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McKenzie Robinson | SBJ

2021 Most Influential Women: Anjee Davis

Fight Colorectal Cancer Inc.

Posted online

Anjee Davis leads a national nonprofit from downtown Springfield, and her efforts are spreading awareness and resources for the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer deaths.

“It is predicted that by 2030, CRC will be the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths for those between 20-49 years old,” Davis says. “My goal is to ensure that prediction is wrong.”

The president of Fight Colorectal Cancer Inc. since 2011, Davis in 2016 led the nonprofit to relocate to the Woolworth building in Springfield from Alexandria, Virginia. It was a return to the Queen City for Davis, a Springfield native who became a leading colorectal cancer expert starting with a 2003-05 stint as a clinical research manager in Branson. Earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Missouri State University and her master’s degree in public policy administration from University of Missouri, Davis in 2005 began working in South Carolina for Frank Berger, a leading cancer researcher at the University of South Carolina.

“I established myself as a leader by being a shepherd: supporting and building effective CRC screening partnerships and programs that have endured and still stand today,” Davis says.

When she was called to lead Fight CRC, Davis made it her mission to grow the organization. She’s succeeded, as the nonprofit has recorded 25%-28% growth each year for more than five years.

“My goal was to ensure the organization had financial stability and that the people in the organization were growing as thought leaders in their respective fields,” Davis says. “Ten years later, Fight CRC is the leading organization pushing for policies that directly impact quality of care for patients across the country, and we have raised over $20 million to support research, advocacy, education and awareness efforts.”

A trusted adviser who has worked with Davis on the nonprofit’s finances has admired her work with Fight CRC.

“Her advocacy is never at the cost of sound financial decisions, and she works tirelessly to make sure those battling cancer have access to the health care they need,” says certified public accountant Amanda Kastler, a partner at Elliott, Robinson & Co. LLP. “Over the last five years, I have worked with her to focus on transparency and growth for the organization she leads every day with strength and courage.

“Operational costs are as important as revenue when it comes to ensuring that resources ultimately make it to the cause.”

When not working at Fight CRC, Davis is helping women navigate their treatment plans with breast cancer, of which she was diagnosed with weeks prior to the pandemic shutdown. To that end, she volunteers with national nonprofit Breasties and serves on the organization’s health equity and inclusion board.

“My life and professional experiences have been dedicated to the fight against cancer. I do my best to avail myself to anyone living with cancer who is need of practical help and advice from someone who has walked in their shoes,” Davis says. “Those connections and opportunities for service to others in my community are a gift.”

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