Linda House, RN, BSN, MSM
Linda House has a long-standing history with the Cancer Support Community. First she served as a local, affiliate volunteer and now, as President of the headquarters office. In her current role, Linda oversees several areas of CSC including the Research and Training Institute, the Cancer Policy Institute, strategic growth and development and marketing and communications while maintaining high engagement with CSC’s affiliates and service delivery functions. Linda joined CSC after many years working in the cancer care environment, including over a decade of direct patient care in the acute oncology and hospice care setting.
Immediately prior to joining CSC, Linda served as Executive Director of St. Vincent Cancer Care in Indianapolis where she led a team of individuals to provide care across the full cancer continuum. Prior to that, Linda was Senior Director of Advocacy and Professional Relations for Lilly Oncology working with patient and professional organizations on programs and broad issues related to cancer care.
Linda serves in a variety of advisory roles in the national cancer community and is also an active volunteer with a number of organizations in her local community.
Elizabeth Franklin, LGSW, ACSW
Executive Director, Cancer Policy Institute
Elizabeth Franklin, LGSW, ACSW, is Executive Director of the Cancer Policy Institute (CPI) at the Cancer Support Community (CSC). CSC is the largest provider of social and emotional support services for cancer patients and their loved ones in the United States. The CPI brings together patient advocates and policy experts to ensure that the voices of cancer patients and their loved ones play a central role in federal and state legislative, regulatory, and executive policy making. The CPI works in partnership with patient advocates, the CSC affiliate network, and numerous allied health care and oncology organizations to work towards a future where 15.5 million cancer survivors have access to comprehensive, high-quality, timely, and affordable medical, social, and emotional care. Elizabeth is responsible for all aspects of the CPI including legislative, regulatory, policy, and research priorities as well as operations, fundraising, and management. Elizabeth was previously Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at CSC.
Elizabeth was formerly Director of Policy and Engagement at the George Washington University Cancer Institute where she worked at both the macro level, developing and implementing the Institute’s policy agenda, and at the micro level, working with the patient-centered care team to ensure that all patients had access to high-quality, timely cancer care. Previously, Elizabeth was Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy with the Prevent Cancer Foundation as well as Special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at the headquarters of the National Association of Social Workers.
Elizabeth is a recognized author and speaker. Her articles have appeared in publications such as the Journal of Cancer Education, Health and Social Work, and Conquer Cancer Magazine. She has co-authored two books on non-profit leadership and co-edited two social work texts. In addition, she is a member of various organizations and coalitions, including the National Association of Social Workers (where she serves as President of the DC Chapter), Association of Oncology Social Work (where she serves on the advocacy committee), Academy of Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigators (where she serves on the leadership council and as Chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee), Alliance for Quality Psychosocial Cancer Care, and Society for Social Work and Research.
Currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Elizabeth is focusing her dissertation on the ways in which patients define value in the cancer care system and how those definitions can be incorporated into public policy and clinical practice. Elizabeth obtained her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of Kentucky. She is a Licensed Graduate Social Worker in the District of Columbia and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers.
Kristen Cox Santiago
Senior Director, Policy & Advocacy
Kristen Santiago has substantial experience working in the healthcare industry in roles in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. In her current role as Senior Director, Policy & Advocacy for The Cancer Support Community (CSC), Kristen is responsible for the development and implementation of CSC’s regulatory and legislative agenda, securing and growing relationships with policymakers and stakeholders across multiple sectors, and engaging national partners to identify areas of common work and consensus to collectively advocate for positive change for people affected by cancer.
In Kristen’s previous position as Director, Strategic Initiatives & Outreach at C-Change, Kristen oversaw two of the organization’s strategic initiatives: Assuring Value in Cancer Care, focusing on improving the quality of care for individuals with cancer and their loved ones; and Sustaining a Strong National Cancer Workforce, focusing on increasing the quantity of individuals who provide care and improving the quality of the care they provide.
