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John Simmons to lead Native People for Cancer Control

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SEATTLE – John Simmons, Nisqually tribal member, has been named the director of Native People for Cancer Control at the University of Washington.

Native People for Cancer Control is one of 28 Community Network programs funded by the National Cancer Institute that aim to reduce cancer health disparities among vulnerable populations. The activities of NPCC are focused on American Indians and Alaska Natives in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington state and Wyoming. NPCC is working to increase cancer education, training, research activities and foster hope among rural and urban American Indians and Alaska Natives.

“Mr. Simmons is uniquely qualified to direct this program because of his leadership in tribal communities and expertise with cancer programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives,” said Dr. Dedra Buchwald, principal investigator and professor of medicine at the University of Washington.

Simmons was the project coordinator for the Cancer Control Planning/Implementation project for South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency Comprehen-sive, a consortium of five tribes located in the south Puget Sound area of Washington state.

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“John Simmons has a wide range of experience with tribal communities and cancer projects,” said Buchwald. “He has helped develop comprehensive cancer planning and implementation and has set the standard for connecting people with cancer organizations. We are confident John will provide excellent leadership for Native People for Cancer Control.”

Simmons has successfully led, with extensive community support and admiration from tribal community members, a grass-roots-level effort to develop and implement a cancer control plan.

Simmons currently serves on the Northwest Tribal Cancer Coalition for the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, the Washington State Comprehensive Cancer Control Partnership and the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency Cancer Advisory Board, as well as the Elders Committee for the Nisqually Tribe.

Simmons is a former chairman of the Nisqually Tribe and served as the former chairman of the Nisqually Indian Gaming Commission. He has been involved as an educator in Indian country for the last 25 years. He also worked in the corporate world for 35 years as a project planner and a vice president on an executive team for a major West Coast bank. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of San Francisco.