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Kim Wirthlin to Lead Huntsman Cancer Foundation as President and COO

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Kim Wirthlin

Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF) chairman and CEO Peter Huntsman announced today that Kim Wirthlin will be president and chief operating officer, succeeding Susan Sheehan, who is retiring after 19 years.

“We are delighted to welcome Kim to the helm of HCF,” says Peter Huntsman, chairman and CEO of HCF. “Her expertise and vision will support the incredible mission our family began investing in decades ago. I have personally become acquainted with Kim during the search process and discussed her qualifications with leaders in the community. Her previous experiences, stellar reputation, and track record make her the perfect candidate for this position.”

HCF is the charitable organization supporting Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah. The foundation enjoys the support of more than one million donors and is responsible for the growth seen at Huntsman Cancer Institute’s cancer campus and programs. Wirthlin, a dynamic and purpose-driven leader with deep experience in health care, will join HCF on February 1, 2023. In this role, she will build upon a strong legacy of excellence. Wirthlin joins a highly qualified team of leaders in philanthropy. The team’s vision is to work hand in hand with Huntsman Cancer Institute to realize a future without cancer by eradicating the disease altogether. Thanks in part to generous donor support, Huntsman Cancer Institute has undergone remarkable growth and has had a dramatic, positive impact on the burden of cancer.

Wirthlin will be a fiduciary and officer of the foundation. She also will serve as a key voice in defining the aspirations and future of Huntsman Cancer Institute, and a voice for leaders in state and federal public policies that impact cancer. 

Huntsman Cancer Institute CEO Mary Beckerle, PhD, is enthusiastic about Wirthlin. “She is a distinguished leader with a proven record of success who will be an articulate and passionate advocate in advancing Huntsman Cancer Institute’s vision and strategic priorities,” Beckerle says.

During her previous 16 years of employment at the University of Utah, Wirthlin has worked as the vice president of government relations and as the chief marketing and communications officer for the university’s health care system and Health Sciences. She also served as the chief policy officer and head of business development.

“The work of HCF captures my energy, passion, and commitment, and it’s what drew me to this opportunity. The foundation is all about impact,” Wirthlin says. “It’s a unique university, community, statewide, and national asset that is instrumental in advancing the boldest vision laid out by its founder, Jon M. Huntsman, to eradicate cancer. I am thrilled to join the strong team at HCF along with the HCF board of directors to advance the vital and lifesaving work of conquering cancer.”

Wirthlin begins in this role on February 1, 2023.

Media Contact

Heather Simonsen
Public Affairs Senior Manager
Huntsman Cancer Institute
801 581-3194

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is the National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center for Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. With a legacy of innovative cancer research, groundbreaking discoveries, and world-class patient care, we are transforming the way cancer is understood, prevented, diagnosed, treated, and survived. Huntsman Cancer Institute focuses on delivering the highest standard of care and the most advanced treatments, ensuring world-class cancer care is available to all communities in the area we serve. We have more than 300 open clinical trials and 250 research teams studying cancer at any given time. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center. Our scientists are world-renowned for understanding how cancer begins and using that knowledge to develop innovative approaches to treat each patient’s unique disease. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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