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Our Leaders

Lindsey Haslag, RN, BSN

Chair, Missouri Cancer Consortium

Population Health Director

Missouri Primary Care Association


Sarah Van Vickle-Chavez

Chair Elect, Missouri Cancer Consortium

Senior Scientist, Washington School of Medicine


Hope Krebill, MSW, BSN, RN

Immediate Past Chair, Missouri Cancer Consortium

Executive Director, Masonic Cancer Alliance


Our Members


Iris Zachary, PhD, Director, Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center Associate Research Professor University of Missouri

Dr. Zachary’s research is focused on cancer informatics and surveillance and public health informatics to maximize the use of data to improve health outcomes. She is the Director of the Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center MCR  and has led the effort for MCR to be added as one of seven Central Cancer Registries to the NCI SEER Program as MCR SEER Research Registry. Cancer registries provide reliable cancer data essential for planning and monitoring of cancer control programs, disease patterns, screening and prevention, and other types of research related to tumor characteristics and treatment. Dr. Zachary's cancer research collaboration aids the study of cancer diagnoses patterns and evaluation of cancer prevention plans. 

Dr. Zachary leads the Graduate Certificate Program for Informatics for Public Health IPH with continued work and collaborations to connect communities, organizations and stakeholders, through informatics tools and information technology to build capacity to respond and prepare for future public health challenges and opportunities.


Vetta Sanders- Thompson, PhD, Associate Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University

Vetta Sanders Thompson, PhD is the Associate Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Siteman Cancer Center. In addition, she is co-director of the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research at the Institute for Public Health, and Brown School at Washington University Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Sanders Thompson's research focuses on the health and well-being of diverse communities, particularly the African-American community. Her funded research addresses promotion of cancer screening and HPV vaccination among African Americans and community engagement. Additionally, her scholarship covers race, racial identity, implications of experiences of discrimination, and socio-cultural determinants of disparities. Her goal is to empower members of the community to improve their health and well-being through education and opportunities for action. A licensed clinical psychologist, Professor Sanders Thompson served as an associate editor for the APA journal PsycCritiques, a past Chair of the State Committee of Psychologists, past President of the Missouri Psychological Association and has been honored by the St. Louis community, as well as her peers in the profession. 

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Katie Manga, Chief Executive Officer of Gateway to Hope

Katie Manga is the Chief Executive Officer of Gateway to Hope, a St. Louis-based 501c3 nonprofit organization that removes barriers to affordable, timely and quality breast healthcare in Missouri. Katie leads the dedicated staff and strategy focused on growing the organization’s reach, partnerships, and impact in service to the organization’s mission. Since joining Gateway to Hope in 2018, Katie has focused on grounding the organization in its mission and rich history, while innovating its programs to be of better service to the needs of community today. Katie is a forward-thinking executive leader, who provides steady, transformative leadership to her organization. With experience at the helm of large, diverse teams in government, Corporate America, and in the nonprofit world, she is passionate about the power of multi-sector approaches to complex social challenges – like healthcare. Katie is the proud mom of Addie and Ethan, ages 4 and 7, spouse to Ben, and avid marathon runner.

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Xarria Lewis, MPH, Comprehensive Cancer Program Specialist, Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Control, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Xarria Lewis is the Missouri (MO) Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (MCCCP) Assistant in the Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention at the MO Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Xarria previously worked as a Graduate Assistant at Eastern Michigan University where she co-led the University’s Office of Health Promotion. While in her role, she created and implemented a successful sexual health and education campaign as well as other programs centered on student issues such as housing security, mental health, physical health, financial literacy, food insecurity, childcare etc. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science in 2019 (University of Missouri) and her Master’s degree in Public Health in 2021 (Eastern Michigan University).  

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Misty Phillips, MBA, MSW, Comprehensive Cancer Program Manager, Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Misty Phillips is the Missouri (MO) Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (MCCCP) Manager in the Bureau of Cancer and Chronic Disease Prevention at the MO Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Misty has more than 20 years of experience in public program administration, compliance management, community engagement, and coalition-building. Previously she served as the Program Coordinator in the Bureau of Environmental Epidemiology at DHSS. While in that role she successfully launched a new federal drinking water program and the “Choose Safe Places” (environmentally safe from toxins) pilot program to protect the health and well-being of children in daycare, pre-school, and elementary school settings across Missouri.

