One Woman's Legacy of Caring Continues to Educate and Empower People Impacted by Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Fremont-based Cancer Prevention Institute of California’s Annual Breast Cancer Conference has touched thousands of lives in past 14 years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 10, 2015) – Fourteen years ago, in a San Mateo coffee shop, breast cancer survivor Barbara Jo Johnson talked about her vision of a conference that would empower individuals to make informed decisions about their medical care and be affordable to everyone.
Johnson, a tax specialist, was a partner at Deloitte and Touch and vice president of tax for both Duracell and The Gap.  She insisted the educational event be comprehensive and held at the Presidio in San Francisco, taking advantage of a natural setting she considered perfect for contemplation and healing.  The program she envisioned has touched the lives of thousands of patients, family members, researchers and health care professionals.

Prior to her death in 2004, Ms. Johnson worked closely with the Fremont, Calif.-based Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC (, to outline a comprehensive look at issues and implications of breast cancer for patients, families and friends.  Issues to be discussed include treatment, family issues, employment, health insurance, dating, sexuality, anxiety, fear and planning for the future.

The 14th Annual Allison Taylor Holbrooks / Barbara Jo Johnson Breast Cancer Conference, titled “The Challenges of Breast Cancer,” is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7, at the Golden Gate Club, 135 Fisher Loop, The Presidio in San Francisco.  For more information, see the full agenda at this link.

CPIC Community Education Director Pam Priest Naeve met 14 years ago with Ms. Johnson and a classmate of Ms. Johnson to outline a vision for the conference whose audience is diverse in culture, ethnicity, age and geography.  The program will address common issues of treatment and survivorship.  It honors Johnson’s wish that no individual is turned away for lack of funds and is geared not only for the patient but also for friends and family members who have been touched by the nation’s second-most common cancer.  Social workers and nurses may also attend for Continuing Education Credits.

Expected to draw some 225 people, the conference includes speakers from many medical institutions including Stanford, the University of California at San Francisco, California Pacific Medical Center, Palo Alto Medical Foundation and private medical practices.  Other presenters include breast cancer survivors as well as individuals who have a family member diagnosed with breast cancer.  Community support services will also be present, representing non-profit organizations and hospitals.

Twenty-six year old David Bernstein will share his story of growing up in a family where his mother, grandmother and aunt were diagnosed with cancer.

“Barbara Johnson’s wish to help individuals understand the issues and challenges of breast cancer continues,” Naeve said.  “It used to be that ‘cancer’ and breast cancer’ were words not mentioned in general conversation.  Now the dialogue is open.  People help each other with information, go to appointments together, and check in on each other.  And, as Barbara wanted, they have more information with which to make informed decisions.”

Breakfast and lunch are included in the registration fee of $20.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.  (Registered Nurses and Social Workers can receive Continuing Education Units for an additional $35.00) There is valet parking.  To register or obtain more information, please visit or call 510/608-5165.

Conference partners with CPIC include the Association of Northern California Oncologists, Bay Area Cancer Connections, Bay Area Oncology Nursing Society, California Pacific Medical Center, Cancer Support Community, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, The Health Library of Stanford University, University of California San Francisco and Women’s Cancer Resource Center.

Funders include Allison Taylor Holbrooks Breast Cancer Foundation, individual CPIC donors, the Oakland Athletics Community Fund, Melanie M. Bronfman Lecture Fund/CPIC, Genentech and the PlumpJack LINK Fund/CPIC.

About the Cancer Prevention Institute of California
The Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) is the nation’s premier organization dedicated to preventing cancer and to reducing its burden where it cannot yet be prevented. CPIC tracks patterns of cancer throughout the entire population and identifies those at risk for developing cancer. Its research scientists are leaders in investigating the causes of cancer in large populations to advance the development of prevention-focused interventions. CPIC’s innovative cancer prevention research and education programs, together with the work of the Stanford Cancer Institute, deliver a comprehensive arsenal for defeating cancer. For more information, visit


Media Contacts:
Pam Priest-Naeve, Director, Community Education, CPIC: 510/608-5161 or 415/515-4137.
Jim Zelinski, Zelinski Public Relations for CPIC: 925/242/0918 or 415/420-6050.

© Cancer Prevention Institute of California