About Marin Breast Cancer Watch

MBCW was founded in 1995 by a group of concerned Marin County residents who wanted to know why so many of their friends were afflicted with breast cancer.

Board of Directors

MBCW is proud to have a Board of Directors comprised of a diverse group of community leaders who share their unique experiences and backgrounds to help the organization achieve its mission.

Janice Barlow, R.N., Executive Director
Janice was new on the Board of Directors but had spent a year working with the investigative groups when our founder, Francine Levien died. Janice was requested by the board to become interim executive director to allow time for the organization to complete plans for and hold the 2nd Annual Honor Thy Healer Celebration and begin the search for the new Executive Director. With her background in medicine and a love of organizing, Janice is working hard to keep the focus of Marin Breast Cancer Watch and deal with the multiple layers of contracts and negotiations required on the various studies and grants coming into the organization. Janice welcomes suggestions and can be reached in the office five days a week.

Janice is was hired as Executive Director in 2002.

Sandra L. Cross (President) grew up in the Bay Area, and except for her college years during the late 1960s at the University of Chicago, has always lived in the Bay Area. She earned her law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1975 and has enjoyed an active practice as a Chapter 11 corporate reorganization attorney. She hoped she would escape her family history of breast cancer, but was diagnosed with the disease in 1997. After the completion of her treatments in 1998 she worked part time, and in the spring of 2001 began working as a sole practitioner representing small business and continuing her bankruptcy practice.

She has been a member of the San Francisco Financial Women’s Association, and has served on the Board of Directors for Elpida House, and the Marin County American Civil Liberties Union where she continues to work as a volunteer on the hot line.

She currently lives in Stinson Beach with her husband, Christopher Harrington. She is concerned that her grown daughter have as much information as possible about the causes of breast cancer and her risks of developing the disease.

Erica Heath (Vice President) is President of Independent Review Consulting, Inc. a Marin firm that provides ethical (IRB) review of medical, social, and educational research. She earned her bachelors from San Jose State University and her MBA from Golden Gate University. With two daughters and an interest in women’s health, she joined the board in May 2002.

Katie Beacock (Treasurer) is a Marin County native with five children and four grandchildren. She owns a real estate office in Stinson Beach where she handles both sales and vacation rentals. She and her husband have owned the company for 30 years, and Katie has continued to run the business since her husband has passed on. She served as a docent at Audubon Canyon Ranch for 13 years and was on the Board of Directors for almost ten years. Katie is currently serving as vice chair on the Board of Hospice of Marin for 2003-2004. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. She came to this board through Steve Thal, who is a member of MBCW’s Advisory Board. Katie started doing volunteer work as a precinct captain for Bobby Kennedy in his California Primary race. Ever since that time she has been involved as a volunteer.

William Stephens joined the board in July of 2003.

Flavia Belli was a co-investigator for the Study of Adolescent Risk Factors for MBCW. She has worked for many years as an administrative assistant and as an assistant bond trader. Flavia is trained as a Specialist Touch Breast Health Facilitator. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994 and has been an active member of MBCW since 1995. Flavia is a mother of three daughters and one granddaughter, and because of them, she is committed to the work of MBCW.

Fern Orenstein has been a health education specialist for over 20 years and has lived in Marin since 1992. Fern currently works at the STD/HIV Prevention Training Center in Berkeley, CA where she is Program Director for the California HIV Partner Counseling and Referral Services Program. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, Fern joined MBCW and remains committed to raising community awareness about the possible environmental links to cancer and the importance of the precautionary principle.

Linda Spence studied at Lake Forest College, University of Michigan and San Francisco State in the areas of English literature, education, nutrition, and stress management. These areas of interest suited her well for her work today as a business consultant and conductor of writing workshops.

She is the author of Legacy: Step by Step Guide to Writing Personal History. Linda assisted in developing tools that are being used for the Adolescent Risk Factor Study. She has been personally touched by breast cancer with the death of her mother from the disease.

Ann Eichhorn joined the Marin Breast Cancer Watch Board of Directors in 2003.


Janice Barlow (Executive Director)

Betsy Barton (Associate Director)

Susan Schwartz (Education Coordinator)

Adrienne York (Executive Assistant)

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