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Our Mission & Vision

Our Mission: To ensure full access to timely, appropriate cancer care for low-income, medically, and socially underserved women with cancer.

Our Vision: To protect and sustain high quality, comprehensive cancer care for all women receiving treatment and services within the safety net at (Zuckerberg SFGH, other hospitals and clinics, and community-based organizations). This vision can only be accomplished when all treatment and services are delivered with compassion as well as with linguistic and cultural sensitivity.

 

Our Story

The San Francisco Women’s Cancer Network (SFWCN) was founded in 1987. SFWCN is a coalition of health care professionals, consumer health advocates, and community members dedicated to improving the health status and cancer awareness among low income, uninsured/underinsured, and minority women in San Francisco. Members came together to raise money for low-cost mammograms, for uninsured/underinsured women in San Francisco.

SFWCN facilitates close collaboration between health care providers/case managers in the San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco General Hospital and community-based organizations assisting women in accessing practical support services.

Currently, SFWCN is also serving in an advisory capacity as the Cancer Advisory Committee to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, regarding crucial safety-net services.

Spotlight 

Board President, Judith Luce, MD is a founding member of the San Francisco Women’s Cancer Network. She shares her views on why the Network was founded and why it is still relevant today. 

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Our Network Members

Bay Area Cancer Connections

Bay Area Cancer Connections supports anyone affected by breast or ovarian cancer with personalized services that inform and empower. Their community network is backed by some of the most prestigious and trusted medical organizations in the Bay Area who assist in serving those most in need of services.

Circulo de Vida

In the field of cancer, many of the inroads to increasing language-specific psychosocial support in the SF Bay Area is directly attributed to Círculo de Vida Cancer Support and Resource Center. Founded in 1992, we are the first successful Spanish-language support group program in the greater Bay Area.

Pilipino Senior Resource Center

The Center provides support groups for seniors, and breast cancer survivors. Services also include case management, referrals for housing and medical care, and they offer translation services that range from explaining forms written in English to interpreting during doctors’ visits.

Shanti

Shanti’s Margot Murphy Women’s Cancer Program offers services to mitigate the barriers women face after a cancer diagnosis through practical assistance and emotional support augmenting hospital-based care and reducing the social, economic, linguistic, and cultural barriers.

thesecondopinion

Theseondopinion provides free multidisciplinary, comprehensive second opinions to adults in California diagnosed with new or recurrent cancers. Their goal is to ensure that every cancer patient has access to a second opinion and is empowered to make informed medical decisions. Since 1969, the organization has served more than 10,000 patients throughout California.

 

UCSF Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive cancer center

The UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center combines basic science, clinical research, epidemiology/cancer control, and patient care throughout the University of California, San Francisco.

Leadership

We are a community-centered organization, located in San Francisco. Our goal and mission are to connect women to high quality, compassionate, linguistically and culturally appropriate cancer care and services.

Capacity Building to Network Organizations

We help to strengthen organizations to better connect women to comprehensive cancer services. We provide resources, training, and technical assistance to our Network member organizations to best meet the needs of women with cancer.

Partnerships

As a network,  we connect and partner with community cancer support groups, healthcare clinics, hospitals, community based organizations, public health departments,  academic and research institutions. 

Our ongoing and regular communications with Network members, allow us to work together to reduce inequities in cancer services,  facilitate appropriate cancer care, provide connections to behavioral health services, and cancer support resources to women in San Francisco. We look forward to collaborating on programmatic issues, research, and advocacy with our SFWCN members.

SFWCN Board of Directors

Judith Luce, MD

President of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Women’s Cancer Network.

She retired as the Director of Oncology Services at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). She also served as the Principal Investigator for SFGH’s membership in the Clinical Trials Support Unit of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Luce has long held an interest in cancer control issues for underserved women and has worked as medical director with the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. She’s been every active with groups like the American Cancer Society, and other nonprofits in the San Francisco working toward the shared goal of the Women’s Cancer Network.

