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Seminar Scholarship Opportunities

Full Scholarships are being offered to UNM health sciences students ,law school students, faculty as well as clients of Comadre a Comadre, members of the New Mexico Cancer Council, and clients of People Living through Cancer.

If you would like to participate in this event, please fill out the form below.

We look forward to seeing you at the seminar.

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E-mail: *
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Registration for the 2015 Advocacy Seminar

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Register by:

Please make check payable to:
UNM Cancer Center Foundation

Mail to:
UNM Cancer Center Foundation Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Fund
P.O. Drawer C
Carlsbad, NM 88221

Complete Registration Via Paypal

2014 Tentative Schedule


  • “Access to clinical trials; consent to treatment”
  • Terri Stewart, CCRP
  • Director of the Clinical Trials Office & Affiliates, UNM Cancer Center and Executive Director of the New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance

9:00am to 9:45am

  • “Economic issues & government regulation facing private practices doing clinical trials”
  • Dr. Barbara McAneny, MD, CEO
  • AMA Council of Medical Service & American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) Board of Directors and their Clinical Practice committee, Chair Elect of the Board of Trustees of the AMA, CEO of New Mexico Oncology Hematology Consultants, LTD.

9:45am to 9:55am


9:55am to 10:40am

  • “Congressional attention to economic disparities in public/private facilities for clinical trials”
  • Michelle Lujan Grisham, Esq
  • US House of Representatives; New Mexico’s 1st District

10:40am to 11:45

  • “Basics of Low Level Ionizing Radiation Effects & Research”
  • Dr. Ila Pillalamarri
  • Associate Research Scientist; Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center

11:45am to 12:15pm

  • Complimentary Lunch

12:15pm to 1:00pm

  • “Medical and Legal Ethics and Issues: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA)”
  • Steven Ballinger, Esq.
  • Adjunct Professor, Barry University, Division of Health Management Programs; Adjunct Professor, Barry University School of Graduate Medical Sci¬ences; Adjunct Professor of Health Accreditation & Licensing; Adjunct Lecturer of Risk Management and Medical Jurisprudence, Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine

1:00pm - 2:00pm

  • “Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing”
  • Dr. Tom Cushing, MD
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Genetics, and Dysmorphology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine; Diplomat of the Ameri¬can Board of Medical Genetics

2:00pm to 3:00pm

  • “Incidental Findings in Whole Genome Sequencing”
  • Dr. Darrell Dinnwiddie, PhD
  • Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics, Uni¬versity of New Mexico, School of Medicine; KL2 Scholar Clinical Translational Science Center, Univer¬sity of New Mexico

3:00pm to 3:15


3:15pm to 4:15pm

  • “A Clinical Perspective on Next Generation Sequencing”
  • Lori Ballinger, CGC
  • Senior Genetic Counselor, Diplomat of American Board of Medical Genetics & American Board of Genetic Counseling, Senior Genetic Counselor at University of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center; Lecturer III Internal Medicine; Instructor for the School of Medicine

4:15pm to 5:00pm

  • “Case Presentation & Discussion”
  • Lori Ballinger, CGC and
  • Steven Ballinger, Esq.

PRESS RELEASE: 4th Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients

For Immediate Release: Medical/Health Submission
Contact: Kyle Marksteiner, 575-706-2324
August 28, 2014

Genetic Testing Will Be Key Element
During Upcoming Cancer Patients Seminar

The scientific, ethical and legal issues surrounding genetic testing will be a primary discussion point at the upcoming 4th Annual Advocacy for Cancer Patients Seminar to be held October 23 at the New Mexico Bar Center in Albuquerque.

The seminar is meant to be both an awareness campaign for the public and a fundraiser in support of the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Cancer Fund at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center. The public is encouraged to attend, but the presentations will also be offered as Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and Continuing Medical Education (CME) classes.

Highlights from this year’s seminar will include a presentation by Lori Ballinger, titled “Privacy issues in genetic research, sharing the information learned from genetic testing.”

Ballinger is a genetic counselor with 30 years of experience in the field across many aspects of human genetics and disease. In addition to her current position of Senior Genetic Counselor at the University of New Mexico Cancer Research and Treatment Center, she is a lecturer for the Department of Internal Medicine and is an ad hoc instructor for the School of Medicineas well as the UNM School of Nursing.

“Ms. Ballinger has worked in genetics and research across the spectrum of the human lifespan,” noted event host Jeff Diamond. “Genetics research is the most critical medical research topic going on right now, and this seminar is the ideal place to examine the topic from a legal, medical and ethical point of view.”

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan-Grisham, representing New Mexico’s First District, will address what Congress can do to address economic disparities in public and private facilities.

“We’re all thrilled to have an attorney and representative of Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s caliber participating at our summit,” Diamond added. “Our battle against cancer needs to be fought on all fronts, from genetic research to the political arena.”

Additional presenters will include:

• Dr. Darrel Dinwiddie, who will discuss incidental findings in genome sequencing;
• Dr. Tom Cushing, whose discussion will evaluate the legal issues of direct to consumer genetic testing;
• Steven R. Ballinger, Esq., who will discuss legal protections in genetic testing;
• Dr. Barbara McAneny, who will talk about economic issues and governmental regulations facing private practices during clinical trials;
• Dr. Ila Pillalamarri, who will cover the basics of low level ionizing radiation effects;
• Director Terri Stewart, who will discuss access to clinical trials.

