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NMSU Public Health professor works to promote cancer prevention, elected to national board

New Mexico State University Department of Public Health Sciences Assistant Professor Cindy Kratzke believes that education is the key to cancer prevention and cancer control.

Woman?s head shot.
Cindy Kratzke, New Mexico State University Department of Public Health Sciences assistant professor, has been elected as treasurer for the Cancer Patient Education Network, a national organization that encourages and supports models of excellence for patients, families and communities in education throughout all levels of care. (Courtesy photo)

Personal experience with a family member motivated her work to increase prevention and survivorship education to help the numerous people affected by a cancer diagnosis ? patients, families, caregivers and communities.

In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities at NMSU, Kratzke added a new role in her cancer education work when she was recently elected as treasurer for the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN). The national organization works with the National Cancer Institute?s Office of Communication and Education. CPEN?s mission is to encourage and support models of excellence in education for patients, families and communities across the continuum of care.

?I wanted to be involved with professionals passionate about cancer prevention and control through education,? Kratzke said. ?This will give our work at New Mexico State University visibility across the nation. I will be working with others from many excellent U.S. cancer organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Huntsman Cancer Institute, M.D. Anderson and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We also network with CPEN-Canada.?

As treasurer, Kratzke will oversee CPEN?s budget including expenses for the organization?s annual international cancer education conference. She also said that the board intends to provide webinars, social media, training opportunities, resources, advocacy and networking among professionals.

According to Kratzke, a significant issue concerning cancer prevention and control is focusing on risk factors to reduce the burden of cancer especially for minority populations.

For more information on the CPEN, visit www.cancerpatienteducation.org.