In her current role as MCCCP Manager, Misty collaborates with key stakeholders across the state to support cancer prevention, screening and detection, and the wellbeing of survivorship. She also has a special interest in promoting health equity and this position will provide her a platform to encourage that. As a servant leader, she has been a “Relay for Life” volunteer for over 10 years in addition to being very involved in her local community. Misty is a 2017 Graduate of the Missouri Leadership Challenge Program for Women which selects women nominated through a competitive process. The leadership program provides education in leadership development, information and major discussion of state policy issues, and exposure to the philosophies and thoughts of the state’s business, cultural, educational and political leaders. It provides new channels of communication to broaden the participation of women working to address the critical issues facing Missouri, our workforce, and our communities. She holds dual Bachelor’s and dual Master’s degree in Social Work –Clinical Track (University of Missouri-Columbia) and Business Administration (William Woods University) in addition to serving on several state, regional, and national boards/committees.

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Jean Wang, MD, PhD – Professor of Medicine, Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University

Jean Wang is a gastroenterology physician at Siteman Cancer Center, Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.  She completed her college and medical school education at Brown University, her internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 5 years before coming to Washington University in 2009.  Since 2017, she has served on the national American College of Gastroenterology Patient Care Committee.  Since 2018, she has served as Co-Chair and Chair of the Missouri Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.  She provides colonoscopy screenings as part of her clinical practice and is active in community outreach to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.


Jean S. Wang, MD PhD

Professor of Medicine

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine

660 S. Euclid Avenue, Campus Box 8124

Saint Louis, MO 63110

Phone 314-362-5952 | Fax 314-747-1277 |

Maggie Grotefendt – Strategic Partnerships Manager, American Cancer Society

Maggie Grotefendt joined the American Cancer Society’s Health Initiative’s team in 2011 after working in the Human Resource’s field for over 14 years.  As a Health Initiatives Representative for the American Cancer Society, Maggie had the opportunity to work closely with the underserved communities in the Illinois Metro-East area, educating them on the importance of healthy living and exercise in the prevention of cancer.

After two years, Maggie accepted the position of Account Manager for Primary Care Systems out of the St. Louis, Missouri office.  Maggie works closely with the Federally Qualified Health Centers, Hospital Systems and state health systems in Missouri.   Maggie works in the area of quality improvement, with an emphasis on breaking down barriers to care for the underserved populations.  She collaborates with Missouri partners to promote the adoption and implementation of ACS programs, delivering evidence-based strategies designed to have a broad population impact on reducing cancer incidence and decreasing mortality rates.  Maggie currently serves as the Chair of the Missouri Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and is a member of the Missouri Cancer Consortium, where she supports numerous cancer workgroups


Liz Glastetter, RN, BSN, MBA, Director of Cancer Services at Saint Francis Healthcare System

Liz Glastetter currently serves as  the Director of Cancer Services at Saint Francis Healthcare System in Cape Girardeau, MO.  Liz has been a colleague of Saint Francis for 20 years and has been serving in her most recent role since February of 2022. She received a Nursing Degree from Southeast Hospital College of Nursing, a BSN from Southeast Missouri State University and a MBA from William Woods University. 

Her background in nursing has led her into leadership positions where she is able to guide those who are touching patients every day. 

When she is not working, Liz is spending time with her husband and 3 sons, which usually involves being on the baseball field.  She also enjoys camping and spending time outdoors.  She is truly looking forward continue to serve her patients with the good works of this organization. 

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Sarah Chavez, PhD – Senior Scientist, Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University School of Medicine

Sarah Chavez is the Senior Scientist with Community Outreach and Engagement, which is part of the Program to Eliminate Cancer Disparities (PECaD) at Siteman Cancer Center. She works with the data team at Washington University Division of Public Health to monitor the cancer burden in Missouri and Illinois, and is also active in clinical trials monitoring within Siteman Cancer Center. Sarah received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001, and her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology in 2007.  Her background includes basic science research in heart disease, virology, and breast cancer, as well as teaching Biology, Global Health, Genetics, and Cancer Biology in the Pre-Medicine Post-Baccalaureate Program at Washington University.  


