On November 9, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. We will highlight the nine honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.


BethanieMills_smName: Bethanie Mills

Occupation: Senior Manager of Patient Access, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Central California Chapter

Nominated by: Department of Public Health

Cancer affects more than 10,000 individuals in the Central Valley of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds – and of all ages. One person championing for cancer patients and their families is Bethanie Mills, senior manager of patient access at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Central California Chapter.

For nearly 10 years, Mills has addressed healthcare needs and access for cancer patients, while overseeing important programs that provide emotional and financial support for these individuals. A humanitarian at heart, Mills makes it her mission to fight for all individuals in need. This belief is what motivates her daily.

“I am inspired by people in my field who are determined to improve people’s lives, especially those who are most vulnerable. I believe everyone deserves to be treated with human dignity and respect when seeking and accessing care.”

An example of this is the Hmong Cancer Coalition, which Mills founded in 2009 to address disparities in access to cancer information and care, particularly in the Hmong community. Comprised of nonprofit representatives and volunteers, the coalition seeks to raise awareness of cancer-related resources by providing education and information in the Hmong language.

Each year, Mills organizes the annual Central Valley Cancer Survivorship Conference, in collaboration with cancer centers, hospitals, and nonprofits. The free program is for patients, their loved ones and health professionals, and includes speakers who are experts in their field of care.

Mills says her collaborative work with the community and with volunteers is not just a passion project, but an obligation on her part as a health educator to empower individuals to become informed advocates for their own well-being.


The 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 9, 2018 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or bwilkinson@csufresno.edu.