Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM EDT
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Sheraton Hartford South Hotel

100 Capital Boulevard
Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Driving Directions 


Edward Angeli (203) 379-4860 & Maria Grove (203) 379-4860
American Cancer Society & CT Cancer Partnership

Connecticut 80% Colorectal Cancer Screening Symposium: Building a Bridge Beyond 2018 


It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the Colorectal Cancer Screening Symposium on Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 8:00AM – 12:30 PM at the Sheraton Hartford South Hotel in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.  Clinicians, hospitals, community health centers, health insurers, health departments, and employers will join together for discussion and explore strategies for increasing colorectal cancer screening rates in Connecticut. We will be supporting the efforts of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable in achieving the shared goal of 80% screening rates. 


 Building a Bridge Beyond 2018

Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 7:15 AM to 12:30 PM

Objectives: To engage organizations that are interested in improving colorectal cancer screening rates, sharing best practices and using this meeting as a kickoff to achieve 80% in Connecticut.  


  • Large to Medium Size Employers (HR Managers/Benefit Managers/Workplace Wellness Managers)
  • Health Plans
  • Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Centers/Hospitals/Private Practice Primary Care/Multispecialty Groups
  • Community Health Centers
  • Legislators/ACS CAN  

Organizations Sharing Best Practices:

  • Employer – State of Connecticut Employee Wellness Program
  • Community Health Center – Fair Haven Community Health Care
  • Gastroenterologist - Griffin Faculty Physicians

Moderator – Mehul Dalal, MD, MSc, MHS, Chronic Disease Director, Community, Family Health and Prevention Section, Connecticut Department of Public Health

Opening Session – Call to Action

  • 7:15 AM – Registration
  • 8:00 AM – Breakfast and Networking
  • 8:20 AM – General Session Welcome - Mehul Dalal & Maria Grove
  • 8:30 AM – Opening Remarks – TBD
  • 8:45 AM – 80% Progress Report & Need for Urgency - Durado Brooks, MD, MPH | Vice President, Cancer Control Interventions: American Cancer Society, Inc.
  • 9:15 AM to 9:30 AM Break

Sharing Best Practices

  • 9:30 AM – Patient/Provider Relationship - GI Provider Harry Schwartz MD Gastroenterologist at Griffin Faculty Physicians
  • 10:00 AM – Community Health Center (FQHC) - Dr. Suzanne Lagarde MD MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Fair Haven Community Health Care
  • 10:30 AM – Employer Workplace Wellness - Comptroller Lembo, State of Connecticut Health Enhancement Program

Roundtable Discussions

  • 11:10 PM to 12:10 PM Table Breakout based on area of interest
    • How do we move consumers to action?
    • How do we activate providers, payers and employers to support screening?
    • How do we Increase access and remove barriers to screening?
    • How do we evaluate our efforts and maintain momentum?

 Pulling it Together and Building the Bridge

  • 12:10PM – Policy Challenges/Opportunities – Bryte Johnson, ACS CAN Connecticut Government Relations Director, Field Advocacy Operations
  • 12:20 PM to 12:30 PM – Next Steps & Wrap Up

Kevin Lembo, State of Connecticut Comptroller

Kevin Lembo, now serving his second term as Connecticut state comptroller, spent decades working as a public health advocate before his first successful election for state comptroller in 2010.

As state comptroller, Lembo has helped develop innovative preventive care and wellness programs to reduce costs and improve care quality. As the state’s chief fiscal guardian, he is an independent voice in reporting on the state’s financial outlook and has implemented fiscal policy initiatives to tame Connecticut’s revenue volatility and achieve financial predictability, including budget reserve fund and pension funding reforms.

As a member of the state bond commission, Comptroller Lembo has advocated for an economic development strategy that prioritizes infrastructure investment, manufacturing growth and workforce training to benefit the broader economy and middle class job growth.

Most recently, Lembo has been helping to implement a voluntary retirement savings program that will serve up to 600,000 Connecticut workers in the private sector who currently have no workplace retirement savings option.

Comptroller Lembo holds a Master of Public Administration from California State University and is a member of the Pi Alpha Honor Society. Lembo, honored as a “champion of transparency,” has been recognized by organizations including AARP, GLAD, CCAG, CT Voices for Children and Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information for his work in open government, public policy, health care and retirement security. He continues advocacy work on behalf of the LGBTQ communities, adoptive and foster families, and parents and individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Comptroller Lembo lives in Guilford with his spouse of more than 30 years, Charles Frey. They have three sons. He is the first openly gay person elected to statewide office in Connecticut.


Mehul Dalal, MD, MSc, MHS (Moderator) 

Dr. Dalal is the Chronic Disease Director at the Connecticut Department of Public Health where he oversees the Chronic Disease Unit which addresses a wide range of chronic disease prevention and control programs and policies in community and clinical settings.  He co-chairs the Connecticut State Innovation Model Quality Metrics Council, serves on the Advisory Council for Healthy Connecticut 2020, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Connecticut Cancer Partnership.

Dr. Mehul Dalal is also the Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors which represents and supports over 6,500 public health professionals nation-wide in addressing the prevention, control and management of chronic diseases.

