Change at the helm of Samoa Cancer Society

After six years at the helm of the Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S.), Chief Executive Officer, Shelley Burich, is stepping down to pursue a passion for commercial farming. Taking over her role will be Su’a John Ryan, an appointment made by the S.C.S. Executive Board.

The announcement was released by the S.C.S. on Saturday afternoon saying outgoing Burich's final day as C.E.O. will be Tuesday 9 June 2020.

Ms. Burich said her role had exposed her to the multiple challenges faced by cancer patients and families. 

The efforts they make to overcome such barriers has been a motivating factor for her over the years.

"Being at the community grassroots level opened my eyes and heart to the challenges and issues cancer patients and their families endure every single day of their cancer journey," said Ms. Burich.

"The drive to ‘help’; the drive to ‘make a difference’; and the drive to ‘put a smile on the face of a cancer patient’, [comes from] knowing that they are not alone in this emotional and sometimes painful journey."

Speaking on behalf of the organisation, the S.C.S. President, Lauaki Jason Annandale, acknowledged Ms. Burich as an integral member of the S.C.S. for six years.

"[She has been] leading the daily work of the National Cancer Resource Centre team, passionately advocating the Society’s objectives, empathetically supporting patients, conscientiously building evidence, and developing the capacity of the staff and the organisation," he said.

"Shelley’s departure has been foreshadowed for some time but that hasn’t made it any easier as we approach her final days.

"We are thankful for all that Shelley has accomplished for the community that we serve, and we wish her well as she focuses her energy and passion on her burgeoning commercial interests”.

Lauaki used the opportunity to welcome the man who will be leading the Cancer Society starting from Wednesday, June 10.

"The Board welcomes Su’a and looks forward to working with him, especially in terms of implementing the next SCS strategic plan," he said.

According to the S.C.S. statement, Su’a has a good balance of private sector and non-Government organisation experience, plus experience in governance leadership positions. 

Su’a said he is keen to start on the work ahead and grateful for the opportunity to serve the community.

He acknowledged the groundwork that had been laid by his predecessor, Ms, Burich, on which he planned to build. 

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