Contact: Debbie DiCarlo
(602) 293-6898

Cancer Support Community Expands to Northern Arizona

Sandi Ernst Perez Tapped to Lead Efforts in Greater Flagstaff Area


FLAGSTAFF, AZ (May 1, 2019) Cancer Support Community Arizona (CSCAZ), the only organization in the state that provides complimentary year-round emotional nutritional, and educational support for anyone impacted by cancer, is expanding its mission into northern Arizona.

The organization, which has operated in the Phoenix area for the past 20 years, has selected Sandi Ernst Perez, Ph.D., to lead the expansion as Vice President of Northern Arizona. Perez is a cancer survivor with extensive experience with creating and managing successful initiatives promoting health and community throughout Arizona.

“Sandi brings with her a wealth of experience on many fronts that will strengthen our northern Arizona foundation,” said Debbie DiCarlo, CEO of CSCAZ. “She’s a licensed psychologist who has done therapeutic work with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and has led organizations, such as Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. Perhaps most importantly, because of her own experience with cancer, she passionately believes that all families deserve access to quality professional care.”

CSCAZ works to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. At the core of its work is a series of free programs that focus on five interconnected elements to support those facing cancer: emotional support, health & nutrition, education, social engagement, and resources and referrals to bring awareness of community resources to patients and their caregivers.

“My lifelong passion is health and wellness, especially for families facing a cancer diagnosis,” said Perez. “Working together, we can make a difference and strengthen an already incredible Northern Arizona community. My husband Jon and I are thrilled to become part of this community and I am honored to open the doors of the first Cancer Support Community Arizona outside of Maricopa County.”

In Phoenix, the programs provided by CSCAZ are housed in the historic Ina Levine House, a 3000-square-foot estate that serves as the nexus for the community, and Perez said that the long-term goal is to find a similar location that could be used by northern Arizona members. In the meantime, CSCAZ will partner with other community organizations and educational institutions, including Native Americans for Community Action, and provide programs at their sites.

The expansion into northern Arizona is being facilitated by a special committee and newly appointed board members that includes several local representatives, including Heidi Hansen, Economic Vitality Director for the City of Flagstaff; Cindy May, owner of Cindy May Marketing; and Liz McGinlay, Development Director for the Museum of Northern Arizona.

About Cancer Support Community Arizona
Cancer Support Community Arizona (CSCAZ) provides the only comprehensive program of psychosocial services to people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones in the state of Arizona. The program offers emotional support services, healthy lifestyle activities, educational seminars, social connections, and resources and referral. Services are evidence-based, professionally facilitated and provided at no cost. Through participation in the program, people affected by cancer learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and restore hope, regardless of the stage of disease. For more information about Cancer Support Community Arizona visit