Press Releases

New Volunteers Selected to Lead American Cancer Society
Nov 5, 2010
Nation’s Largest Voluntary Health Organization Elects Breast and Cervical Cancer Expert Edward E. Partridge, M.D. and Banking Industry Expert Stephen L. Swanson To Lead National Volunteer Board of Directors

ATLANTA—November 5, 2010— The American Cancer Society, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization, elected 11 new officers to its volunteer 2010-2011 National Board of Directors during its annual meeting this week in Atlanta. The organization’s National Assembly and National Board of Directors, the Society’s primary governing bodies, have been comprised of elected volunteers since the organization’s inception in 1913.


Leading the Assembly will be the newly elected President Edward E. Partridge, M.D., of Birmingham, Ala., and presiding over the Board will be Chair Stephen L. Swanson, of Allison Park, Penn. Other officers elected were W. Phil Evans, III, M.D., F.A.C.R., of Dallas, Texas, president-elect; Cynthia M. LeBlanc, EdD, M.A., of Richmond, Cal., chair-elect; Gary M. Reedy, of Dresher, Penn., vice chair; Daniel P. Heist, C.P.A., of State College, Penn., treasurer; Lila R. Johnson, R.N., M.P.H., C.H.E.S., of Honolulu, HI, secretary; Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., M.D., of New Haven, Conn., first vice president; Tim E. Byers, M.D., M.P.H., of Aurora, Colo., second vice president; Alan G. Thorson, M.D., F.A.C.S., of Omaha, Neb., immediate past president; and George W. P. Atkins of Atlanta, Ga., immediate past chair. 


“It is truly an honor and privilege to lead an organization that is saving lives,” said Edward E. Partridge, M.D., president of the Society. “While we are making great progress in the fight against cancer, we still have a great deal of work to do to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.”


Edward E. Partridge, M.D. is the director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center. Serving as the past chairman of the Mid-South Division regional affiliate of the Society, Partridge is nationally recognized for his work to eliminate cancer health disparities, and he is the principal investigator of the NCI-funded Deep South Network for Cancer Control and the Morehouse School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership. One of the nation’s leading gynecologic oncologists, Partridge serves as chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s screening guidelines panel for cervical cancer. His efforts have also helped gain Alabama participation in the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Partridge is a longtime volunteer for the Society, having served in numerous capacities for more than 30 years.


Partridge succeeds Alan G. Thorson, M.D., F.A.C.S., who remains an officer as immediate past president. Dr. Thorson is a clinical professor of surgery at both Creighton University and the University of Nebraska, and a nationally recognized colon and rectal surgeon serving as program director for Colon and Rectal Surgery at Creighton University. An American Cancer Society volunteer since 1985 and a St. George National Award recipient, Dr. Thorson also served as the President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. Dr. Thorson is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons and the Southwestern Surgical Congress.


Stephen L. Swanson, the new chair of the National Board of Directors, has more than 25 years of executive experience in business, including senior positions in the energy and banking industries. He has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and currently is president of his own independent management consulting firm. Swanson has served as a member of the Society’s National Board of Directors, and as chair of the Society’s Pennsylvania Division regional affiliate board of directors. Since 2005, Mr. Swanson has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society.


Swanson replaces George W. P. Atkins who will remain on the board as immediate past chair. Atkins has been a Society volunteer since 1973. After a 33-year career in the banking industry, Atkins retired from Wachovia Bank, where his last position was as an executive vice president in the trust department. Atkins has served on many national and South Atlantic Division regional affiliate volunteer committees, including both boards of directors as well as the governance committee. He also served as chairman of the board, secretary and treasurer in the Society’s former Southeast Division (serving Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina).


W. Phil Evans, III, M.D., F.A.C.R., president-elect, is a professor of Radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Center in Dallas, the associate vice president for Clinical Imaging Services, and director of the Center for Breast Care. He is also the current president of the Society of Breast Imaging. His research interests are in digital imaging, computer assisted detection of breast cancer, percutaneous breast biopsies, and breast MRI. Dr. Evans has served in numerous capacities in the Society’s High Plains Division and nationally for more than 20 years.


Cynthia M. LeBlanc, Ed.D., M.A, chair-elect, has more than 30 years of experience in academic administration in several school districts in California, for which she has received numerous recognitions including the Ella Hill Hutch Leadership Award from Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA). A Society volunteer for more than 21 years, LeBlanc has served in various capacities at the community, Division and national levels. She has served on the Society’s California Board of Directors since 1994, including serving as chair from 2004-2005. A St. George medal recipient, Dr. LeBlanc is a Road to Recovery volunteer, Legislative Ambassador, and ACS National Leadership Development Program coach.


Gary M. Reedy, vice-chair, is worldwide vice president government affairs and policy with Johnson & Johnson, and has over thirty years of domestic and international experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. An active American Cancer Society volunteer since 2000, Mr. Reedy has served as a member of the National Board of Directors since 2004, first as the ACS Foundation Liaison and then as a Director-at-Large. Since 2005, Mr. Reedy has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, and presently serves as Chair. He is also secretary of the C-Change Board of Directors.


Daniel P. Heist, C.P.A., treasurer, is the director of Internal Audit at Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Heist has been active with the Society since 1988, and has served in numerous capacities both at the Pennsylvania Division affiliate and on a national level. He has more than 25 years of auditing and accounting experience. Prior to being at Penn State, he was senior manager with Deloitte & Touche, LLP, specializing in serving the higher education sector.


Lila R. Johnson, R.N., M.P.H., C.H.E.S., secretary, is the community coordinator for the Hawaii Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Education Program. Ms. Johnson has been a volunteer with the Society for more than 35 years, and has served at all levels of the organization including president of the Honolulu Unit and both president and board chair of the former Hawaii Pacific Division affiliate. She is also the Representative from North America to the International Network of Women Against Tobacco Executive Board.


Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., M.D., first vice-president, is professor of Medicine, and professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. DeVita spent the early part of his career at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health, and in 1980 was appointed by the President of the United States as Director of NCI and the National Cancer Program. While at NCI, he was instrumental in developing combination chemotherapy programs that ultimately led to an effective regimen of curative chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease and diffuse large cell lymphomas. Dr. DeVita has also served as Physician-In-Chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and professor of Medicine at Cornell University School of Medicine until he returned to Yale in 1993.


Tim E. Byers, M.D., M.P.H., second vice-president, is the associate director at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, the associate dean for the Public Health Practice at the Colorado School for Public Health, and a nationally recognized epidemiologist. Originally serving as a peer reviewer in the Extramural Research Grants program and as a member of the epidemiology team planning for Cancer Prevention Study- II analyses, Dr. Byers has been an American Cancer Society volunteer for nearly thirty years.


The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end cancer for good. As a global grassroots force of three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping you stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, helping you get well by being there for you during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery and fighting back through public policy. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.5 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit


Claire Greenwell

American Cancer Society

Phone: (404) 417- 5883