Meet Liz Orton, Outreach Coordinator

May 2021 Meet Liz Orton Blog Header

Hello, my name is Liz Orton. I am so excited to join the Iowa Cancer Consortium as their new Outreach Coordinator. Outreach, equity, and being some small part of positive change are the things that light my fire. I am so honored to be able to work in a job that incorporates these elements.

Woman and man each holding a dog with two boys

Elliot, Adam, Scout, me, Margot, and Oliver (2020)

My educational background is in psychology, with a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. I have worked in outreach within the mental health field. I have also worked in human resources prior to coming to the Consortium. Originally from Cedar Rapids, I moved back to this area after spending 7 years in Chicago. I live in Cedar Rapids with my husband, Adam. We have two young sons, Elliot and Oliver, and two dogs, Margot and Scout.

My Family’s Cancer Story

A story I have heard repeatedly throughout my life is that on the day I was born, my grandma was in the same hospital having a double mastectomy to eliminate breast cancer. In the days afterwards she came to the hospital nursery to look at me in my bassinet through the window. A nurse saw my grandma in a hospital gown and assumed she was my mother. She informed my grandma that she was welcome to take me back to her room. This adorable (and somewhat alarming) anecdote is where my family’s cancer story ends, fortunately. My grandma went into full remission and is still cancer free over 30 years later.

Woman holding a baby with grandma

Me, my grandma, and Elliot (2014)

I know that every family’s cancer story is different, but we almost all have one. In my role at the Consortium, I hope to amplify these stories and help support the collaboration that is needed to reduce the burden of cancer for all Iowans.

My first projects for the Consortium will be coordinating the sun-safety project, working with the team to plan the Spring Meetings, and providing ongoing support for partners and communities to implement the Iowa Cancer Plan. I can’t wait to get to know the current and future members of the Iowa Cancer Consortium and learn what amazing things you’re working on!