Priscilla J. Banks

Priscilla J. Banks, Treasurer and a founding member of the San Francisco Women’s Cancer Network.

Since 1990, she has been involved with Cancer Control activities and psychosocial cancer research at the University of California Berkeley and San Francisco. Prior to 1990, she worked as an investment banker managing a diversified portfolio with a major New York bank. She is the recipient of the University of California’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Chancellor’s award for Extraordinary leadership and inspiration in advancing the goals of social and economic justice; Alameda County’s Woman of the Year award for the field of health; Susan G Komen, You Can Make a Difference award; and the California Breast Cancer Program’s Cornelius L Hopper Scientific Achievement award.

Linda Wardlaw

Linda Wardlaw, DrPH, is Secretary of the San Francisco Women’s Cancer Network.

She is also an experienced grant-writer and former evaluator for the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic for low-income women with cancer. Her long public health career includes social services, environmental health, infectious disease (AIDS/HIV), and integrative approaches to women’s cancer care. The uniting factor in all these is that the most vulnerable always suffer the worst outcomes. Access, equity, and culturally appropriate education are critical to meaningful improvements in public health.

Roxanna Bautista

Roxanna Bautista, MPH is the founder and lead of Rise Up Solutions, a consultant group dedicated to supporting and lifting up leaders and organizations to transform themselves and their communities. She has over 20 years working with diverse communities to achieve improved health outcomes through forming networks, strengthening programs, and developing individual and organizational leadership.Roxanna served as the Senior Director of Engagement Strategies at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national health justice organization which influences policy, mobilizes communities, and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

Fern Orenstein

Fern Orenstein, is a Social Worker with the County of Marin Aging and Adult Services. She also serves as the Executive Director of Breastoration Ink. For over three decades, Fern worked as a public health specialist within a variety of disease prevention and health promotion programs. She recently retired from the UCSF Department of Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) after 9 years as Program Director of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Program. As part of her work at ZSFG, Fern joined the Executive Committee of the SFWCN. Fern also recently launched the non-profit Breastoration Ink, which provides expert 3D-nipple and areola tattooing to low-income individuals after breast cancer and breast reconstruction surgery.

Cecilia A. Thomas

Cecilia A. Thomas is currently the Program Coordinator for the Women’s Health Program and formerly the Manager of CPMC 2020 and the African American and Sister to Sister Breast Health Program at Sutter Health CPMC. She is responsible for creating and coordinating the new Women’s Health Information Program and as Manager of CPMC2020, Cecilia coordinated marketing, communications and events for the opening of Sutter Health CPMC’s two new hospitals. In 2015, Cecilia was given the 2015 Advocacy Award by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., San Francisco Chapter for her work in the community of San Francisco, providing breast health outreach and information

Michelle Loya-Talamantes

Michelle Loya-Talamantes, MPH, is the Recording Secretary of the San Francisco Women’s Cancer Network.

She has worked supporting communities in the Bay Area for health and equity for many years. Michelle is currently Population Health Program Manager and Qualified Health Educator at the San Francisco Health Plan and is a faculty member at the City College of San Francisco. She has held a variety of leadership roles in health and social services organizations including the San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Central American Resource Center, and Breathe California, Golden Gate Public Health Partnership. Michelle currently serves as a board member of the Central American Resource Center and is a volunteer member of the Mission Oral Health Task Force in San Francisco.

Leadership Staff

Olivia Fe

Executive Director, Olivia Fè possesses a proven track record as an effective leader with highly developed skills in advocacy and civic engagement. Other areas of expertise are in creating effective strategies to reach out to target populations and working with clients from diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Fè founded and was executive director of the Latina Breast Cancer Agency (LBCA). She formed LBCA in 2002 in response to the growing need for breast cancer awareness programs for underserved Latinas living in the San Francisco Bay Area. During this time, she developed a successful patient-centered navigator program that works within the healthcare setting. The program was designed to improve access to the full continuum of high-quality breast cancer care for low-income, uninsured women, including immigrant, elderly and undocumented women. Olivia Fè is also a 20-year breast cancer survivor.