We’re often surprised on learning of individuals’ struggles with cancer as recently experienced with Black Panther star, Chadwick Boseman’s, struggle with colon cancer. This experience, coupled with September’s designation as prostate and ovarian cancer awareness month, and October’s designation as breast cancer awareness month, has moved JNA to increase its cancer awareness and prevention efforts in the Caribbean Diaspora, and specifically, the Washington DC Metropolitan Area Jamaican community. A focus on these cancers is particularly appropriate as the risk of developing them is higher in Caribbean and US Black populations. 

This is a FREE event…

… but we hope you will make a donation to help support our programs and the work of our committed volunteers. You can donate here on our website or mail check donations to Jamaican Nationals Association, Inc., P.O. Box 56453, Washington, DC 20040

Register for event access.

Jamaica Cancer Society St. Ann and St. Mary Branch Relay for Life 2019

Discussion Leader Bios

Dr. William Aiken, Doctor of Medicine, MB, BS, DM (Urology), FRCS (Ed)), Urologist, focusing on prostate cancer deaths and morbidity in Jamaica as a public health problem, Head of the Department of Urology, The University Of The West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

Qualifications: MB BS DM (Urology), FRCS (Ed)
Position/Title: Consultant Urologist, Head Division of Urology, Lecturer
Section: Surgery

Dr. Aiken’s CV

Dr. Marshalee George has over 22 years of extensive combined clinical experience managing patient’s health cancer screenings, chronic diseases, breast cancer treatment and survivorship, High risk surveillance for at risk individuals for breast cancer, mental health needs of individuals and health disparities research. Dr. George is a board-certified Nurse Practitioner in oncology, primary care, and Psychiatry.

Dr. Marshalee George has served as a clinical and faculty member at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Breast Program for the past 13 years and currently serves as adjunct Faculty member and Research Associate, to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine , Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Oncology: Breast & Ovarian Program. She serves as an Adjunct Clinical Nursing Faculty for Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Dr. George obtained her Bachelor of Nursing Degree at Coppin State University, Baltimore, Maryland, and master’s in nursing -specialized as nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist in oncology and primary care at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She later completed a Master’s in Public Health with concentration in population health, and Doctorate in Public Health with specialization in program planning, education and development at Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. George completed a 3- year traineeship at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland. focused on reducing health and cancer disparities in underserved and vulnerable populations.

Dr. George excels in patient care specifically focusing on educating patients on health promotion, chronic disease management, cancer treatment and survivorship care. She has presented nationally at community meetings, national medical conferences and internationally in the UK and Caribbean for Ministries of Health and their medical community. Dr. George is well-known as a community-minded Practitioner.

Dr. George is currently the Medical Director of Your Wellness Sources, an Integrated Wellness Center, Hyattsville, MD, where she leads a team of multidisciplinary providers. She embraces volunteerism by serving as a Board Member of non-profit organizations to improve health and wellness of individuals nationally and in the Caribbean.

Dr. George is a trailblazer in her field when it comes to breast cancer treatment, integrated wellness care and clinically managing patients through a multidisciplinary team approach. She believes that the mental health of an individual is one of the major determinants in the individual’s health status and can predicts their engagement in health promotion and health maintenance behaviors. The other determinant is medical provider’s delivery of patient centered care, that is non-judgmental and non-bias and inclusive of all individuals. Dr. George passion is serving others and helping individuals to live full healthy lives.

Dr. Sophia George, PhD is Research Associate Professor in the Division of Gynecological Oncology within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Sophia George, PhD is a molecular geneticist graduate from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. George then did post-doctoral training in molecular pathology in Gynecological Pathology at Princess Margaret Cancer Center within the Ontario Cancer Institute and a second post-doc at Duke University in the Department of Medical Oncology in Hereditary breast cancer syndrome. She began her faculty position at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in 2015.

She is a Department of Defense Ovarian Cancer Academy Awardee. Her research interests lie in studying pathogenesis of sporadic and hereditary breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. She uses molecular genetics, epigenetics and transcriptomics to study disease pathogenesis and overall outcome of women diagnosed with these diseases. She studies DNA damage repair response (homologous recombination deficiency), the enzymes and pathways responsible for sensing xenobiotics in women’s cancers. Dr. George is a native of the Caribbean and is part of a team of multi-disciplinary team who studies the incidence of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome genetic mutations in Afro-Caribbean nationals. She is a co-Leader of the women’s cancer working group in the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium and co-Principal Investigator of the Transatlantic Gynecologic Cancer Research Consortium.

Jarrett A. Johnson, Dr.P.H., M.S., was a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch of the Behavioral Research Program.

Dr. Johnson is interested in using health education and health promotion strategies to positively impact prostate cancer outcomes for African-American men across the continuum of care. His prostate cancer research interests are concentrated in three interrelated areas of scientific inquiry:

– utilizing community-based participatory research strategies to develop evidence- and consensus-based risk reduction interventions;
– exploring interactive teaching tools to increase information literacy;
– applying novel theoretical approaches to understand and reduce treatment-related quality-of-life outcomes.
Dr. Johnson earned a doctorate in public health with a concentration in community health behavior and education from the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University. His dissertation research focused on examining prostate cancer survivors’ illness representations and treatment decision-making role preferences. Dr. Johnson also holds a master’s degree in health services administration from D’Youville College and a bachelor’s degree in biology from The State University of New York (SUNY) College at Buffalo (Buffalo State).

