The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network awarded its prestigious Volunteer Award for Excellence in Advocacy to Donna S. Lundy, Ph.D., F-ASHA, BCS-S, who specializes in swallowing disorders and head and neck cancer rehabilitation at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System.
The Cancer Action Network (CAN) recognized Dr. Lundy for more than 24 years of outstanding leadership and continuous cancer advocacy and public policy work during a virtual meeting on September 15. The award is the Network’s highest honor for volunteers.
“The President of ACS CAN called me about three weeks in advance and, needless to say, I was shocked,” said Dr. Lundy, professor and chief of the Division of Speech Pathology in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Most recently, along with colleague Amanda Grace Demane, SLP, and other volunteers, Dr. Lundy met with members of the U.S. Congress to advocate for cancer-related legislation during a virtual leadership and lobby days event.
“This is outstanding recognition for Dr. Donna Lundy’s years-long efforts at cancer advocacy,” said Fred F. Telischi, M.D., James R. Chandler Chair in Otolaryngology, chair of otolaryngology and professor of neurological surgery and biomedical engineering at the Miller School.
“Dr. Lundy has supported the American Cancer Society in many ways throughout her career as a speech pathologist specializing in the voice rehabilitation of head and neck cancer patients,” Dr. Telischi said. Her impact has also expanded beyond her own role. “Her enthusiasm for the work of the ACS has galvanized many at UM to join in the efforts of that organization in supporting research, education, and outreach to those afflicted.”
“Working with head and neck cancer patients at Sylvester is a privilege that I have had for many years,” Dr. Lundy said. She notes that helping people with cancer goes beyond medical care and includes efforts to foster earlier detection, develop more effective treatments, and boost patient quality of life.
She currently serves on ACS CAN’s National Ambassador Team, and previously served two years as Florida’s State Lead Ambassador.
Dr. Lundy said advocacy comes with tangible benefits. “Over the years, we’ve worked on campaigns to promote indoor clean air such as non-smoking environments, increased tobacco tax, and increased research funding, which we know is the only way to find a cure.” She added, “Having the opportunity to participate in these campaigns, from meeting with legislators to participating in petition signing and more, and then celebrating successes is tremendously rewarding.”