Profile of Mrs. Yulit Gordon, Executive Director of the Jamaica Cancer Society
Mrs. Yulit Gordon brings to the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) over 30 years of professional experience that spans the financial, hospitality and telecommunication sectors. Her primary focus has been on establishing the Jamaica Cancer Society as a centre of excellence through the development and implementation of key strategies such as research, advocacy for public policy that supports cancer control, training and development, increased access to cancer screening, and the development of regional and international partnerships to support the mission of the Jamaica Cancer Society.
In the eight years at the helm of the Jamaica Cancer Society, Mrs. Gordon has grown the number of international and regional partners by 60 percent which has resulted in increased donations and grant funding to provide cancer screening services, public education, emotional support, tobacco cessation to approximately 19,000 Jamaicans each year. In 2014, Mrs. Gordon established a Patient Support Fund which provides small grants to vulnerable Jamaicans to access cancer treatment. In 2018, the Fund paid out in excess of Three Million Dollars.
In 2013, Mrs. Gordon played an integral role in the birth of the Caribbean Cancer Alliance which launched the first ever Caribbean Cervical Cancer Electronic Petition demanding increased access to cervical cancer screening for Caribbean women. In the same year, the Jamaica Cancer Society along with its partners, the Jamaica Coalition for Tobacco Control, made presentations to Parliament on why tobacco laws should be enacted. These arguments and representations resulted in the passage of the Public Health (Tobacco Control) Regulations in 2013 which saw the implementation of smoke free public spaces, 60% graphic health warnings and penalties for non-compliance.
In March 2018, Mrs. Gordon was invited by the United Nations to participate in discussions around women’s health and to pay tribute to Mrs. Novlene Williams-Mills, Jamaican OIympian and breast cancer survivor.
Mrs. Gordon currently sits on the Essential National Health Research Executive to guide the Government’s response to a National Research Agenda. She also provides technical support to the Government’s National HPV Vaccination efforts. Mrs. Gordon also sits on the Stakeholders Guided Cancer Research Council Executive which is funded by the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia to advocate for policies to improve standards of cancer care in the Jamaican population.
Mrs. Gordon represented the Caribbean at the International Cancer Control Congress (ICCC) in Lima, Peru in 2015, and in 2017 at the University of Miami, to make presentations on cervical cancer in Caribbean women and to participate in discussions around policies to address access to screening and treatment.
In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) sent representatives to Jamaica to document the work of the Jamaica Cancer Society in the control of female cancers such as breast and cervical cancers. The documentary was showcased later that year at the WHO Leadership Summit in Geneva, Switzerland.
Under Mrs. Gordon’s leadership, the Jamaica Cancer Society has been the recipient of several awards and recognition. Some of these are :
- 2013 – The Award of Excellence from the Grabham Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for Outstanding Contribution to National Development
- 2013 — The Council of Voluntary Social Services Member Agency of the Year Award
- 2014 – The Gleaner Honour Awards for Health and Wellness in Jamaica
- 2015 – The American Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Civic Leadership
- 2016 –The Medical Association of Jamaica President’s Award for outstanding work in cancer screening, education and research
- 2016 – Ministry of Health Award for Outstanding Dedication and Contribution to the National Non-Communicable-Diseases Plan
- 2018 – The CVSS Member Agency Award for outstanding Community Service.
Mrs. Gordon has one Son, Matthew. She worships at the Swallowfield Chapel. Mrs. Gordon is a proud alumnus of St. Jago High School and was honoured by the St. Jago Past Students Association in 2019 for her efforts in fighting cancer in the Jamaican population. Mrs. Gordon is a member of the Rotary Club of St. Andrew.