Recently we were privileged to host Ysabel Duron at our 4th installment of SVL Latino Leaders Fireside Chat at San Jose City College Milpitas Extension.
It was a heartfelt homage to a woman who has trail blazed her way from the anchor desk to the boardroom.
All in attendance were riveted by her insights and stories of overcoming stigmas and obstacles. The atmosphere was friendly and familiar as the intimate conversation with Silicon Valley Latino CEO Alex Ontiveros covered a career dedicated to leadership, advocacy and highlighting the positives in our community.
A high profile figure, known for her 40 plus years in the television news media, more than half of them at KRON-TV in the San Francisco bay area, Duron’s current endeavor, the Latino Cancer Institute (LCI) was conceived in 2016, with an exploratory grant from the California Health Care Foundation. The Latino Cancer Institute focuses on three main objectives. It connects Latino cancer serving non-profits nationwide to share best practices and develop capacity.
LCI convenes events for stakeholders in the cancer landscape to collaborate with cancer researchers focused on Latino cancer challenges. As well as advocates nationally to raise awareness of Latino cancer issues, promote policy, and attract major funding opportunities for investment into key initiatives. Duron’s experience spans 17 years in the Latino cancer space with the development of two other non-profit agencies including the award-winning Latinas Contra Cancer (LCC). She drove the development of programs to address gaps across the cancer continuum from community education and screening to psychosocial support groups, end of life and survivorship.
In 2010, Duron successfully piloted a lay community navigator program in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) public health care system cancer center in San Jose, CA dedicated to providing support for the low income, Spanish speaking patient. By October of 2017 when she stepped away from LCC, over 500 patients have been served. As a result, SCVMC administration is considering expanding the role of community navigator to its other clinics.
Ten years ago, she successfully launched the biennial National Latino Cancer Summit under the auspices of UCSF, bringing the community together with researchers to network, learn from each other and find ways to collaborate. In 2016 the Summit spotlighted Precision Medicine to address concerns that the cutting-edge science would exacerbate disparities.
In 2017, Duron won the Precision Medicine Challenge Award from Massachusetts General Hospital, the NHIT Collaborative for the Underserved, and the Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology (CIMIT) for her proposal to develop educational tools that inform the most vulnerable and underserved community on genetics and testing, and disseminate them online for the greatest impact. To that end, the Institute under Duron’s leadership is currently working on two related hereditary breast cancer projects with UCSF and Stanford researchers. Duron, a cancer survivor, has earned a national reputation as a key opinion leader about Latino cancer issues including disparities that impact access, quality care and improved health outcomes.
This year she has spoken at Duke University, at a UCLA hearing of the Governor’s Advisory Council, and at the Precision Medicine Leader’s Summit in New Jersey.
Duron currently serves on the Independent Review Board (IRB) for the All of Us Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (formerly President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative); the Community Engagement on Genomics Working Group for the National Human Genome Research Institute; and the Kaiser Permanente National Precision Medicine Advisory Work Group.
A 43-year, award-winning journalist, Duron stepped away from a long TV career in San Francisco in 2013 and dedicated herself full time to focusing on the Latino cancer burden.
Duron has received numerous journalism awards and community recognition, both local and national, including the Purpose Prize from Encore.org; the W.E.B. Dubois Award from the San Jose NAACP, the Juliette Gordon Lowe Award from the Girl Scouts, and the Latino Spirit Award from the California Latino Legislative Caucus.
We are truly grateful and honored to have had this Latina Legend join us for this memorable afternoon at the San Jose City College Milpitas Extension to share such an illustrious career and help us share the power of #CreoEnTi.
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