Marty Chakoian retired as Director of the Seattle Department of Information Technology in 2002. After a brief period of travel and relaxation, Marty started a small Seattle-based consulting company, providing business management expertise to state and local governments and utilities in the Pacific Northwest and assisting US AID in promoting citizen access to information in the Russian Far East. Marty has served as President of the Board of Directors of EarthCorps, an international environmental education and service organization, and is currently Treasurer of the PNA, a Seattle non-profit helping seniors, children, the homeless, and others throughout the northern part of the city. Marty was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2004; he leads the Us TOO Seattle support group and serves on two committees of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He has two adult sons living in the Seattle area whom he reminds to get tested on a regular basis.
Diagnosed in 2014, John Fortin is a prostate cancer survivor and patient advocate. He attends two support groups and enjoys coaching prostate cancer patients and their families. John stays current by reviewing recent clinical studies and covering clinical conferences as part-time journalist for UroToday®. This helps him better understand various treatments’ oncologic outcomes, toxicities, and impact on Quality of Life. Also, he serves on the volunteer position Patient Advocate Liaison (PAL) to the American Urological Association representing all urological patients in the United States. He is the patient representative on the AUA’s Research Advocacy Committee and the Public Policy Council.
He is a Fellow in the Society of Actuaries. After starting his career with an insurance company, he became an employee benefits/health care consultant. Prior to retirement, he was National Practice Leader of Health Data Analytics for a large consulting firm. John received his BS in Mathematics and Economics from Tufts, his MS in Actuarial Science from Northeastern, and attended the London School of Economics.
Alan is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, a law firm in Chicago. He has held several other financial leadership positions over the past 30 years for other law firms and real estate development firms. Alan also currently serves as the Finance Director for the Greater Chicago Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and is responsible for educational programming for its members. He received his Bachelors in Accounting from Northern Illinois University. Diagnosed in 2008 with prostate cancer, Alan had a radical prostatectomy and has been cancer free since his surgery. Alan is married, lives in downtown Chicago and has two children.
Jon Poindexter is the Visionary Director and General Manger for Solutions for Optimal Health, a provider of complete health care alternatives. As a graduate of Atlantis Medical College and The Norwegian School of Traditional Acupuncture in Oslo, Norway, Jon spent several years in private practice as an Acupuncturist and Life Coach. His Spirit, Mind, Body Therapy served many clients in Oslo, where he still maintains clients. He completed his MA degree in Clinical Professional Psychology at Roosevelt University in Chicago and his undergraduate degrees at the University of Southern California. Jon spent a year at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England and was a Congress Bundestag Scholar in Rottwiel, Germany. He is a Master Teacher of Reiki Seichim and he teaches yoga for all physical and developmental abilities. Jon has several relatives who are prostate cancer survivors. He has championed the cause by leading “Team Poindexter” at the SEA Blue Chicago Prostate Cancer Walk and Run for the past 10 years.
Dr. Heather Cheng, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Medicine (Oncology) at the University of Washington, an Associate Member of the Division of Clinical Research at the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center and is the Director of the Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She is a medical oncologist specializing in genitourinary cancers, with a clinical and translational research focus on the germline and somatic genetics of prostate cancer. Dr. Cheng completed MD/PhD training in the MSTP Program with a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology, did Internal Medicine residency and Hematology/Oncology fellowship through the ABIM research pathway at University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and joined the faculty of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. In 2016 she launched the Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/University of Washington to address emerging implications of cutting-edge genetic and genomic discoveries to clinical care. The clinic was among the first of its kind and serves as a clinical base for genetic counseling, testing, and matching prostate cancer patients with precision oncology clinical trials and therapeutic advances, and connecting family member with opportunities for cancer prevention, and early cancer detection as related to Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Lynch Syndrome and other genetic risk factors for cancer.
Stuart Gellman is a prostate cancer survivor who is active in the Us TOO support group in Buffalo, New York. As an attorney who has been in practice for over 50 years, he specializes in the areas of estate and income tax, as well as all financial aspects of matrimonial law, and has provided expert testimony in that regard in all judicial departments in New York State. Stuart was the first financial expert in the United States to be admitted into the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University at Buffalo School of Law for 12 years, from where he holds a Juris Doctor law degree. He received his undergraduate degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a frequent writer and lecturer before many state and national bar associations. Stuart hopes that his financial background will enable Us TOO to be able to provide even more extensive programs for those afflicted with and recovering from prostate cancer.
Jamie Kearns, MD is an Assistant Professor of Urology at Atrium Health and Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, NC. His research interests are in understanding racial disparities in prostate cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment with the goal of leveraging the electronic health record to decrease these disparities. His clinical interests are diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, including PSA screening, MRI fusion biopsy, and robotic prostatectomy.
