ACS CAN Policy Luncheon Highlights Cutting-Edge Cancer Research

November 18, 2019

Sioux Falls, SD– The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) annual South Dakota Policy Luncheon on Wednesday, November 20 will highlight the latest research developments in South Dakota and the importance of engaging elected officials to support cancer research funding. The event brings together leaders in business, academic and patient advocacy, as well as elected officials.

Joni Johnson, South Dakota Biotech executive director, will be the keynote speaker. She will highlight the impact that the South Dakota’s biotech industry has on new cancer-related technologies and startups. She’ll also demonstrate the value created by the industry on cancer research and economic development. In addition, Sanford Health researcher, Dr. Michael Kareta, and Dr. Renju Raj, a specialist in hematology and oncology with Avera Medical Group, will provide remarks.

“This year’s event will focus on the state of research and innovation in the region and opportunities for increased collaboration at the state, regional and national levels,” said David Benson, South Dakota government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We’re excited to showcase the innovative strides of cancer researchers right here in South Dakota while taking a step back to look at how we can leverage strategic strengths in the state.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has invested roughly $24 million in South Dakota in FY 2018 that has supported $71 million in new economic activity in the state.

The American Cancer Society estimates that this year, roughly 4,770 South Dakotans will be diagnosed with cancer and 1,680 will die from the disease.  

            WHAT: ACS CAN South Dakota Policy Luncheon
            WHEN: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

            WHERE: Country Club of Sioux Falls, 3400 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, SD


Media welcome before, during or immediately following event.  To schedule interviews, contact Jenna Sheldon at [email protected] or call 952-412-8292.



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit