President, Morra Communications, USA
Marion Morra is an internationally recognized expert in cancer control and health communications, with experience working in the community and with cancer patients. She is president of Morra Communications, consultants in health communications and research. Prior to establishing her own firm, she was Associate Director of the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center, where she was responsible for the Cancer Information Service (CIS), patient education and support and community outreach. She originated the CIS (1-800-CANCER) at Yale in 1975, one of the first offices to be funded by the National Cancer Institute.
A founding member of the International Cancer Information Services Group (ICISG), and a member of its Board of Directors, she began supporting international partners in setting up CIS offices many years ago, when she assisted Germany in opening its phone service. Since that time, Ms. Morra has helped many international organizations with their health information needs — making presentations, leading seminars, writing and publishing articles, and consulting on Web sites and on setting up CIS offices.
Ms. Morra’s expertise in taking complex medical materials and translating them into language the lay public has allowed her to work in many media. She is the co-author of four best selling patient self-help books. CHOICES: A Sourcebook for Cancer Information, (Avon, 1980, 1987, 1994; HarperCollins, 2003), the first major self-help book for cancer patients and their families to be published; The Prostate Cancer Answer Book,(Avon,1996); Triumph: Getting Back To Normal When You Have Cancer, (Avon, 1990) and Understanding Your Immune System, (Avon, 1986). Early in her Yale career, she identified the need for, initiated and wrote four patient booklets (Chemotherapy and You, Radiation and You, Eating Hints and Dealing with Pain) and turned their publication rights over to the NCI. Over the years, millions of copies have been distributed free to patients and their families; they continue to be primary sources of information today.
She has been the Co-Principal Investigator of the Cancer Information Service Research Consortium (CISRC), a nationwide community laboratory for communications research. An established expert in the writing and editing of tailored message materials, she has edited major individualized tailored message libraries and assisted in producing web-based interventions, always assuring that the information was user-friendly and comprehensible.
Dr. Morra has had a long history of volunteer work with the American Cancer Society (ACS). Past Chair of its National Board of Directors, she continues to actively work with the ACS on both national and local programs. She is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications.