Donna Moon Fund launches cancer prevention project

The Alliance for Research in Community Health (ARCH) at Wright State University School of Medicine has received a $20,000 grant to develop a cancer prevention project for older women in the Miami Valley. The grant comes from the Donna Moon Fund for Ovarian Cancer Screening, which was established at the Dayton Foundation with public donations following the Montgomery County commissioner's death in 1994.

"Donna wanted to raise awareness in the community about ovarian cancer and other women's health issues. She hoped to help other women to avoid preventable forms of cancer, so they wouldn't have to experience what she went through," says her husband Don Moon, a retired chiropractor who lives in Kettering.

ARCH will develop cancer education materials for use by local physicians and other health professionals who treat older women, according to Jeanne Lemkau, Ph.D., ARCH co-director and professor of family medicine at Wright State. The materials will be designed to facilitate individualized risk assessment and risk management of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer.

"If caught early, these cancers can be treated. Early detection is the key to preventing a great deal of the suffering and deaths that these cancers can cause," Lemkau says. "The materials that we are developing will be used by doctors to educate women about their personal risks and about appropriate use of mammograms, Pap tests, and blood tests to screen for cancer."

The Alliance for Research in Community Health (ARCH) is a partnership between the Department of Family Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine and Dayton's Center for Healthy Communities. ARCH's mission is to improve the health of Dayton communities through community-responsive research.

Donna Moon was a well-known community leader who entered politics after retiring as a school teacher. She served on the Kettering Board of Education from 1974 to 1984, when she was elected to the Montgomery County Commission. She was named commission president in 1991, a post she held until a month before her death.

Moon's daughter Deanne Benkert lives in Tipp City and works as an administrator for Montgomery County Meals on Wheels. Her son Mark and daughter-in-law Alison, graduates of Wright State University School of Medicine, now live in Jacksonville, Florida. After completing an internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Mark now practices in nearby Waycross, Georgia. Alison is completing a dermatology residency at the Mayo Clinic.

Last edited on 04/22/2015.