Laurence Klotz, MD, is the former Chief of Urology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and former President of the Urological Research Society and the Canadian Urological Association. He currently serves as Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and holds the Sunnybrook Chair of Prostate Cancer Research. Dr. Klotz was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of both the Canadian Journal of Urology and the Canadian Urology Association Journal, and is now Editor Emeritus of the CUAJ. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Canadian Urology Research Consortium (CURC), and is also the Chair of the Global GU Oncology Group.
Dr. Stacy Loeb is a Professor of Urology and Population Health at the New York University School of Medicine and the Manhattan Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Loeb is an expert in prostate cancer with more than 300 peer-reviewed published articles and 10 book chapters. She currently has grants from the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Department of Defense for her research on prostate cancer. Dr. Loeb also hosts the Men’s Health Show on Sirius XM US/Canada satellite radio and serves on the AUA Public Media Committee.
Adam B. Murphy MD, MBA, MSCI is an Assistant Professor of Urology and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern Medicine. He is also on staff at Cook County Health and Jesse Brown VA. He has been studying the health disparities faced by minorities in prostate cancer, and especially African Americans. He has been looking at the role of vitamin D deficiency, genomics, and biomarkers in disparities for men at risk of and already diagnosed with prostate cancer. Clinically he is interested in general urology and men's health.
Lester J. Raff, MD MBA is the Medical Director and founder of the laboratory for UroPartners, LLC, the largest urology group in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Dr. Raff is certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology by the American Board of Pathology, and is also recognized by the College of American Pathologists for completion of its Advanced Practical Pathology Program in Prostate Pathology. Dr. Raff was previously Director of Laboratory at Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, IL and has also been on the teaching staff of Rush University Medical College. His 16 years on the Board of Education of Stevenson High School, one of the nation’s most highly recognized public schools, included six years as President of the Board. Dr. Raff is a graduate of Northwestern University, University of Illinois School of Medicine, and Keller Graduate School of Management.
Dr. Raff is married with two adult children and three grandchildren. He writes a blog for ChicagoNow which has frequently discussed prostate issues.
After a prostatectomy in 2010 at the age of 58, Jim attended the Us TOO Gilda's Club Chicago support group. He's led the group since 2014 and is committed to helping men and their partners with the physical and emotional problems resulting from prostate cancer treatment. A partner at Chicago law firm Scott & Kraus, Jim has been practicing law for 35 years with a focus on commercial real estate and secured lending, and experience that includes legislative advocacy as general counsel to the Illinois Development Finance Authority. He holds a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana and a JD from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
John served his country before and throughout World War II in both European and Philippines theaters as a Major in the combat engineers. After leaving Commonwealth Edison Company in Chicago in 1955, John was self employed as the owner of a variety of businesses, including home decorating, private scavenging, dry cleaning and shirt laundry, and mobile home parks. Retired from the business world in 1976, John volunteered to serve in ministry in The Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. He became its Executive Vice President in 1980, and retired in 1986. In May 1988, John had a radical prostatectomy and with the purpose of serving his fellow man, became one of the co-founders of Us TOO in 1990. John lives in Elmhurst, Illinois, and participates in the Us TOO Elmhurst Support Group Chapter.
Ed was born, raised and educated in Illinois. He served in the United States Navy as an aviation radioman from 1943-1946. He worked for General Motors for 42 years as an industrial relations director, retiring in 1988. Ed was involved in many organizations over the years, including President/Secretary of a bowling league, President of a Little/Pony Baseball League, Executive Director of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, Trustee of his church, and a member of the Board of Directors of a retirement home. Ed was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1978, and became one of the co-founders of Us TOO in 1990. He was a Director and Trustee of the American Foundation of Urological Disease (AFUD), and in 2008 started the Edward C. Kaps Hope Awards, which are given to “an outstanding leader in an Us TOO support group who has shown unselfish, dedicated service to prostate cancer survivors and their families." Ed lived in the Chicagoland area and in Arizona. He personally made a positive impact on so many; and through his work was the impetus for reaching thousands of people in the prostate cancer community with a message of hope that was grounded in the empowerment of knowledge.
Jim was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1989 at age 50. He had surgery and radiation which did not eliminate the cancer. Jim retired in 2001 as a school district superintendent having spent 41 years in education serving as a math/science teacher, University professor and public school administrator. Kiefert was a Fulbright Scholar who studied at the American University in Cairo, Egypt and served as Executive Secretary of the Washington Educational Research Association for 19 years.
Kiefert credits his prostate cancer diagnosis with changing his life - sparking changes in diet, exercise, stress reduction, spirituality, and focused on the appreciation of the most important things in life. Jim and his wife Maureen have eight children, 14 grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Kiefert and his wife received ACS M2M facilitator training and are now facilitator trainers. They formed and facilitate support groups in The Dalles, OR and Olympia, WA. Jim says, "Living with prostate cancer makes you realize that every day is a gift, to be spent wisely."