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Northwestern doctor named to federal preventive-health task force

Dr. Melissa Simon. | Northwestern University

An obstetrics and gynecology professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine who’s leading an effort to reduce income-related cancer disparities has been appointed to a federal advisory panel that makes recommendations on preventive health measures.

Dr. Melissa Simon was tapped to join the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose members are appointed by the director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Simon called the appointment “a huge honor” and the realization of “an amazing, pie-in-the sky career goal.”

Simon is co-leader of a program on cancer control and survivorship research at Northwestern’s Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. She’s also director of the Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative, an effort funded by the National Cancer Institute that aims to reduce cancer disparities in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago.

The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of 16 national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. It makes recommendations on health screenings, counseling and preventive medications.

Appointed last month, Simon will serve a four-year term.