Board & Staff
NCC Board of Directors — Committed to Reducing the Impact of Cancer in Nevada
Melissa is a licensed Benefit Solutions Consultant with more than 15 years of experience assisting employers and HR professionals with comprehensive employee benefit solutions. She is passionate about health and holds a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a graduate of the Washoe County Medical Society’s Mini-Internship Program and the Reno Sparks Chamber Leadership Program. She will also serve as president of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce in 2022.
Dr. Cohen is a medical oncologist and Medical Director at Renown Institute for Cancer. He was an English major and art history minor as an undergraduate before deciding that wasn’t his path. Instead, Dr. Cohen became a third-generation physician, graduating from Js Weill Medical College, Cornell University, training at Memorial Sloan Kettering, UCSF and Stanford. He has practiced medicine for five decades and says, “My philosophy is that the patient comes first. It’s all about the patient.”
Dr. Thummala is a medical oncologist and hematologist focusing on the treatment of all cancer types with a special interest in breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and hematological malignancies. She is also on the frontlines of clinical research at Comprehensive, where she serves as principal and sub-investigator for many trials, including collaborations with US Oncology Research, UCLA, and Pharma Research. She is vice chair of the Department of Medicine at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center and is a board member for peer review and the nominating committee. At MountainView Hospital, she is chair of the cancer committee and is the sub-specialty director for its graduate medical education program. Dr. Thummala is also an adjunct faculty member at UNLV School of Medicine.
Debbie is licensed counselor and Director of Behavioral Health Services at Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital in Elko, Nevada. She helps patients from throughout the hospital and their families to deal with crisis. She is also a breast cancer survivor and serves on the board of the Elko Cancer Network. She believes cancer is your opportunity to go out there and tell people that they are worth fighting for.
Stacey spent more than two decades as a broadcast reporter and was well-known in the Las Vegas market when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma. Since her diagnosis she has been on a mission to save lives by educating others about skin cancer. She travels to Washington D.C. to advocate at the national level and was part of the release of the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Skin Cancer. At the state level she has helped to pass several laws to reduce skin cancer risk and helped NCC to launch Sun Smart Nevada.
Tom has been involved with NCC since its inception in 2002 and has been a valuable member of the cancer control community by advocating for policies at both the state and national level. He served for more than 12 years as the Government Relations Director for American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network before retiring. He continues to work on a variety of issues related to cancer, chronic disease and palliative care. He received his law degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law and has a BA and MA in Mass Communication and Media Studies.
NCC Staff — Working to Fulfill Our Mission Every Day
Cari joined NCC as its first Executive Director and staff in September 2011. For more than 20 years, she has built and led organizations and coalitions focused on protecting and improving the health of Nevadans. Cari received her MBA from University of Nevada, Reno. She is an avid runner and marathoner and mom to twin girls now attending college.Phone: (775) 451-1670 ext. 101 | EMAIL
Kristen joined NCC in April 2021, re-assuming the role of Communications Director she held from 2013 to 2018. Kristen has more than two decades of experience in marketing, public relations, and communications in northern Nevada. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nevada, Reno and Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Western Governor's University. In her free time, she is a volunteer backpacking guide along the Tahoe Rim Trail, an avid home cook and baker, cyclist, wife, and stepmom.Phone: (775) 451-1670 ext. 105 | EMAIL
Michelle joined NCC in February 2022. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Nevada, Reno in Human Services/Psychology. She has 20 years of financial and accounting experience. Michelle is a proud mom to two beautiful daughters. In her free time she enjoys skiing, camping, hiking, exploring nature and spending time with her two fur babies.Phone: 775-451-1670, ext. 102 | EMAIL
As a breast cancer survivor, Darcy was excited about the mission of NCC and joined our team in February 2022. She is a native Coloradan who adopted Nevada in 2013. Darcy holds a Master of Arts in anthropology with a concentration in non-profit management and has worked in teaching, environmental, and outreach organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, playing the piano, and learning about the past at ghost town cemeteries. She is married with one son and two rescued dogs.Phone: 775-451-1670 ext. 104 | EMAIL
Christine joined NCC in April 2016. She brings a wide range of skills and experiences gained throughout many years as a communications professional, including media and community relations, writing and editing, project management, and more. Christine is a Florida Gator but considers Nevada her home. She is also a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, avid hiker, and proud grandmother.Phone: (775) 451-1670 ext. 103 | EMAIL
Amy joined NCC in March 2020. As a proud Native Nevadan, Amy is excited to bring her years of experience as an Oncology Certified Registered Nurse and Certified Breast Nurse Navigator to NCC. Amy is a proud wife and mom to a high schooler and two fur kids. She loves travel and all things creative! In her spare time, you will find her dancing, reading, writing, and enjoying time with her precious family and friends.Phone: (775) 451-1670 ext. 106 | EMAIL
Valerie joined NCC in October 2021 as the Coalition's first southern Nevada staff member. Valerie was born in Los Angeles, California and has lived in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. She is excited to bring her years of experience and resources as a Case Manager to NCC to support Nevadans. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Service Counseling from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, her fur baby, cooking, traveling, and self-care.Phone: (775) 451-1670 ext. 107 | EMAIL
Jorge joined NCC in 2022 as the coalition's second southern Nevada team member. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, but raised in Las Vegas for the past two decades. He has also spent time in northern Nevada, attending the University of Nevada, Reno where he received a bachelor's degree in public health and a certificate in gerontology. He's excited to bring experience as a health and disabilities advocate to NCC. Jorge is a proud father of a 1-year-old and loves to exercise, watch sports, and enjoy quality time with friends and family.Phone: 775-451-1670 ext. 109 | EMAIL