When Jenny Ahlstrom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2010, she anxiously searched for solutions, treatment, and research for a cure. She noticed gaps in solutions for patients - most importantly the need for simplified information that would help patients obtain better outcomes.
She launched the CrowdCare Foundation in 2012 to simplify information for patients and encourage them to participate in clinical trials, and to proactively support gaps in existing research funding. Jenny launched the Myeloma Crowd and ALS patient Seth Christensen co-founded the ALSCrowd, which created two patient-centric divisions of the CrowdCare Foundation, the focus of which is to provide support in three major areas: patient education, research funding and compiled patient data.
Rafael Fonseca, MD, is the Getz Family Professor of Cancer and a Professor of Medicine. He is a consultant in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, Arizona, and Chair of the Department of Medicine.
Dr. Fonseca’s practice has focused on the diagnosis and treatment of plasma cell disorders and leading the multiple myeloma team in its effort to develop a better understanding of the disease and its impact on patients. In his laboratory, Dr Fonseca has led his team of researchers in concentrating on the genetic nature of the clonal cells of plasma cell disorders. He is also interested in myeloma bone disease, prognostic markers, and development of new therapies for the disease.
Throughout his training and career, Dr Fonseca has received numerous awards and honors, including the Young Investigator Award in Hematology (Celgene – Achievement Awards for Clinical Research in Hematology), Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Clinical Investigator Award, and the International Waldenström Macroglobulinemia Research Award. Most notably he is a Mayo Clinic Distinguished Investigator, the highest academic distinction given to investigators at his institution. Dr. Fonseca holds memberships and serves in positions for organizations such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, American Association for Cancer Research, and the International Myeloma Society. He has an adjunct academic appointment at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen). His research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (R01, P01, SPORE), the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Multiple Myeloma Research Fund, and the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund.
Dr. Fonseca serves as reviewer and in editorial capacities for medical publications including Blood, Lancet, Nature Medicine, Cancer Cell, Leukemia, and the New England Journal of Medicine, among others. He is a frequent reviewer of grants and sits on the SPORE grant review panel. He has given many national and international presentations as a visiting professor, and has authored numerous articles (over 200), book chapters, editorials, abstracts, and letters.
Dr. Fonseca earned his MD at Universidad Anahuac in Mexico. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Miami in Florida, and a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota. He is a clinical investigator for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund.
Jacob K. Kettle, PharmD, BCOP, is an oncology clinical pharmacy specialist for University of Missouri Health Care at the Ellis Fischel Cancer in Columbia, Missouri. His daily work includes both direct patient care and practice management activities through collaboration with physicians and nurses as well as overseeing a team of pharmacy technicians responsible for completing third party prior authorizations. Dr. Kettle’s professional passion is to deliver optimized cancer therapy while simultaneously minimizing economic burdens on both patients and the health system.
Dr. Kettle received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree graduating summa cum laude from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Pharmacy in Kansas City, Missouri. He completed a pharmacy practice residency at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and a hematology/oncology pharmacy residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. Dr. Kettle is also as an adjunct clinical professor for the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Pharmacy, having published original articles in multiple peer-reviewed journals. He is a member of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.
Kristina Rua, BSN, RN, OCN, ONN-CG, is currently the director of oncology navigation for Sarah Cannon’s East Florida Division. As an oncology nurse navigator, her focus has been on breaking down barriers to care, and ensuring accessibility and availability to timely delivery of services. Throughout her career she has spoken nationally on topics including role delineation for oncology nurse navigators, women’s health, and oral oncolytics. Focused on improving patient care, she has crested and implemented protocols and process maps for navigation programs, infusion departments and specialty pharmacies, with a focus on oral oncolytics.
Kristina is a graduate of Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, and is currently finishing her master’s in nursing with a focus on clinical systems leadership at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Schwartzberg is chief, Division of Hematology, and Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee; and executive director of The West Cancer Center in Memphis, TN. He did fellowship training in medical oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident and was a founding member of the institutional ethics committee.
Dr. Schwartzberg is President/CMO for Vector Oncology, an oncology-specific SMO/CRO. He was awarded the 2004 Jefferson Award for community service. He served as the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Community Oncology and the website OncologySTAT.com and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Supportive Oncology. Dr. Schwartzberg’s major research interests are new therapeutic approaches to breast cancer, targeted therapy, and supportive care. He has authored over 110 research papers and maintains a private practice in medical oncology focusing on breast cancer.