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Community Advisory Board Spotlight: Morgan Marietti

Jul 31, 2020

Morgan Marietti, MS, currently serves as Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships manager for the hospitals of the American Cancer Society’s North Region Cancer Control Team. Her office is based in Salt Lake City in the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge facility, which serves as a home away from home for patients undergoing cancer treatment and their caregivers.

Morgan’s passion for public health began at 11 years of age when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. Her first job was providing care for a young cancer patient.

In 2013, Morgan received a master of science in health promotion and education from the University of Utah. She is an avid Green Bay Packers fan, loves all things outdoors, and proudly gives back to her community through volunteering. She served as the founding head coach for the University of Utah Women’s Hockey Club, where she successfully brought this team to fruition, led them to their first league championship tournament, and was awarded Coach of the Year. She currently serves as a member of the Junior League of Salt Lake City and as vice president of the Korth Rebels Foundation.

Why did you decide to join the Community Advisory Board?

As the Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships manager for the American Cancer Society in Utah, I was honored to receive the invitation to join the Community Advisory Board (CAB) at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). The American Cancer Society is proud to support HCI, the only NCI-Designated Cancer Center in the Mountain West, in the fight against cancer every single day. We can’t thank them enough for taking a community-based approach when developing this board. We know this work cannot be done alone and that in order to best serve our community we must reflect, honor, collaborate, and understand the needs of our communities, all while moving quickly to attack cancer from every angle.

I am proud to be a member of this board because it has allowed me to represent the American Cancer Society and has given me the opportunity to elevate the voices and needs of the communities in which we advocate and serve.

What motivates you to do the work that you do in your community and with your team at the American Cancer Society?

The founder of our Relay For Life fundraising movement, Dr. Gordy Klatt, said, "Cancer never sleeps, so neither do we." As the largest nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem, we lean on this motto each and every day.

Second, when I was 11 years old my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I will always remember the day she and my father informed my brother and me of this news. She is our rock and our warrior. She was one of the very first patients treated at HCI. I am proud to say that she is a 20-year-plus survivor and that is due in large part to the amazing team of pioneers at HCI and Dr. Saundra Buys.

Last, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a minute to reflect on my first job, since that also heavily shapes my "why." At 16 years old, I had the true privilege of providing care for a young cancer patient whose mother needed assistance while she worked and maintained their health insurance status. Our mothers worked together and mine knew that this job aligned with my soul and the human being I was becoming. I’ve always had a desire to serve. As soon as I was contacted regarding the job of caring for this patient, I immediately said yes, as I knew this was how I was to serve my community and, even more so, this young girl and her family. I am proud to say that she is now also a 15-year-plus cancer survivor and is thriving in life! We stay connected and I couldn't be prouder of the young lady she has become.

What is your personal philosophy?

I aspire to be a giver—a giver of love, a giver of good vibes, and a giver of strength.

What is one of your favorite or most significant projects you have worked on over the course of your career?

It is my hope that I am making a difference in the fight against cancer and that I’m doing so in a variety of ways. Something that hits home for me the most is the work that I do in cancer education and the power of showing someone you care about them—that their life matters, that timely cancer screenings matter, and that it matters to speak up when you have a question, need a resource, or notice something isn’t right within your body. I’ve shared hugs, laughter, tears of joy, and tears of sorrow with loved ones and strangers who have either heard the words "You have cancer" or who have received a clean bill of health with the removal of polyps found during a colonoscopy.

It’s not the size of my role in these moments, it’s the connection to another human in their journey through this beautiful life. To me, this has been one of the most impactful components of my job.

What do you love most about living and working in Salt Lake City and Utah?

What I love most about living and working in Utah is the proximity to my family and the ability to be in the mountains within minutes. No matter the season, there is always an opportunity to find peace, solitude, and joy in the fresh mountain air. There is nothing that brings me more joy than spending time adventuring outdoors with my partner, family, and fur child.

Morgan with her niece Scarlett and her dog, Whitney, at Memory Grove hiking and enjoying the spring blossoms in April 2020
Morgan with her niece Scarlett and her dog, Whitney, at Memory Grove hiking and enjoying the spring blossoms in April 2020.

The Community Advisory Board comprises 36 members from Utah and the Mountain West who serve as Ambassadors of Huntsman Cancer Institute. The board provides strategic input to prioritize work and engage the community in cancer research, services, and prevention efforts.