Ann is a longtime employee of Boehringer Ingelheim, a company dedicated to improving patient’s lives through innovative medicines including those that treat certain forms of cancer. Ann is responsible for the U.S. benefits, recognition and wellness programs in her role as Executive Director. She hold a B.S. degree in Education from George Mason University. Ann is no stranger to the effects of cancer as she most recently lost her husband to Stage 4 liver cancer. She also lost her sister to breast cancer and herself has had bouts of treatable skin cancers. She has come through these incidents in good health thanks to early detection and the expertise and care from her physicians.
Dr. Barbara Ward is a surgical oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast cancer. She is the Medical Director of the Breast Center at Greenwich Hospital, where she has worked for the past 16 years. Prior to that she held the same position at Yale-New Haven Hospital where she also trained in surgery and taught on the faculty of the Yale School of Medicine for ten years. Dr. Ward was instrumental in introducing the sentinel node surgical procedure to Connecticut approximately 20 years ago and more recently intra-operative radiation therapy to Greenwich Hospital, another first in Connecticut.
Born in Beaver, Pennsylvania, Barbara was raised with three brothers to develop a strong work ethic in school and a love of sports. She attended the University of Notre Dame and medical school followed at Temple University, where many inspired her career in surgery. A student rotation at the National Cancer Institute, where she would subsequently return for her fellowship, solidified her interest in the surgical treatment of cancer. She is particularly grateful for the opportunity to train in surgery at Yale, with exceptional role models and inspiring colleagues.
Barbara’s mother, now 88 years old, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38. The only therapy at the time was a radical mastectomy followed by chest wall radiation. Barbara’s first encounter with the American Cancer Society involved the Reach for Recovery volunteer who helped her mother through those early difficult days. Subsequently, Dr. Ward was an eager volunteer whenever she could help with the annual education day for Reach for Recovery and a national advisory counsel for the same. Dr. Ward was awarded an ACS Quality of Life Award in 2001 and a Star of Hope Award as well. She has served on the Board of Directors for the New England Division of the ACS. A regular participant at Making Strides and Relay for Life, Dr. Ward is particularly blessed to walk with so many survivors!
Barbara is most proud of her two daughters Erin and Mary, now both in college, and they live in Greenwich.
Gayle Alswanger has dedicated her career to the fight against cancer. With more than 25 years of experience in the field, she currently serves as the Director of Development, Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital. Prior to that position she spent 20 years at the American Cancer Society in Fairfield County, CT in various capacities; most recently as Distinguished Giving and Senior Director Corporate and Distinguished Partners. One of her greatest accomplishments was to implement and direct the capital campaign that for the first time, created the C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham American Cancer Society Regional Center in Southwestern CT.
A highly motivated and successful fund-raising professional, Gayle’s career began in the non-profit sector in 1989 working for the United Jewish Appeal Federation in NYC and Westchester County. After nearly five years she found her way to the American Cancer Society in the 1990’s where she brought the first Relay for Life to the Fairfield County area. In addition, she and a devoted Board Member, created an event called Broadway on Beachside raising over $14 million for cancer researchers across the country. This event helped to put the American Cancer Society of Fairfield County on the map. Gayle showcased this and other innovative fundraising models she developed at various national conferences. In 2007 Gayle was charged with directing the local Capital Campaign. She and her campaign committee worked tirelessly with many Fairfield County corporations and community members to support this endeavor, raising significant funds for both cancer research and the continued growth of the American Cancer Society’s programs and services.
In early 2000, Gayle worked alongside her mission colleagues, volunteers and local hospitals to bring survivorship conferences to the Fairfield County area for many years offering education programs. In 2008, Gayle and her colleague created “Women & Company”. This initiative was a forum to educate women on cancer prevention and early detection, culminating each year with a luncheon and the Living with Cancer Conference.
Gayle’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2010. This motivated her to become involved with the Cancer Prevention Study-3 and continue to be a Team Captain for Relay for Life. She continues her efforts to promote prevention and early detection through her position as Director of Development for the Bennett Cancer Center. She is currently fundraising for Stamford’s new hospital and the expansion and renovation of the Bennett Cancer Center.
Gayle and her husband Geoff have two children, Melanie and Matthew and reside in Stamford, CT.
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