LUNGevity Foundation Announces New Leader to Spearhead Lung Cancer Policy Issues

Healthcare policy advocate Kristen Cox Santiago hired as Senior Director of Public Policy Initiatives
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Linda Wenger
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Kristen Cox Santiago
Kristen Cox Santiago, LUNGevity’s new senior director of public policy initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC (December 3, 2018) — LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, announced today that Kristen Cox Santiago, a longtime healthcare policy professional, joined the Foundation as senior director of LUNGevity’s public policy initiatives.

LUNGevity’s policy work seeks to improve how people are diagnosed with, navigate, and live with lung cancer.  The goal is to ensure that all people diagnosed with lung cancer have timely access to, and are covered for, any early detection, testing, or treatment necessary.

“We are thrilled that Kristen will be joining the LUNGevity team,” Andrea Ferris, president and CEO of the Foundation, says. “With Kristen on board, we can continue the important work of ensuring patient access to high-quality care and fostering innovation.”

As senior director of public policy initiatives, Kristen will participate on a variety of committees and advisory boards to represent the interest and perspective of lung cancer patients. She will present at Capitol Hill briefings; submit letters to legislators, regulators, and independent organizations seeking patient input; and convene multi-stakeholder meetings to resolve complex issues that hinder patient access to diagnostics and the most advanced therapeutics. Through this work, LUNGevity will continue to make positive strides in breaking down barriers to patient access to high-quality care and treatment innovation. 

Kristen has substantial experience working in the healthcare industry in roles in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. In her previous role as senior director, policy & advocacy for The Cancer Support Community (CSC), Kristen was 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. Kristen is driven by a strong personal desire to impact the health status and quality of life of individuals.


About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity is the nation's leading lung cancer organization investing in lifesaving, translational research and providing support services and education for patients and caregivers. LUNGevity’s goals are three-fold: (1) accelerate research to patients, (2) empower patients to be active participants in their treatment decisions, and (3) remove barriers that patients face in accessing the right treatments.

LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as by providing community, support, and education for all those affected by the disease. LUNGevity’s comprehensive resources include a medically vetted website, a toll-free HELPLine in partnership with CancerCare®, a unique Lung Cancer Navigator app, peer-to-peer mentoring for patients and caregivers (LUNGevity LifeLine), and survivorship conferences. LUNGevity also helps patients find and navigate clinical trials through our Clinical Trial Finder tool, a Clinical Trial Ambassador program, and participation with EmergingMed.

Our vision is a world where no one dies of lung cancer. For more information about LUNGevity Foundation, a four-star Charity Navigator organization, please visit

About Lung Cancer in the U.S.

  • About 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 234,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year
  • About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers
  • Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three leading cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined
  • Only 19% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance of 5-year survival improves dramatically