VCUMC Cancer Center Director, Robert Winn, MD, Joins LUNGevity Foundation’s Board of Directors

Fierce advocate for health equity joins LUNGevity at a pivotal time in the Foundation’s efforts to ensure that all people diagnosed with lung cancer have access to optimal care
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 

Linda Wenger
lwenger@LUNGevity.org
(973) 449-3214

Dr. Robert Winn

WASHINGTON, DC (June 12, 2020) — LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, announced today that Robert Winn, MD, Director, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, joined LUNGevity’s Board of Directors. Dr. Winn brings years of experience in lung health and specifically lung cancer along with a passion for health equity and diversity that will help the Foundation grow strategically in ways that will have maximum impact on all who are affected by lung cancer.

Dr. Winn is the only African American to be appointed as director of a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center. As director of VCU Massey Cancer Center, Dr. Winn oversees a facility that provides outstanding cancer care, conducts groundbreaking research to discover new treatments for cancer, and offers high-quality education, training, and community outreach programs. Dr. Winn’s experience and expertise in these areas will help the Board to strategically guide the Foundation to shape our future programs and areas of engagement.

Dr. Winn is a long-standing advocate for health equity in lung cancer; he advocates for the expansion of access to high-quality, low-density CT (LDCT) screening among underserved high-risk populations, integration of evidenced-based tobacco treatment into screening programs, and inclusion of diverse populations into clinical and translational research. He has, throughout his career, modeled the growing and impactful behavior of cancer centers to tailor interventions to the needs of vulnerable populations by maintaining an ongoing relationship with community partners. He believes that the knowledge and trust gained in this way affords academic institutions the opportunity to tailor interventions to the needs of a vulnerable community and thereby increase the sustainability of efforts that influence patient outcomes.

Dr. Winn’s notable research contributions include evidence of the need to redefine risk-based guidelines to improve the beneficial results in LDCT screening in African Americans that goes beyond focusing only on age and smoking status criteria.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Winn join our Board of Directors,” said Andrea Ferris, President and CEO of LUNGevity Foundation. “Dr. Winn’s years of hands-on experience with lung cancer patients paired with his expertise in health equity and community engagement will be invaluable to the organization. We are excited to have his unique perspective and look forward to working with him on our research and health equity programs and to expand our outreach efforts.”

Before joining VCU Massey Cancer Center, Dr. Winn served as director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center from 2015 to 2019 and as associate vice chancellor of health affairs for community-based practice at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Science System from 2013 to 2019. Prior to joining UIC, he spent 13 years at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and School of Medicine in a variety of leadership roles and clinical faculty appointments, including associate dean of admissions, vice chair of career development/diversity inclusion, and senior medical director of the pulmonary nodule clinic.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Winn was awarded the National Cancer Institute Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities CURE Program Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member of the National Cancer Policy Forum of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and of several other professional societies.

Dr. Winn holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and an MD from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is the nation’s leading lung cancer organization focused on improving outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, education, policy initiatives, and support and engagement for patients, survivors, and caregivers. LUNGevity seeks to make an immediate impact on quality of life and survivorship for everyone touched by the disease—while promoting health equity by addressing disparities throughout the care continuum. LUNGevity works tirelessly to advance research into early detection and more effective treatments, provide information and educational tools to empower patients and their caregivers, promote impactful public policy initiatives, and amplify the patient voice through research and engagement. The organization provides an active community for patients and survivors—and those who help them live longer and better lives. 

Comprehensive resources include a medically vetted and patient-centric website, a toll-free HELPLine for support, the International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference, and an easy-to-use Clinical Trial Finder, among other tools. All of these programs are to achieve our vision—a world where no one dies of lung cancer. LUNGevity Foundation is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator organization.

Please visit www.LUNGevity.org to learn more. 

About Lung Cancer in the US

  • About 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
  • More than 228,000 people in the US 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

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