowledge of cancer, disease prevention and health policy has resulted in securing significant funding, innovative solutions and strategic alliances to prevent and cure disease on a global scale.
Laser Focus on Bridging the Gap
Extraordinary physicians and scientists have discovered and continue to find new evidence-based strategies to prevent cancer. Multitudes of organizations, large and small, are working to implement this new knowledge. Our goal is to amplify and connect these two worlds, not to duplicate nor compete with ongoing efforts; to become a trusted, effective ally in our common fight to make cancer prevention a reality.
An Uncommon Table of Collaboration
Bridging the gap between knowing and doing requires enlisting new voices, ideas, imagination and networks. Alongside policymakers, physicians, scientists, educators and health practitioners, investors and philanthropists who are already engaged in cancer prevention, we must expand the table. We intend to persuade and attract leading social media influencers, movement builders, tech gurus, musicians, gamers, journalists, and faith leaders.
Global in Scope, Local in Action
Cancer knows no geographic or cultural boundaries. From inception, our strategies will draw from global networks, experience and knowledge – including alignment with the health-related Global Goals – while relying on the wisdom of local/national leadership for execution and implementation.
Engaging Young People as Problem Solvers
We see children and youth as central to changing the odds in cancer prevention. Overwhelming evidence shows that smart investments and interventions during these early years are the best hope for preventing cancer and other diseases later in life.
Action and Execution are Critical
We believe that execution and delivery are just as important as policy changes. We will support leaders and organizations in their efforts to bridge the gap when they prioritize investments and incentives toward quality implementation and action.
Ambitious, Scalable & Sustainable Solutions
We will seize opportunities that are strategic, scalable and sustainable. There have been many excellent public awareness campaigns focused on cancer and other diseases, mostly with a short term goal of raising money to “find a cure” and/or support the work of specific organizations. Our goal is to build a movement that converts knowledge into sustainable action eliminating preventable cancers for the next generation.
Converting Knowledge into Sustainable Action
Cancer and other age-related diseases extract a significant societal, emotional and economic toll on a global scale. Our knowledge and evidence-based strategies can prevent up to 50% of all cancers. The average person does not understand their inherent risk of developing cancer and other diseases nor do they know what lifestyle changes are needed to reduce their risk of disease and how to access preventive services. Actions to prevent adult cancers must begin during childhood/adolescence
Convening & Coordinating across Diverse Stakeholders Globally
There are many great organizations and cancer centers, alongside many others in the public, private and civil society sectors, that are focused on the development and/or dissemination of strategies, policies, education, and services to improve the health of communities and nations, each making meaningful contributions. But more must be done to coordinate across these groups to align unique capabilities, strategy and funding.
Engaging Young People
Society often fails to recognize the power of young people in effecting cultural transformation. Our youth become engaged when something is real, relevant and right now.
Harnessing Technology & Innovation
Global highly accessible user friendly digital platforms need to be developed and deployed to enable individuals to understand their personalized cancer risk assessment and specific actions they need to take to reduce their risk.
THIS GATHERING STORM REQUIRES DECISIVE, COLLECTIVE ACTION NOW.
Closing the Gap
In 2019, Unite to Prevent Cancer will develop and begin to implement a bold global strategy to make cancer prevention a reality. Closing the gap will require strategic funding and long-term, innovative and collaborative solutions including: building a worldwide partner coalition that coordinates the collective capabilities of a diverse, global uncommon table; policy promotion, general health education and youth engagement and the incubation of ideas that harness technology.
Early success in individual, foundation and corporate philanthropy is fundamental to building a sustainable business model. Once initial seed support is attained, government support, global strategic partnerships, longer-term philanthropic endowments and broad base giving strategies (such as peer-to-peer fundraising) will be secured. Efficient translation of certain opportunities (such as digital platforms) would then allow for collaboration opportunities with the private sector.
Bridging the “knowing and doing” gap is complex but an absolute necessity to reduce the burden of disease and specifically cancer. It is our responsibility to act now to protect the health of future generations.