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American Cancer Society Past President, Dr. Elmer Huerta, Receives President’s Champions of Change Recognition

Huerta recognized for work to eliminate disparities in access to health care for minorities, underserved communities

September 10, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 10, 2013 – Elmer Huerta, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Cancer Preventorium at the Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, was honored as a Champion of Change at the White House today for his work to promote good health and prevent disease among minority and underserved communities. Huerta was the first Latino elected as volunteer national president of the American Cancer Society, a position he held in 2007.

Huerta received the Champions of Change recognition at the White House today along with other individuals making an extraordinary difference in their communities. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, nominated Huerta for his work to encourage policymakers to eliminate barriers to care and reduce death and suffering related to cancer.

“Dr. Huerta is a tireless advocate for ensuring that all cancer patients and survivors have access to the affordable health care,” said John R. Seffrin, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and ACS CAN. “He is also without peer as a champion of disease prevention and a catalyst for improved public health among Latino and other minority populations.”

Huerta founded the Cancer Preventorium in 1994, and was the recipient of the 2004 Innovation in Prevention Award of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. His clinic, which only accepts people without symptoms of chronic disease, was established to detect cancer at an early stage, when it is most curable. The center educates patients about ways to decrease cancer risk through healthy behaviors. The center’s patient navigation service has been a highly successful model for care coordination, providing individualized assistance to overcome barriers to quality medical care.

Huerta is also one of the most respected sources of medical information in the Hispanic-American community as a prominent figure on Spanish-language radio and television. Hosting and appearing as a regular guest on shows that reach 85 percent of Hispanics/Latinos nationwide, Huerta discusses topics that promote health and prevent disease with communities that have been historically difficult to engage.

ACS CAN is the non-profit, non-partisan advocacy affiliate organization of the American Cancer Society, which is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage lawmakers, candidates and government officials to support laws and policies that will make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer. For more information, visit

Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
Email: or

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ACS CAN is the nation's leading cancer advocacy organization that is working every day to make cancer issues a national priority. More

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