ACCC Staff Members
- Executive Director
Christian G. Downs, MHA, JD
Christian G. Downs, JD, MHA, is Executive Director of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Mr. Downs brings more than 15 years of association management expertise, guiding associations in their work on national policy and educational programming. He has been instrumental in working with healthcare providers, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and Congress on association–specific issues.
Mr. Downs led the Association of Community Cancer Centers' efforts on such critical issues as easing implementation of new regulations, ensuring patient access to new cancer therapies, and refining physician office payments for delivery of services.
Mr. Downs worked in the public policy department of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on physician office and billing and coding issues. Previously he administered a large tertiary care hospital, managed a physician multispecialty practice, and worked for the Education and Health Committee of the Virginia State Senate.
Mr. Downs received his master's degree in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia and his law degree from George Mason University with a special focus on regulatory and administrative law. He is a board member of the Patient Advocate Foundation and C–Change, a large coordinating organization for cancer groups.
- Director of Finance
Lois Utterback, CPA
Lois Utterback, CPA, is Director of Finance, Association of Community Cancer Centers. A Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland and a member of the Maryland Association of CPAs, Ms. Utterback is accomplished at analyzing non-profit association operations and growth opportunities. She has more than 30 years of experience managing and providing creative and timely solutions to meet daily operational and strategic planning needs.
Ms. Utterback oversees the Association's legal, financial, and administrative functions. She is an exceptional organizer who is recognized for her integrity and commitment as well as her ability to maximize staff performance.
Ms. Utterback received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Maryland.
- Chief Development Officer
Sandra Vassos, MPA
Sandra Vassos joined ACCC in January 2015 in the role of Chief Development Officer. Ms. Vassos is an accomplished nonprofit professional with more than 20 years of executive and development leadership experience with healthcare associations and foundations. As Chief Development Officer, she will lead efforts to strengthen and expand relationships with key stakeholders including cancer care providers, industry supporters, and partner organizations.
Most recently, Sandy served as CEO of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and previously as Associate Executive Director of the American Urological Association, Executive Director of the American Urological Association Foundation, Executive Director of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation and Chief Development Officer/Senior Vice President of the American Liver Foundation.
- Senior Director, Corporate Relations
Mike Andrews is Senior Director, Corporate Relations, and serves as the primary liaison between the Association of Community Cancer Centers and its Industry Advisory Council, Emerging Companies Council, and Technical Advisory Council.
Previously, Mr. Andrews was National Campaign Director for major healthcare programs at the Sister to Sister Foundation. He worked closely with sponsors and partners to make sure the programs succeeded. Before that, he served as Associate Director of Major Gifts for the University of Maryland Medical System. He began his career in the hotel industry.
- Senior Director, Communications & Marketing
Lori Gardner is Senior Director, Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years of association membership and marketing experience. Ms. Gardner leads successful recruitment and retention campaigns utilizing strategies such as direct mail, email marketing, telemarketing, advertising, and member–to–member outreach. Ms. Gardner also has expertise in marketing and management in publications, website, merchandise, meetings, and certification, as well as experience in conducting market research and needs assessments and public relations.
Ms. Gardner has worked for such organizations as the American Cancer Society, National Association of Social Workers, Society of American Foresters, Community Associations Institute, and B’nai B’rith Women.
- Director, Provider Education
Amanda Kramar is the Director of Provider Education for the Association of Community Cancer Centers. In conjunction with members of the business development team, Ms. Kramar develops new and innovative ideas for education programs and develops collaborative relationships with partners and funders to secure educational grants to support these programs. Amanda and her team are also responsible for directing the development and implementation of all funded projects, ensuring that the deliverables exceed quality, content, budget, and timeline expectations.
Ms. Kramar has 10 years’ experience in the medical education field, managing project portfolios from proposal and budget development through reconciliation. Prior to joining ACCC, Ms. Kramar was with the American College of Cardiology Foundation leading its grants team and managing a portfolio of educational products as well as relationships with a variety of strategic industry and association partners.
- Director, Membership
Jennifer Wilson, MBA, CAE
Jennifer Wilson, MBA, CAE, is the Director, Membership. She has more than 15 years of association/nonprofit experience, principally in the membership area. For the past 10 years, Ms. Wilson’s experience was with healthcare associations. Ms. Wilson creates and maintains high levels of membership and member services, ensuring implementation of membership initiatives and strategies to assist the clients to achieve their mission and purpose. Ms. Wilson has been the national liaison to affiliate members, state associations, councils, committees, task forces and Boards of Directors.
Ms. Wilson's expertise has been gained through positions with the American Nurses Association, the National Medical Association, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, American Society of Travel Agents and the National Restaurant Association.
- Director, Health Policy
Leah Ralph is Director, Health Policy. She is responsible for analyzing federal regulations and coverage decisions relevant to ACCC membership, tracking all health care and oncology related federal and state legislation, and educating and lobbying Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on issues of importance to the oncology community.
Ms. Ralph's areas of focus include the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare policy, and payment and delivery reform. Prior to joining ACCC, she was a senior health policy analyst at a bipartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. and a legislative aide on Capitol Hill during passage of the ACA.
- Manager, Leadership Relations
Betsy Spruill serves as key resource for ACCC leadership and staff by providing excellent and timely service to ACCC’s Board, Committee Chairs and Members through effective communication and related activities. She works closely with the Executive Director and serves as a Board liaison for other staff. In addition to supporting organizational infrastructure, Ms. Spruill manages the implementation of ACCC’s annual elections and nominations process. Previously, Ms. Spruill worked at the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, where she was Executive Operations Manager.
Along with her experience in association governance, Ms. Spruill’s multi-faceted background includes hotel and restaurant communications and photography, having worked for Marriott International, Flash Communications, as well as for herself, as a freelance photographer.
Ms. Spruill received her bachelor’s degree in Integrative Studio Art with a concentration in Photo-based Media from the University of Alabama.
- Manager, Publications, Advertising and Corporate Relations
Mal Milburn is Manager, Advertising & Corporate Relations. He is responsible for the sales and marketing of ACCC’s publication, Oncology Issues, website, and two annual national conferences. Mr. Milburn has more than 22 years of experience in advertising sales and marketing.
Previously Mr. Milburn worked for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) where he was responsible for advertising sales and marketing of the Association’s college textbooks.
- Managing Editor, Oncology Issues Journal
Monique J. Marino is Managing Editor of Oncology Issues, the official journal of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. In addition to these responsibilities, Ms. Marino is responsible for the production of other publications, including ACCC’s annual Patient Assistance and Reimbursement Guide and print-related materials related to a wide range of education projects, such as patient navigation and cancer survivorship.
Previously, Ms. Marino worked as the Publications Manager for the Brain Injury Association of America, where she oversaw the production of the Association’s professional journal, Brain Injury Source, and its membership newspaper, TBI Challenge!