American Cancer Society 's John R. Seffrin Named to National Prevention Advisory Group

January 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 27, 2011 – The White House has announced its intention to appoint John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), to the advisory group to the newly created National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council.

The council, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, is working to integrate the prevention efforts of numerous federal government agencies and coordinate prevention and wellness services nationwide. It was formed in June 2010 and is composed of six federal department secretaries and other government officials. The new Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health is empowered by the new law to advise the council on chronic disease prevention, health promotion and the creation of a first-ever national prevention strategy.

“Dr. John Seffrin brings critical insight as a leader who has dedicated his career to the prevention and early detection of cancer in the United States and around the world,” said Edward E. Partridge, M.D., national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. “As the chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN, John Seffrin has championed the focusing of our nation on defeating cancer by broadly promoting proven prevention measures and calling for access to evidence-based early detection for all Americans.”

The council has been charged with issuing a national strategy within a year to help shape a new system-wide approach to prevention and wellness. Provisions of the Affordable Care Act also promote prevention with the largest down payment on prevention and wellness in U.S. history through the creation of the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Seffrin became chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society, the world’s largest voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cancer, in 1992. During his tenure, he has transformed the Society into one of the world’s most progressive public health and advocacy organizations. He spearheaded the creation of ACS CAN, the Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, in 2001 and also serves as ACS CAN’s chief executive.

Seffrin served as president of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), where he worked to revive UICC’s historic role as a global leader in tobacco control advocacy and served as its international spokesperson. Seffrin also served as chairman of the Board of Independent Sector, the largest U.S. membership organization representing nonprofit organizations. Seffrin was a charter member of C-Change, formerly known as the National Dialogue on Cancer, which was co-chaired by former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush. He has served on the National Cancer Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine, and as co-chair of the National Cancer Legislation Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a Secretary-level appointment.

Seffrin is a preeminent leader of the international tobacco control movement. He helped to create the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids (now the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids). He has also served on a number of distinguished tobacco control committees, including the Advisory Committee to Congress on Tobacco Policy and Public Health, the U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health, the President’s Commission on Improving Economic Opportunities in Communities Dependent on Tobacco Production While Protecting Public Health and the Department of Health and Human Services Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health.

ACS CAN, the leading voice of patients in the health care debate, is working to ensure the Affordable Care Act is implemented as strongly as possible for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. For more information, visit

Alissa Havens
(202) 661-5772
[email protected]

Steven Weiss
(202) 661-5711
[email protected]

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