Jeff and Evy Diamond’s son, Shannon J. Shaw, died from malignant melanoma on Aug. 31, 2009. He was the supervising petroleum engineer for the Bureau of Land Management in Santa Fe and received treatment at UNM Cancer Center. A website telling Shannon’s story and providing more information about the Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Cancer Fund has been set up at www.listentoyourmom.org.

Steven Ballinger, Esq.

Steven Ballinger received graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law. Early in his career, Mr. Ballinger practiced in all areas of health care law, administrative law, malpractice defense, compliance and health care contracting. In March 1994, he established the Law Office of Steven R. Ballinger and has continued his practice in the fields of Health Care Law and Litigation.

Mr. Ballinger is also an Adjunct Professor of Health Accreditation and Licensing, Master’s in Health Law Program, Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova-Southeastern University and an Adjunct Lecturer in Risk Management and Medical Jurisprudence, Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine. He is member of the Healthcare Law Section and Administrative Law Sections of the Florida Bar.

Closing the Loop on Cancer

  • Objective
  • Agenda
  • Speakers
  • Planning Committee


  • What is the state of the art in radiation techniques available in the Pecos Valley?
  • Do you know the latest issues concerning early diagnosis and treatment of cancer?
  • What types of counseling and social services are available to terminal patients and their families?
  • New Mexico Insurance Code and Regulations: How do I get medical bills paid by insurance companies that should be paid?
  • What are the latest developments in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer? What is available in southeastern New Mexico?
  • So your employer wants to fire you because you have continuing treatment. Now what?
  • Is there a future for Medicaid?
  • How do we build a strong community network with links to new cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment?


  • 7:00-7:45 a.m.
  • 7:45-8:00 a.m.
  • Moderator
  • 8:00-8:45 a.m.
  • 8:45-9:45 a.m.

  • 9:45-11:00 a.m.

  • 11:00-11:45 a.m.
  • 11:45-1:15 p.m.
  • 1:15-2:15 p.m.

  • 2:15-3:05 p.m.

  • 3:05-3:20 p.m.
  • 3:20-4:15 p.m.

  • 4:15-4:45 p.m.

  • 4:45-5:00 p.m.


  • Breakfast
  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Cheryl L. Willman, M.D.
  • Carlos Hadzic, M.D. IMRT as a least destructive radiation therapy and the state of the art in radiation techniques available in the Pecos Valley.
  • Alvaro Alencar, M.D. Methodologies for identification of melanoma and other skin cancers and breast cancer.
    The latest issues concerning early diagnosis and treatment and discussion with patients and families.
  • Melanie Royce, M.D. Latest developments in diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory breast cancer and
    other breast cancers. Discussion of clinical trials programs and New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance and engagement of Southeast
    New Mexico in access to clinical trials and local care.
  • Questions & Answers Session
  • Lunch hosted by Jeff and Evy Diamond on behalf of The Shannon J. Shaw Memorial Cancer Fund
  • Greta Fischer, Esq. & Cynthia Hall, Esq. The Social Security Compassionate Allowance Program with 100 diseases which will
    allow patients to be approved for benefits as fast as 6-8 days, the medical evidentiary requirements.
    The State Insurance Department helping patients and providers get insurance companies to pay bills for medical expenses.
  • Will Parsons, Ph.D. Meaningful discussion with patients and families regarding terminal disease, identifying psychological pathologies,
    and referrals for counseling, social service intervention, and psychological services.
  • Break
  • Monte Shaheen, M.D. Melanoma clinical trials, effectuating NMCCA goals, clinical opportunities in small communities to identify
    and treat skin cancer when there is no dermatologist in residence.
  • Rod Schumacher, Esq & Masoud Khorsand-Sahbaie, M.D.Building a strong community network and linkages to state
    of the art cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and the treatment options available in the state of New Mexico.
  • Questions & Answers Session

Cheryl Willman, M.D.

Director and CEO, University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque, NM

Melanie Royce, M.D., Ph.D.

Medical Oncologist Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology Director, Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Program Director, Hereditary Cancer Assessment Programv Specialist in Breast Cancer, University of New Mexico Cancer Center, Albuquerque, NM

Monte Shaheen, M.D.

Medical Oncologist Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology Specialist in Immunology and Microbiology, University of New Mexico Cancer Center,Albuquerque, NM

Carlos Hadzic, M.D.

Radiation Oncologist Carlsbad Advanced Radiation Oncology Center

Will Parsons, Ph.D.

Private Practice, Roswell, NM

Alvaro J. Alencar, M.D.

Masoud Khorsand-Sahbaie, M.D.,FACP

Kymera Independent Physicians

Greta B. Fischer, Esq.

The Jeff Diamond Law Firm, Odessa, TX

Rod Schumacher, Esq.

CEO, Roswell Regional Hospital

Cheryl William, M.D.

Director and CEO 
Professor, Departments of Pathology and Medicine
The Maurice and Maguerite Liberman Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research
Specialist in Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma

Anita P. Miller Esq

Member Healthlaw Section Breast Cancer 
Task force Chairman, American Bar Association, Albuquerque, NM

Rae Ann Paden, MPH

Chief of Research Administration and Marketing, UNM Cancer Center

Kenneth Thompson, MS, CFRE

Director of Development, UNM Cancer Center

Jeffrey B. Diamond, Esq

National Board of Legal Specialization 
Social Security Advocacy, Carlsbad, NM