MCC Champion Award

The MCC Champion Award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership, excellence, success, and impact in the fight against cancer. This individual has, through their proven efforts, reduced the burden of cancer, championed initiatives to prevent and control cancer, and has improved the lives of those living with cancer. The MCC Champion will be a person who has been looked up to as a leader in cancer prevention and control.

MCC Champion Award ~ criteria

MCC Champion Award ~ 2018 nomination form (due by Friday August 24, 2018)

View previous award recipients


2017 MCC Champion Award Recipient - Connie Szczepanek

As administrative Director of the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan, her professional passion and life’s work exemplify extraordinary dedication to those with cancer and those in danger of developing it. That passion, fueled by personal tragedy, has fused into a force against cancer through her exemplary leadership, tireless advocacy and devotion to cancer prevention and control. After losing a sister to breast cancer, Connie, a former oncology and research nurse, became active in the cancer prevention arena of cancer research and in many community groups and projects to increase cancer awareness, clinical trials education, promote screening, and link people to needed services. She has been a champion of initiatives to prevent and control cancer and improve the quality of life for patients and families. As a long-time urology nurse, she became deeply involved as Research Coordinator in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trials conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As a result of her work with patients and families, she led a group of survivors in forming THE SURVIVORS: Prostate Cancer Support Group in Grand Rapids, which she has served as volunteer director since 1992. The research consortium she has headed for almost 20 years is a network of West Michigan hospitals, health care systems, physicians and researchers working together to provide cancer clinical trials to adults and children in West Michigan. As director of the consortium, designated as a National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), 1 of only 34 in the country, Connie Szczepanek has significantly contributed to: * increasing accessibility to innovative treatment and prevention trials in patients’ home communities; * spearheading regional, state and national cooperation and collaboration in the effort; * advocating tirelessly for patients through the creation of the first Patient Advisory Committee in NCORP history. Now, almost 10 years old, the committee has become a national model for patient involvement in the fight against cancer. In addition to her strong leadership, implementation skills, and advocacy for cancer control/treatment trials, she tirelessly pushes herself to help reach the ultimate goal: Cancer prevention.