LBBC’s Jean A. Sachs Named Breast Cancer National Leader of the Year
The award is presented yearly by Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) CEO Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, has been named the 2014 Breast Cancer National Leader of the Year by Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine. According to magazine publisher Beverly Vote, the award is “annually presented to a person whose vision and leadership plays a major role in advocating on behalf of the millions of people affected by breast cancer and advancing a better understanding of the complex issues faced following diagnosis. Nominees are reviewed by an independent selection committee.”
LBBC was established in 1991 by a small group of women seeking information and support after completing primary breast cancer treatment. Jean became our first executive director in 1996 and was named CEO in 2008. Through careful cultivation of individual donors, corporate partners, grant awarding foundations and ally organizations, Jean grew our budget from $100,000 to nearly $5 million annually. This financial stability, coupled with her extensive knowledge of the physical and psychosocial needs of the diagnosed, has enabled us to realize a dramatic increase in our reach and visibility. LBBC now assists more than 500,000 individuals every year with free, nationally recognized programs and services. She was presented with the organization’s highest recognition, The Founders Award, at LBBC’s 20th anniversary gala celebration in 2011.
Jean has a distinguished record of advocating for women, families and the underserved. Most recently, she has led us through the process of increasing the call hours of our Breast Cancer Helpline in addition to securing funding for three major initiatives that will have a significant impact on the organization’s development of future programs and services for special populations affected by breast cancer.
In 2013, Jean and our staff built a team of researchers from leading breast cancer centers and organizations across the country to undertake an investigation to determine if the psychosocial needs of women diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer differed from those with other disease subtypes. “To our knowledge, no one had ever conducted research to see whether women with triple-negative breast cancers have unique needs,” Jean says. “Our findings indicate that they do.” Also that year, LBBC was one of 15 leading national charities invited to establish the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance. The vision of the alliance is to transform and improve the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.
Last year, in recognition of innovative work tailored to the needs of young women diagnosed with breast cancer, we were awarded a $1.75 million grant from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We will use this five-year grant to expand programming within its Young Women’s Initiative. Originally funded through a previous CDC cooperative agreement in 2011, this collection of targeted programs and services has engaged more than 100,000 young women and their families over the past four years.
Jean’s expertise has proven beneficial to other organizations, as well. In 2009, she was invited to serve on Cancer Support Community’s National Advisory Council for the Cancer Survivor Registry’s Breast Cancer M.A.P. (Mind Affects the Physical) Project. In 2008, she was named to the committee that approves grant applications for Pennsylvania's income-tax check-off and in 2007 she was appointed to the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy and Evaluation Program, where she reviewed Phase 3 clinical-trial concepts.
From 1993 to 1995, Jean was development director of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. She has also worked on the campaign of Pennsylvania State Senator (now U.S. Congresswoman) Allyson Y. Schwartz and drafted breast cancer and women's health legislation as a legislative aide. She also worked at WOMEN'S WAY, the oldest fundraising federation for women in the country.
Jean has master’s degrees in social services and in law and social policy from Bryn Mawr College. She attended Hampshire College for undergraduate studies. Born and raised in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, Jean remains a Philadelphian residing in the Mount Airy neighborhood of the city with her husband John, son Max and German Shepherd, Odin.