July 6, 2016 - CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NHCCC), has elected two new members to its Board of Directors.  Semra Aytur, PhD, MPH, of Kittery Point, Maine and Rhonda Souliere, RN, MSN, OCN, of Farmington, were welcomed to the Board as new members as of Friday, July 1st, joining 20 other colleagues.

Semra Aytur, PhD, MPH

The NHCCC is an initiative of the Foundation for Healthy Communities, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve health and health care in New Hampshire by addressing quality of care, access to care and community prevention.  NHCCC developed the state’s 2015-2020 Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and works with its partners to reduce the burden of cancer, which is the leading cause of death in New Hampshire.

“We are excited and appreciative of the commitment these new board members bring to our mission of reducing the burden of cancer in New Hampshire. Their skills, experiences, and interests will enhance our ability to implement the NH Cancer Plan,” said Robert Gerlach, NHCCC Board Chair and Associate Director for Administration and Scientific Affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon.

Semra Aytur, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire, teaching courses in health policy, epidemiology, and public health.  Her research interests focus on relationships between policy, environment, and systems change to promote healthy behaviors and prevent chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. She has worked in public health departments in several states and has experience working in hospital settings, conducing patient-centered outcomes research.  Aytur grew up in Plattsburgh, NY, received her MPH from Boston University, PhD and Post-Doctoral Fellowship- Epidemiology from University of North Carolina, and was a 2014 Lynton Award Finalist.  She expressed her interest in joining the NHCCC Board, referencing her own personal experience stating, “I lost my mother (aka “the best mom ever”) to breast cancer in 2010 and am happy to have an opportunity to contribute and help others in some way.” 

Rhonda Souliere, RN, MSN, OCNJoining Aytur and her other colleagues on the NHCCC Board is Rhonda Souliere, RN, MSN, OCN, who works at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in the outpatient Infusion Center as an oncology Staff Nurse, as well as the Nurse Educator for oncology nurses in both the in-patient setting and infusion center. She has also served as the Assistant Director/Clinical Coordinator for this department and has experience working with Clinical Trials.  Souliere first joined the Collaboration in 2014 as a member of the Survivorship Workgroup and now is an active participant on the Quality of Life Task Force.   She was instrumental in developing and continues to maintain the listing of clinical trials offered in NH that is posted on the NH CCC website.  She received a Master’s degree in Nursing Education from Walden University and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. “As a nurse with 15 years of oncology experience, it is important for me to be involved with organizations that are committed to eliminating cancer”, shared Souliere.

About the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration

The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration (NHCCC) was established in 2004 to address the leading cause of death in New Hampshire. The NHCCC is a dedicated partnership of individuals and organizations committed to eliminating cancer in the state. The NHCCC developed the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan to address the following priorities: foster communities and systems that support and reinforce healthy lifestyles, prevent and detect cancer at its earliest stage, and optimize quality of life for those affected by cancer.  For more information about the NHCCC and the New Hampshire Cancer Plan, visit www.NHCancerPlan.org.

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