Prior to C-Change, Kristen worked for TAP and Takeda Pharmaceuticals and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and interned with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. Kristen earned a Masters of Science in Health Promotion Management at American University and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Language Pathology from The George Washington University.
Kristen is driven by a strong personal desire to impact the health status and quality of life of individuals.
Manager, Policy & Advocacy
Shelby Berger joined the Cancer Support Community in May 2017 as the Policy and Advocacy Manager. She works with the policy team to develop and implement CSC’s regulatory and legislative agenda while focusing on grassroots and state-level advocacy. Shelby graduated with a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 2016, where she studied Communication with a focus in Public Policy and Advocacy. Before joining CSC, Shelby worked as a Legislative Aide in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she worked on a wide variety of issues from Medicaid to Workers Compensation.
Founder & Principal, Cary Collaborative Strategies
Zina is an independent consultant, with more than two decades of experience impacting public policy, and leading issue campaigns, at the state and federal levels to increase access to critical health care services including cancer clinical trials, innovative therapies, Medicaid, Medicare Part D, and a host of others. She has held leadership positions with the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), the National Health Council (NHC), and served as a legislative analyst for Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the New York State Assembly Health Committee in Albany, NY. Zina has had the privilege of working with the Cancer Support Community’s public policy & advocacy team, to help shape their state legislative priorities and grassroots efforts, since 2015.
In her free time, she can be found on the nearest trail with her sweet pup, Sadie.
President, Mullin Strategies
Libby Mullin graduated from Lawrence University in 1990 with a B.A. in political science. After eight years of legislative experience on Capitol Hill, Libby opened her own health care consulting practice in 1999.
Prior to Mullin Strategies, Libby worked as a health policy advisor, legislative director and Chief of Staff for several members of the U.S. House of Representatives who served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Libby is the recipient of the National Children’s Hospital Award for Advocacy, the President Award for Leadership in Women’s Health from the Interstitial Cystitis Association and a policy leader of the year from the Cancer Support Community’s Policy Institute.
Over the last 20 years, Libby has consulted with health care organizations to help build and advance their policy and programmatic objectives. Libby works closely with clients to identify and commit to realistic policy priorities, form new partnerships, strengthen existing relationships and strategically advance a policy agenda consistent with the organization’s mission. Libby has extensive experience leading policy and advocacy workshops, running disease specific coalitions, organizing Congressional briefings and orchestrating visits with elected officials and regulators on behalf of clients. Most importantly, Libby helps organizations leverage their policy work strategically, in a manner that not only advances organizational goals but also attracts funder support. Highlights of Libby’s legislative successes include drafting and negotiating the inclusion of multiple provisions in a range of major health care laws the Affordable Care Act, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and multiple FDA reauthorization bills. Libby also works closely with her clients to navigate an increasing complex regulatory system to ensure appropriate input, oversight and communications with the agencies are consistent with the organization’s interests.
A native Washingtonian, Libby lives with her husband and three children in Chevy Chase, Md. Libby is a competitive triathlete, serves on the advisory board of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and coaches soccer at the Washington School for Girls.
Helen Nichols, MSW
Research Fellow, Cancer Policy Institute
Helen Nichols, MSW, is a PhD Candidate at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. As a social worker, she has developed clinical expertise providing psychotherapy to adults with co-occurring disorders, having worked in outpatient mental health clinics and correctional facilities. Helen also has experience leading local service organizations, where she successfully secured grant funding to award college scholarships to local high school students. Prior to her career in social work, Helen had a successful practice in the financial services industry, where she was responsible for personal financial planning and investment management.
Helen researches patient-provider communication and associated outcomes, such as patient satisfaction, trust, and overall health. She is particularly interested in the delivery of patient-centered cancer care and healthcare value and quality. She has extensive expertise in advanced quantitative and qualitative analyses, research design, and survey development. Helen has published in multiple peer-reviewed healthcare journals, including Patient Education & Counseling, Journal of Hospital Administration, Health Care Manager, Annals of Global Health, Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, and Journal of Cancer Education. Helen received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Penn State University and her Master of Social Work degree from Salisbury University.