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The Front Line
The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair

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A SWOG Staff Transition

Jun 26, 2015 - SWOG's communications and public relations manager works closely with Group leaders on strategies for developing and refining our dispatches and getting them out to our various constituencies, including our members, our patients, the wider cancer research community, the press, and the public at large. Our manager has also provided marketing communications expertise to enhance patient accrual to our clinical trials and served as the Group Chair's liaison to the SWOG Patient Advocate Committee. It's actually one of our most important administrative positions.

To date, I've introduced a number of new SWOG leaders in this column and have thanked a commensurate number of outgoing principals. Today it seems appropriate I recognize an important transition among those working behind the scenes to make SWOG run. Specifically, I want to call your attention to a transition at our communications desk.

This week, we welcomed to SWOG a new communications and public relations manager, Wendy Lawton, who comes to us from her most recent stint as communications director for the city of Gresham, Oregon. Wendy's background includes a near ideal mix of training, skills, and experience, which will certainly combine to make her successful in this position. With a master's degree in journalism from New York University, she has almost 25 years of experience in communications and healthcare-related fundraising. She spent a number of years as a journalist with a health care beat, significant time as a science writer with a focus on health care and medical research, and a good chunk of her life as media relations manager for medicine at Brown University.

Wendy will transition into the role played by SWOG's outgoing communications manager, Frank DeSanto. Frank's creativity, work ethic, and broad skill set have served SWOG well over the last six years, and I have worked closely with him on numerous initiatives, including these weekly Front Line posts. Luckily for us, he will remain associated with SWOG over the next few months, helping with the transition and winding down work on some important projects.

Please join me in bidding farewell to Frank and in welcoming Wendy (lawtonw@ohsu.edu). I feel privileged to have worked with Frank and know things will proceed smoothly, efficiently, and energetically with Wendy.


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