Leitch wins national ACS award

Dr. Marilyn Leitch, professor of surgical oncology and medical director of the Southwestern Center for Breast Care, was one of two recipients nationwide of the American Cancer Society Volunteer Leadership Award.

"The volunteer work I do with the American Cancer Society has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," said Dr. Leitch, holder of the S.T. Harris Family Distinguished Chair in Breast Surgery. "The American Cancer Society continues to be in the forefront of advocacy for cancer patients, and I have been able to participate actively in establishing guidelines for early detection of cancer as well as formulating the strategic plan for reducing the incidence and mortality of cancer by the year 2015."

The award was presented by American Cancer Society officials at their annual national assembly meeting in mid-November in Atlanta.

Dr. Leitch is a nationally recognized breast-cancer and breast-screening expert, whose primary clinical interests are the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. She has been one of the country's leading voices in promoting the continuation of routine screening practices in women aged 40 to 50.

Dr. Leitch is a board member and assembly member of the national American Cancer Society and past president of its Texas division. In 1997 then-Gov. George W. Bush appointed her to the Governor's Commission for Women.

"Dr. Leitch has been a strong ally of many cancer control agencies, but her service to the American Cancer Society is truly extraordinary," said Dr. Ralph B. Vance, national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. "Whether serving on our national board of directors, chairing our breast advisory group or spearheading our Subcommittee on Health Professional Training, she has been an indefatigable supporter of the American Cancer Society, its constituents and its mission."

Dr. Leitch, who joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 1986, graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Rice University in biology and history, then received her medical degree at UT Southwestern. She did her residency and surgical oncology research fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her clinical surgical oncology fellowship at UT M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute in Houston.

Barbara Andreozzi, community development extension agent at Montana State University in Ana conda and senior project analyst for Worldwide Strategies, Inc., received the other American Cancer Society Volunteer Leadership Award.

The Volunteer Leadership Award was first awarded in the mid-1970s to recognize one or more volunteers for exceptional leadership in the cancer arena and within the American Cancer Society. Recipients are national-level medical or lay volunteers who have set an extraordinary example for service.