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Home > Resources > Disease Specific Info > NCI News & Information > DCLG Appointment

New Member Appointed to the Director's Consumer Liaison Group

NCI Press Office-NCI Liaison Activities Branch
Feb. 19, 2002


NCI announces the appointment of Marisa Weiss, M.D. a new member to the NCI Director's Consumer Liaison Group (DCLG). Dr. Weiss is fulfilling the remainder of a recently resigned position. The DCLG, a chartered advisory committee comprised of fifteen consumer advocates, actively advises and makes recommendations to the NCI Director on issues that are relevant to people with cancer, their families, and the cancer advocacy community.

During its first two years, the DCLG provided a rich source of ideas and viewpoints. The Group assisted in developing a primer "Understanding Genetic Research and Population-Based Studies," focusing attention on the issues that concern individuals who participate in this research. This year the DCLG was instrumental in development of the Consumer Advocates in Research and Related Activities (CARRA) program, which explicitly set a structure and criteria for inclusion of advocates at NCI. The DCLG provided advice about the criteria and evaluation for new members, the approach to balancing the membership to ensure diversity, and the development of an orientation program for NCI staff and CARRA members.

To accomplish its goals, the DCLG has established four working groups, which assist in identifying ways advocates can be involved in high priority areas and activities at NCI. These are the Advocacy Involvement Working Group, the Clinical Trials Promotion Working Group, the Quality of Health Care/Health Disparities Working Group, and the Cancer Survivorship Working Group. These groups will serve as conduits between cancer patients and their families to bring their viewpoints to discussions with the Director, NCI.

Marisa Weiss, M.D., an oncologist specializing in breast cancer who practices in Philadelphia region, is the founder and guiding force behind breastcancer.org. Living in Wynnwood, PA, Dr. Weiss founded and continues to devote enormous time and energy to leading Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), a national nonprofit education and support organization that provides a Survivors help line, conferences, and publications.

She is also the author of the acclaimed book Living Beyond Breast Cancer (Random House, 1997 and 1998). Dr. Weiss says that she has always been inspired by the strength, courage, and ingenuity of her patients, who are at risk of being overwhelmed by the complex medical, personal, and practical issues they face upon diagnosis of breast cancer.

She is in frequent demand for her entertaining and insightful presentation on the patient-doctor relationship, Doctor, Doctor, Lend Me Your Ear: An Up-close Look at the Patient-Doctor Relationship, from Sickness to Health. In this revealing multimedia performance, Marisa goes from lab coat to exam gown as she puts herself quite literally in the role of the patient. She also speaks at conferences and on-line medical events where she covers often ignored topics such as sexuality after breast cancer.

Recently, Dr. Weiss was named one of the top ten cancer physicians in the Philadelphia region by The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine. She is a recipient of many other awards, including several from the American Cancer Society. Dr. Weiss is president of LBBC and serves on the professional advisory board of the Philadelphia Wellness Community. She is a past board member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

More information about the DCLG, including a membership roster, meeting agendas and meeting summaries, can be found at the following Internet site by selecting "Advisory Boards and Groups" from http://cancer.gov.