In Fall 2018, Dr. Johnson became a Cancer Prevention Fellow in NCI’s Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program.

Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University

Professional page

Chancellor Emeritus, The University of the West Indies and Director Emeritus, Pan American Health Organization

Sir George Alleyne, MD, FRCP, FACP (Hon.), DSc (Hon.), is Director Emeritus of the Pan American Health Organization, where he served as director from 1995-2003. Dr. Alleyne is a native of Barbados and graduated from the University of the West Indies in medicine in 1957. He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine in the United Kingdom and did further postgraduate work there and in the United States. He entered academic medicine at the University of the West Indies in 1962, and his career included research in the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit for his doctorate in medicine. He was appointed professor of medicine at the University of the West Indies in 1972, and four years later he became chair of the Department of Medicine. He is an Emeritus Professor of the University of the West Indies. Dr. Alleyne joined the Pan American Health Organization in 1981, in 1983 he was appointed director of the Area of Health Programs, and in 1990 he was appointed assistant director.

Dr. Alleyne’s scientific publications have dealt with his research in renal physiology and biochemistry and various aspects of clinical medicine. During his term as director of the Pan American Health Organization, he dealt with and published on issues such as equity in health, health and development, and international cooperation in health. He has also addressed several aspects of health in the Caribbean and the problems the area faces. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and chancellor of the University of the West Indies.

Dr. Alleyne has received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including prestigious decorations and national honors from many countries of the Americas. In 1990, he was made Knight Bachelor by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to medicine. In 2001, he was awarded the Order of the Caribbean Community, the highest honor that can be conferred on a Caribbean national.

He is married to Sylvan Chen and they have three children.

As State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy is the top law enforcement officer in the County, responsible for the safety and security of over 900,000 citizens. Her motto for the Office under her administration, is that “Crime is personal…personal to the victim, personal to the community and personal to the State’s Attorney’s Office.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic Ms. Braveboy has been at the forefront with effective solutions to prevent the spread of the virus and support the community. She was the first in the state and led the nation in implementing “Operation Safe Release”, which was a proactive way of reducing the spread of the coronavirus in the jail. Through this initiative her Office and criminal justice partners have safely and judiciously reduced the inmate population to prevent a public health crisis in the facility and community. In addition, Ms. Braveboy continues to work with non-profits and County agencies to ensure that victims of abuse and domestic violence receive the resources and support they need during the pandemic.

Earlier this year Ms. Braveboy and her team worked with lawmakers in Annapolis to ensure that two of her priority pieces of legislation were successfully passed. The 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III Law will ensure that individuals who commit a hate crime are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Assault in the First Degree – Suffocation or Strangulation Law makes strangulation a first degree felony.
Since taking office Ms. Braveboy is ushering in significant changes in how individuals and cases are handled to ensure not only that justice is administered in Prince George’s County, but that it is done fairly.

During her first-ever State of Justice event, she announced that the County will no longer require cash bail as a requirement for pre-trial release in cases where the person isn’t a danger to society and doesn’t pose a flight risk. That is a major policy change, which will ensure that individuals who can’t afford bail will not languish in jail. She has also reorganized her juvenile justice unit and created community partnerships to end the school to prison pipeline, one of her major priorities. Ms. Braveboy has created a number of new units in her office to better address criminal justice needs. The Public Integrity Unit focuses on police misconduct, excessive use of force and corruption cases. The Conviction and Sentencing Integrity Unit, the only one of its kind in the state, reviews cases where there are questions or doubts about a sentence that has been handed down. In addition, Ms. Braveboy is expanding diversion opportunities. She has doubled the number of participants in the Back-On-Track program, which focuses on giving first-time felony drug offenders a second chance. She has also created the Drive Focused, Sober and Safe campaign and increased participation in the monthly Community In The Courthouse sessions.

Prior to being elected as State’s Attorney, Ms. Braveboy served as the Manager of Government Affairs for Children’s National Health System. Ms. Braveboy was also Of Counsel with Gabriel J. Christian and Associates, where she represented clients in criminal and civil matters. In addition, Ms. Braveboy, for over 17 years, served as General Counsel for the Community Public Awareness Council (C-PAC), a community-based juvenile diversionary program that has successfully diverted over 4,000 students from the criminal justice system.

In 2006, Ms. Braveboy was elected to represent the 25th Legislative District in the Maryland General Assembly. As a Delegate, Ms. Braveboy was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve as Chair of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee. She was elected by her peers to serve as Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, where she guided the 44-member organization on a wide range of policy issues including parity for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, reducing mass incarceration, enhancing tools to prosecute rapists, increasing opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses and reducing health disparities in our State.

Ms. Braveboy graduated from the University of Maryland College Park, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics. She also received her Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. Ms. Braveboy is a member of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.