He resides in New Haven with his wife and two children; all enjoying the unique balance of city and country life characteristic of Connecticut.


Durado Brooks, MD, MPH, Vice President, Cancer Control Interventions, American Cancer Society

 Dr. Brooks has worked for the American Cancer Society’s national headquarters since 2000.  He oversees the design, implementation and evaluation of cancer prevention and early detection programs at the national, state and local levels to increase access to high quality prevention and screening, and to decrease cancer-related disparities.  He also serves as Deputy Editor of the Society’s peer-reviewed journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

A graduate of the Ohio State University and the Wright State University School of Medicine, Dr. Brooks completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at Wright State’s Affiliated Hospitals in Dayton, Ohio, and practiced primary care medicine at safety net facilities in Dayton and in Dallas, Texas for fifteen years.  He completed the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy (now the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship) in 1999 and holds a Master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He subsequently worked in the US Department of Health and Human Service’s Dallas Regional Office before joining the American Cancer Society. 

In 2015 Dr. Brooks was honored with the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Laurel Award for National Leadership in cancer prevention and early detection.


Harold M. Schwartz, MD

  • Gastroenterology Attending Physician, Griffin Hospital, 1992-present
  • Chief of Gastroenterology, Griffin Hospital, 1999-present
  • Gastroenterology Attending, Griffin Faculty Physicians
  • Assistant Clinical Professor, Yale University School of Medicine
  •  AB, ScB, Brown University 1982
  • MD, SUNY Downstate 1986
  • Resident, Internal Medicine: Yale New Haven Hospital 1986-1989
  • Fellow, Digestive Disease: Yale University 1989-1992
  • Fellow, Clinical Investigation: Yale University 1991-1992
  •  Past President, Connecticut Gastroenterology Society
  • Medical Advisory Committee, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Connecticut Chapter (Past Chair)
  • Medical Advisory Committee, American Liver Foundation, Connecticut Chapter


Suzanne Lagarde MD MBA FACP

Dr. Lagarde currently serves as CEO of Fair Haven Community Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center providing comprehensive healthcare to over 18,000 residents of southern CT.  In her 4 years at the helm of Fair Haven, she has overseen considerable growth, with the addition of several new clinical sites and new clinical services.  She currently oversees the health center’s efforts in practice transformation, transitioning from volume based to value based health care delivery.

Trained as a gastroenterologist, Dr. Lagarde was a founding member of CT Gastroenterology Consultants, a large private practice in southern CT.  She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mathematics from Fordham University and obtained her medical degree from Cornell University.  She acquired her MBA, specializing in Healthcare, from Yale University.  

Dr. Lagarde is a founding member and past president of Project Access-New Haven, a non-profit which provides access to specialty care for the uninsured.  She has devoted her career to improving health care for the underserved.  In acknowledgement of her many contributions, she has received numerous community service awards. In 2015, she was the recipient of the “Healthcare Leadership and Innovator Award” from the Connecticut State Medical Society, one of the medical society’s highest recognitions. In 2018, she was honored with the American Cancer Society’s Lane Adams Quality of Life Award, national recognition for work providing access to high quality, compassionate care to the underserved.

Dr. Lagarde advocates for the underserved at city, state and national levels.  She serves on many key committees, including the Steering Committee of CT SIM (State Innovation Model) charged with healthcare reform in the state of CT.  She serves on the Council on Medical Assistance Program Oversight for the state of CT, the agency with direct oversight of the Medicaid Program in CT and serves on the Board of Directors of Community Health Network (CHN), ASO for CT Medicaid.


Bryte Johnson, Connecticut Government Relations Director, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.

 Bryte Johnson brings twenty years of political and policy expertise having experienced the legislative process from all aspects. He began his career working for the Governor of California, serving as Legislative Aid for a team of eight Deputies charged with analyzing the policy and political factors in every bill introduced in the California Legislature. Within a year, Bryte was placed in charge of Chaptering all signed pieces of legislation, a critical step before a bill can become a law. After two years of serving the Governor, Bryte accepted a position on the personal legislative staff of California Assemblywoman, Ellen M. Corbett, (18th Assembly District). Bryte’s policy areas include health, Insurance, bioscience and appropriations where he was in charge of analyzing all fiscal bills for the Assembly member. His accomplishments included supervising eleven bills signed by the Governor, managing all aspects of the California Biotechnology subcommittee, including the planning of a subcommittee meeting, preparation of a white paper and various biotechnology site visits.

 In 2004, Bryte continued to shape policy in a new position in the non-profit arena as Public Policy Director for the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he managed all aspects of a bold and comprehensive legislative agenda for four years before moving to Connecticut in 2006 and becoming Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society in 2007. Bryte’s successes with the Society include passage of the first Palliative Care Advisory Council in the US and consistently protecting and preserving funding for the state Breast and Cervical Orly detection program, Additional policy advances include Connecticut becoming one of only a handful of states that provides full coverage of Medicaid Smoking Cessation services, a cumulative $2.34 in increased cigarette taxes over the last decade while smoking rates have dropped 4 percent among adults and 11 percent among high school aged youth.

Bryte and his wife and son enjoy life on the East coast, especially proximity to so many baseball teams.