Sarah Chavez, PhD  

Chair-Elect, Missouri Cancer Consortium  

Senior Scientist | Community Outreach and Engagement | Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center  

Division of Public Health Sciences | Washington University School of Medicine  

600 S. Taylor Ave. Campus Box 8100 | Saint Louis, MO 63110  

tel. 314-807-7870 | 


Rudy Bess is the Founding Director of The Hope Light Foundation that is a nonprofit public charity dedicated to communicating awareness to help people detect cancer early.  He attended Draughons Business College, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, has a certificate in Evidence-Based Public Health from St. Louis University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management Science from Tarkio College.  


Rudy served in the United States Air Force and retired from McDonnell Douglas Corporation/The Boeing Company after 36 years.  For the past 10 years, he has been leading The Hope Light Foundation in researching and analyzing cancer related health data to determine target communities for focusing the Foundation’s efforts in outreach activities and communicating cancer awareness on it’s website and establishing Hope Light Cancer Corners.  Rudy is active in promoting early cancer detection through The Hope Light Foundation’s website, by working with state cancer consortiums and community health organizations and by submitting media press releases.   


Rudy is Co-Chairman of the Illinois Cancer Partnership and a member of state cancer consortiums in Kentucky and Missouri.  He is on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST) Foundation, Co-Chairman of the Hazelwood, Missouri Board of Adjustment, member of the Hazelwood Board of Architectural Review and past chairman of the Hazelwood Board of Appeals. 


Rudy Bess, Founding Director - The Hope Light Foundation


Lindsey Haslag, RN, BSN - Chronic Pain and Performance Improvement Program Manager - Missouri Primary Care Association

Lindsey Haslag RN, BSN is a member of the Missouri Center for Healthcare Quality Team at the Missouri Primary Care Association where she is a program manager, focusing on Chronic Pain programs.  She received her Associates Degree in Nursing in 2006 and Bachelors of Nursing Degree in 2010.  Her background includes outpatient/clinic services, wellness, and healthcare and quality management at a Federally Qualified Health Center. 


Lindsey Haslag, RN, BSN

VP Population Health

Missouri Primary Care Association

3325 Emerald Lane

Jefferson City, MO 65109

Main: 573-636-4222

Direct: 573-636-2236 ext. 226

Fax: 573-636-4585


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Steve has a special knack for guiding the Prostate Network onto a trajectory of outreach through his networking skills both on a personal level and on a social media level.  Anyone who has met Steve know how enthusiastic and passionate he is a bout spreading the word about Prostate Cancer Awareness. 

Steve stays active by working out daily by running, cycling, and doing Cross Fit training.  He is widowed and has an 18-year old son.

He has worked as an application developer most recently, as part of a 27-year career in Information Technology, with roles in architecture, development, and identity management.  It’s no wonder that Steve has the skills to make social media a cornerstone of our outreach program.  The computer science department at the University of Kansas prepared Steve well for his journey in Information Technology.

Steve is the Survivorship Co-Chair of the Kansas Cancer Partnership.

Steve leads the prostate team on the Missouri Cancer Consortium.

Steve is also a member of the Patient Advisory Board at the University of Kansas Cancer Center where he volunteers his time and capabilities.

He is a nine-year prostate cancer survivor who had a radical prostatectomy at age 46 followed by radiation a year later.


Steve Hentzen, Chairman and co-founder, Prostate Network

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Executive Director, Midwest Cancer Alliance

The University of Kansas Cancer Center

4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway Suite 1100

Fairway, KS 66205

Phone: 913.588.3739

Fax: 913.945.6644


Hope Krebill, RN, BSN, MSW, is the Executive Director of the Midwest Cancer Alliance, located at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, serving Kansas and western Missouri. Hope has over 20 years of combined experience in cancer control, research, program management, and evaluation of programs in populations that are underserved. She has extensive experience in collaborating with community partners to develop and deliver evidence-based public health interventions that address regional cancer health disparities. For the last 18 years, she has provided research support and collaboration to multiple NIH funded research projects. Hope recently served on a National Cancer Institute advisory group to develop strategies to assist cancer control professionals translate research into practice. She also served as a mentor for the NCI Research to Reality program to help build the capacity of cancer control practitioners to utilize evidence-based decision making.



Hope Krebill, RN, BSN, MSW

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